Donna ISD opens first virtual academy

Local News

DONNA, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Donna ISD kicked off its first day of online learning by opening the Runn Virtual Learning Academy.

Principal Maria Hinojosa said that 17 teachers will be working from the school building to be able to interact with their students.

“Currently we will be serving kinder to sixth-grade students, which is something different because our elementary campus only went up to fifth-grader,” Hinojosa said. “Any student or any parent who applies and qualifies will be able to join us in the virtual academy.”

The academy is able to accommodate up to 1,300 students but so far about 200 students are currently enrolled. Donna ISD is accepting applications in order to get more students into the virtual academy.

But since the passage of SB15 there are requirements students have to meet in order to be admitted.

“The prerequisites do come in the form of STAAR for our third, fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students,” Hinojosa said. “We look at attendance and having not so many absences and then as well as their grades.”

But Donna ISD is not the only valley district with online learning. PSJA ISD is also offering a virtual program and began classes earlier this month.

Chief Academic Officer Orlando Trevino said their virtual learning program currently has over 1,200 students enrolled but has not reached the 10% student population required by SB15.

“So, we are nowhere near quite yet, for us it would be a little over 3,000 students so we’re talking about being at about 22,000 to 24,000 students by next week so we are creating a little bit of space there,” Trevino said.

But there is a reason why virtual enrollment may not be as high as school districts anticipated.

“Many of the families that have applied and chose the virtual learning program actually opted out of their process once they became very well versed and into their routine of being in person,” Trevino said. ” And we are encouraging that.”

Donna ISD is still accepting applications for the Run Virtual Learning Academy. Parents can apply on the district website.

For more information on PSJA ISD virtual enrollment. You can visit the district website.

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