News From The Nest

What's Going On In The World Of VLA

September 18, 2020

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.

Greetings from “The Nest”

The week 6 grading period (1P2) will close next Friday September 25th. This means you have seven (7) days to get your 6-week grade to its highest level. Keep in mind that this is the first grading period that has implications for all UIL participation. Don’t let inactivity in your academics keep you from being active in your UIL activities. Make a plan:

1. Make a Plan for Work Due Next Week: You have seven days to get your grades above 70 or higher. Look at your academic and personal calendar and make a plan for the next seven days. What do you have due next week? Mark on your calendar the specific days and times you will be working on those upcoming assignments.

2. Missing Work: Do you have any missing assignments? If so, add them to your plan. If you have missing assignments, perhaps this is the weekend to get them done. Look at the assignments and what is involved then add them to your calendar. Don’t let missing assignments be your downfall- leave nothing on the table!

3. Reteach/Rewrite/Retest: Do you have any assignments where you did not perform as well as you had wished? If so, have you reached out to your teacher for extra help. All of our teachers are available to meet with you via WebEX to work with you 1:1. Make sure you read all the comments you have on these assignments so that you will know what you missed and how to do better with your re-write. We are here to help you. Please take advantage of all of your resources and opportunities including Reteach/Rewrite/Retest.

4. Execute your Plan: Now that you have reviewed the past work and work due this next week and have made a plan that is written on a calendar, execute your plan. Join “Team No Excuses”. Don’t leave anything on the table. You want to do your best work but if you are so far behind that you feel helpless, reach out to your teacher via phone, email, WebEX, Text. Let them know about your plan. Have them help you set your plan then honor your plan by meeting these short-term goals.

Question: How do you eat an elephant (you ask)?

Answer: One bite at a time.

Do the analysis…Make your plan…Execute your plan…Enjoy success then repeat.

Here is to a great week of learning both content and self-regulatory skills needed to succeed in this world.


Dr. Chris Bigenho

Director of VLA

Tips for Overcoming Procrastination

Counselor’s Corner

From the desk of Dr. Romona Thomas- VLA Counselor

Online can have a major advantage because of its flexibility. However, flexibility doesn’t mean less effort. You still want to perform at your maximum level so that you can be successful in your academic journey.

1. Remember to always create a schedule and be loyal to that schedule. It is important to incorporate study time and task completion time for online learning so alleviate procrastination and anxiety.

2. Because you have the flexibility with online learning it is imperative that you put forth effort and be disciplined to complete coursework. When you push these tasks off, procrastination can become a major issue which often leads to not performing on the level that you desire.

3. Don’t waste the opportunity of on-line learning and the flexibility that it creates for you. Your expectations and standards should be the same as if you were in class. Remember there is flexibility but the learning, understanding, and succeeding are still the desired outcome.

Below are a few videos that may be helpful with online learning.


VLA and Program Growth

Last week we shared that VLA has experienced over 195% growth in enrollments over the past two years. This number reflects the number of course enrollments. Another way to look at growth in the program is to look at the total number of students taking classes through VLA. This number indicates growth in the total number of individuals participating in the program.

The chart below represents growth in the total number of students as identified by unique student ID. VLA has experienced over 173% growth in individual students leveraging the flexibility and course offerings offered through our catalog. Oh, and this is all before COVID-19! At this time, our fall enrollments alone are over 2 times what our fall and spring were last year combined and the total number of students participating in just fall VLA is currently 1648. And yes, both of these numbers are expected to continue to climb as we transition into Fall 2.

Next week, I will share more about how we prepared for and managed this massive growth in demand for VLA classes.

Big picture

Become a Parent Observer in Canvas

As a parent of a student taking classes in Lewisville ISD's Virtual Learning Academy, you can become an observer in any of your student's Canvas Classes. Canvas is our Learning Management System (LMS) and is our door to the learning experience that is VLA. By becoming a parent observer, you will be paired with your child and can then see their individual grades as well as the pacing guides and schedule of work they need to accomplish. This can be helpful as you take on the role of success coach for your child helping them to plan ahead. To become a parent observer, simply follow the instructions posted here.

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


Director: Chris Bigenho, PhD

Dir. Email: