LEANDER, Texas — On Tuesday, Leander ISD announced that it will be expanding its remote learning program by about 2,025 students currently on the waitlist in kindergarten through sixth grade through Oct. 8, which is the end of the first nine weeks.
The district will continue looking into options for 508 students on the waitlist in higher grades who showed interest in remote learning.
Additionally, the school year for students who will be participating in remote instruction will have a delayed start until Aug. 19. The school year will start on time for in-person students on Aug. 12.
“We hear many people in our community share the real anxiety regarding this surge of COVID-19 as we prepare to open school,” Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D., said. “We are working diligently to put the safety of all members of our #1LISD family first, while at the same time ensuring the best possible in-person experience for students who choose to return.”
LISD said pre-K students on the remote learning waitlist will not receive virtual instruction. Instead, they will be able to work with LISD's Parents as Teachers program. Those families will receive more information by Aug. 19.
"We will always provide an in-person learning opportunity for any student who chooses," the district said. "We believe most students learn best in person with a high-quality teacher."
LISD said remote learning may cause classroom reassignments for students in grades K-6. Students could also have their teacher changed during the year as students re-enter classroom learning. Students in remote learning may also have a teacher from a different school assigned to their school. The district said it will also accommodate parents when they choose to have their students re-enter in-person learning, but re-entered learners will not be able to go back to remote learning.
The district said the 300 students initially enrolled in its remote learning program can attend through the first semester (Dec. 17).
"For the students off the waitlist, we will only guarantee a remote option for the new students through the first nine weeks, ending Oct. 8," LISD said.
All courses necessary for basic promotion and graduation will be offered through remote learning, as well as special education/504 and gifted-and-talented services. However, secondary students will not be eligible for extracurricular activities.
Remote learning will be offered through Edgenuity.
Currently, the State of Texas is still not funding remote learning and LISD will not receive per-student funding for students in remote learning. The district will be reallocating federal stimulus funds through the ESSER III grant. The program will cost about $2 million for the first 300 students due to the addition of teaching positions.
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