Lewisville ISD students request changes in online course offerings for 2020-21 school year

Thirty students signed their names at the bottom of a July 21 letter to Lewisville ISD administrators, school board members, leadership and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. (Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper)
Thirty students signed their names at the bottom of a July 21 letter to Lewisville ISD administrators, school board members, leadership and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. (Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper)

Thirty students signed their names at the bottom of a July 21 letter to Lewisville ISD administrators, school board members, leadership and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. (Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper)

When rising junior Samanta Lopez looked for the courses she had planned to take this school year on Lewisville ISD’s online course offerings July 17, she was shocked to find none of them on the list.

“I had already planned both of [my] last years of high school,” Lopez said. “It’s going to be really problematic to switch it so last minute.”

Lopez and her friends Anushka Chakravarthi and Maya Thakur, also rising juniors at Flower Mound High School, spoke with roughly 50 students who also were either missing a course or had another issue with the online learning option.

Thirty of those students signed their names at the bottom of a July 21 letter to LISD administrators, school board members, leadership and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath.

The letter highlighted a number of Advanced Placement courses that did not make it to the district’s online curriculum list, as well as courses such as American Sign Language and computer science, and asked the district to reconsider not offering them online.



The district is currently offering all pre-AP courses, 13 AP courses and a number of electives online in the 2020-21 school year. Those who would like to take courses not offered online in middle and high schools have the option of taking some elective courses in person at their home campus.

Having limitations on courses available online forces students to make a decision between health and future success, the letter said.

"It goes against educational equality ... not having that same curriculum and opportunities as our peers that are choosing to go full time in person,” Lopez said. “We need that right."

The district shared a statement from Superintendent Kevin Rogers after receiving the letter, stating he and the district understand and value the perspectives shared, but that scheduling courses for roughly 4,000 high school students is a complex process.

“Even in a typical school year, students have to make choices about what fits in their schedule,” Rogers said. “In the midst of a global pandemic, when we are running two parallel school districts simultaneously to try and meet the needs of 52,000 students, the choices are more difficult for everyone.”

Lopez is considering alternative learning options, which could cost close to $2,000, she said, but plans to respond to the district’s commitment form by the initial deadline of July 22 as an online student.

Chakravarthi expects to continue her studies with LISD regardless of course offerings, she said, but she would feel the need to supplement her education with outside resources for classes not being offered online.

“I feel like the role of school is to be provided these courses,” Chakravarthi said. “I shouldn't have to seek this out on my own.”

The three students also created a Change.org petition over the weekend and have received more than 800 signatures as of July 21. A newly created Instagram platform dedicated to the issue has just under 200 followers.

Lopez, Chakravarthi and Thakur plan to continue the dialogue by gathering more supporters. The group would also like the opportunity to discuss their thoughts with the school board virtually, they said.

“There is no ideal solution,” Thakur said. “But since we have to make do with what we have, I think it's important that the school district considers how best to maximize... quality education for everyone, not just the people who are attending in person.”

Correction: A previous photo caption listed an incorrect date for when the student letter was sent.

By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano, including education and transportation.


MOST RECENT

Since reopening at 951 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound, the cinema has added a number of health and safety precautions. (Courtesy Lakeside DFW)
Moviehouse & Eatery reopens in Flower Mound's Lakeside DFW

Since reopening, the cinema has added a number of health and safety precautions.

Thirteen drive-thru grocery stores operated by the Salvation Army of North Texas are offering backpacks filled with supplies. (Courtesy Salvation Army)
Salvation Army expands North Texas grocery service locations to include school supplies, protective equipment

Backpacks filled with school supplies, personal protective equipment, financial assistance resources and U.S. Census forms will be available at the 13 existing locations.

The program, initially created in 2012 to assist low- and moderate-income homeowners, offers a loan amount of up to $60,000 to those who are eligible. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Flower Mound accepting applications for residential rehabilitation program

Flower Mound is now accepting applications for its residential rehabilitation program for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rapid nasal swab antigen tests are recommended as options for individuals who were potentially exposed to a confirmed positive carrier, as well as for people traveling, returning to work or undergoing a medical procedure. (Courtesy Total Primary Care)
Find out where to get a 15-minute COVID-19 test in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth metros

Rapid nasal swab antigen tests are recommended as options for individuals who were potentially exposed to a confirmed positive carrier, as well as for people traveling, returning to work or undergoing a medical procedure.

A mother and daughter visit at Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care in Conroe earlier in the pandemic. (Courtesy Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care)
Texas allows limited visitations to nursing homes, long-term care facilities

Facilities that meet the requirements will allow limited visitations, but you still will not be able to hug or kiss your loved one.

Pharmacy & Home Health Specialists relocated from its Lewisville storefront to Highland Village this spring. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Pharmacy & Home Health Specialists relocate from Lewisville to Highland Village

The company offers in-home services such as skilled nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapy; and catheter and wound care.

SweetStop bakery holds grand opening in Richardson and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Total Med Solutions opened its Flower Mound clinic June 23 in Parker Square. (Community Impact Staff)
Total Med solutions opens in Flower Mound

The enhanced health and living company offers treatments for weight loss and wrinkles as well as hormone therapy and aesthetic treatments, such as acne treatment or laser hair removal.

Denton County is among the 12 counties and six cities in Texas with a population of 500,000 or more that were eligible to receive funds directly via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. (Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper)
Denton County doles out CARES Act funds

The county focused these federal funds in areas of high-need, including housing assistance, food programs, local businesses and nonprofits, according to Dawn Cobb, county director of community relations.

Families have until the evening of Aug. 5 to make final decisions on whether their child will take part in in-person, virtual or virtual plus learning this fall after Sept. 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
A little more than half of Lewisville ISD students sign up for in-person learning—see where each campus ranks

The district shared preliminary results from parents at an Aug. 3 board work session. Nearly 90% of parents had responded at the primary and secondary level at that time.