HISD launching virtual academy for students too young to get vaccinated

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- HISD is launching a virtual academy for students who are too young to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a letter to parents issued by Superintendent Millard House II, he said the virtual learning option will be made available for students who are 11 or younger with compromised immune systems.

It's going to start on Monday, Aug. 30.

House said though the state won't provide funding for the virtual instruction program, the district plans on leveraging money from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to cover the costs.

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Congress set aside approximately $13.2 billion of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for the ESSER Fund.

"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," said House. "I hope this new option helps accomplish that goal for our most vulnerable students."

HISD said the virtual academy will be taught by dedicated central staff so that campus teachers can focus on teaching students who are participating in-person.

Details about the virtual academy's eligibility and the application process will be available on the district's website on Friday, Aug. 20 at 6 p.m.

Parents of eligible students will need to submit an online form and submit medical documentation to their campus by Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Parents may also visit any campus beginning Monday, Aug. 23, if they need help completing the online form.
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