FRISCO, Texas — On Monday Frisco ISD sent out emails asking parents and students to commit to either virtual or in-person classes for the 2020-2021 academic year. The email will be sent to the families of all registered students in waves through Tuesday. The district told WFAA the information will help administrators formulate a plan for the fall.
"The district must have data to work with when planning for master schedules, classroom space, the new Virtual Academy and how we can best meet the social-emotional needs of our students when they return," read a statement on the district's website.
The district says not all classes will be available virtually.
Yatin Pokle will be a senior at Liberty High School in Frisco ISD. He said his decision on which type of learning he prefers has basically been made for him.
"My other four classes aren't available on virtual classroom, so I have to go to school for those," Pokle said.
Pokle told WFAA that four of his AP courses have to be in-person and the other classes will likely be virtual. His mother Shraddha prefers the in-person learning option because she feels it is a better environment for learning. But she, like many parents, has concerns that the classroom environment can stay a safe and virus-free environment.
"[We have to] work together, Frisco ISD and the parents...navigate a way that works well for both of us," said Shraddha Pokle.
The district has put out a frequently-asked-question section on the district's website for both learning options. Shraddha wants to make sure the virtual option is not like the e-learning classes her son took at the end of the last academic year. She is hoping for more accountability for both teachers and students.
"The Virtual Academy will have a separate instructional design but will utilize the same curriculum and grading guidelines as face-to-face instruction. The Virtual Academy assignments may look different but they will cover the same content and skills as on-campus instruction," according to a statement on the district's website.
"I want Frisco ISD to take some strict measures and the teachers are making sure they are doing their homework," said Shraddha.
According to Frisco ISD's website regarding virtual learning the following key aspects were outlined:
- Students will be expected to follow the full instructional day plan according to the campus bell schedule.
- Content learning and activities will be planned by the teacher to make sure each student receives their full instructional minutes.
- An improvement upon quality and depth of the curriculum
- Personalized learning opportunities
Education experts applaud the district for being proactive. These commitment forms need to be in to the district by July 10th. This gives the district enough time to manage student schedules, class sizes, and teacher assignments.
The first day of school at Frisco ISD is August 13th, which is right around the corner. The district stresses that elements of both types of learning and other guidelines are subject to change because the epidemic has created a fluid situation.
The district told WFAA there will also be a small window early into the year where students can opt out of the either options.