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Edinburg CISD prepares for virtual learning program

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Starting Thursday, Edinburg CISD will be sending out letters of acceptance or denial to students who applied for the district’s virtual learning program.

Teachers who have been hired for the program can also expect to receive their offer letter soon.

Out of roughly 32,000 students who are enrolled at Edinburg CISD, about 400 applied for the virtual learning program. The state-funded program allows for 10 percent of students enrolled in the district to participate.

"That puts us at about 3,000, a little bit more capacity where the state is willing to fund us," Dr. Salinas said. "But we've received about 400, a little bit more than 1 percent. "So we have capacity."

But the district is only accepting applications from students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

"The reason that we focused on those grades is that that particular age group is not vaccinated,” Dr. Salinas said. “They're not eligible for vaccines, that is the group we targeted."

The school board decided on a ratio of 22 students per teacher, and based on the number of students who applied, they plan to hire at least 20 teachers.

"There's a shortage of teachers, so I asked the board to allow us to consider retired teachers and there are some that are very interested," Dr. Salinas said.

The students and teachers who are notified Thursday can start to prepare accordingly, Dr. Salinas said.

"If they need technology, we're ready to send it to our students,” Dr. Salinas said. “Whatever they need, the resources, the technology, hotspots. We're ready to go."

Teachers will undergo training ahead of the program's planned start date on Oct. 11.

"Our plan is to start where they need to be now and then we will spiral them in, catch them up. Hopefully by Christmas time we will have caught up with those students that were at home not receiving instruction for the first six weeks of the school year."

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