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Leander ISD to offer permanent online high school program

A limited number of incoming 9th and 10th graders will be allowed to enroll in the Virtual Learning Academy in fall 2021.

LEANDER, Texas — Editor's note: The above video is about Austin ISD's plan to allow virtual learning in the fall.

Starting in fall 2021, Leander ISD will offer a permanent online-only high school program called the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA).

Leander ISD 9th and 10th graders will be able to enroll. The program will add a grade each year and, eventually, become a full four-year program.

"We have students that find online learning is an environment that they’ve thrived in and would desire to continue with," Chief Academic Officer Dr. Matt Bentz said during a January board meeting.

According to the school district, enrollment will be limited. Students who would like to enroll in the VLA must complete an application process. They will be selected to participate in the VLA in a lottery process in April 2021. Students who are not selected will continue enrollment at their home campuses. 

Bentz said 300 students will be accepted into the program for the 2021-22 school year, which means 150 students per grade. Bentz said there will be 12 full-time teachers for the VLA and no additional staff will be requested.  

The four-year high school program will be hosted at New Hope High School.

Students enrolled in the VLA will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities. According to Leander ISD's website, students who would like to participate in extracurricular activities "will not be good candidates for the VLA."

If a student is interested in transferring to the VLA for the upcoming school year, they can fill out this interest form. If you have additional questions, you can contact Terri McClain at terri.mcclain@leanderisd.org

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