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Fort Bend ISD releases details of virtual learning program for the fall semester

The option will only be available for students in Pre-K through sixth grade and at this point, only for the fall semester.

HOUSTON — Over the weekend, Fort Bend ISD announced plans for virtual classes because of rising COVID cases. On Monday, they provided specifics.

The virtual option will only be offered to students from Pre-K to sixth grade and will begin on Monday, Aug. 30. Acceptance is based on availability and staff at each grade level requested.

Here's a timeline.

  • August 9-13: Application window opens for families of students in Pre-K – 6
  • August 16: Families are notified of acceptance
  • August 23-27: Student-parent orientation sessions take place
  • August 30: Virtual learning program launches

Students old enough to get the vaccine won’t be eligible for virtual classes. That means kids ages 12 and up and students in grades 7-12 will attend in-person classes.

The virtual program is for the entire fall semester. Students enrolled won’t be able to transfer to in-person learning before January 2022. There’s not been a decision on if the program will be offered in the spring.

As for course options, they will be limited to the core content. Electives and extra-curricular activities won’t be offered and students who attend virtually won’t be able to go to these activities when they’re on campus.

School starts for all students in person Wednesday. According to the district, students who are kept home while they wait for a decision will be withdrawn as a "no-show" if they’re not accepted into the virtual program or don’t attend in-person on or before Aug. 19.

You can read more about Fort Bend’s virtual learning program here.

RELATED: Cy-Fair ISD will offer virtual learning options for young students, joining Fort Bend ISD, Conroe ISD

No mask mandate at Fort Bend ISD  

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that schools can't mandate masks. Houston ISD's board will vote on a mask mandate Thursday and Dallas ISD has issued a temporary mandate. In an interview with KHOU 11's Len Cannon, Fort Bend ISD acting Superintendent Diana Sayavedra said the district won't make masks a mandate, but will strongly encourage everyone to wear one. That full interview is below:

RELATED: HISD superintendent stands by decision to implement mask mandate

Fort Bend ISD will notify parents of positive COVID cases.

Last week, the Texas Education Agency issued guidance for schools, which didn't include a requirement for schools to notify parents of positive COVID cases. The guidelines also didn't require contact tracing. Fort Bend ISD tweeted that they will notify parents and do contact tracing.

Other districts offering virtual learning

Both Cy Fair ISD and Conroe ISD are offering virtual learning this school year.