Academic and Technical Support
Where do I go for help with my coursework?
Your teacher, the Virtual Learning Academy team, and your VLA Mentor are here to support you. You will meet with your online teacher regularly, both face-to-face and online. If you have questions after school hours, your teacher will be available through email, phone, Twitter, and other communication tools. If you are taking a TXVSN course through another district provider, your VLA mentor will meet with you regularly, both face-to-face and online, and will be available to support you at any time.
Where do I go for technical support?
Note: The Help Desk can be reached Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM in the fall and spring, and 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday in the summer. After-hours questions (nights and weekends) should be emailed to the email address above.
What if I receive Special Education, Section 504, ESL, or other academic support services?
If your request to take an online course is approved through ARD or appropriate student services committee, your teacher and the Virtual Learning Academy team will provide academic support through identified modifications and accommodations.
Where do I go for registration support?
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 972-350-1870
Note: The registration Help Desk can be reached Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM in the fall and spring, and 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday in the summer. After hours questions (nights and weekends) should be emailed to the email address above
Online Learning Experience
Is it true that I can work at my own pace, at any time and any place?
Online learning is all about flexibility. You can work wherever you have an Internet connection, and you can work whenever it fits into your day. However, a Pacing Guide and hard deadlines are in place to set you up for success and allow you to collaborate with your classmates and teacher. The LISD Virtual Learning Academy follows the district calendar and grading guidelines.
How many hours per day can I anticipate working in my course?
You can expect to spend about the same number of hours as you would in a traditional seated course, but you get to decide when and where you work. There is a Pacing Guide and hard deadlines that must be met. You will quickly learn the importance of time management as you balance your online learning with school, work, and extracurricular activities.
Will I work alone, or will there be opportunities to work with my classmates?
You are never alone in your online course. As in a traditional seated class, you will have a variety of learning experiences. Some of these experiences occur in real time through Blackboard Collaborate. We call these synchronous sessions. You will be able to collaborate and work with your classmates during these sessions. You will also collaborate and work with your classmates asynchronously through course discussions, Google Docs, and other Web 2.0 tools.
Will I have regular interactions with my online teacher?
Regular student-teacher interaction is critical to your success. You will partner with your teacher throughout the course:
- Orientation at the start of the term.
- You will meet your teacher and classmates and learn how to navigate your course.
- Weekly Blackboard Collaborate sessions.
- These learning experiences occur in real time, and your participation is required. You will receive direct instruction covering unit skills, content, and concepts. Blackboard sessions are recorded, so you can rewind your learning at any time!
- Ongoing feedback.
- Your teacher will provide ongoing feedback throughout the course through a variety of tools: phone, course messaging, district email, Google Docs, and Blackboard Collaborate. Feedback occurs daily or weekly as you progress through the course.
- Supplemental direct-teach or re-teach.
- Supplemental instruction is available whenever you are struggling with course skills, content, or concepts or when you score below a 70% on a quiz, offline activity, or test.
How will my online teacher communicate with me?
Your online teacher will communicate with you and your parents through a variety of tools: phone, Twitter, district email, course messaging, Google Docs, and Blackboard Collaborate.
Who provides the curriculum?
VLA courses are locally developed by Lewisville ISD teachers and meet the state's high standards for teaching and learning, the iNACOL national standards for quality online learning and teaching, and the goals of Strategic Design. VLA courses are taught by highly qualified Lewisville ISD online teachers.
Apex courses are developed by a third-party content provider, Apex Learning, Inc. The courses meet the state's high standards for teaching and learning and the iNACOL national standards for quality online learning and teaching. Apex courses are taught by highly qualified Lewisville ISD online teachers.
TXVSN courses are provided by participating districts across Texas. Some districts provide locally-developed courses, and others provide courses through a third party. The Virtual Learning Academy offers many courses through the TXVSN catalog. All courses meet the state's high standards for teaching and learning, the iNACOL national standards for quality online learning and teaching, and 508 Accessibility Guidelines. Additionally, VLA courses offered through the TXVSN catalog meet the goals of Lewisville's Strategic Design.
Who teaches the online courses?
Lewisville ISD instructors teach VLA, Apex, and some TXVSN courses. Lewisville online teachers are highly qualified, certified teachers. In addition to holding subject-area certifications, Lewisville online teachers have earned their online teacher certification through an approved TXVSN professional learning provider.
TXVSN providers from other districts are also highly qualified, certified teachers who have completed an online teacher certification program through an approved TXVSN professional learning provider.
Course Registration, Fees, and Drop Information
How do I enroll in an online course?
Please talk with your counselor before making the decision to take an online course. Make sure the course meets your personal graduation plan and that you have fulfilled any course prerequisites. Once you have done this, you are ready to proceed with a formal course request.
You will find the registration form on our website under the Registration/Withdraw tab. The process is simple:
- You initiate the process by submitting a Course Request to take either a course through LISD Virtual Learning or the Texas Virtual School Network (TXVSN).
- Once you submit a request, you will receive a confirmation email and a link to a survey we’d like you to take about online learning. This survey will help you determine if online learning is right for you. Important note: requesting a course is not the same as enrolling in a course. Your counselor must approve all course requests before you can be enrolled.
- Your Campus Mentor will meet with you to discuss your request and will talk with your counselor to make sure the course meets your personal graduation plan and that necessary prerequisites have been met.
- If approved to take the course, you can pay your course fees through Family Access and the VLA office will enroll you. If your request is denied, your Campus Mentor or counselor will meet with you to discuss the reason for the denial.
If I’m a Special Education, Section 504, or ESL student receiving academic services, may I register for an online course?
Certainly, but before you are enrolled in an online course, an ARD (Special Education), Section 504 Committee meeting, or ESL Committee meeting must first be held to determine if online learning is right for you and, if so, what modification and accommodations are needed. Please go ahead and complete the registration form and the Virtual Learning team will initiate the process.
May I take more than one online course in a semester?
Counselor and Virtual Learning approvals are required. In order to ensure the best possible outcome for student learning, we ask all students taking more than one online course to register and complete one course before starting the next.
Can I work online learning into my summer plans?
You need to keep in mind that summer courses are accelerated. You only have nine weeks to complete a semester course. Pacing Guides and hard deadlines are in place to keep you on track for success. You can work ahead in your course, but you cannot work behind in your course.
Be honest with yourself. Take into consideration how you want to spend your summer: taking an online class? participating in athletics? practicing with the band? traveling? working? hanging out with friends? Are you self-motivated? Do you have strong time-management skills? Will you have Internet access all summer?
How much does it cost to take a course through Lewisville ISD Virtual Learning or the Texas Virtual School Network (TXVSN)?
If you are an LISD student taking a VLA class INSIDE the school day: There is no course fee for Virtual Learning Academy courses taught by LISD VLA teachers when the class is taken inside the school day
If you are an LISD student taking a VLA class OUTSIDE the school day: Lewisville ISD Virtual Learning Academy Courses: Virtual Learning Academy courses are priced at $150 per half-unit. This means semester courses like US Government and Communication Applications will cost $150; full-unit courses like Art and English will cost $300.
If you are a student from outside the district: You may take any LISD VLA course we offer through the TXVSN Online Course Catalog. A fee of $350 will be assessed per half credit course.
Other Fee and Registration Information: When you register for full-unit courses, you must register for both the A section and B section. For example, if you want to take English III, you must register for English III A and English III B. If you only need a half-unit of English III, you would register for the semester (either A or B) that you need.
TXVSN Courses: TXVSN course fees are determined by the course provider. As with VLA, TXVSN course providers price their courses by the half-unit. Courses range from $250 - $400 per half-unit. You may choose your own course provider, or we can choose one for you based on provider cost, success data, and course quality.
When you register for full-unit courses, you must register for both the A section and B section. For example, if you want to take English III, you must register for English III A and English III B. If you only need a half-unit of English III, you would register for the semester (either A or B) that you need.
What method of payment do you accept?
LISD accepts VISA, Master Card, and Discover (debit, credit, or gift card) through Family Access.
Note:A 3.6% Credit Card Users fee will be added to all credit transactions.
If you are paying by cash or cashier’s check, you must bring your payment to the Lewisville ISD Virtual Learning Academy office at the Marcus High School Campus.
Attention: Failure to pay tuition prior to the first day of course instruction will result in the student being dropped from the course.
Dropping a Course
When may I drop a Lewisville ISD virtual learning course? May I get a refund?
Fall/Spring: All VLA courses are accelerated unless specific arrangements have been made by your counselor or district. All courses are 8 weeks long. You may drop a course 4 school days after the instructional start date without financial penalty. If you join the course after the instructional start date, the 4 school-day period starts the day you begin your course. If you drop your course within the 4 school-day period, you will receive a full refund. If you drop your course after this time, you will not receive a refund.
Summer: Summer instruction is accelerated. Semester courses and year-long courses must be completed in eight weeks. You may drop a course four school days after the instructional start date without academic or financial penalty. If you join the course after the instructional start date, the four school-day period starts the day you begin your course. If you drop your course within the four school-day period, you will receive a full refund and will not incur an academic penalty. If you drop your course after this time, you will not receive a refund.
When may I drop a TXVSN course? May I get a refund? What about academic penalty?
You may drop a TXVSN course without academic or financial penalty if you drop the course within the TXVSN drop windows:
- For non-continuous enrollment course, a 14-school-day drop period after instructional start date.
- For a continuous enrollment course, a 14-school-day drop period after enrollment date if student joins the course after the instructional start date.
- For an accelerated course, a four-school-day drop period after the instructional start date.
How do I drop a course?
Before you drop your course, please talk with your teacher, Campus Mentor, or counselor. We are all here to support you in your online learning. If you are an out-of-district student taking one of our courses through the Texas Virtual School Network, please talk with your district's Site Coordinator. If, after you talk with someone, you decide you want to drop your course, you MUST complete a drop form. The VLA Help Desk will be happy to help you with that. The form can be found on the VLA website. Please note that LISD does not transcript a W for students who drop a course after the drop deadline. The grade earned will be posted to the transcript.
May I extend the deadline by which I must complete my course through VLA or TXVSN?
By mutual agreement, LISD Virtual Learning and TXVSN may extend for at least 10 school days the deadline by which a student must complete a course for a fee not to exceed $100. For TXVSN, the Course Provider may elect to extend courses for a longer period of time, charge less than $100, or not charge for extensions.
How do I get a refund for a course I have dropped?
Please carefully read the information under Course Drop. This will let you know when you can drop a course for a partial refund (course cost only) and how to drop a course. If the course is dropped by the drop deadline, a refund will be issued within 7-15 business days. Cash/Cashier’s check refunds may take up to six weeks for processing (holidays excluded).
Grading, UIL, and Progress Reports
What does it mean to successfully complete an online course?
Successful course completion is the term that applies when a student taking a high school course has demonstrated academic proficiency of the content and has earned a minimum passing grade of 70% or above on a 100-point scale, as assigned by the online teacher.
*Per Lewisville ISD Grading Guidelines, the student must pass the course comprehensive exam in order to be awarded credit for online classes. Online courses are semester-length courses. For a .5 credit course, the student must pass the final exam in order to be awarded course credit. For a full-credit course, the student must pass the first semester comprehensive exam to be awarded course credit for Semester A, and the student must pass the second semester comprehensive exam to be awarded course credit for Semester B.
Does academic progress in an online class get reported for UIL purposes?
Yes, if the virtual course is for high school graduation requirements, and not eligible for exemption, grades for the course must be submitted to the school at the scheduled high school grading periods and, if failing, will have an impact on academic eligibility. UIL Progress Reports are sent beginning with the second UIL reporting period.
Will I receive Progress Reports?
Yes, you will receive formal progress reports on the same schedule as you would on your home campus. In addition, your online teacher or VLA mentor will provide weekly reports showing course progress and mastery.
How are my grades reported?
Students and parents have constant access to their grades through the online course grade book. Parents will need to log in as their student or sit down with their student to access grades recorded within the course. Progress reports and final grades are recorded in Skyward.
What about tests, midterms and final exams?
You will demonstrate your understanding of skills and concepts in a variety of ways. You will take the traditional quiz or unit test, but you will also complete projects and use what you have learned to solve real-world problems.
Midterm and final exams are proctored. You will arrange to take your exam with your teacher. Remember to bring your student ID on the day of the exam so we can verify your identity.
How is credit determined for full-term courses?
A student may receive full credit for a 1.0 credit course if ONE of the standards below is met:
- The student passes both semesters of the course with a 70 or above;
- The student fails the first semester of the course but has a sufficient score on the second semester resulting in a grade of 70 or higher when averaged with the first semester; or
- The student passes the first semester and scores 65 or above on the second semester. IF the two semester grades averaged together result in a grade of 70 or higher, the student will receive full credit for the course. If the student scores below a 65 on the second semester, the second semester must be repeated and passed regardless of the student's grade in the first semester.
- NOTE: The student must successfully pass both the first semester exam and the second semester exam in order to be eligible to average pass.
How is credit determined for half-credit courses?
A student may receive credit for a .5 credit course if the standards below are met:
- The student passes the final exam with a 70 or above, and
- The coursework grade (representing 85% of the final course grade) and final exam grade (70 or above at 15% of the final course grade) result in a grade of 70 or higher.
- NOTE: students must pass the final exam in order to earn course credit.
Do online courses meet NCAA eligibility requirements?
Most Lewisville ISD courses offered through the Virtual Learning Academy or the Texas Virtual School network meet NCAA eligibility requirements for non-traditional courses. That said, not all online courses offered by outside TXVSN providers meet NCAA eligibility requirements. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian/student to determine whether online courses meet NCAA eligibility requirements.
How important is academic integrity?
Academic integrity is a critical issue in any educational setting. Lewisville Virtual Learning is committed to academic excellence for every student and believes in and supports each student’s personal acquisition of knowledge.
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. It is essential that online students work through each assignment in the course and, when required, take the course assessments independently. In addition to carefully reviewing each student’s course work, Lewisville ISD Virtual School and TXVSN teachers and administrators monitor academic integrity electronically through the course delivery system and software programs.
What does academic dishonesty include?
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:
plagiarism, fabrication of information or citations, submitting the work of another person, allowing another person to substitute for oneself in completing course work or taking a course test, submitting work previously used without informing the instructor and securing written approval, or tampering with computer files and/or academic work of other students.
How is academic dishonesty handled?
Academic dishonesty will result in one or more of the following actions:
- Loss of grade points
- Removal from course
- Failure to receive credit for the course
- Loss of eligibility to earn credits through Lewisville ISD Virtual Learning
If an offense occurs, the student will be notified by email from their course instructor that their parents and local school district officials will be notified of the infraction and the appropriate disciplinary action taken.
Note: Regardless of whether the academic dishonesty is a first or second offense, if the incident is deemed severe, the student will be removed from the course.
All district policies related to academic honesty and participation will apply to online courses.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.