South Texas’ first virtual academy to open this fall

Local News

MERCEDES, Texas (KVEO)- South Texas Independent School District will commence its first virtual academy in the fall of 2021.

South Texas ISD announced on June 29 that it will launch its seventh campus, which will be a stand-alone virtual school.

This virtual academy will serve students from Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties.

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The school will eventually serve sixth through 12th graders but will start with sixth and ninth graders, according to South Texas ISD’s administrator of public relations and marketing, Amanda Odom.

This will be the district’s first time serving sixth graders, usually, the STISD has only served seventh to twelfth grade.

“Some of these students did thrive in that environment. They need to be able to have the ability to continue pursuing that learning option,” said Odom.

The school is designed to give students who excel in virtual learning the opportunity to do so in future years.

Odom told KVEO that teachers will have a centralized teaching space at the South Texas ISD Mercedes location, while students will participate in their courses 100% virtually from home.

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All students enrolled in South Texas ISD’s virtual program will receive “wireless internet, hot spots, the devices they need to be successful in this program.”

However, the founder of the School Liability Expert Group, Edward Dragan believes not all students can be successful in a virtual environment.

“As far as learning how to work in a community outside of school,” said Dragan. “I think they’re just missing out on that.”

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The pandemic caused all school districts to pivot into virtual learning and based on what STISD has seen through that experience, virtual learning is the best method for some students, according to Odom.

Enrollment for the STISD Virtual Academy will open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 1.

For more information, you can visit the STISD virtual academy webpage.

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