CHOOSING AN EFFECTIVE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE TO SUPPORT SPECIAL NEEDS CURRICULUMS
Napa Valley Unified School District was already in the process of evaluating an online tool to help reinforce lessons and track student achievement in its moderate-to-severe special needs classrooms. However, at an industry event, Terri Lynne Ricetti, alongside an Assistive Technology Specialist and her team of teachers, learned about Vizzle and was impressed by the visual learning platform. “After watching the way students could interact and the data that could be kept with Vizzle, I fell in love with the program.”
In an effort to decide between two platforms, Ricetti conducted a side-by-side trial of Vizzle and the other service with teachers of students with special needs. “The teachers looked at both programs. After the trial, I conducted a survey to determine which program they would prefer and they chose Vizzle.” Three years later, the teachers of Napa Valley Unified continue to use Vizzle as a supplemental learning and reporting tool in the district’s moderate-to-severe special needs classrooms.
Terri Lynne Ricetti
18,000 NUMBER OF STUDENTS
2,100 NUMBER OF STUDENTS ON IEPS
VIZZLE IS IMPLEMENTED IN MODERATE-TO-SEVERE SPECIAL NEEDS CLASSROOMS, PRIMARILY IN THE ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS TO HELP REINFORCE LESSONS AND TRACK STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.
IMPLEMENTING VIZZLE IN THE DISTRICT’S MODERATE-TO-SEVERE SPECIAL NEEDS CLASSROOMS
As the largest district in its Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), Napa Valley Unified has 18,000 students with 2,100 students on IEPs. Unlike most school districts in California whose special needs programs are run by the county, Napa Valley Unified runs their own programs for students with moderate-to-severe disabilities.
Terri Lynne Ricetti, the Director of Special Education, introduced Vizzle to the district to reinforce lessons and offer cross-curriculum content to students with special needs. Currently, Vizzle is used in the district’s moderate-to-severe special needs classrooms within the elementary and middle schools, with plans to expand to classrooms for students with mild-to-moderate disabilities.
Due to the district’s unique geographical makeup, Napa Valley relies on technology to keep teachers and administrators connected across the district. “Vizzle gives us the ability to see how teachers and students are interacting and to monitor their progress over time. With Vizzle’s data, we’re able to see who needs support so that we can provide assistance in a more strategic manner,” said Ricetti.
A PROGRAM THAT CONNECTS PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND STUDENTS TO CROSS-CURRICULUM CONTENT
As teachers were the deciding factor in the district’s choice to implement Vizzle, the software was readily welcomed into the classrooms. “The teachers actually chose Vizzle and were trained throughout the trial process so they were both prepared and excited to use it in the classroom,” explained Ricetti. With automatic data collection, Vizzle tracks student accuracy, completion time and lesson plays allowing teachers to monitor student progress and retention.
“One of the things I really like about Vizzle is that new teachers have access to online training resources so they have time between the summer and the start of the school year to take a look at the program,” shared Ricetti. In addition to annual on-site training, the district uses monthly surveys to gather feedback and offer support to licensed teachers to ensure adoption of the software and support program expectations.
On the topic of student engagement, Vizzle’s highly visual platform was well received by students. “We have one student who thinks of Vizzle as her reinforcer. Essentially, she’ll do other work in order to access Vizzle and it’s fantastic because her growth has improved tremendously,” said Ricetti. With a library of more than 15,000 interactive lessons and ability to easily personalize, the interactive software provides students with content designed to meet their unique needs.
Vizzle’s lessons are accessible on multiple devices making it a powerful tool to reinforce lessons, increase student retention, and support IEP goals and objectives beyond the classroom. With curriculum-aligned content, parents of Napa Valley Unified are able to support classroom learning objectives at home with personalized lessons assigned by their child’s teacher. Using Vizzle, Napa Valley Unified is able to foster student engagement with highly-visual, interactive lessons and track student success while meeting individual needs of every student.