Vertical Skills Academy (VSA) is a K-8 school in Evergreen, Colorado that was founded in 2014 by Kara Osberg, a parent of 2 dyslexic children and Dyslexia Specialist, and Audra Chapleski, highly trained STEM educator and Principal, to meet the unique academic needs of bright, dyslexic students that often go unmet in traditional schools. Audra and Kara bootstrapped their vision and began the first year with 8 students in grades 2-6. After a successful first year, and with the help of dedicated VSA families and staff, 25 students are currently enrolled.
With classes of 4-6 students, Vertical Skills Academy provides a literacy immersion program where students are taught through multi-sensory approaches in all subject areas; they are closely monitored for academic achievement specific to their learning disability (resulting in unprecedented academic, social and emotional growth). Another component of the VSA program involves developing strong communication skills including self-advocacy.
A student’s day at VSA is filled with individualized sessions in math, language arts and writing complemented by rotations in reading, science, typing and art. Every Friday, the students apply and extend what they have learned that week by taking a field trip to a local venue.
All teachers are highly trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling. This multi-sensory approach has been around since the 1930’s and stands as the most successful instruction for all students.