All students soon will return to campus at New Diana ISD after the district decided to discontinue remote learning.

School districts can offer remote learning — but are not required to — during the COVID-19 pandemic to help slow the spread of the virus.

New Diana ISD trustees voted Monday to discontinue it because of a “number of concerns,” district spokesman Greg Pope said Tuesday.

Pope said trustees were concerned about student performance and the added burdens that offering remote and in-person learning have on staff members.

A letter written by Superintendent Carl Key was sent to parents Tuesday notifying them there will be a grace period until Oct. 12 for those impacted by the decision.

According to the letter, other options include homeschooling, enrolling in an online K-12 school or transferring to another district.

“Discussion (during Monday’s board meeting) revealed the concept of remote/online instruction has not been successful for our students, and the added burden placed on our teachers and administration is unsustainable,” Key wrote.

According to the Texas Education Agency, schools “are not required to offer remote instruction. However, if a family feels that remote instruction is the best learning environment for their student, they are absolutely entitled to that option. If their current school does not offer remote learning, the student is free to transfer to any school that does.”

New Diana ISD is not the first district in the state to end virtual learning. The Houston Chronicle reported at least two other school districts have made the same call.

The district on Tuesday reported a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a high school student who was last on campus Friday. On Monday, the district reported two students at the middle school tested positive. They were last on campus on Thursday and Friday.

Kristen is the News-Journal's education reporter. A Longview native, she got a journalism degree and a graduate certificate at Texas Tech University. She covers a variety of issues, including school finance, board meetings and happenings at local schools.