SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DIFFERENCES
Here at Silicon Valley High School, our courses were purposefully designed to provide flexibility and instruction in a variety of modalities to best support all types of learners. Although we are a private institution, and not required to provide individualized instruction, we celebrate the neurodiversity of our student body, and, where possible, we will make accommodations per the student’s IEP or 504 plan accommodations.
Students Needing More Time
Some students need more time and our self-paced, video-based, teacher-supported format can go a long way to accommodate this:
• Our courses are self-paced–there are no due dates or deadlines.
• Videos can be stopped and replayed as many times as the student needs to master the materials.
The playback speed of videos can be slowed down or sped up by clicking on the settings icon in the bottom right corner of the YouTube window.
• Many courses have a unit study guide, which can serve as a template for taking notes.
There are no time limits on quizzes. Students can take as much time as they need.
Quizzes can be taken as many times as the student needs to master the material. The highest score is the one used to calculate the grade.
• Unit tests are 3 hours, which is ample for most students, but the time limit can be extended if indicated in the student’s accommodations. Students can also select 2 unit tests to retake. If the student’s accommodations call for more, we can implement that also.
• There are no time limits on assignments. Students can take as much time as they need.
• There is no time limit on the practice final, which can be taken as many times as the student needs to master the materials.
• The final can be taken only once and is limited to 3 hours, which is more than sufficient time for most students. If a student needs more time for the final and it is indicated in the student’s accommodations, this can be arranged through our customer service team.
• Interaction with the teacher can take place via email and by using the “Ask The Teacher” feature in each course, so there are no time constraints on when the student has access to the teacher.
• Students wishing to have one-on-one tutoring sessions with teachers can book the sessions by choosing the most convenient time slots on the teacher’s calendar.
Supporting Visual and Auditory Learners
As our courses are video-based, the audio track of the videos often describes the materials being taught. Furthermore:
- Videos can be stopped and replayed as many times as the student needs to master the materials.
- Videos have a “CC” icon at the bottom of the YouTube video to get closed captioning.
- All SVHS reading materials are digital–mostly web pages with some PDF documents. Web pages can be read out loud by screen readers deploying text-to-speech capabilities. For PDF documents, Adobe Acrobat can be configured by the student to enable screen readers to convert text to speech.
- Students can also use speech-to-text tools for writing assignments.
Hearing Impaired Students
As the courses are video-based, with supporting reading materials, hearing-impaired students can usually click the “CC” icon at the bottom of the YouTube video to get closed captioning. Please see above for information on how hearing-impaired students needing more time are able to use SVHS courses.
Accessibility With The Moodle Learning Management System Platform
The SVHS learning management system is built on the Moodle platform. Moodle’s goal is to be fully accessible and usable for all users regardless of ability. This page describes the current state of accessibility in Moodle as well as the plans for the future.
Moodle’s Accessibility Statements:
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504s
Individualized education programs (“IEPs”) are created and administered by public schools and charter schools. As a private school, SVHS does not develop or administer IEPs, but our supplemental courses are often used by students from other schools with IEPs.
If your student has an IEP, we understand it is a private document and we do not need to see it—we would simply need the counselor or supervising teacher to send us a screenshot of the accommodations page to email@example.com so that we can determine which accommodations we can implement within the constraints of our system.