How can IVS help support students in the “reading gap”? #IVSCan

IVS offers several courses to support Reading for all learners. We offer non-credit English/Language Arts Skill Building courses for grades 6, 7 & 8 for bridge and enrichment programs and a Full-Service Reading Skills and Strategies semester course for High School.  By supporting  and developing readers at every level we can continue to shrink the “reading gap” and improve outcomes for all learners.

Skill Building for Middle Grades

IVS Skills courses for middle school are designed to support all students in rising to the expectations established by Illinois state standards and the Common Core. With content developed specifically for the standards, this course for reading and writing in the English language has been designed to ensure that students have a solid foundation for success entering the next grade level.

Each course is organized into units and modules. Each unit offers a prescriptive pretest, a series of modules, and a summative posttest. Each four-part module provides a unique instructional approach to build knowledge, develop critical thinking and deepen understanding.  Students are first exposed to direct and engaging content which fosters active learning.  They then practice skills just learned through interactive applications.  The concepts are again introduced as a review before the posttest which demonstrates mastery of concepts.  Modules and units can be repeated until students achieve success at the skill.  This course is designed to be visually engaging and accessible to middle school students.

These courses are self-paced and managed by a certified IVS instructor.  Grades are reported as progress; no credit is associated with completion. Students should register for the previous grade level; if they are entering 7th grade, they would take the 6th grade course to ensure they have mastered all skills needed for 7th grade.  Advanced students who are working on accelerated coursework, would register for the level they just completed.  For example, advanced 7th graders who have previously completed an 8th grade level course would register for the 8th grade course, again to ensure mastery of concepts learned the previous year.

Reading Skills and Strategies Full-Service High School Offering

Reading Skills and Strategies is a course is designed to help the struggling reader develop mastery in the areas of reading comprehension, vocabulary building, study skills, and media literacy, which are the course’s primary content strands. Using these strands, the course guides the student through the skills necessary to be successful in the academic world and beyond. The reading comprehension strand focuses on introducing the student to the varied purposes of reading (e.g., for entertainment, for information, to complete a task, or to analyze). In the vocabulary strand, the student learns specific strategies for understanding and remembering new vocabulary. In the study skills strand, the student learns effective study and test-taking strategies. In the media literacy strand, the student learns to recognize and evaluate persuasive techniques, purposes, design choices, and effects of media. The course encourages personal enjoyment in reading with 10 interviews featuring the book choices and reading adventures of students and members of the community.

The content is based on the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards and aligned to state standards.

Click here for the Reading Skills Course Overview

Click here to learn how students can register for classes.

What Makes IVS Full Service Courses Different? Our Teachers.

The past week has been a wonderful experience for all of us here at Illinois Virtual School.  We hosted our annual summer professional development for our teachers.  We worked in personal learning community teams, focused on course quality using the Quality Matters rubric, and shared techniques for working with students in our unique way.

Dr. Lisner
Dr. Lisner teaches Oceanography for IVS, a one-semester science elective offering in our full service courses.

We know our teachers are a major asset of our organization. So when opening email today it came as no surprise that a parent had noticed too.  With permission we are sharing this testimonial,

Dear Director Hamblin,
I wanted to take a moment to tell you about our experience with Illinois Virtual School. First a bit of background. I am a working mother of 4 children ages 5 – 18. My daughter Teagen has not had the easiest or most positive experience with her high school years. At the end of junior year she came to me and asked if she could graduate early. She was only shy a half a credit. I had my reservations about allowing her to take an online class. She’s not the most self-motivating either. We did our research on the different options available for her to earn her credit. We liked the look and feel of the website for Illinois Virtual School the best. Very well put together, self-explanatory, and user friendly. Teagen selected oceanography because we have a large reef tank in our home and she wanted to learn more. She was able to start the class right away, which was near to the end of her regular school term. Just as I feared Teagen had some trouble maintaining her course work. Now to the best part and why I am messaging you today. Dr. Lisner was amazing. She kept in constant contact with Teagen. If Teagen really just didn’t get an assignment, Dr. Lisner took the time to walk Teagen through, give her additional help and encouragement. Dr. Lisner also called to alert me when it seemed like Teagen needed parental help and encouragement. The extra amount of time Dr. Lisner must have put in helping us was incredible. She is an asset to your teaching community. Teagen was able to complete her course and finished with an A!
Thank you for your time today. Please feel free to share our story. And if there are any accolades or attention you can give to Dr. Lisner please do so. Our experience was remarkable.
Thank you,
Susie Wiechman (Teagen’s Mom)