IDVA Intelligence

Idaho Virtual Academy's Weekly Newsletter

Today is National Online Learning Day!

Yesterday, we sent you a link to a short video sharing some of IDVA's history, as well as photos and stories about our current families. Click here to see the video.

Join the Conversation #OnlineLearningDay! Have you taken an online course or taught one? Learned a new language online? Participated in blended learning—online and in-person instruction? Graduated from an online school?

Attendance Policy

Entering attendance in the attendance screen is not required. Attendance at IDVA is now calculated through student progress. This means that students must be actively engaged in all of their courses--completing the reading assignments, taking notes, studying, completing quizzes, tests, essays, lab reports, and so on, and making progress in this way in each course every school day. If your student is doing this, then his/her attendance is on track. You can simply ignore the attendance alerts for missing attendance. We are looking into what's causing the attendance pop-ups for some families, and should have it resolved soon.

Please join us for our Annual Back to School Parent Meeting!

Our meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 28 at 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time/2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The meeting will be recorded, and the link to the recording sent out for those who cannot attend.

To join the meeting, click on this link or copy and paste it into your internet browser:

Annual Back to School Parent Meeting Agenda

  • School Demographics
  • Staff
  • Student populations
  • K12 and IDVA Family Support

  • Schoolwide Title 1
  • What is Title 1?
  • Overview of our program and Title I goals
  • *Tier 2 interventions

Information and resource links:

  • K12 curriculum
  • Assessments used to measure student progress
  • Proficiency levels students are expected to meet
  • Idaho State Content Standards
  • Parent involvement
  • State accountability information
  • Opportunity to join our Parent Advisory Council

We hope to see you at our Back to School meeting!

Home language survey

Idaho Virtual Academy needs to know the language spoken and heard at the home of every child. This information is necessary to provide the best instruction for all students in the school. If your student is new to IDVA this year, then you have already answered the Home Language Survey questions during the enrollment process. If this is the case, you do not need to fill out this survey. If your student has been enrollend in IDVA prior to this year and English is not his or her first language, then, please use this link to fill out our home language survey.

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Poetry Out Loud!

The Idaho Commission on the Arts joins other state arts agencies in partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to support Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recitation competition that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Sign up at, or, for more information, contact Sarah Poe, Idaho Poetry Out Loud Coordinator at 208-501-5966 or

From College and Career Advisor Jennifer Edwards:

September and October are set to be busy months for college and career. Here are some important dates to keep in mind as the next month approaches.

College Fairs:

  • Boise College Fair, Expo Building, October 18, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Idaho Falls Fair, Skyline High School, October 19, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Spokane College Fair, Spokane Convention Center, October 25, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

FAFSA opens October 1st this year
. FAFSA is federal student aid. By signing up for FAFSA, you not only open yourself up to government grant money, but you can also open the door to more scholarship opportunities. The counselors will be providing a live presentation September 22, at 2:00 p.m. to will explain FAFSA and the application process.

PSAT test day is October 19th. This test is provided free to Freshman and Sophomores by the State of Idaho. The test is optional but is highly recommended. Contact or for more information.

Direct Admission letters went out to Seniors September 6. If you missed this letter, another one will be sent to you the week of October 18th. Please watch for this letter in the mail. It will detail the Idaho colleges and universities you are automatically accepted into based on your current GPA and SAT scores. The direct admission program also eliminates any application fees. If you would like to talk about any of the colleges or if get in touch with your school of choice admissions counselor, please contact Jennifer. The deadline to sign up for Idaho schools with a waived application fee is February 15, 2017.

IDVA is set to participate in the National College Application Week, October 31-November 4, 2016 This is a week when all participating colleges and universities waive application fees. Jennifer will send out more information about how to take part in this exciting opportunity, including incentives for students who participate.

If you need any information or assistance with any part of college and career exploring, please contact Jennifer at or at 208-861-1924. She is here to help you through this process.

A college and career website is coming soon! It will have all this information plus links to colleges, scholarships, FAFSA and technical career information.

Have a great week everyone!

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High School Yearbooks are $19.95 this year!

Mr. Wood has let us know that if you order your yearbook before September 16th, you can receive four personalized icons on your yearbook cover!

Order online at or reach Mr. Wood at

For IDVA's Middle School Students:

For IDVA's Middle School Students:

  • · PLA – If you have not completed the Personal Learning Assessments for Math and English Language Arts, please do that today! Access the email that was sent regarding instructions for this test, or contact your homeroom teacher.
  • · Constitution Day Assembly – September 16th at 12:00 MT/11:00 PT. This is scheduled as a Class Connect Session on your LMS. We hope you can join us!

This is Important information about Equality in Education and non-discrimination

As required by federal law and Board policy, we are providing notice to our IDVA families about our Equality in Education, Non-Discrimination and sex equity in the school setting policy. Our Non-Discrimination Coordinator is Alex Zamora. You can reach Alex by calling our office at 208-322-3559 or via email at


It is the policy of the IDVA Board of Directors, that equal educational opportunities, including but not limited to access to programs, activities, services, benefits, extra or co-curricular activities, shall be available to all students of the school without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation, age, religion, handicap or disability status, social or socioeconomic condition, homeless status, age, language barrier or any other federally or state recognized protected classification.

IDVA will provide equal access to the Boy Scouts of America as well as other designated youth groups to the extent that such is applicable in the school’s virtual setting.

Any student, or any parent on behalf of such student, may file a discrimination complaint with the school through the use of the Uniform Grievance Policy (Policy 505.0). Any individual having such a complaint and any inquiry regarding discrimination shall also communicate with the IDVA Non-Discrimination Coordinator.

The school shall notify annually all students, parents, staff and patrons of this policy and the designated Non-Discrimination Coordinator to receive inquiries. This notification shall include information as to the identity and contact information for the IDVA Non-Discrimination Coordinator.

The School will not tolerate inappropriate treatment, including but not limited to hostile or abusive conduct, derogatory remarks, acts or threats of violence or other negative interactions because of the protected classification of any student, staff or volunteer. The District considers such conduct to be, at minimum, bullying and harassment and, depending upon the circumstances and conditions, may constitute discrimination on the basis of the individual’s protected classification. Such conduct will be addressed through the school’s administrative personnel and board as appropriate, which could lead to a student suspension or expulsion or an employee’s termination from employment.

Excellent tips and tricks for schooling at home from Heidi Higgins

Local Development Manager Heidi Higgins is a veteran learning coach with Idaho Virtual Academy. She shares these 10 tips.

1.Define "Whose Job is it, anyway?" This question saved me as a Learning Coach and mother. I heard it in a training K12 provided called Schooling Effectively at Home by Deslynn Mecham. She said that defining roles really helps when it comes to working through the day. What is Mom's job? (Generally I wanted it to be to provide a safe, clean, comfortable location where learning can take place. I just wanted to make sure that I did not take on the role of yelling, pleading, or demanding that the student get the work done.) So, we also need to ask and discuss, What is the student's job? To be successful, the student's job is to be willing to learn, and complete the work. These are big jobs, and it will take some patience to develop the confidence to work together and independently.

2. Offer choices. When the student feels they are making the choices on what to do and how to begin, there is a sweetness of independence--even power--that begins to build confidence. Cereal or yogurt and fruit for breakfast? Math or Spelling to begin today?, etc.

3. Think Success! Instead of an attitude of fear and dread, just breathe and let it begin. YOU CAN DO THIS! You will find some multi-generational learning going on! While virtual schooling may be a step into the unknown, keep the fear at bay by allowing your excitement to prevail as you jump in with both feet and get familiar with all that is offered with the K12 curriculum and the school support. A teacher has been assigned to your student. Reach out to that teacher and include them often. Please utilize that relationship! Our teachers are our school's greatest strength and can provide so much more than just the curriculum alone. They can be a help and guide to get you through the beginning, and a support to champion your success as you progress.

4. Develop a routine. What time is best for the children to begin? What time is best to take breaks? What time do we want to end school for the day? Will we have appointments we need to work around this week? Will Dad/Grandma/neighbor be helping? A routine is more flexible than a schedule and can be a great help to give the student security in knowing what to expect instead of anxiety of "what is coming next?!"

5. Practice your new role. K12 reminds us that our children are "uniquely brilliant."

They can also be uniquely challenging as you take on a new role as Learning Coach. To help, you might practice some diversion techniques that will come in handy when they want to throw you off your routine by fighting, or not wanting to do work. Practice diversion sentences such as, "that may be the case, sweetheart, but what should you be doing right now." "I am sorry ..., but what should you be doing right now?

6. Explore the curriculum and how to use lessons. K12 built the lessons to provide education opportunities to a wide variety of students. Look at the lesson objective, and work through the lessons as your child needs. Some can read screens and jump right to the assessment. Some need the additional reinforcement of the workbook, or assignments. Some may need the hands one experiences offered in many lessons.

7. Communicate. Talk to your teacher when you have concerns. Reach out often. Keep the lines of communication open so that you have the help you need and do not feel alone in the process of learning. Talk about the lessons with your student, stay enthusiastic and positive. Invite those around you to help. A grandmother, or older neighbor can be a great reading ear.

8. How to use social media. If you have a concern, please do not jump online and be negative. It is a sad thing that the negative ones who are the noisiest are often the ones who do not follow instructions, or who want to change our schools to homeschool. We are not homeschool. We are schools who allow students to work from home. Learning new things is hard--even for Learning Coaches. It helps no one to complain online, and in fact, can put the whole process in jeopardy. The teachers and principals of each school are ready to help you be successful. Staying positive online will reflect your ability to push through the challenges and help those around you. If you need to complain, complain to those who can help, namely, your teachers and Principals) Social media is a great place to ask for ideas to help you with routine, how to work with students more effectively, or life style. It can be a great place to set up play dates and meet ups for local events. Get online, but be positive.

9. Provide encouragement. When your student succeeds at something tell them how proud you are of how hard they worked. Try to stay away from telling them how smart they are. Show that you can see their effort, and talk about that. A pat on the back for effort means something. Saying your child is smart, can cause anxiety and can lead to shut down when things get harder.

10. Give yourself a break. Set a cut off time for school in your home. Take the time each day to do something for yourself. Some ways to do this might include: putting the children to bed early with their reading; having a routine where you take a walk or go to the gym. These kinds of habits will keep your mind and body a bit stronger during the school year. Share responsibilities of laundry (a child who can reach the buttons can do laundry.) Plan easy meals using a crock pot or things that children can prepare. Try to get the sleep needed. Family naps are okay!

How to reach Idaho Virtual Academy

The Idaho Virtual Academy will empower students of all abilities to achieve excellence in a wide range of academic areas. Highly qualified educators will work alongside Learning Coaches to equip students for the demands and opportunities of the 21st century by providing and supporting a research-based, differentiated, effective and rigorous curriculum.