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2015-2016 RCN Priorities

START Regional Collaborative Network (RCN) Priorities:

  1. Professional Development with Impact
  2. Coaching for Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices (EBP)
  3. Secondary Transition
  4. Peer to Peer Support Programs
  5. Family and Community Engagement

1. Professional Development (PD) with Impact:  Develop and implement a PD plan in collaboration with START-approved trainers. PD may be delivered in many different ways but should focus on START module content and resources, and include a plan or system for application and implementation.

Key Components and Reporting:

  1. Dissemination of START information and resources through training, which may include:
    1. Intensive, team-based training series similar to START’s Intensive Training (i.e. Mini IT).
    2. Intensive focus on an evidence-based practice such as functional behavioral assessment, self-management, data collection and decision making practices.
    3. Implementing targeted trainings at building team meetings, staff meetings, or grade level meetings.
  2. Teams from the RCN participate in START Intensive Training.

Outcomes may include:

  • Improved building team knowledge and implementation of evidence-based practices.
  • Increased involvement of parents in training.
  • Increased number of peer to peer support programs operating in districts.
  • Adoption of meeting mechanics across district buildings.
  • Data demonstrating student improvement on goals related to training.
  • Improvement in USAPT data compared to pre-training assessment.

2. Coaching for Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices: Coaching is the primary infrastructure for implementation of evidence-based practices and may include instructional practices such as differentiated output leading to greater access to general education curriculum or specific practices such as self-management. All RCN should evaluate and strengthen their coaching structure with building teams, building coaches, and coach leaders to ensure implementation of evidence-based practices for educating all students with ASD.

*For current information about empirically supported treatments, see the new report from the National Professional Development Center (NPDC) and the National Standards Project phase 2 report

Key Components and Reporting:

  1. Establishing a coaching structure at the district and ISD level with coach leaders and building coaches.
  2. Utilize the USAPT to assess use of universal supports and evidence-based practices and develop goals for improvement. Data should be entered into the online USAPT system.
  3. Use the START EBP Coaching Checklist with students with ASD to increase implementation of evidence-based practices and capture student data for decision making and reporting.
    1. For RCN with multiple ISDs, each ISD will identify at least 2 target students to implement the coaching checklist and report data in the mid-year and end of the year RCN report.
    2. For RCN that are a single county, identify at least 4 target students to implement the coaching checklist and report data in the mid-year and end of the year RCN report.

Note:  Use the RCN Target Student Reporting Template in the 2015-2016 mid-year/end of the year report document to report progress.  

Outcomes may include:

  • Coach(es) in each building that has students with ASD. Coaches may serve in different roles such as coaching for team process, coaching for implementation of specific strategies such as visual supports, or coaching to implement peer to peer support.
  • Regular meetings with building coaches.
  • An ISD/district coaching resource website and/or library.
  • Completion of the USAPT in each building within a district.
  • Action plans and follow up on USAPT improvement goals.
  • Broad implementation of meeting mechanics across districts.
  • Regular data review at building team meetings.
  • Integration of ASD support into building meetings and school improvement plans.
  • Direct coaching at the building, classroom, and student level.
  • Increased implementation of specific EBP (e.g. video modeling).
  • Improved outcomes (e.g. academic, behavioral, social, independence) for students as measured through specific data. 

3. START Building Your Future (BYF) – Secondary Transition: The goal of the START BYF Project is to establish a process that allows young adults with ASD to participate in meaningful work experiences before leaving school that ultimately leads to paid employment in the community. Professionals in the schools and the adult service systems use a discovery process and natural supports to support integrated employment for all students. Each RCN should work with a transition team to set goals for at least 4 transition-age students to develop innovative plans to access work experiences and employment and/or post-secondary education.

*Review the BYF Training Manual and support materials on the START website.

Key Components and Reporting:

  1. Transition Planning
    1. Identify at least 4 transition-age target students for employment or post-secondary education focus.
    2. Use the START V3 discovery process checklist – Vision, Vocational Profile, and Visual Resume.
    3. Establish an implementation plan for employment or post-secondary education based on the discovery process for target students and collect baseline and student progress data .
  2. Plan and complete at least 2 Community Conversations through your RCN. Use the Community Conversations Resources on the START website.

Outcomes may include:

  • Use of the V3 discovery process for students with ASD starting at age 14 (or earlier).
  • School-based transition staff and community partners are trained in the components of the BYF Project.
  • Youth/young adults with ASD obtain after school and/or summer employment before graduation.
  • Regular meetings are scheduled with MRS and CMH to create a plan to work with students earlier and blend funding and practices.
  • Natural supports strategies are used in work settings for students with ASD.
  • Community Conversations are held with families, the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, or other community groups.
  • Members of the school-based transition team meet with the Office of Disability Services at the local college to coordinate efforts to improve access to and success in college.
  • High school counselors have information about supporting students with ASD to successfully enter college or technical school.

4. Peer to Peer Support Programs: The purpose of peer to peer support programs is to provide increased opportunities for students with ASD to access general education environments and develop social relationships with peers. Peers model typical academic and social behavior in educational environments throughout the school day and provide support for students with ASD to promote independence and socialization.

* See the START website for peer to peer support checklists and resources.

Key Components and Reporting:

  1. Identify and log all peer to peer support programs in RCN using the START log or database.
  2. Establish a comprehensive peer to peer support program in at least 4 new buildings in the RCN region.
  3. Provide training and technical assistance to building and district personnel on peer to peer support as an evidence-based practice.
  4. Support teams to attend START Peer to Peer support training, as needed.
  5. Support teams to request peer to peer technical assistance from START, as needed.

Outcomes may include:

  • Increased number of peer support programs established within each RCN.
  • Peer to peer programs established at all levels in a district from elementary through high school.
  • Increased participation of students with ASD in general education through systematic peer support.
  • At risk peers participating in peer support programs demonstrate benefits such as improved attendance and grades and fewer behavior referrals.
  • Current peer to peer support programs are expanded to include extracurricular activities.
  • Parent and community involvement in peer support programs.
  • Use the START peer to peer logo and resources and/or develop your own local peer to peer support “brand” to create a regional and statewide peer support community.

Additional resources for on Peer to Peer Support as an Evidence-Based Practice:

5. Family and Community Engagement: The purpose of family and community engagement is to increase partnerships between schools, families, and communities including greater communication and collaboration related to RCN priorities. One of the main goals of this partnership is to raise expectations and opportunities for students at home and in the community and prepare for graduation and employment.

Key Components and Reporting:

  1. Utilize the START Passport with families and students with ASD. The goal is to implement the Passport across grade levels with as many families and students as possible while maintaining the integrity and fidelity of the Passport process.
  2. Increase parent and family involvement in RCN, particularly family members involved in local autism/disability organizations and community organizations.
  3. Promote involvement of parent mentors from Michigan Alliance of Families (MAF) in regular RCN meetings.

Outcomes may include:

  • Number of families and students using the START Passport and meeting goals.
  • Presentation of the START Passport to families, local autism societies, and PTA/PAC.
  • Parent attendance at RCN meetings.
  • Include parent organization/MAF updates as a regular agenda item.