The Learning Opportunities Center (LOC) at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) opened during the 2001-2002 school year. The purpose of the LOC is to offer students the opportunity to take advanced courses, to take remediation courses, and to allow flexibility of scheduling for students who enroll mid-semester.
The first program utilized was an online system called NovaNET. Through this system, students had access to courses and lessons ranging from basic reading skills to college level mathematics. Much of the NovaNET curriculum was prescriptive. Students were placed in appropriate lessons based on pretest results. NovaNET was correlated to the Florida Sunshine State Standards, and students were able to earn credits for courses taken. Teachers could also schedule class time in the LOC for students to prepare for the FCAT, and college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT. The LOC continues to offer as much freedom of choice and variety of courses as possible to students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired, giving them access to online classes at Florida Virtual School and St. Johns River State College.
FSDB students take classes through the LOC for a variety of reasons. Some are behind in their credits and want to graduate on time, so they enroll in LOC classes to catch up. Others, who want to graduate early, can take additional classes. And some students elect to take Advanced Placement classes online. Other students want to take electives not offered at FSDB, such as outdoor education or creative photography or law studies, while others who want to take traditional subjects such as English or math at a different pace or learning style can do so. Students can also take dual enrollment college courses online, or take high school level classes while in middle school. Students who get a poor grade in a class can elect to pull their grade up by retaking the class online.
Access through use of advanced video technologies is available to LOC students who are deaf/hard of hearing. This technology enables students to take part in monthly calls, discussion based assessments, and other individual communications with their Florida Virtual School instructors. The LOC provides a rich array of options for FSDB students who choose to take advantage of online learning opportunities to further their academic and career goals.
For more information, contact:
Teacher, Learning Opportunity Center