school masks

Kenneth Saenz helps Alayna Hysquierdo out of the car in the drop-off line at Smith Elementary School in March. The district will no longer require masks for the 2021-22 school year. 

The Victoria school district will not offer optional remote learning in the fall.

The district announced Friday that remote learning will no longer be an option for the 2021-22 school year, according to a district news release. Virtual learning will be available to students who are in quarantine because of a COVID-19 diagnosis or close contact.

The announcement is no surprise after the 87th Texas Legislative session.

During the session, lawmakers failed to pass HB 1468, which would have continued funding schools for remote students. Without the bill, it is unclear whether schools will receive funding for remote students.

Many Texas school districts have already announced the end of their remote learning options.

Other remote options are available outside of local school districts through the Texas Virtual School Network Online Schools program.

The program provides full-time online instruction to eligible Texas students in grades 3-12, according to the Texas Education Agency. The free online schools offer 100% virtual instruction. Those enrolled in the program are public school students.

The Victoria school district also announced that masks are no longer mandated and are optional, according to the district release.

In late May, the school board opted to maintain its mask policy, which required all students and employees to wear masks while on campus.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced that schools can no longer require masks after June 4. To align with the governor, the district is making masks optional.

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Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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