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Course Offerings

STP offers both weeklong and weekend classes. We are pleased to offer a model of instruction that includes both on-campus and online courses throughout the school year. The referral opens each school year in August and should be submitted as early as possible. An application is also required.

Calendar and Class Descriptions

School year short-term program classes are designed to provide Expanded Core Curriculum support for academic level students who are learning from a curriculum that is on or close to grade level. The classes are listed here with the option to filter by subject matter, grade level, on campus or online, date, etc. There are descriptions for each listing but if more information is needed to make a decision about what classes would be right for your student, please contact our admission team at stp-admissions@tsbvi.edu. You can also view a Google Doc of the course offerings.

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Individualized Instruction

Date Ongoing
Location On Campus, Online
Grade Lvl. 1 - 12

Sometimes, students are unable to attend a Short-Term Programs class during the school year. However, they may benefit from instruction to support their academic coursework.

In order to serve students who are unable to attend our traditional in-person classes, Short-Term Programs staff offer individualized instruction that may take the form of distance communication (e.g., via Zoom web conferencing platform), student-teacher visits to our campus, or a Short-Term Programs teacher visiting your district to teach a lesson.

The individualized instruction model seeks to find a solution that best fits your student’s needs.

What Next?

  • If you are interested in exploring individualized instruction for your student, submit a referral for Individualized Instruction.
  • A Short-Term Programs teacher will contact you to discuss student needs, dates, and locations.
  • You can help our teachers by identifying available classroom or instructional spaces in your district.

student using a protractor

We look forward to working with you to support students this way each school year!

For additional information about the content of this section contact Sara Merritt at merritts@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9176.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Algebra I SBOE Credit - Fall

Date August 15 - December 21, 2022
Ref. Date August 15, 2022
Location On Campus, Online
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - Access to Academics
- Math

This class will cover fundamental algebraic skills such as operations, algebraic expressions, solving equations, graphing, linear, quadratic, and exponential functions, probability and statistics, and geometric connections in accordance with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

The class will meet in person October 23-28 and online every other Monday and every Tuesday and Thursday for 1.5 hours (time TBD).

For additional information about the content of this section, please contact John Rose at rosej@tsbvi.edu or 512- 206-9131.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Junior Focus on Low Vision Series

Date August 25–28; September 20; November 1; November 29; January 24; February 14; April 11; May 9
Ref. Date August 15, 2022
Location On Campus, Online
Grade Lvl. 6 - 8
Subject - ECC
- Low Vision

The Low Vision series is designed for students with low vision who are primarily print users and would benefit from a class focused on access technology, self-determination, and social connections with peers who face similar issues and challenges. Professionals who have low vision themselves, are an integral part of this class, providing positive role models for the students.

Specific content has been developed which includes:

  • Anatomy of the eye
  • Understanding and explaining one’s eye condition
  • Advocating for accommodations related to one’s eye condition
  • My Access Notebook
  • Growth Mindset and Problem Solving

Students will attend one weekend class on the TSBVI campus, in August, and connect online via Zoom throughout the remainder of the school year.

The date of the online sessions will be determined by participant availability.

Session 1: August 25 – 28, Thursday – Sunday (on campus)
Session 2: September 20, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (online)
Session 3: November 1, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (online)
Session 4: November 29, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (online)
Session 5: January 24, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (online)
Session 6: February 14, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (online)
Session 7: April 11, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (online)
Session 8: May 9, Tuesday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (online)

For additional information about the content of this section please contact Joanne Rodgers at rodgersj@tsbvi.edu or 512- 206-9449.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Elementary Independence Weekend: Fun with Art, Craft, and Fine Motor

Date September 8-11, 2022
Ref. Date August 15, 2022
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 3 - 5
Subject - Art
- ECC

The Independence Weekend classes offer theme-based learning opportunities to practice skills from the Expanded Core Curriculum. A class theme provides motivational, real-world relevance for learning, and students practice a range of interdisciplinary skills by working collaboratively to obtain meaningful products or experiences. Students also have the opportunity to share personal experiences with others who are blind or have low vision.

In Fun with Art, Craft, and Fine Motor, students, in grades 3 – 5, will explore types of art that can improve their fine motor and tactile skills. Students will have an opportunity to create their own works of art. At the same time, students will review and practice a number of Expanded Core Curriculum skills throughout the weekend, including social skills, self-determination, O&M, and sensory efficiency.

The students, of course, will just think they are having fun!

For additional information about the content of this section contact Kathryn Heitman at heitmank@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9388.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Junior Access to Academic Skills - Fall

Date September 11-16, 2022
Ref. Date August 8, 2022
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 6 - 8
Subject - Access to Academics

Access to Academics classes teach access skills in a small group setting, usually two to three students with a teacher. Math and Assistive Technology are the instructional areas most frequently addressed. This year we offer these topics:

  • Math
  • STAAR Test Taking Strategies for Braille Testers
  • Technology

STAAR Test Taking Strategies

A new class is being offered this year, with the goal of preparing braille-reading students for the paper-based STAAR test. Students will have the opportunity to share these learning experiences with others who are also braille test takers.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • General test-taking strategies
  • Subject-specific test-taking strategies
  • Having knowledge of and advocating for one’s own accommodations for the STAAR in appropriate situations
  • Positive self-talk and adjusting to stress and anxiety during the STAAR
  • Strategies for using a live reader or a scribe

We will be asking the teachers for the following:

  • to provide the student’s approximate current level of performance in the identified skill areas
  • to provide the student’s copy of the STAAR Accommodations so that we can tailor the instruction individually
  • to integrate newly learned strategies into student’s lessons as much as possible so that the skills are second-nature when the STAAR is taken

After the course is completed, we will be providing the opportunity for the students to continue on with individualized instruction.

Students coming to work on screen reader skills must meet certain prerequisites as described below.

student posing for picture

The Short-Term Programs teacher and the student’s local TVI jointly determine objectives for each student (e.g., develop basic Algebra skills such as solving and graphing linear and quadratic equations; develop skills in using the Talking TI-84+ Graphing Calculator; use a screen reader or screen enlarger to create, edit, save and manage documents and to access the internet for research and recreation).

We will also ask you about your student’s current level of performance in the identified skill areas. The purpose of the class is to increase each student’s ability to access the academic curriculum (TEKS) by using a specific adaptive skill set.

We request that local TVIs integrate newly learned skills into students’ daily lessons after the student completes this class. Daily practice is the best way to reinforce current skill levels and promote new learning. We can be available to help you with this by offering the following supports:

  • Zoom online meetings
  • Phone conversations

Screen Reader Prerequisites: Students using a screen reader can learn to access the computer in two ways: using a keyboard or using a refreshable braille display.

Keyboard: appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of the alphabet, number, and punctuation keys. Students ideally should be able to type simple sentences. Help your student learn typing skills by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Refreshable braille display: appropriate for students who are comfortable typing on a Perkins brailler and who can transfer skills to the keys of a braille display. Please ensure your student has access to a braille display in the home district in order to build on skills after the class ends. If your student doesn’t have access to a braille display and you are interested in exploring instruction using this method, please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at wibbenmeyern@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9361 to discuss your options.

To borrow a braille display, investigate:

Software to be taught in the TSBVI class must be installed on a computer that the student can access for frequent practice after returning home, in order to maintain skills.

For more information about the content of this section contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at wibbenmeyern@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9361.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Writer’s Workshop Series

Date September 19; October 31; February 13; March 20
Ref. Date August 15, 2022
Location Online
Grade Lvl. 6 - 8
Subject - Access to Academics
- Writing

This online academic series will focus on fictional writing and is designed to provide students with instruction on:

  • the writing process
  • elements of writing
  • peer editing and revision

 student dissecting cow’s eyeStudents must attend all sessions. Your student will meet via Zoom for group lessons on writing, including character and setting development, descriptive language, editing and revising, and peer feedback. In between Zoom sessions, students will have access to content and assignments they receive via email.

Online Sessions

Session 1: September 19, Monday time TBD
Session 2: October 31, Monday time TBD
Session 3: February 13, Monday time TBD
Session 4: March 20, Monday time TBD

Important Note:
Students will provide a writing sample on a given topic in order to assess their current writing level and progress.

For more information about the content of this section contact Helen Benton at bentonh@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9471.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Elementary Series

Date September 25–28; October 17–20; November 13–16
Ref. Date August 15, 2022
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 2 - 5
Subject - Access to Academics

Students must be able to attend all three classes.

Part A: September 25 – 28
Part B: October 17 – 20
Part C: November 13 – 16

The Series classes are designed to offer short and repeated instruction for elementary students in grades 2 – 5 who are tactual learners. Each class is formatted for two or three students. Students can attend only one section (math, STAAR testing strategies, or technology).

Math

Grades 2 – 5
This series class is designed to provide students in grades 2 – 5 who are braille readers with the ability to access math concepts through a comprehensive approach. This program includes the following four components:

  • Nemeth Code: supports students’ abilities to read and write math expressions
  • Cranmer Abacus: supports students in completing math computations using whole numbers, decimals, and fractions, as appropriate
  • Manipulatives: support concept development related to place value, mathematical operations, and 2- and 3-dimensional figures.
  • Tactile Graphics: support students’ abilities to relate 2D representations to 3D concepts

Requirements:
Students must have daily access in their local schools to a math textbook and/or handouts prepared in Nemeth Code, a Cranmer abacus, a braillewriter, and appropriate math manipulatives, so that they can continue to build skills between sessions.

Grades 2 – 3

  • Students should understand one-to-one correspondence, recognize simple shapes and objects, understand that a number refers to a set amount or group of objects, and be able to count whole numbers to 100
  • Solve basic problems, including story problems, related to addition and subtraction through 10.

Grades 4 – 5

  • Students should understand place value to three digits, the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication, and should have the majority of the math facts committed to memory.
  • Students should have the potential to function mathematically on grade level, but require compensatory skills training to realize their potential, such as learning to use the abacus to complete grade-level computations.

STAAR Test Taking Strategies

Grades 3 – 5
A new class is being offered this year, with the goal of preparing braille-reading students for the paper-based STAAR test. Students will have the opportunity to share these learning experiences with others who are also braille test takers.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • General test-taking strategies
  • Subject-specific test-taking strategies
  • Having knowledge of and advocating for one’s own accommodations for the STAAR in appropriate situations
  • Positive self-talk and adjusting to stress and anxiety during the STAAR
  • Strategies for using a live reader or a scribe

We will be asking the teachers for the following:

  • to provide the student’s approximate current level of performance in the identified skill areas
  • to provide the student’s copy of the STAAR Accommodations so that we can tailor the instruction individually
  • to integrate newly learned strategies into student’s lessons as much as possible so that the skills are second-nature when the STAAR is taken

After the course is completed, we will be providing the opportunity for the students to continue on with individualized instruction.

Technology

Grades 2 – 5
This series class is designed to provide students who are visually impaired the ability to access computers and screen reading software through the use of a comprehensive approach including:

  • Basic computer concepts
  • Basic navigation
  • Word processing skills

Requirements:
Students benefit most when they have the screen reader already installed on district computers and have daily access to these computers so they can practice between sessions.

Students can choose to learn to access the computer in two ways: using a keyboard or using a refreshable braille display.

Keyboard: Appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of the alphabet, number, and punctuation keys and be able to compose and type simple sentences. This skill can vary, but students who have very little knowledge of touch typing will find executing the keyboard commands necessary to use screen reading programs (i.e., Alt + Tab) to be challenging. You can help your student acquire this skill by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Refreshable braille display: Appropriate for students who are comfortable typing on a Perkins brailler and who can transfer skills to the keys of a braille display. Please ensure your student has access to a braille display in the home district in order to build on skills after the class ends. If your student doesn’t have access to a braille display and you are interested in exploring instruction using this method, please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at wibbenmeyrn@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9361.

To borrow a braille display, investigate:

  • Your local ESC
  • TSBVI Tech Loan Library

Software to be taught in the TSBVI class must be installed on a computer that the student can access for frequent practice after returning home, in order to maintain skills.

For additional information about the content of this section please contact Joanne Rodgers at rodgersj@tsbvi.edu or 512- 206-9449.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

In Your Element: Access to Chemistry

Date October 9-13, 2022
Ref. Date September 5, 2022
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - Access to Academics
- Science

TSBVI partnered with Baylor University as a part of their NIH grant project to provide blind and low-vision students the opportunity to learn about chemistry through hands-on experiences.

Students will:

  • receive instruction on basic Chemistry concepts from a college chemistry professor in collaboration with STP staff
  • meet and engage with blind scientists
  • be able to visit a chemistry lab on the Baylor campus to perform experiments with a state-of-the-art chemistry robot alongside a team of college students
  • be provided with tactile graphics and 3-d models

In addition to enhancing students’ access to scientific knowledge, this class will increase their self-determination skills.

For more information about the content of this section contact Helen Benton at bentonh@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9471.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

High School Access to Academic Skills - Fall

Date October 23-28, 2022
Ref. Date September 19, 2022
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - Access to Academics
- College Prep

Mathematics or Technology

Students may select to work on skills related to either mathematics or technology. Instruction will be provided in a small group, highly individualized setting (typically two to three students with a teacher and TA). Students coming to work on screen reader skills must meet certain prerequisites as described below.

The Short-Term Programs teacher and the student’s local CTSVI will jointly determine objectives for each student (examples: develop introductory skills in using the new Orion TI-84+ Talking, Graphing Calculator; use a screen reader or screen enlarger for word processing, internet research, to create spreadsheets, and/or to create PowerPoint presentations). We will also ask you about your student’s current level of performance in the identified skill areas. The purpose of the class is to increase each student’s ability to access the academic curriculum (TEKS) by using a specific adaptive skill set.

In addition to the specific objectives selected, students will practice skills of independent living (e.g., preparing simple meals, serving and cleaning in the kitchen, organizing one’s personal area), as well as social skills, recreation & leisure, and self-determination after school. Students attending these week-long classes are asked to bring local assignments with them, and we provide two hours each day for students to work on them.

We request that local CTSVIs integrate newly learned skills into students’ daily lessons after the student completes this class. Daily practice is the best way to reinforce current skill levels and promote new learning. We can be available to help you with this by offering the following supports:

  • Zoom online meetings
  • Phone conversations
  • Visits to TSBVI

Screen Reader Prerequisites: Students using a screen reader can learn to access the computer in two ways: using a keyboard or using a refreshable braille display.

Keyboard: appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of the alphabet, number, and punctuation keys. Students ideally should be able to type simple sentences. Help your student learn typing skills by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Refreshable braille display: appropriate for students who are comfortable typing on a Perkins brailler and who can transfer skills to the keys of a braille display. Please ensure your student has access to a braille display in the home district in order to build on skills after the class ends. If your student doesn’t have access to a braille display and you are interested in exploring instruction using this method, please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer or John Rose to discuss your options.

For additional information about the content of this section contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at wibbenmeyern@tsbvi.du or 512-206-9361 or John Rose at rosej@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9131.

To borrow a braille display, investigate:

  • Your local ESC
  • TSBVI Tech Loan Library

Software to be taught in the TSBVI class must be installed on a computer that the student can access for frequent practice after returning home, in order to maintain skills.

Special Focus: Preparing for College

This section is for students who wish to learn about the issues and challenges associated with getting ready for college.

Topics include:

  • Learning about services available to visually impaired students and how to obtain them
  • Communicating with and negotiating the complexities of various service agents such as TWC Texas Workforce Commission,
  • University Offices for Students with Disabilities, and Financial Aid
  • Choosing an appropriate college and filling out applications
  • Obtaining assistive technology
  • Discussing worries and concerns regarding college, and learning to find help for unanswered questions
  • Maximizing the college social experience
  • Developing and networking with valuable professional and peer contacts
  • Receiving information, helpful tips, and anecdotes from other visually impaired students who are successfully participating in the college experience at this time

For additional information about the content of this section please contact Joanne Rodgers at rodgersj@tsbvi.edu or 512- 206-9449.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

In the Driver’s Seat: An Introduction to Safe Driving with Low Vision

Date November 4-6, 2022
Ref. Date September 26, 2022
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - ECC
- Low Vision

A Short-Term Program for Students and Their Families

For most teenagers, driving is not only a dream, but a rite of passage. Students with low vision often wonder, “Will I be able to drive?” Determining the answer to this question is a process between the students and their families which involves gathering facts, facing emotions, and ultimately making important decisions. In this weekend workshop, students and families will explore the topic of driving with low vision.

Students can NOT be considered for this program if:

  • They do not meet the visual criteria to drive in the state of Texas including distance acuity of 20/200 or better and an uninterrupted visual field of 140°. Please verify with the student’s eye doctor before making a referral.
  • They are unable to attend with a parent or guardian.

Questions Addressed Through Learning Objectives

  • What are the visual qualifications for driving and obtaining a license in the state of Texas?
  • What steps are needed to develop pre-driver readiness skills?
  • Can I use a bioptic (mounted telescope lens system) to drive?
  • What tools and skills are needed for a student to make driving a safe choice?
  • What are the costs and time commitments to obtaining a driver’s license?
  • If I can’t drive, what are some alternate forms of transportation I can use to attain independence and control over my life?

Who is Eligible for Participation in This Event?

  • Students in grades 9-12, functioning on or close to grade level, who meet the visual acuity (20/200 or better) and visual field (uninterrupted field of 140°) requirements to drive in Texas.
  • Older students who meet eligibility criteria will be given preference.
  • Students and their parent or guardian must attend the full program.

Where Will This Event Take Place?
The activities will take place in the James C. Durkel Conference Center on the TSBVI campus. Special activities are planned for students and for parents, providing them an opportunity to talk about their concerns with peer attendees. We will also hear from adult and young adult low vision drivers and non-drivers, a certified driving instructor, and a low vision specialist.

For additional information about the content of this section, contact Cindy Bachofer at bachoferc@tsbvi.edu or 512-206-9434.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Are you looking for Summer Programs information?

This link will direct you to information about our summer program choices. No referral necessary. The application opens each January.

Summer Programs