FISD offers new online options for coming school year

FISD offers new online options for coming school year

Addison Williams

For the upcoming 2022-2023 school year, Frisco Independent School District (FISD) plans to implement two additional options for students to earn their high school credits: a combination of in-person and remote learning (hybrid) or online learning alone (virtual). This provides students the opportunity to excel if they found that they enjoyed virtual classes, while also having the option to learn in both environments.

Within the hybrid program, students will be able to take their four core classes (English, math, social studies, and science) virtually, and their electives or desired athletic programs on campus. For students who elect to remain virtual for the entire year, they will only be required to visit the school for science labs or to retain certain items needed for their core classes. Virtual students will not be able to participate in UIL based competitions or courses. 

Tiffany Carey, Director of Innovative Learning at FISD, explains how these courses will further benefit students and how FISD aims to advocate for all students, regardless of the learning environment they choose. 

“FISD is always looking for ways to improve the learning experience, and we are clearly aligning with what many postsecondary students have experienced after graduating from FISD. Like college, you can find what works best for you,” said Carey. “Whether this means being on campus or online full-time or a combination of both, we want students to evaluate themselves as learners and choose what works best for them.” 

Carey shares how the district arrived at the decision to implement these classes, and the ongoing effort it has taken to develop the courses and give more opportunities to FISD students. 

“The district has been advocating and planning for a virtual program for several years and is thankful to Senate Bill 15 for officially opening the doors to online programming across Texas,” she said. “The District has received a considerable amount of interest from high school students and their parents for years for this sort of program, and we are pleased to continue evolving our offerings to students.”

Due to the circumstances during the 2020-2021 school year, students and their parents had the ability to decide if they wanted to attend school in person, or take full-time virtual classes using Zoom and complete assignments online. 

Thanvi Gudur, a sophomore at Independence high school, shares her experience with being virtual for the 2020-2021 school year and reflects on what she found to be different between virtual and on-campus classes and programs.

“With being a virtual student, I felt like both teachers and students didn’t have the best form of communication. I think that virtual students were definitely neglected in certain ways because we didn’t have enough resources, or maybe those resources were given to us the day before the test,” Gudur said. “Mental health was also a huge factor because teachers would be talking to a blank screen for a majority of the day, and with students having to interact through a Zoom class for at least six hours with breaks in between.” 

Gudur describes the learning environment that works best for her, and what she plans to pursue next year. 

“For me personally, I am deciding to remain in person next year just because I’ve had an easier time understanding the curriculum, and I think that overall I am more productive in person rather than in a virtual environment from home,” she said. “If I had to choose, my second option would definitely be the hybrid program, because I feel like I would also do well in that environment, even though it’s something that I’ve never experienced before.”

Applications for online and hybrid high school courses will open on Dec.1, and students can expect to receive preliminary acceptance letters soon thereafter. Students will be offered their official invitation to enroll late next summer.