Mesquite ISD recently announced that it will be reopening the doors to its campuses this fall, Aug. 17, with a remote learning option for those families not comfortable sending their students back into the traditional school setting at this time.
The home-based schooling model is called Virtual Learning Academy or VLA, which will follow the district’s curriculum provided by certified Mesquite ISD teachers and will be open to any students, PK–12, residing within the district’s boundaries.
The district stated that parents will need to complete returning student registration or new student enrollment for their child this summer. Enrollment for Mesquite ISD’s VLA program will begin July 20. Enrollment instructions for the VLA will be sent to families before July 20.
Students will be assigned to a traditional home campus based on their address; but administrators at the Mesquite Academy will manage the students’ learning.
Mesquite ISD stated it will also provide Chromebook or iPad devices to all students enrolled in the VLA program to facilitate online learning and interaction with teachers. As well as hotspots to families who do not have internet access at home.
“We know our families are sure to have questions about VLA, and all of those will be answered in the coming weeks. Details about the VLA program are still being determined as we wait for guidance and requirements from the Texas Education Agency,” the district stated.
What is certain is that students will have to make progress in each course daily in order to gain credit. Students will be subject to the 90 percent rule for attendance in order to gain credit; truancy rules will apply; grades will be given according to the same guidelines for in-school instruction; no Pre-AP or advanced classes will be offered for middle school or high school, with the exception of a few dual credit courses that currently are offered online; students enrolled in VLA will not have access to extracurricular activities, such as band, choir, athletics, etc., as those classes will only be available to students who attend school on a campus where health and safety protocols can be monitored and supported; and specific expectations for students must be met.
Additionally, state testing will be required, all five high school endorsements will be available through VLA, and 14 of the 30 pathways will be offered; VLA for grades PK-2 will be on a SeeSaw online platform; grades 3-5 will be on Google classroom; and grades 6-12 will be on Edgenuity, an online course content platform, and supplemented by projects, district staff added.
The district will be hosting Project Reopen School, an online parent meeting this Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom and Facebook Live. This will give parents an opportunity to learn more about Mesquite ISD’s plans to reopen traditional school at each campus as well as have any questions and concerns addressed.
Log in details will be provided on Mesquite ISD’s website and district Facebook page.
To join the meeting at 4:30 p.m., go to the district's Facebook page or use this link: www.facebook.com/MesquiteIndependentSchoolDistrict.
The live meeting will be recorded for those who are unable to join at the designated time.