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Has anyone used any Silicon Valley High School classes? Acellus?


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I am looking in to this for next year for some extra courses, like econ or government.  Has anyone had any experience with these classes?

 

How about Acellus?  

 

I am looking for cheaper online classes that are decent and these 2 have come up as possibilities.  Would love any input.

Thanks!

K

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My son tried Acellus for about a month. He said it was, "okay." I cancelled the subscription because I didn't think his retention was as good listening to the short video blurbs Acellus used compared to his retention when reading a text from a book. I believe one of the selling points of Acellus is that if the student doesn't answer enough of the quiz questions correctly, they are provided another opportunity to learn the material. I was under the impression the material would be presented in another way; however, the student is required to sit through the same video again. 

 

Also, it may have been (probably was) our problem, but we couldn't get the videos to open full screen. I'm also not one who wants my child sitting in front of a computer, unless the instruction is excellent.

 

This is petty, but it bothered me that on one of the videos we watched together, the instructor incorrectly identified two countries. We lived in the Middle East for three years, and we have first hand knowledge of the name of the country where we lived.

 

However, we were able to cancel after one month without any issues. So for $30, it may be worthwhile for you to give it a try. We all learn differently.

 

I hope this helps a little bit.

 

 

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I'm using it for 2 of my 3 kids.  DD has been mostly unschooled for the last couple years because of fatigue, ADD,  and lack of interest, but mostly it's just difficult to get her to do her work. She does Acellus with no problems.  First thing in the morning and she's done.  For my DN, it's mostly just hard to get him to do anything without standing right on top of him, he was until recently public schooled and he has all the bad habits that many kids have when PSed. With Acellus I can see what he's done at any time, his score, even specific answers to each question.  This is a super smart kid and I just have to get him through the next year then he can start taking classes at CC.  Acellus did not work for DS, he was bored to tears and would rather take longer and be interested than be done in just a couple hours but be bored.  If you only do the online portion it literally can take as little as an hour per day for 4-5 courses(or longer depending on the kid and course).  That's why you would want to make sure they do the offline homework and add in any supplement you think is needed. In all honesty I'm just treading water with the two kids using it until I can get them into either a local Cottage School or off to CC.  It's not bad and I would choose it over T4L, which is too childish, or K12 which is 100% busy work 99% of the time.

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I looked at Silicon Valley High School (after reading your post) and received very quick responses to my questions:

 

Silicon Valley High School responses:

We typically enroll interested parties in a course or two for a 10 day period... so they can check it out.

Create a login at: http://svhs.co/
Once you have your login, email me with your login info and the courses that you are interested in, and I'll enroll you.
Thanks tons and I hope that helps!

 

So, every course varies, but our videos are typically between 5-15 minutes per section.
Also, we don't use a specific text, but rather we have multiple contributors to our courses.  We choose the best content (in the world) for each section, so our courses can be a collection of multiple content creators, ensuring that our lessons are the best available.

Again, feel free to create a login and we'd love to have you poke around a course or two.

 

The price is reasonable. Considering many of the courses have been approved by the UC governing body (?) regarding what is considered acceptable for entrance into the UC college system, it sounds like its worth a try. 

 

I had never heard of this online curriculum. I appreciate hearing about it.

 

 

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I looked at Silicon Valley High School (after reading your post) and received very quick responses to my questions:

 

Silicon Valley High School responses:

We typically enroll interested parties in a course or two for a 10 day period... so they can check it out.

Create a login at: http://svhs.co/

Once you have your login, email me with your login info and the courses that you are interested in, and I'll enroll you.

Thanks tons and I hope that helps!

 

So, every course varies, but our videos are typically between 5-15 minutes per section.

Also, we don't use a specific text, but rather we have multiple contributors to our courses.  We choose the best content (in the world) for each section, so our courses can be a collection of multiple content creators, ensuring that our lessons are the best available.

Again, feel free to create a login and we'd love to have you poke around a course or two.

 

The price is reasonable. Considering many of the courses have been approved by the UC governing body (?) regarding what is considered acceptable for entrance into the UC college system, it sounds like its worth a try. 

 

I had never heard of this online curriculum. I appreciate hearing about it.

 

Thanks for looking into this.  I may pursue this further as a possible "get 'er done" course for US History (UC approved a plus as we are trying to keep options open) if the lessons are that short.  It's good to know that I can check it out first for a few days.  Thanks!

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

I'm bumping this because I wanted to know if anyone had used Silicon Valley High School.  It looks like it might be a great option for my high schooler for a course or two.  The syllabus looks like it's a decent coverage without being overboard for my kid, who isn't the fastest reader in the world.  Can anyone offer a review, positive or negative?  (I'm not in CA, but my state doesn't care where my kid takes classes, just that she does them.)

Edited by happypamama
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SVOHS is awful. we tried spanish semester 1 for $50 or $100, whatever it was. it's a compilation of varied videos around the web. our experience - it is shoddy. videos weren't even very well-culled, all over the map, no rhyme or reason to it. definitely not going to learn much doing it. we looked into it b/c it was then a-g approved (no longer), for UC schools. but not worth it imo. ymmv if you're looking for a get 'er done class esp if not spanish.

Edited by mirabillis
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SVOHS is awful. we tried spanish semester 1 for $50 or $100, whatever it was. it's a compilation of varied videos around the web. our experience - it is shoddy. videos weren't even very well-culled, all over the map, no rhyme or reason to it. definitely not going to learn much doing it. we looked into it b/c it was then a-g approved (no longer), for UC schools. but not worth it imo. ymmv if you're looking for a get 'er done class esp if not spanish.

Wow!  That's not good at all.  We were looking at it for English, but that's really disappointing.  I do understand getting what you pay for, but that's incredibly frustrating.

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I have a friend IRL who is doing fine with the SV English. They do just need a "get it done" kind of English class. The 10th grade class seems to spend a lot of time on Don Quixote. They dropped the Spanish, too.

Edited by MamaSprout
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I have a friend IRL who is doing fine with the SV English. The do just need a "get it done" kind of English class. The 10th grade class seems to spend a lot of time on Don Quixote. They dropped the Spanish, too.

That’s good. Thank you. I’m looking for get it done too. I don’t have time to read all the books and grade writing myself, and it’s at least a decent set of books listed.

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Silicon Valley Online:

 

Very easy

No essays

Almost no reading required for the history courses

consisted of youtube vidoes, quizzes and tests

 

But, they were fun, and they did provoke a lot of discussion around here.  :) 

 

Unless you truly need to just "check off some boxes" whether or not your student really learns anything in depth....I wouldn't use it again :)  

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Silicon Valley Online:

 

Very easy

No essays

Almost no reading required for the history courses

consisted of youtube vidoes, quizzes and tests

 

But, they were fun, and they did provoke a lot of discussion around here. :)

 

Unless you truly need to just "check off some boxes" whether or not your student really learns anything in depth....I wouldn't use it again :)

Well hmm. That’s not encouraging. I was looking at one of the English courses, and it has a decent repertoire of reading that I’d be reasonably happy with. It also says minimum of 10 full essays. I really mostly want someone else to grade my student’s papers, someone who knows the books well, because I need to take something off of my plate. I like Excellence in Literature’s modules, but I don’t have time to read the books, critique her writing, and give her really good writing guidance myself, and literary analysis isn’t my strong point anyway.

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Well hmm. That’s not encouraging. I was looking at one of the English courses, and it has a decent repertoire of reading that I’d be reasonably happy with. It also says minimum of 10 full essays. I really mostly want someone else to grade my student’s papers, someone who knows the books well, because I need to take something off of my plate. I like Excellence in Literature’s modules, but I don’t have time to read the books, critique her writing, and give her really good writing guidance myself, and literary analysis isn’t my strong point anyway.

Maybe the English is of a much better quality??

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What if you found a decent high school literature text with the TE? Add in a couple novels you have read with Glencoe or Memoria Press study guides? The old Scott Foresman America Reads series has pretty good essay prompts, but I'm sure there are others.

 

Maybe BYU online high school would be another option.

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I would call it credit recovery quality. My friend who is using it has a kid who reads avidly, so she's just using it to formally check a box because he hates to write.

Thank you. That’s the first review I’ve heard of the English quality, and it doesn’t thrill me. I’m taking them off my list but will keep them in the back of my head in case things really fall apart.

 

I did find a local homeschool co-op that isn’t really a co-op. They offer drop off classes once a week for a very reasonable price. I could probably make the timing work because I could either bring a younger kid and work with him on schoolwork or go grocery shopping. My oldest could do English and a science and have a study hall time in between if they weren’t back to back. Fingers crossed that they offer American literature next year!

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  • 2 years later...

Hi there,

I wanted to let you know that after I took over as CEO of Silicon Valley High School in 2017, we have made some radical changes. The first thing we did was hire the best credentialed teachers we could find and we set about rebuilding all the courses.  We implemented high level quality control on all the courses, hired credentialed teachers to grade, and essentially built a completely new catalog of video-based, self-paced, teacher-supported courses. 

In 2018, after a thorough vetting process, Silicon Valley High School was accredited by Cognia, AdvancED operating the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Southern Association of Colleges and School Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). Our courses were approved by the University of California (a-g) for college-prep courses, and in 2018, our courses were approved by the NCAA.

We have always tried to make our courses affordable, but the $50/course price point was just not feasible in view we increased our prices to $95 a course. This is still a very aggressive price point, considering the teaching staff and other costs we have to cover, but we are committed to operating at in a highly efficient way and we are confident that our courses are second to none.

Since these changes took effect in 2018, our courses have become very popular with students and schools across California and beyond. More than 96% of our students say they would recommend our courses to a friend.  We have been growing at a tremendous pace--enrollments were up more than 250% in 2019, and so far in 2020, enrollments are up more than 500%.

We now offer online tutoring with credentialed teachers, and a full-time diploma program as well as our curriculum of supplemental online courses. 

So, I'm sorry that some of the experiences with SVHS were not ideal in the past, and I can assure you that since I took charge and reinvented the school, Silicon Valley High School is a very different proposition today. 

Thanks for your consideration.

David Smith
CEO, Silicon Valley High School (svhs.co)

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