Jessica Clark Ann Carey Angela Craven Carrie Carr
Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD

Afternoon Session ~

"Supporting Students to Reach Their "MAX"imum Potential"

The Rudyard Center services special education students from five districts within the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District. The Center was initially created to house self-contained classrooms to serve the needs of the region's most involved students.

Upon participation in the START Intensive Training in 2011, an autism team was formed to promote the education of students in a more inclusive environment with a strong focus on maximum access to the general education curriculum with typically developing peers.

During this session, the team will share one student's successful journey. Previously, Max spent his full school day in a self-contained special education program. Now, with the support of his LINK friends, Max spends the majority of his day engaged in a rigorous middle school schedule. Join the team as they present effective strategies, supports, and the teaming process for collaboration between special and general education staff as their focus continues to be on ensuring education in the Least Restrictive Environment.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify effective and easily implemented strategies for supporting students with autism in the general education environment.
  • Identify key team members critical to successful inclusionary programming.
  • Utilize student strengths to demonstrate learning and output.
  • Obtain strategies for developing successful LINK programs.
  • Understand the importance of communication and collaboration in ensuring the least restrictive environment for students affected by autism.

About the Presenters ~

Jessica Clark
Jessica holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in social studies and history secondary education from Northern Michigan University. She is completing her master's project on peer to peer programs this summer through Grand Valley State University. Jessica currently holds special education endorsements for learning disabilities and cognitive impairments. Jessica taught outdoor education for a year and then taught middle school and high school social studies classes for 6 years in both the Engadine and Mackinac Island school districts. Over the past 4 years Jessica has been a teacher for the Eastern Upper Peninsula School District in a self-contained special education classroom at the Rudyard Area Center. After working in her special education classroom for a year she along with others decided that her students were not being provided with an education in their least restrictive environment. For the past 3 years Jessica has collaborated with school administration, autism consultants, social workers, parents and general education teachers to now have a classroom where every student has some general education experiences each day. This all started after her involvement with the START program through GVSU. Jessica is also an Autism coach in her building, member of the LINKS planning team, a member of her schools PBIS team, School Improvement Team and chair of the social and community committee at the Rudyard Area Center.

Ann Carey
Ann is a Speech-Language Pathologist for the Eastern Upper Peninsula School District. (EUPISD) Ann began her career working as a clinical speech-pathologist in various rehabilitation hospitals where she worked for 7 years. She has spent the last 5 years working for the EUPISD, and currently works with special education students in grades 4-9 as well as supporting the communication development of students in self-contained classrooms from preschool age through early adulthood. Ann has completed two years of START intensive Autism training and currently serves as an Effective Practices Leadership Initiative (EPLI) building coach for the school district she works in. Ann has expertise in working with non-verbal students and students with Autism and employs a variety of practices including the use of iPads to improve the communication and interaction skills of her students.

Angela Craven
Angela holds a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Child Studies from Tufts University. She holds a Master's Degree in Social Work, as well as a School Social Work Certification from Grand Valley State University. Angela has been working in Education for 20 years with experience in all populations from Early Childhood through High School. Angela currently serves the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School Districts as a Special Education Social Worker and START Effective Practice Leadership Initiative (EPLI) certified behavioral coach.

Carrie Carr
Carrie holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in elementary education from Lake Superior State University. She holds a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as an Autism Endorsement from Oakland University. Carrie worked for 10 years as a general education elementary classroom teacher with experience in every grade Kindergarten through Fifth. Carrie currently serves the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School Districts as a START Effective Practice Leadership Initiative (EPLI) certified coach and Teacher Consultant for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.