The goal of the student portal in the HCISD Virtual Academy is to connect students back into learning. The student component will be offering academic and enrichment courses beginning August 10. These courses will get students ready for the upcoming school year with core class review and elective class practice.
“The student portal will provide opportunity for students to engage in both enrichment and educational opportunities until we start school, so it is kind of a little bridge,” Director of Advanced Academic Services, Myliss Parker said. “I am excited that we are offering quite a few academic courses.”
Educators across the district will teach the courses. The academic classes focus on the four core subjects: math, reading, science, and social studies.
Some enrichment courses in the student portal will feature elective classes normally available at school. The course registration process will follow a similar format to Beyond the Bell, a summer enrichment program offered annually at HCISD.
“We are just super excited,” Parker said. “It is always fun to do Beyond the Bell, and to be able to do something like this in collaboration with the teacher side and the parent side is very exciting.”
These classes are sorted into elementary, middle school, and high school categories. Students have an extensive list of topics to choose from when selecting an enrichment course. Class topics range from music to painting to reading and writing.
“I want to sit in on some of these classes because they sound so interesting,” Special Education Teacher at Treasure Hills Elementary, Jeanne Jimenez said. “There is one teacher who is going to do piano classes for elementary, middle school, and high school. Another one is teaching how to write a novel. For the elementary level, I know there is a class where they are going to do a lot of science activities. In another one, they are using Disney Pixar short films to collaborate and to tap into the reading objectives.”
This portal has classes that meet the student population’s specific needs and interests at different grade levels. The student portal will also offer three-week jumpstart classes for band, orchestra, and choir students.
“Students with different interests can all participate,” Director of Music Programs, Ronnie Rios said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to stay engaged in arts education and for teachers to practice remote teaching for the fall.”
Fitness classes, culinary arts, and esports will also be available.
“I know students have already been out for a while,” ACE Project Director, Jesus Saldivar said. “So this is going to be the perfect opportunity for them to start getting themselves back on track.”
The extensive selection in classes for students was possible because of a collaboration between Advanced Academic Services and Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE).
“We both did virtual summer programming, so this was an opportunity for us to combine our efforts and provide more outreach for our students,” Saldivar said.
Some courses are available in Spanish, and classes are offered throughout the day Monday through Thursday from August 10 to August 27.