Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House announced late Thursday (Aug. 19) that he’s expanding virtual instruction options for students 11 and under, who are not yet able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
House said he is launching a “virtual academy” for youngsters with compromised immune systems when school begins Aug. 30, that will also be open to any students who must miss school if they are quarantined due to exposure to or symptoms of the virus.
He announced Wednesday that because the district is short 380 teachers, HISD will be using campus and central staff holding teaching certifications to go into classrooms, and he said Thursday that those personnel will also be used for the virtual instruction, “so that campus teachers can focus on instructing students who are participating in-person.”
The district’s website will offer details on the instruction beginning at 6 p.m. Friday (Aug. 20). Families will have to complete a form online and provide medical documentation about the need for virtual instruction to their campus by next Wednesday. They may visit the campus beginning Monday if they need assistance filling out the form.
“As we near the start of the new school year, please know that we continue to be focused on one thing — accelerating student learning and fostering social and emotional development in a safe and nurturing environment,” House said in his statement. “ I hope this new option helps accomplish that goal for our most vulnerable students.”