12 divisions throughout the state of Virginia are receiving technical assistance by VCU-ACE. Technical assistance targets school division-wide systems change that will result in improved services at every level of the school division for students with ASD and similar educational needs. The VCU-ACE model of school division-wide technical assistance is the provision of technical assistance to top-level directors and administrators to improve their understanding of the implementation of evidence-based practices for students with ASD across the age range as well as implementation of direct modeling and coaching to classroom teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals.
School division-wide technical assistance is provided to selected school divisions through a competitive application process. School divisions receiving technical assistance are:
- Botetourt County Public Schools,
- Wise County Public Schools,
- Arlington Public Schools,
- Henrico County Public Schools,
- Richmond City Public Schools,
- Northern Neck Regional Program (Lancaster, Northumberland, and Richmond County Public Schools; Town of Colonial Beach Public Schools),
- Hampton Public Schools,
- Newport News Public Schools, and
- Greensville County Public Schools.
VCU-ACE Technical Assistance Associates are currently assisting the school divisions in completing self-assessments and facilitating division wide Autism Services Improvement Teams to develop Autism Services Improvement Plans. These plans will provide additional data-based targets and define the exact technical assistance and training activities that will take place in the division. While each school division will self define their own plan, VCU-ACE will also guide the development of the plans to result in systems change across the division. These plans will provide a coordinated approach to division wide systems change, professional development, coaching, mentoring, and services improvement. Each plan will include goals to address professional and paraprofessional development, improvement in classroom implementation of evidence-based practice, implementation of interdisciplinary teaming, and improvement of family involvement and support. In addition to providing targeted technical assistance, VCU-ACE Technical Assistance Associates will also collect baseline and intervention data on the success of the technical assistance effort, and revise those efforts based on ongoing data based decision-making. Finally, VCU-ACE will guide practice based on the implementation of technical assistance.
News and Events
The Autism Services Teams convened in Richmond on March 28, 2011 for a five day Autism Services Academy where they engaged in strategic planning to develop and refine their Autism Services Improvement Plan. Further division wide assessments will continue into the spring. The Technical Assistance supports will begin in entirety in late August 2011. The Technical Assistance will be provided for up to three years in each chosen division and will culminate with a sustainability plan for the Autism teams to continue this valuable work.
For more information about the 12 school divisions receiving technical assistance through VCU-ACE, please go to our webpage titled Technical Assistance.