Kurzweil 3000®-firefly at St. John's High School:
Academic Inclusion and Achievement for ALL

St. John's Library


An academic and cultural change is taking place at St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy, in Toledo, OH.

After the school recognized that there was an underserved population in its midst — the average students — it turned to Learning Specialist, Michele Nixon, to develop a solution that would provide academic support for mainstream students.

Dubbed Academic Plus, and affectionately known as "A+," the program not only helps average students stay on track, but it has also taken hold among all students and faculty to become an integral part of the school's ethos of academic achievement.

One cornerstone of the A+ program is inclusion technology, and the foundation of the technology solution is Kurzweil 3000-firefly.

All students benefit from the software's UDL aligned integrated text-to-speech, reading, writing, and learning features. With access to electronic text students can read and re-read passages. They especially like using the highlighters to mark important ideas and make notations, which they can then easily turn into outlines for writing.

"The results are measurable," says Michele. "Over 80 percent of the students use A+, so we are seeing more students reaching their academic goals than ever before, many of them are participating in and succeeding in honors and advanced placement classes; students report a greater sense of academic confidence and preparedness for college work; and teachers are finding a higher level of engagement among all students."

"What's most gratifying," adds Michele, "is that A+ has helped to promote a culture of commonality, learning and achievement at St. John's."

Read on for details: The Challenge, The Objective, The Solution

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