Why VSA?

Learn more about what VSA has to offer for your child.

Vertical Skills Academy (VSA), is a non-profit school offering intense remediation in academic skills for students with reading or language-based disabilities. Many of our students who have dyslexia also have dysgraphia, dyscalculia, language processing deficits, written expression disorders, issues with executive functioning and working memory, ADHD and learning disabilities in math.  Although our students at VSA have been diagnosed with dyslexia, we believe their diagnosis is a gift and have created a nurturing environment to allow our students to flourish and achieve their goals. Here are some ways that VSA caters to our students.

 

 

Full-Day Literacy Immersion

Our program is based on the principles of the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach in ALL subjects.
Students focus on the meaning and parts of language, not only in reading and writing, but in science, history, and math as well!
55 min OG tutoring session built into the daily schedule.
English Language Arts (ELA) time is based on highly engaging, authentic text using the EL Education Curriculum. Students engage in high level vocabulary and critical thinking questions that align with standards. ELA teachers use accommodations such as text-to-speech and speech-to-text to meet students’ needs during ELA time. 

Low Student:Teacher Ratios

Daily tutoring sessions limited to 3:1or 2:1 student to teacher ratio in order to cater individually to students’ literacy needs.
Classes capped at 8:1

Highly Trained Staff

All of the staff at VSA have been trained in Orton-Gillingham methodology in order to cater specifically to our students with dyslexia.
Many of our teachers also have master’s degrees in Special Education and Literacy.

Adaptive Curriculum

Teachers follow Colorado State Standards and Common Core Standards in all subjects so that students do not fall behind from their peers in public schools. Science also adheres to federal NGSS standards.
The curriculum is delivered in a creative and relatable fashion, individualized to each student, so that students can connect to it in a way that makes sense to them.

Assistive Technology

All students receive their own Chromebook provided by the school, preloaded with learning apps such as Type to Learn, Reading A-Z, Kiddom, Learning Ally and IXL.
Students are explicitly taught how to use speech-to-text and text-to-speech tools to help them write longer assignments and read higher-level text online.

Social-Emotional Support

.Each class has a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) time. During this time, teachers check in on students, utilize the Leader in Me SEL curriculum, and provide time to build social skills. On top of our SEL curriculum, students are explicitly taught what it means to be dyslexic, how to advocate for themselves, and how to self-regulate using executive functioning skills.

Field Trips and Enrichment

Students take field trips in order to enrich the knowledge they learn in the classroom, apply it to the outside world and other avenues, and have meaningful experiences.
Our partnership with the Buchanan Rec Center allows our students to receive time in the pool every 4-6 weeks.