About Regional Collaborative Networks (RCN)

Creating a Sustainable Structure of Support for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) within each Region of Michigan

START supports the work of ISDs and districts through our Regional Collaborative Networks (RCN). An RCN is a group of school professionals, family representatives, and community partners supporting students with ASD in a specific region in Michigan. RCN receive support through the START Project grant from MDE OSE, to address needs in their respective regions in the areas of professional development; coaching for implementation of evidence-based practices that promote independence, engagement, social opportunities, and integration; peer to peer support program development; family collaboration and engagement; and preparation for transition to a post-school life with many opportunities. By collaborating with stakeholders in their region and linking with the START project, RCN offer information, training, and resources that are locally accessible and meet the needs defined in that region of the state.

Targeted support to districts and buildings is provided by Trainers of START content and coaches within the RCN who have received additional training, curriculum materials, and resources that allow them to offer assistance within their region. Districts or families seeking support for a building, classroom, or students are encouraged to reach out to their RCN. 

Key Components of Regional Collaborative Networks

  • Shared mission, philosophy, and goals consistent with START
  • Focus on the use of evidence-based practices
  • Training and coaching that to leads to implementation of practices that directly support students
  • Development and dissemination of information, resources, and tools to support students and families 
  • Connections and collaborations with school partners, families and regional stakeholders

Key Responsibilities in Regional Collaborative Networks

  • Define, implement, and evaluate annual goals based on the RCN contract priorities and identified needs of the region
  • Ensure RCN membership of relevant school professionals, parents, and community partners is representative of the region and its needs
  • Meet monthly as an RCN to address defined goals and activities and ensure implementation of planned activities 
  • Develop plans of action to support defined goals and priorities
  • Send representatives to the START RCN Leadership Meeting twice per year
  • Report progress toward annual goals and priorities and share successes and challenges

Page last modified January 31, 2024