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Killeen school board to discuss new virtual learning option

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 4:01 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - The Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday will be briefed during its meeting on Senate Bill 15, which gives local school districts the autonomy to set up virtual learning programs.

Killeen ISD Chief Learning Officer for Secondary Schools Susan Buckley is expected to explain to the school board what could hinder the implementation of virtual learning programs within the district.

“What worries me is the staffing piece,” Buckely said, “We are struggling, right now, to find teachers in our existing walls of our campus.”

The bill would provide remote learning funding for the 2021-2022 school year. The option would be capped at 10 percent of all students enrolled districtwide.

Certain criteria must be met by those who wish to participate in a virtual learning program.

The main points are qualifying students must earn a C grade or higher and have no more than 10 percent unexcused absences.

On the district’s end, a school must provide a teacher solely for remote learning purposes. “I think it is going to be challenging with the existing staffing that we have available to us right now,” Buckley said.

Buckley’s team has already keyed in on 800 to a thousand students who could qualify for the remote learning option. Some were forced to return to campus after online instruction was stopped after last school year.

No formal action will be taken during Tuesday’s meeting. Further action could come in future school board meetings depending on what the board and superintendent feel about the program.

“We want to do it right. We want to put our time and effort into it and create something that’s sustainable,” Buckley said. “Not just to check the box for one year.”

Read more on the guidance here: Senate Bill 15 overview.

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