Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA)
- Donna Casella
Florida Department of Education
This project was developed in direct response to a needs assessment with Florida School Districts that documented a critical training need for teachers of students with autism. It provides training to any teacher (public or private schools) who is concerned about providing a high quality educational program to students with autism spectrum disorders.
With a goal of increasing the capacity of teachers to implement effective and high quality programs, the project includes three important features: a) mentorship of 60 teachers or teacher leaders who wish to implement and evaluate the outcomes of innovations for students with autism; b) regional day-long training workshops; and c) the sponsorship of a teacher preconference day at the annual CARD conference.
Regional workshops are advertised through CARD web pages, direct mailing of flyers to FDLRS centers and district autism contact persons, and through direct mail to registered professionals with the hosting CARD center. Workshops are held throughout the state to ensure access to all teachers. In addition, the pre-conference day of the CARD conference is free of charge and widely promoted throughout the state. All teachers are welcome to apply for the mentorship component of the program, although admission to the program is competitive and requires the approval of the school administrator.
- PEPSA provided a total of 35 professional development activities across the state to over 2,616 educators.
- Hosted the annual pre-conference day that provided training to 410 educators.
- 33 teachers completed the intensive mentorship program.