SUPPORTING SCHOOLS—COUNSELORS AND OTHER EDUCATORS
Frequently Asked Questions from Counselors and Other Educators:
Here at Silicon Valley High School we work with high schools, providing online curricula for blended learning programs and helping students catch up or jump ahead through our online courses. We know that schools have many online options to suggest to your students today, so here are the reasons why we’d like you to consider giving SVHS a try:
- Students actually like our courses! Teenagers tend to prefer watching videos to reading textbooks and they find the logical step-by-step flow of our courses simple to navigate. You can see from the testimonials on our website that we get some great feedback from students.
- Parents like our courses—especially the $125 price point. They’re happy that their child is happy, they like the way they can monitor progress, and parents like the support they receive when they call us or visit our website.
- Schools and school districts like our courses. They like that SVHS is accredited by the largest accrediting body in the world, AdvancED, that the courses are approved by the NCAA and University of California (a-g program). The schools we work with like the way our credentialed teachers grade assignments, provide feedback and support to students. SVHS has been growing at a tremendous rate, mostly through adoption by various schools and school districts.
- Counselors like our courses. They appreciate that they’re designed to meet the common core curriculum and are mapped to the relevant academic standards. Counselors and educators like the fact that their students tend to stick with our courses and counselors appreciate that they can track the students’ progress online. One thing that education specialists appreciate is that SVHS teachers do the grading and support their students throughout the course.
- Counselors like working with us. Our credentialed teachers and customer service staff help counselors get their students through the courses they need to graduate. As you know, some students need a lot of help if they’re going to get the credits they need in time for graduation. The SVHS team has worked through tight deadlines and pulled out all the stops to help counselors and their students achieve their goals. Here at SVHS, we’re in the business of building trusted long-term relationships with counselors.
We are always happy to answer your questions. For your convenience, some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions are provided below. If your question is not answered below, please contact us through the chat box that pops up at the bottom of the page or through the Contact Us page.
Questions About Courses
Where can I find an online catalog of the courses offered? Here, you will find our online course catalog. It is kept up-to-date on a daily basis, so as new courses are released, you will see them in the catalog.
Where can I find a printable flyer listing all SVHS courses? Here you can find a PDF document that you can print out and hand to your students.
Does your health course comply with the California Healthy Youth Act? Yes, our Health Part 1 course covers the material required by California Healthy Youth Act, Ed code § 51934 (“CHYA”). Health Part 1 is not a pre-requisite for our Health Part 2 course.
How does the lab component of the biology course work? The lab work is integrated into the course. For example, virtual labs and assignments are based on experiments the students perform at home with regular household items. There is no need for students to attend a mobile lab or attend a separate lab class.
How does the lab component of the chemistry course work? Students need to purchase a custom lab kit from a vendor called Quality Science Labs. In the course, students will find a discount code for the lab kit. Students need only one lab kit as the kit covers both part 1 and part 2 of the chemistry course.
Are the biology and chemistry courses approved by the University of California (a-g)? Yes. The University of California recently updated its requirements for science courses and labs and approved the SVHS courses, as you can see in our catalog and the UC a-g website.
Are the courses synchronous or asynchronous? The course are self-paced. With the exception of Spanish and language courses where the student has conversations with the teacher via video conference, there is no need for the student and the teacher to be online at the same time. Hence, all the courses are asynchronous.
Can our school adopt SVHS courses and issue our own transcripts? Yes. The Silicon Valley High School Online Curriculum is available for adoption by schools across California and the United States. Click here for more information on our online curriculum of courses for schools.
How do the courses work?
A course is made up of units, each unit is made up of lessons. Each lesson has one or more videos and reading materials, then there’s a quiz for each lesson, at the end of the unit is a test and an assignment. The quizzes can be taken as many times as the student needs to master the materials. The unit test can be taken only once. The unit assignment is submitted for grading and feedback by SVHS teachers. The teacher is available to answer student questions.
The final is taken online. If a school would like to proctor the final then we can coordinate that with the school. By default the final is not proctored. Click here for more information on how our courses work.
Enrollment & Ordering Questions
Can my student enroll at any time? Yes. As our courses are self-paced, and available 365 days a year, there’s no restriction on when your students can start a course. If you have a student that needs to enroll in the middle of a semester, that’s no problem at all.
How do I enroll a student? That depends on whether the parent is paying for the course or the school is paying. Where the school is paying, request the parent or student to create an account with SVHS at http://lms.svhs.co/login/index.php prior to the school generating a purchase order. Important–the account must be in the student’s name as this is the name that will appear on the transcript.
How can parents pay for a course? The student needs an SVHS user account, they log in to their account and select the course they want. They can pay with a credit/debit card.
Where the school is paying for the course, do you accept purchase orders? Yes. Many of the schools we work with send us a list of students to be enrolled together with a purchase order. We enroll the students and invoice the school. Please make sure the students have created their SVHS accounts before you would like them to be enrolled.
Is SVHS an accredited school? Yes, SVHS is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) and Cognia (formerly “AdvancED”) the largest community of education professionals in the world and the trusted partner to 34,000 educational institutions—employing more than four million educators and enrolling more than 20 million students—across the United States and 70 other nations.
Which commissions accredits SVHS? AdvancED operates three commissions: 1) North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI); 2) Southern Association of Colleges and School Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI); and 3) Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). NWAC is managing the schools in California where SVHS is headquartered. But AdvancED schools are accredited under all three commissions since a merger in 2012. So SVHS is accredited under all three commissions.
SVHS is also accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC). The ACS WASC Accreditation Code is 44 75432 417.
Are the courses NCAA approved? Yes. Silicon Valley High School courses are approved by NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Why are some courses NCAA approved and some are not? NCAA only approves core curriculum courses like English and Math. NCAA doesn’t approve courses it considers electives.
Questions about Schools and School Districts Adopting SVHS Courses
Can you give me a list of schools and school districts that adopt SVHS courses? Although this is confidential information and subject to privacy protections, the University of California publishes a list of the California schools that have adopted SVHS online curriculum:
How are Students Monitored and Their Progress Tracked?
How do I know the student successfully completed the course? When the student has completed the course and earned a passing score they can access the certificate of completion. The student can also request we send you a record of course completion. If you wish to, your can monitor the progress of your students through your own SVHS account (see below).
How do I monitor the progress of students? You can request to have a Counselor role with SVHS and monitor your student’s progress and grades. First, you will need a SVHS account. You can set up an account here. Once you have an account, contact us and we will coordinate the set-up with you.
Are your final exams proctored? By default our exams are not proctored. However, if a school or program prefers that our final exams be proctored, we can accommodate that request. We can modify the final exam for your students such that they cannot access the final without a password. We provide the password to an administrator of the school, and the school’s proctor enters the code to initiate and supervise the exam. Contact us if you want to proctor your student’s final exam, and we will work with you to coordinate the proctoring arrangements.
How do I get work samples? Students submit an assignment to SVHS at the end of each unit of each course. Many of the education specialists and counselors we work with ask their students to submit the assignment to them when it is submitted online to SVHS. You can see how our teachers have graded the assignments when you log in to your SVHS account to monitor the progress of your students.
What if I Have a Student with an IEP?
Counselors have found that our courses are most suitable for the majority of individualized education programs (“IEP’s”). This is because there are no time limits placed on quizzes and assignments and videos can be replayed as many times as the student likes. Consistent with our “mastery” philosophy, students can watch videos, take quizzes and read the materials as many times as they need to master the materials. Also, as students are taking courses online, usually in their own homes, they are not distracted by other students. There are time limits on the unit tests and the final exams, but we can extend these limits to accommodate an IEP. We can also ask teachers to consider the IEP when grading and providing students with feedback.
Please let us know what accommodations are required by the IEP and we will let you know what we can do. We do not need to see the IEP itself. We just need to know what the IEP requires.
Questions on Helping Students Succeed
What can I advise my students to help them succeed? It’s important that the student reads the “How to Take This Course” materials at the beginning of the course. For pacing, the student should pay particular attention to the suggested timeline, so they can stay on track and meet their deadline. Then, we have found that students who take the practice final before taking the final tend to get better scores and higher grades.
Who Issues Transcripts?
Who Determines the Grades and Which School Issues the Transcripts?
There are two ways that a student can take SVHS courses. The first is directly as a student attending our school. The second route is indirectly, as a student attending another school that adopts our online curriculum.
Silicon Valley High School is an accredited school serving its own full-time diploma students and students from other schools who are taking supplemental courses. SVHS sets the grades and issues transcripts for SVHS students. However, Silicon Valley High School Online Curriculum is a publisher of online courses that are adopted and taught by other schools operating a blended-learning model where they provide their own instructors, set the grades and issue their own transcripts.
In some cases, schools accept transcripts from SVHS that are merged onto the student’s transcript from the student’s home school. In other cases, schools adopt the SVHS Online Curriculum, provide their own instructors, decide their own grades and issue their own transcripts. Click here for more information on how SVHS courses can be adopted by other schools.
What Support is Provided with Your Courses?
Where can students go for help? SVHS has a customer service team that is online virtually around the clock. Many questions, such as questions on technical and administration topics, can be answered directly by our customer service staff. Questions about the substantive course materials are relayed to credentialed teachers who reply by email.
Do you have teachers providing live instruction? No. Our courses are all self-paced, asynchronous, however, we do operate an online tutoring service where tutors that are familiar with our courses can be booked online.
Where can schools go for help? Our customer service team is available to answer your questions.