Canyon ISD To Suspend Virtual Learning Option

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Rylee Cherne

As of Nov. 9, CISDs virtual learners will return to campus for in-class instruction.

Beginning Nov. 9, Canyon ISD (CISD) students who are attending school virtually will be expected to return to campus for in-person learning.

Canyon ISD- Superintendent Darryl Flusche announces CISD's plan to end the virtual learning option.

In response to the coronavirus, CISD started the school year giving all students the option of attending school virtually or in-person. However, in a letter sent to parents last night and a video posted on the school district’s website, CISD Superintendent Darryl Flusche said that virtual instruction would soon be limited to those who are quarantined due to exposure or who have had a positive COVID-19 test. Flusche listed virtual students’ attendance and performance as the reasons for the change.

“A portion of virtual learners are not fulfilling the expectations for academic engagement and attendance,” Flusche said. “The percentage of virtual students showing low performance is significant. We believe it is in the best interest of all CISD students to return to in-person, on-campus instruction as soon as possible.”

Alyssa Miera and Trenton George- Reporter Alyssa Miera gets students reactions about CISD's plan to end the virtual learning option.

Sophomore Rylee Archer, who chose the virtual learning option because both of her parents are immunocompromised, said she did not fall into the percentage of low performing students and should be allowed to continue online learning.

“I chose virtual to try to keep my parents safe,” Archer said. “I understand (the district) has to take virtual away because most people are failing; however, some people really are trying their hardest and some kids have problems at home where their parents can’t just send them off to school. I think (the district) should only suspend virtual for those who are failing.”

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I worry for my baby brother who has an auto-immune disease and is currently on medicine that weakens his immune system.”

— Senior Jericho Chavarria Guzman

Like Archer, senior Jericho Chavarria Guzman currently attends school virtually. He said he was not in the 49% of virtual high school students who failed, and that he too chose the virtual option out of concern for a family member.

“I worry for my baby brother who has an auto-immune disease and is currently on medicine that weakens his immune system,” Chavarria Guzman said. “I don’t want to bring COVID back home when he potentially can’t fight it off. I can understand some of the frustrations with students not doing work, but I’d feel better if we waited for the semester to end before having to return to school.”

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However, many are in support of the district’s decision saying that in addition to helping with student attendance and performance, it will also give teachers a much needed reprieve from simultaneously teaching both in-class and online learners.

“A lot of the teachers I see are stressed out because it is just too much,” senior Derek Lyons said. “It is like having two jobs.”

When virtual learners return to campus, Flusche said students and staff will still be expected to follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines established in the Return to School Plan. This includes deep and frequent cleaning and wearing masks during the school day and for school-sponsored events and activities. For parents who choose not to send their student back for in-school, in-person learning, Flusche listed a few alternative options: withdraw your child to home school, transfer to another district offering virtual instruction, or utilize the Texas Virtual Academy or another online school program.

“The Canyon ISD Administration and Board of Trustees are committed to empowering lifelong success,” Flusche said. “The district believes that in-person instruction remains the best method for a child’s learning and social-emotional growth. We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to the classroom.”