VLA Today

What's Going On In The World Of VLA?

November 2021

What is VLA?
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A lot has changed in the past four years since arriving in Lewisville ISD as the director of the Virtual Learning Academy. Since that time, our program has grown over 500% from 1570 annual course enrollments to over 9000! Along with growth in the number of students turning to online learning through VLA as part of their LISD learning experience, we have increased the size of both our faculty and course catalog. This past summer we launched our own LISD version of Spanish 1 with Spanish 2 launching this spring. In addition to Spanish, we are adding four new AP courses, additional social studies electives and our first VLA Physics class! This spring, you will have more opportunities than ever before to earn some of your graduation credits online through VLA.

However, our story is more than just growth. VLA has also moved their home to the Lewisville Learning Center as part of a community of innovative alternative learning programs helping all LISD students achieve their dreams and goals. This new space provided us opportunities to explore new and innovative ways to design courses and improve existing courses.

In addition to working hard to provide quality online learning options to all LISD students, VLA has worked hard over two legislative sessions leading the charge across the state in helping bring to life to a change in the law that will allow school districts more flexibility in how they can offer virtual learning to students in their own districts. We are looking forward to exploring how this new law will help LISD students and we remain committed to continue working with State Agencies and Lawmakers to further revise and refine educational laws to better serve all students in the State.

Yes, a lot has changed in just four years, but one thing has remained constant. LISD is committed to being an educational leader in quality education in all formats including online learning. It is our hope that you will continue to include us in your educational journey. And if we are new to you, please come and join us as we show you what is possible when you expand your options to include some virtual learning.


Dr. Chris Bigenho

Director of LISD Virtual Learning Academy

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It’s not too late to take VLA courses this spring!

Hi, I am the VLA counselor, Mr. Cary Gifford. Did you know that you can take up to 3 credits with VLA each school year? Students can take a maximum of 2 credits in the fall or spring term.

We are proud to announce that we have 8 new courses available to High School students this spring through VLA:

  • Spanish 2
  • Math Models

  • Statistics AP

  • Calculus AB AP

  • Physics

  • Sociology

  • Macroeconomics AP

  • Microeconomics AP*

Click here for full course descriptions of these new courses along with our full catalog of classes:

High School students can take the first step to sign up for these classes by contacting their campus counselor.

For more information please feel free to contact the VLA main office at 972-350-1870 or virtuallearning@lisd.net.
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The VLA has grown! Due to the curiosity and benefits of virtual learning, VLA has added new staff members. We have 2 new math instructors, 2 new social studies instructors, 1 new English instructor, and a new science instructor. We also have a new counselor, an administrator, an administrative assistant and 2 new learning specialists! All the newness is exciting. Bonus newness, we have a new location! We are now located in the Lewisville Learning Center at 1601 S. Edmonds Lane, Lewisville, TX 75067.

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Tips and Tricks from Mr. Aaron Harrell, VLA Administrator

How can you maximize your chances of being a successful online student?

Don’t multitask! Multitasking is one of the great myths of the modern age. When you’re trying to do two things at once (like working on coursework while streaming your favorite show), you’re actually switching back and forth between tasks. This is a lot harder for your brain than staying focused on one thing - you lose efficiency with each switch. To be an effective online student, you need to minimize distractions when working on your coursework.

Create your study space. Another key to being successful is having an effective study space. Choose a quiet, organized place that is comfortable but minimizes distractions. The goal for this space is to allow you to fully concentrate and be productive. Here are a few tips to help you think about your ideal study space.

Be consistent. Students who work regularly on their virtual coursework are much more likely to be successful than those who engage sporadically. Set aside regular time to work on your virtual coursework each day - or at least several times a week - to maximize your chances of success. The more time that passes between working on your coursework, the more effort your brain has to put into remembering where you left off and reorienting yourself to your current tasks. Check out this webpage about creating a weekly schedule - it’s a college resource, but its ideas are equally applicable to busy high school students juggling school, work, and other obligations. Make your coursework easier by working on it regularly. Consistency is key!

Lewisville ISD Virtual Learning Academy

VLA Est. 2007 and growing every day...

Learn how you can join the VLA family and add flexibility to your high school schedule.

Call: 972-350-1870

Website: Lisd.net/vla

Email: virtuallearning@lisd.net

Facebook: facebook.com/lisdvirtual

Twitter: @lisdvirtual

Director: Chris Bigenho, PhD

Dir. Email: bigenhoc@lisd.net

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LISD Vision: All of our students enjoy thriving, productive lives in a future they create

LISD Mission: Students, staff, and community design and implement a learning organization that provides engaging innovative experiences every day.

Virtual Learning Academy Mission: Foster independent learning by guiding and supporting all students in a flexible and innovative online framework.