During a regular meeting on Sept. 21, the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed virtual learning opportunities in 2021-22.
Senate Bill 15 passed on Sept. 9, allowing local education agencies to receive Average Daily Attendance funding for students who attend local remote learning programs during the 2021-22 school year if that remote program meets the requirements set by SB 15, according to the Texas Education Agency.
SCUCISD Chief Academic Officer Kelly Kovacs presented a plan to the Board of Trustees detailing the best option if the Board decides to offer virtual learning.
The district had three options for providing a virtual learning service. SCUCISD could provide their staff for the service, but that staff could not teach both in-person and online. Another option is to partner with other districts on a joint program, but Kovacs warns of possible confusion when gathering grades and other logistics. The third and more likely option would be SCUCISD contracting with another company that has Texas Certified Teachers.
“We know that our current staff would not be able to do this on their own,” said Kovacs. “That [an outside company] is what we are going to be looking at moving forward at this point.”
The virtual learning plan targets students K-6 since those students do not have elective requirements or other activities, and that age group cannot receive the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Per SB 15, virtual learning enrollment would be capped at 10% of the total district population.
Students need to meet attendance requirements, STAAR/EOC Assessment requirements and other standards set by SB 15 before consideration.
SCUCISD takes special education, 504, dyslexia, dual language, gifted and talented students into consideration when making a virtual learning plan. The resources provided for those students depend on the contracted company and possible supplemental learning material from the district.
While the details are not finalized, Kovacs ensured that students in need of hotspots or other resources would be provided whatever they need to participate in virtual learning.
Parents of K-6 students should receive an email with a virtual learning application on Sept. 22. Parents interested in enrolling their students should complete the application before Oct. 1. The purpose of the application is to gauge enrollment numbers.
Those who do not enroll by Oct. 1 may be placed on a waitlist. Students enrolled in virtual learning and students on the waitlist will be reviewed every nine weeks.
The SCUCISD Board of Trustees has not set a date for the approval of the plan or program, but they aim to meet and discuss further details for virtual learning options in early October, with the intention to launch the program by Nov. 1.