Educator Info Packet - Silicon Valley High School

Important Information for Supervising Teachers and Counselors

Silicon Valley High School (SVHS) provides video-based, self-paced, online high school courses approved by the University of California A-G and by the NCAA. All core curriculum courses are available, as well as electives. All courses cost $125 and earn the student credit for a one-semester course e.g., 5 or .5 credits.

These materials are for supervising teachers and counselors who want to know how to track their students in our courses and understand how to work with Silicon Valley High School. Please take 10 minutes to go through these materials as they will answer a lot of your questions. The information reflects common questions asked by counselors and teachers. At the end, we address questions about online science and art courses, transcripts, how our courses work, details about the online curriculum program, and other frequently asked questions.

Your SVHS Educator Account to Support Your Student’s Success

To track your students in our program, please create your own SVHS user accountYou will need to put your own name in the “Student’s Name” section and please use your work email address, then select “Educator” as your “Study Option.” Once you have created and confirmed your account, you need to request to be linked to all your students’ accounts.  Email help@svhs.co  and provide a list of your students; we need their first and last names. Let us know you are their teacher or counselor, and you want to be connected to them. If you ever need to change the name or email address on your SVHS please email help@svhs.co from your email account on record. 

From your account, you can view your student’s “Grade Book,” and you can view their activity level in the course too. For example, you can see how many times a student has viewed a lesson, or attempted a quiz. when they took their unit test, or if they have submitted their assignments. There is a wealth of information available in the “Complete Report” and the “Outline Report”. Please take some time to become familiar with the 3 different reports.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Tracking Students

To access your student’s information, please log in to your SVHS user account.
  1. Click on the Dashboard from the top menu.
  2. You will see your students in a ‘block’ called “Counselor/ES/Parent”. Click on your student’s name.
  3. Choose the “Courses” tab.
  4. Click on the course you want to look at.
  5. Click on the “More” tab.
  6. Click on “Grade”.
After reviewing the Grade Book, you can also see the student’s activity level in the course.
  1. Click on the student’s name in the menu trail underneath the top menu.
  2. Click on the More tab again, and select either the Complete Report or the Outline Report.
  3. Both reports show you the student’s activity in the course.
    1. The “Outline Report” is a summary of dates and how often items were viewed.
    2. The “Complete Report” has more detail, including the assignment submission status.
  • Watch this demo video – it will help you understand how to access your student’s information.
Important tip: When reviewing your student’s grades and activity, Moodle (our learning management platform) first needs to know which student you are interested in looking at, so you must click on a student’s name. Then Moodle needs to know which course you want to look at for that student. If you click on a grade or any of the reports before clicking on a course name, Moodle will show an empty page. Even if you only have one student in one course, you still need to follow the steps provided. This is Moodle’s logic, and if you understand this logic, you’ll find it easier to navigate these reports.

No Courses Access

You have access to your student’s grade book and their activity report, but you don’t have access to any of the courses your students are enrolled in. If you click on a course from the home page, a link in the menu trail under the top menu, an assignment/quiz/ test, etc., you will land on the PayPal page where you are asked to pay for the course. To view the actual course itself, work with your student from their user account. Alternatively, if you want to see what the course looks like, go to our course catalog, choose the course name, and click on the “Course Screenshot” button in the right-hand column. You will then see how the course is structured, the lesson titles, etc.

Purchase Orders – Requesting Student Enrollment into an SVHS Course

If your school pays for their student’s courses, please discuss with your students the courses they want to take with us. Let them know we can only enroll them in the course once we receive their purchase order. Make sure they understand that they need to request a purchase order through you or your school’s purchase order system, not from us. They do not need to contact us and inform us about the courses they want to take. All schools that have adopted our courses need to buy courses with a purchase order and not buy them from the website. All purchase orders should be sent to po@svhs.co.

Important: The student must have an SVHS user account before you send a purchase order for them. Include the student’s user name on the PO. Please check that they have already set up their account, as this is the number one reason for a delay in enrollment. (A student should only have ONE account with us (unless they need to retake a course). If they set up multiple accounts, it causes a lot of confusion.)  The SVHS account must be in the student’s name and match the name on the PO. Remind them the name on their account will be used to issue course completion documents. Therefore they shouldn’t use a nickname or a shortened version of their name. It is best if the name on their SVHS user account matches the name used by your school; this eliminates any confusion. The student can create an account from here. If the student ever needs to change the name or email address on their SVHS user account, please have them email help@svhs.co from their email account on record. 

At the beginning of each semester, we receive a lot of purchase orders. We process these based on your school’s semester start date. Courses will be available on the student’s dashboard on the first day of your semester. After the semester has started, we strive to enroll students within 48 hours of receiving the purchase order. If your student does not have access to their courses 3 days after your semester start date, please check with your PO department to see when it was sent to us. If it has been more than 3 days, please email your SVHS Contact Person and notify them of the missing PO numbers. Typically, purchase orders received after Thanksgiving are assumed to be for the Spring semester unless you notify us differently.

Tutoring

If your students need help in any of our courses, we offer tutoring. We highly recommend this option for IEP and 504 students or any student that is not keeping up with the Suggested Timeline. You can create a purchase order for any number of tutoring sessions. Students with tutoring credits have access to a link on their dashboard called “Tutoring Portal,” where they schedule a tutoring session with any of our tutors whenever they need it. If they run out of tutoring credits and want to schedule more sessions, you will need to organize a new purchase order for them.  Tutoring sessions are 30 minutes long and cost $35 each. More information about tutoring is available on our tutoring page.

How SVHS Courses Work

Our course lessons are video-based; they can be played, stopped, and replayed as many times as a student needs to learn the material. There are no textbooks or manuals, but there are online reading materials to accompany the videos. Course Instructions, the Suggested Timeline (18 weeks), and Submitting Your Assignments information are in the “How to take this course” section. It is good to go through this section with your student, so you know they are aware of it, and this will eliminate any confusion and help them be successful. You can also access some of this information from our Course Catalog by clicking on the course name. You will also find Suggested Timelines with specific dates on the Course Catalog page. 

Suggested timeline—In every course, we provide a suggested timeline for a student to follow. It plans out what they need to do over an 18-week semester. Please encourage them to print it out and stick it on the front of their notebook. We recommend they write the date of each week on their print-out, so they know they can see if they are on schedule to meet their semester-end deadline. We provide customized suggested timelines for all our courses based on the two most common semester dates. You can access these from our course catalog page.  If you are collecting work samples during the semester from your students, use the suggested timeline to set a deadline for your student to provide you with their unit assignment submission.  If they registered late, or if your semester is shorter, they will need to complete more coursework each week. 

All of our courses were designed to meet common core and state standards. For more detailed information about how our courses work, click here.

Course Weighting

Each course is broken into units. Usually, there are 5-7 units followed by a final. In each unit, there are several lessons with videos and reading materials, a quiz for each lesson, a unit test, and an assignment that students are required to do.

Quizzes are mostly multiple-choice and only worth 10% of the course grade. These should not be used for work samples.

Assignments (& Labs) are required and are worth 35% of the course. These should be completed at the end of each unit and not left until the end of the semester. Use assignments for work samples.

Unit Tests are automatically graded and are worth 35% of the course (to improve their grade, a student can request to reattempt up to two unit tests before they take the final). Students will not have access to the Final until all course work is submitted and graded.

Final Exam is worth 20%, and it is automatically graded on submission. The Practice Final is not required and can be taken multiple times to help the student prepare for the Final. 

Important: 

  • Science courses have an assignment and lab in each unit, and both the labs and assignments are required to pass the course. 
  • Chemistry requires the purchase of a lab kit.
  • Language courses require one in-person meeting for the Unit 3 assignment; participation is required to pass the course. 

Course Sequencing

Quizzes are designed to be taken multiple times until the student masters the concepts. Students should retake them as needed to try for an A. Students do not have access to the unit test until they complete all unit quizzes.

Assignments (and Labs) should be completed and submitted before taking the unit test. Assignments (and Labs) should be used as a work sample. Students risk failing their course if they postpone working on these projects until the end of the semester. Our teachers typically grade assignments within three school days. However, it may take up to seven days at the end of the semester as the volume of assignments submitted spikes. In every course, we provide the student with detailed directions for Summiting Assignments; please familiarize yourself with them

Unit Tests and the Final Exam have a three-hour limit and can be taken only once. Before taking the Final Exam, students can request to retake 2 unit tests. Students should not open a unit test or final until they are ready to take it. The Unit test is not available until all of the quizzes in the unit are completed. The Final is not visible until ALL coursework is completed and graded (i.e., every assignment and lab must be graded and unit tests completed for access).

Submitting Assignments

When a student uploads an assignment, sometimes they forget or miss completing all the submission steps, and their assignment sits in draft for days or weeks and goes ungraded. Please check that your students submit their assignments as they finish each unit (not wait until the end of the semester). In the “Complete Report,” the assignment “Submission Status” should say “Submitted for grading” or “Graded,” not “ In draft” or “No attempt.” You can review the submission steps in the Submitting Your Assignments link.

Ask the Teacher

If a student has a question about the course content, grading, or assignments, they need to reach out to us using the Ask the Teacher page at the top of the course in a section called “How to Take This Course”. Students should never use the “Comments” section in assignments or email the teacher directly.

Course Information

We are accredited by Cognia and WASC, and our courses are approved UC A-G and NCAA approved (where applicable). We have all the core curriculum courses, as well as some electives. Check out our course catalog for a complete, up-to-date list of all our courses. Here is a print version of our course catalog to share with your students. We can customize this PDF course catalog for your school to provide detailed instructions on how the student should order our courses through your school. To request a custom version, use the contact us page.

Science Courses

SVHS has five University of California A-G approved (category D) science courses:

  • Biology—Labs are required, and they are done online or by using household items. No lab kit is needed. Here is the list of supplies students need.
  • Chemistry—Labs are required. Students must buy a lab kit. It is purchased from QSL (Quality Science Labs); we do not sell it. We negotiated a 20% discount on the kit – use the discount code: svhs2691-17. SVHS and QSL designed the kit to accompany the course. Students taking both parts 1 and 2 of Chemistry only need to buy one kit. 
  • Astronomy—Labs are done online. No lab kit is required.
  • Environmental Science—Labs are done online. No lab kit is required.
  • Introduction to Programming, Java—Can be used as a third year of Science (Interdisciplinary); it is now classified under category D (Science) by the UCOP.

Language Courses

Spanish 1, 2, & 3 & American Sign Language – The Unit 3 Assignment in Spanish and the unit 4 assignment in ASL are required conversational components for UC A-G credit. This assignment is a live call where the students present to the teacher. Though kids might be nervous, this assignment is required. Our teachers are very understanding and encouraging. If the student has an IEP or 504 plan, they might be able to schedule a one-on-one call with the teacher.

Art Courses

SVHS has two University of California A-G approved (category F) art courses. Film History and Photography.

Requirements for the Photography course are as follows:

  • Photography part 1—This course focuses on capturing the image. Students need a camera to take this course. Any camera capable of manual as well as automatic and program settings will suffice. Many smartphone cameras will work.

  • Photography part 2—This course focuses on the photo editing software Adobe Lightroom Classic. Students will be required to subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud or Photography Plan.

Health Course

The SVHS Health part 1 course complies with the California Healthy Youth Act (Ed code § 51934). The University of California A-G approves health as an elective (category G).  If your school does not require health for graduation purposes, but your student would like to take this course for elective credit, your student can enroll in either part 1 or 2, or both. They do not need to do part 1 if they prefer the subject matter covered in part 2. Please review with the parent the course description for each part.

Online Curriculum Program

If your school has adopted our courses from the UC A-G portal, then your school is the school of record for the courses, and you are the teacher of record. When you send us a purchase order, your students will be enrolled in our online curriculum program. Since they are not enrolled as SVHS students, we can not issue transcripts to your students for these courses. When your student completes the course, they should generate a “Certificate of Completion” or a “Course Completion Record” which they can send to their supervising teacher.  It is important to note that if your students purchase our supplemental courses themselves, from our website, using PayPal, then they will be enrolled in our regular catalog of courses, and SVHS will be the school of record. This limits your ability to edit the final grade. Please ensure that your students and families know your school’s policy about how to purchase our courses.

Assignments – in our courses, assignments are worth 35% of the course grade. We grade what the student submits. If they submit work that does not meet the instructions, they will earn a low grade or a zero.  All students can use the Ask the Teacher link to request to have their assignment reverted to draft so they can improve their submission and earn a higher grade.  We recommend that the student’s supervising teacher uses the student’s assignments as the student’s work samples. 

If the supervising teacher wants their student to do a different assignment than the one we have set in the course, they will need to get approval from their administrator. However, we do not grade assignments we didn’t set. The supervising teacher will need to grade the assignment and let us know the grade they want to entered in the student’s grade book. This is typically something that is relevant for supervising teachers who are working with students with an IEP or a 504 plan.

A student needs to earn a grade in all the unit assignments and all the quizzes and unit tests in a course before they have access to their final. At the end of a semester, we see a huge spike in assignments submitted for grading, as many students put off doing the assignments during the semester. Grading turnaround time increases from 2-3 school days to 5-7 school days. For your students to avoid or minimize this problem, please encourage them to submit their assignments after they have completed all the unit quizzes and before taking the unit test or moving on to the next unit. Not only is this a better learning strategy for your students, but it will help them avoid a delay in accessing their final at the end of the semester and any need for an extension.

Work Samples – Please use the student’s Assignment submissions as works samples. These are the best reflection of the student’s work, not the quizzes or their notes. You can pull timestamps, grades, and feedback from the “Complete Report.” You can also access the student’s submission via the text box, the link they included, or UniCheck “Report”, if they uploaded a file.

IEP / 504 PlansSVHS courses were designed with students with IEPs or 504 plans in mind. Most accommodations are automatically permitted thanks to the structure of the courses. Please do not send SVHS your student’s entire IEPs or 504 plans; we do not need to see them. You should coordinate with the student’s parent/guardian to send us the accommodations page of the plan. We will review the accommodations and determine which, if any, we can implement. Emails sent from the parent or student  about their IEP or 504 must have the teacher of record on copy.

Semester Dates – The SVHS courses are open for a year, and Online Curriculum courses are open for 160 days. It is important your students know when they must complete their course and understand that your school sets the deadline and the consequences for not completing it on time, not Silicon Valley High School. 

Important tip: The day after your semester ends, your school’s administrator may require that we zero out any incomplete or ungraded coursework so the Course Total grade is displayed correctly. Ensure that your students submit their assignments at least 1 week before the end of your semester so they receive credit for their work. If you know your student is behind, we recommend organizing an extension ahead of time so that their courses are not zeroed out.

Summer School

Enrollment & TranscriptsIf you want your students to take courses with us over the summer, they can enroll in the course through our website as SVHS students and be issued a Transcript. If courses are purchased via PO, they will be enrolled in the Online Curriculum catalog unless we are notified otherwise. When they are enrolled in the Online Curriculum courses, they are students at your school; they do not receive a Transcript but instead a Course Completion Record. 

End Date – Please ensure your students know when you need them to complete their summer school course per your school’s schedule. Our summer semester begins on June 15th and ends on August 14; if a student completes their summer school course after August 14, the Transcript or Course Completion Record we generate will say Fall, not Summer.

Independent Study – SVHS courses are self-paced and independent study. SVHS teachers only grade and give feedback on assignments, answer Ask the Teacher questions, and offer live 30-min tutoring sessions. They do not monitor students’ progress or initiate communication other than through the Teacher Feedback on the assignments. 

Assignment Grading – When SVHS is the school of record, assignments will be left ungraded and reverted to draft if they are incomplete (this will block access to the Final Exam). The student will need to read the Teacher Feedback and Grading Rubric Comments and revise their assignments before resubmitting for a grade. 

IEP/504 – When SVHS is the school of record, we cannot offer accommodations other than extending the Final Exam time to 5 hours. We highly recommend that any student struggling with or overwhelmed by their coursework sign up for tutoring sessions early on in the course. The sooner they receive assistance, the less stressful it will be for them. 

For help with these items, please email your school’s SVHS contact person or help@svhs.co and let us know what you need; a customer support person will direct your request to the relevant person in our team.

Transcripts / Course Completion Records

When students complete a course, they can request a Course Completion Record or a Transcript. Transcripts can only be generated when a student is enrolled as an SVHS student.

Important Note: If your school purchases our courses for their students and has adopted our courses through the University of CaliforniaUCOP website, your students are enrolled in our online curriculum program and are not SVHS students. Your student can only request a course completion record. We cannot issue a transcript for these courses; only the student’s school of record can issue the transcript.  We provide proof the course was completed and the grade the student earned. 

Course Completion Record—There’s a form at the end of every course that becomes visible to the student after they take the Final. If the student hasn’t taken the final, they can’t access this form; it is hidden. From the “Course Completion Form”, the student can generate a ‘course completion record’. Make sure your student knows where they should send this course completion record so the course can be applied to your school’s transcript. The student can use this form as many times as they like so that they can send a record to you, the registrar/records office, their parents, etc. The Course Completion Record shows the grade they earned in the course and the semester they completed it.

Transcripts—Students taking our supplemental courses are enrolled as SVHS students and can ‘Request a Transcript’. The link to the form is on every page of our website. From the public website, it can be found in the ‘Contact’ area under ‘Support’.  The transcript will report every supplemental course the student was enrolled in as an SVHS student; it will provide the grade and the semester the course was completed in.  If a student hasn’t finished the course, it will report it as “in progress”.  Students can request we send a hard copy of their transcript to their school.

SVHS semester dates—The semester noted on our course completion records and transcripts reflect the dates of SVHS’s semesters.  The dates of our semesters never change; they remain the same every year, irrespective of the day these dates fall.

Fall semester: Aug. 15 to Jan. 14; Spring semester: Jan. 15 to Jun. 14; Summer semester: Jun. 15 to Aug. 14.

Frequently Asked Questions

What learning management platform do you use? SVHS deploys Moodle as its learning management system. We chose Moodle because it is a robust platform used by more than 197 million students in more than 150,000 schools.

Why are your courses 5 credits? A 5-credit course is the equivalent of a one-semester (half year) course. In some states, it would translate to a .5 credit. All our courses are broken down into two parts – part 1 covers the Fall semester, and part 2 covers the Spring semester.

How long do assignments take to be graded?  Students should allow about 2-3 days (excluding the weekend) for an assignment to be graded during the semester. At the end of the semester, the grading turnaround time is about 7 days as the volume in grading spikes. Please encourage your students to submit their assignments as they finish each unit and not wait until the end of the semester to submit them all.

Why can’t my student access their Final?  Once the student takes the Final, the course is over, and they can generate their course completion records. Therefore, all quizzes, unit tests, and assignments must be completed and graded before the Final can open.  If an assignment has not been graded, the Final will not be available. Please make sure your students leave plenty of time for assignments to be graded. Make sure they submit each unit assignment as they finish the unit so that at the end of the semester, they are only waiting for one assignment to be graded.

How can my student ask a question?—Students should ask all their questions from within the course, using the ask the teacher page. Customer support is manned 15 hours a day and is ready to help students; if they can’t answer the student’s question or help them, they will make sure their question gets sent to the right person.  Teachers and counselors can reach out with questions by emailing: help@svhs.co.

Check out our two FAQ pages for more frequently asked questions – counselor and student.

Many thanks for taking the time to go through this information packet. We want your students to be successful in our courses!