Program Enhancement (Nov. 2016)

The Office of Student Services (OSS) is proud to launch its program enhancement activities as part of the OSS Strategic Plan. This year's focus is on enhancing the Autism Spectrum Disorder program during the 2016-2017 school year. The Autism Spectrum Disorder Program (ASD) was developed in response to the growing number of students with autism attending the Cambridge Public Schools. The development of the program was to embrace our diverse student body and include them as part of our school communities. The first cohort of students started almost eleven years ago in Kindergarten at the Fletcher Maynard Academy and are currently 10th graders at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS). The program is located at the Fletcher Maynard School, King Open School, Cambridge Street Upper School, and CRLS. Currently, the program has 59 students, 13 special educators, a dedicated Board Certified Behavior Analyst, an autism specialist, and 28 paraprofessionals. The program has grown rapidly beginning with just six students and growing to approximately 60 students. The program enhancement cycle began with a focus group on October 19th where we gathered all of the programs staff. Dr. Greer gave an overview of the process and the background of the program. The review will be done internally by highly qualified Cambridge Public Schools staff and will include all stakeholders. The first data collection was a qualitative analysis of what is currently working and what is not working. This baseline data has identified themes for further unpacking with the broader ASD community including families and students. The areas of focus for review and development include but are not limited to inclusive practices, curriculum, data collection, Applied Behavioral Analysis, sensory integration, social/pragmatics, communication, family engagement, and strengthening building based staff collaboration/consultation. The goal is to refine, enhance, and create an aligned program from PK-12. Together we are working to continue building a robust program for students on the Autism spectrum.
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