Administrator’s Corner: STAR program benefits students

Published 10:30 pm Friday, February 9, 2018

Administrator’s Corner by Tami Alphs

Strategies for teaching based on autism research autism support has extensive experience providing school districts with effective tools to implement evidence-based strategies and to train and coach school teams in these strategies.

STAR autism support provides workshops, training and support to school districts throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. STAR autism support has successfully collaborated with school districts, private agencies, parents and the broader community to implement successful programs for students with autism.

Tami Alphs

Email newsletter signup

The STAR program is a comprehensive behavioral program that incorporates the applied behavior analysis strategies of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching functional routines. STAR also promotes the use of positive behavior interventions, environmental supports (visual supports, visual schedules, etc.) in inclusive and self-contained settings.

The elementary self contained special education programs have implemented the STAR program in the functional skills and success autism classrooms for the past two years. The teachers and paraeducators have attended training sessions in order to execute the program with their students.

The benefits of the STAR program include:

• Uses applied behavior analysis-based and evidence-based instructional practices

• Provides a comprehensive curriculum-based assessment and documents progress on individual education programs

• Is shown to be effective in public school settings

• Meets the individual needs of students at various developmental levels

• Comprehensive materials include program manual, lesson plans and ready to use manipulatives, photo cards and other instructional tools

The skills students have gained are in the areas of receptive language, expressive language and academic, social and functional skills dependent upon their needs. Skills students work on are individualized for each student based on assessments conducted by staff. The STAR program is impacting growth for this group of students in our district.

Tami Alphs is the director of special services for Albert Lea Area Schools.