Weekly Parent Email – January 28, 2022

January 28, 2022

Please read the following important announcement from Williamsburg Learning’s founder and CEO, Nels Jensen:


Dear parents and students,

In 2010, my co-founder James Ure and I created the Elevation program. From the beginning, it has been a labor of love. Over the years, this five-day immersive outdoor leadership experience has changed the lives of thousands of students. The number one rule at Elevation has always been “everyone belongs.” We are proud of this program and what it has done for so many students.

Today, I have some important news about Elevation. Unfortunately, we will not be able to conduct Elevation this summer, nor in future years.

Why is this happening?

Simply stated, even though I love what Elevation does for students, it is no longer viable. Let me explain:

Elevation was designed to work in a specific location––Crawdad Canyon. About three years ago, the canyon was acquired by new owners. Those owners are great people, and I support them in operating the canyon as they see fit. However, their vision for the canyon and how they operate it does not mesh well with Elevation. Due to all the new rules and requirements, we cannot create the same Elevation experience for students. We have explored the possibility of conducting Elevation in other locations, and we have not found a suitable site.

I feel mixed emotions about this change. On one hand, I’m saddened to think that more students and colleagues will not experience the magic that is Elevation. It’s a little slice of utopia where everyone is safe, accepted, and valued just as they are. It’s rare in life to find an immersive experience like that.

On the other hand, I know that this is the right course of action for the greater good. We are hard at work developing new programs to create Transformational Learning Experiences for students, including our Youth Summit on May 21 (more info on that coming soon).

I feel incredibly grateful for all the memories of Elevation and the lives that were changed because of it. We’re not going to stop changing lives––we’re going to do it more and better than ever by focusing on our core competency of online and blended learning.

Please join me in a moment of gratitude for the Elevation program and all who have helped make it possible.


Nels Jensen

Founder/CEO, Williamsburg Learning


Action Items

Schedule a Parent-Mentor Conference (PMC) or request a Parent-Mentor Update (PMU): These will take place January 31-February 4. Here’s how to decide which option is right for you:

  • If you’re happy with your student’s progress but still want a personal update from their mentor, request a PMU. The mentor will send you a detailed email describing how your student is doing and informing you of any concerns by February 11.
  • If you have a specific concern or in-depth question regarding one of your student’s courses, sign up for a PMC. These are 10-15 minute online meetings with the course mentor to get personalized insights on your student’s performance.
  • Note: If your student’s mentor does not have a schedule link listed in the PMC sign-up sheet above, you can reach out directly to that mentor.



An Important Message about ILCs: LAU and Williamsburg Learning have made the difficult decision to discontinue the ILC program after this school year. We realize that this news may come as a disappointment, and we are here to help each student find the solution that works best for them. However, we will continue to offer high-quality online classes and new opportunities for in-person experiences next year. Please email us if you have any questions.

Drop deadline is January 31: The last day to drop a class is this Monday, January 31. Any classes dropped after this deadline will result in an F that can only be replaced by retaking the class.

Please note: Students that drop a class must remain enrolled in enough classes to reach the minimum requirements: five classes for high school students and four classes for middle school students. If you have any questions, please reach out to Kate Chaney.

How to return books for dropped classes: If your student has unneeded books ordered through Amazon, please return them by following these instructions.

Open Enrollment starts this Monday, January 31: This will be your best chance to apply and save a spot for your student at LAU for the next school year (2022-23). You can check this page for full details on Open Enrollment, which runs through February 18. Please note that Open Enrollment does not include registering your student for specific classes (registration for admitted students will begin at the end of March). We expect to be full again at LAU next year, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible once Open Enrollment starts!

February school counselor update: We’re excited to share February’s update from our school counselors! Click here to view upcoming scholarship opportunities.

Did your student miss our last Inspiration Hour? Christen and Paul Allen helped us identify our talents! Click here to watch the recording.


Upcoming Events

Today: New Student Outreach at 1:00 PM MT

January 31: Drop deadline for the winter semester

January 31-February 4: Parent Mentor Updates and Parent Mentor Conferences – We encourage you to sign up now!

February 3: National Honors Society Meeting at 4:00 PM MT

February 4: Outdoor Adventure #3

February 4: Inspiration Hour at 1:00 PM MT

February 4: First Friday Game Night at 6:00 PM MT with Ms. Tucker

February 16: High School Culinary Arts Lab – Click here to learn more or register your student