FETC 2010 News

Vermont District Moves Autism Resources Online

Rutland City Public Schools (RCPS) of Rutland, VT, is migrating its autism tools and resources online. The district has adopted the AutismPro Web-based system of resources and educational workshops to help increase student achievement while reducing the stress on teachers working with such students. The announcement came at the FETC 2010 conference in Orlando, FL.

The system, provided by Virtual Expert Clinics, offers a collection of professional development resources designed to help educators understand the range of autism conditions and apply evidence-based strategies to in-school scenarios and circumstances they may not have previously encountered. AutismPro offers a full-content database of more than 5,000 lesson plans, teaching strategies, and behavioral supports.

"In the last 10 years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of students with autism entering our school district," said Eloise McGarry, director of support services for RCPS.  "As these students spend most of each day in a general education classroom, it is imperative that our staff has access to appropriate programming and effective professional development."

RCPS said its teachers and parents update their Web-based AutismPro files with new data on a weekly basis using the built-in collaborative tools. And all service providers update their case files monthly, allowing all parties involved to remain current with data and developments.

"In addition, AutismPro provides an enhanced communication solution for teachers, special education staff, parents, and other stakeholders to collaborate easily and effectively," said Jenna Chamberlain, third grade special education teacher.  "With our students, it is critical that we set goals and be able to show how we are meeting those goals throughout the year.  [Using the system], we all can access the data we need to show where each student's progress lies."

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.