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   Depending on the Texas Legislature’s approval of funding, Fort Bend ISD plans to offer an exemption-based virtual learning program during the 2021-22 school year for students deemed most vulnerable to COVID-19.

A Friday news release from the district said the program would provide full-time virtual instruction using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction for students identified as being at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are anywhere from 6,000-11,000 FBISD students who have conditions such as asthma, compromised immune systems, diabetes, serious heart disease and liver disease, which place them at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19, according to the district.

Online applications for the program started Monday and run through May 14 on the FBISD website and parents must submit one per student in their household who meet the criteria. To be eligible for acceptance into the Virtual Learning Program, FBISD said a student’s healthcare provider must complete and sign the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Medical Certification for COVID-19 High Risk Exemption form. That form must be turned in to the district by June 3.

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