Hallways to remain empty for first three weeks

Hallways+will+remain+empty+for+the+first+three+weeks+of+the+2020-21+fall+semester+as+classes+will+be+held+virtually%2C+with+on-campus+courses+starting+on+Sept.+3+for+students+who+selected+in-person+learning.+%E2%80%9CFrisco+ISD+is+pleased+to+share+that+it+will+be+possible+to+take+almost+all+secondary+courses+through+the+Virtual+Academy%2C+though+some+courses+will+still+require+an+on-campus+component%2C%E2%80%9D+the+district+said.

Emily Vetvick

Hallways will remain empty for the first three weeks of the 2020-21 fall semester as classes will be held virtually, with on-campus courses starting on Sept. 3 for students who selected in-person learning. “Frisco ISD is pleased to share that it will be possible to take almost all secondary courses through the Virtual Academy, though some courses will still require an on-campus component,” the district said.

Trisha Dasgupta, Editor-in-Chief

In a statement released yesterday, Frisco ISD has announced that the first three weeks of the 2020-21 fall semester will be virtual for every student, with on-campus courses starting on Sept. 3 for students who have selected in-person learning. 

“Details are still being finalized to begin the school year in a virtual environment for all students,” FISD wrote to parents and students in a district release. “At this time, this period is planned to last the first three weeks of the school year with the first day of on-campus instruction on September 3 for those students who have selected in-person learning. Instruction will continue online for those students who have selected Virtual Academy. Additional information will be shared during a special Frisco ISD School Board meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m.”

Previously, students had the option of choosing either in-person or virtual learning, in addition to a hybrid-model that allowed students to attend in-person for courses that weren’t available on the Virtual Academy. However, due to recent changes from the TEA nearly all secondary courses will be available for virtual learning. 

“Additionally, after recent developments from TEA and as a result of FISD’s decision to provide an online environment for the first three weeks, Frisco ISD is pleased to share that it will be possible to take almost all secondary courses through the Virtual Academy, though some courses will still require an on-campus component,” FISD said. “An opportunity to select or change your student’s instructional environment will be available prior to the beginning of the school year.”

As COVID-19 cases in Texas continue to rise, some parents are happy to see FISD taking measures to ensure students’ safety. 

“I like that Frisco has both options, but I think that the in-person school can be dangerous,” parent Sirisha Dandu said. “My student doesn’t participate in a band or other outdoor sports, so she doesn’t need to be in person. I like having the option to choose a virtual so she can be safe.”

Students and parents had a sample of what virtual learning might look like during the last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, and Dandu appreciates the district’s efforts to keep students safe while learning. 

“I thought that [virtual learning] was a bit unorganized [last semester], but I do appreciate the efforts from the district on short notice,” Dandu said. “I’ve been told that virtual learning this year will be much more organized, so I am not worried.”

For junior Hanl Brown who had some concerns about the previous hybrid model, the new policy brings good news. 

“I like that our district is going out of their way to give us options because I know some districts are forcing in-school,” Brown said. “I do think that having online learning is a good option for students and I’m really glad that they made more courses available. I think the district is doing as much as they can to accommodate the current circumstances.”

In light of the news schedule and reopening plan, families will be able to request changes to their previous commitment forms starting July 27. 

“An opportunity to select or change your student’s instructional environment will be available prior to the beginning of the school year,” FISD said. “The district will utilize the Student Portal for parents to submit a change to what was previously communicated to the District via the commitment form. Parents will be able to start submitting changes on July 27. The deadline to request a change will be July 30 at 11:59 p.m. After this period, the next opportunity to change your student’s instructional environment will be at the end of the first nine weeks of school, which falls on Oct. 16.”