Minneapolis Public Schools

The Problem: Offering Supplemental Tools to Support Inclusion and Independence

When Kathy Healy, a District Program Facilitator for special education at Minneapolis Public Schools’, went to apply for a grant to receive 500 Apple iPads for students with special needs, she needed a way to document student achievement that demonstrated the effectiveness of technology devices in the classroom. Enter Vizzle, a visual learning software for students with special needs. Using Vizzle, teachers can assign interactive, highly visual lessons, games and activities to students. As students work through assignments, lesson plays, completion time and scores are automatically recorded and tracked to individual IEP goals and objectives. “When we applied for the technology grant, we noted that we would be using Vizzle to collect student data and I think that helped us win the funding,” said Healy. Now 5 years later, Vizzle is an integral part of the Minneapolis Public Schools’ special education program.

QUICK FACTS

Number of students
40,000
Number of students on IEPs
6,800
Vizzle is used to promote the inclusion and independence of students with autism and cognitive disabilities in the general education curriculum.
When we applied for the technology grant, we noted that we would be using Vizzle… and I think that helped us win the grant. Kathy Healy

District Program Facilitator for Special Education

The Solution: Using Vizzle in Classrooms for Students with Special Needs

As the third largest district in the state, Minneapolis Public Schools has more than 40,000 students with roughly 6,400 students on IEPs. In her current teacher-level role, Healy is responsible for supporting teachers of students with special needs across 12 elementary schools. With support from a team of teachers and administrators, Healy introduced Vizzle into classrooms across the district to promote inclusion and independence for students with autism and cognitive disabilities. “Now students have a way to be included in the general education curriculum while differentiating at their learning level,” said Healy. With a library of over 15,000 lessons, Vizzle offers students a personalized learning experience that supports all curriculums and addresses every student’s unique learning needs. In addition to its growing, standards-based library, Vizzle’s user-friendly platform and smart-search filters make it easy to use in any classroom. “Teachers really love it,” said Healy. “I recently worked with a brand new teacher and he was blown away by Vizzle and I had only done a quick introduction!”

The Result: A Valuable Tool to Promote Inclusion, Independence and Immersion

Vizzle was so well received in Minneapolis Public Schools that teachers of students with special needs began “Tuesdays with Vizzle,” a monthly meetup to share useful content and best practices. Although the program has since ended, Healy hopes to resume the monthly meetings upon the district’s adoption of Vizzle NextGen. With a completely redesigned interface, Vizzle NextGen is the latest iteration of the Vizzle platform. In addition to a new look, Vizzle NextGen offers significant enhancements to features, functionality and the user experience for both students and teachers. After the success in the district’s special education classrooms, Healy expanded Vizzle usage into the Newcomer Program, which serves duo learners or English-Language Learner (ELL) students with disabilities. “Vizzle is critical to use with the ELL population, especially those with special needs,” explained Healy. “I would even say Vizzle is the perfect tool for the ELL students without disabilities because it is so visual.” Teachers in Minneapolis Public School District are transforming their classrooms by using Vizzle. A highly visual and customizable tool, Vizzle helps students with special needs refresh, reinforce and review concepts and skills anywhere and at any time. Says Healy, “I just love Vizzle because it is so easy to use. It is so intuitive and I’m looking forward to getting more teachers and students active on the platform.”

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