This year, NECC celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Partner Program Classroom model. This innovative program offers a collaborative model with school districts to maximize student inclusion opportunities, reduce challenging behavior and increase independence, and build districts’ capacity to effectively serve students with autism. The Partner Program Classroom enables districts to provide a level of service similar to an onsite NECC classroom while keeping students in their community school. Through this model, NECC provides a full-time certified special educator, weekly consultation from a BCBA®, initial and ongoing professional development for school paraprofessionals affiliated with the classroom, and a full complement of educational programming through the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia® (ACE®) including assessments, curriculum, and progress monitoring tools.
The Partner Program Classroom model was developed in collaboration with NECC and a public school in Central Massachusetts in 1998. Since then, Partner Program Classrooms have served more than 560 students in 32 school districts across five states.
“For more than 40 years, NECC’s mission has been to share our best-in-class educational services and knowledge beyond our own walls,” said Vinnie Strully, NECC President and CEO. “Our Partner Program has taught students the skills necessary to function effectively within their public school, community, and family by providing exceptional instruction within their home school district.”
Partner Program Classrooms achieve remarkable success:
• 94% of Partner Program students IEP objectives are met or show progress
• 93% of Partner Program students participate in inclusion within their school
• Upon leaving a Partner Classroom, 85% of students move to a less restrictive setting
“We cannot even begin to think about where James would be if it had not been for the NECC program,” said James & Heather DeLanoy, parents of a child in a Partner Program classroom in southern New Hampshire. “In the past two years, he has transformed into a boy who loves to go to school, who loves to learn, and who loves to make people around him laugh. We truly wish [NECC] could open enough classrooms to share this same gift we have been given with every child on the spectrum.”
Read the full press release here.