TSBVI Short-Term Programs (STP) Update

Authors: Sara Merritt, Principal of Short-Term Programs

Keywords: Short-Term Programs, STP, virtual learning, remote instruction, Prom, online classes, Zoom, Google Classroom, synchronous, asynchronous

Abstract: TSBVI’s Principal of Short-Term Programs (STP) describes classes and activities they provided during the COVID-19 quarantine and their plans for 2020-2021.

Short-Term Programs (STP) has offered remote instruction for several years now, so when the pandemic hit and changed all our lives, STP was ready to tackle the challenge. We knew how to use Zoom and Google Classroom; we offered office hours to help Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs) and students. Our teachers continued to serve their Individualized Instruction students throughout the spring semester. What took us a minute to figure out was how to convert an in-person class to an online offering. By the time we offered the High School Independence Prom Class in early May, our creative juices were flowing again. The prom class also taught us some valuable lessons. Here’s one that seems obvious now, but these were early pandemic times: when hosting a Zoom event for 100 people, mute all the microphones upon entry!

The fun and energy we got from dancing our hearts out at Prom gave us lots of ideas on making our first-ever remote summer program fun and engaging! During the summer of 2020, 98 students participated in online summer programs. Old friends who previously attended our in-person programs were able to reconnect in online classes.

This Fall, STP is here and ready to serve your students via online remote instruction. In addition to our synchronous (or live) classes, we have created thirteen asynchronous (or pre-recorded) classes for students on a variety of technology topics. The schedule of classes can be found on our website at the School Calendar. They are hosted in Zoom or Google Classroom and are only available to Texas students.

We heard from so many teachers that our asynchronous classes were also helpful to TVIs, so we created a YouTube playlist with all the videos from our classes. Please follow us on YouTube at STPOnline.

If you add a space between STP and Online, you will be following the band Stone Temple Pilots, and we don’t think they can help you with JAWS! Remember, it’s STPOnline, one word!

Please reach out if you have new suggestions for STP. We love to collaborate with our fellow TVIs across the state!

A young man with glasses waves over a party theme Zoom background. Five smaller Zoom screens show peers and instructors celebrating Prom.

A student waves to peers and instructors while celebrating during the virtual Prom. He participated in the STP prom class and made the boutonniere he is wearing as part of their online activities.

An array of 10 Zoom photos of students and staff participating in TSBVI’s Virtual Prom.

STP students and staff celebrate Virtual Prom on May 2, 2020

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