Item Coversheet

Action Items - Intermediate Unit - 4.

Title: Contract with Progressus Therapy, LLC – Behavioral Therapists and Applied Behavior Analysis Training for Teachers of Students with Autism ($182,000)

Board of Education Meeting Date:

Action under consideration


 The Administration recommends that the Board of Education, acting in its capacity as Board of Directors of Philadelphia Intermediate Unit No. 26 (IU 26), authorize IU 26, through the Executive Director or his designee, to execute and perform a contract, subject to funding, as follows:


Progressus Therapy, LLC



To provide professional development to District teachers and staff of students with autism and to provide direct support to students with autism


Start Date: 9/1/2020


End Date: 6/30/2021


Compensation: $182,000



District autistic support classrooms and other District classrooms with students with autism that would benefit from the support of ABA behavioral specialists



Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the science of behavior change and also a leading model and instructional method for improving the behaviors and educational performance of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Progressus Therapy will provide the District with six qualified and experienced behavioral therapists with expertise in ABA methods to deliver professional development to teachers and staff of students with ASD, and to provide direct ABA support and interventions to students. The Contractor’s professional development will consist of learning and understanding ABA foundational principles, delivering ABA instruction and interventions, modeling ABA methods, creating positive classroom learning environments, and developing and implementing individual student learning programs, instructional binders, functional behavioral assessments, and behavior modification plans based on ABA and positive reinforcement strategies. The Contractor’s direct support to students with ASD will consist of administering assessments and delivering instruction, interventions and supports.


 Under the direction of the Office of Specialized Services (OSS), the Contractor’s behavioral therapists will consult and collaborate with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) PA Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and District contracted autism professionals (PhillyAIMS and LINKS) to coordinate and provide teachers with professional development and support, and to measure student progress and outcomes.


Currently, the Contractor’s behavioral therapists have provided professional development to 45 teachers in over 50 classrooms, and supported over 400 students. Teachers receiving professional development experienced a 100% retention rate, and their proficiency in delivering ABA instruction in the classroom increased in all standard PDE performance indicators. Students supported by behavioral therapists demonstrated significant improvements in targeted behaviors, social skills, and academic performance. As a result of these outcomes, student need and teacher requests for one to one aides significantly declined.  For the 2020-2021 school year, OSS plans to expand the Contractor’s professional development and direct student support. Progressus therapists will be sent to District schools with high numbers of students with ASD, and with new teachers and paraprofessionals who need ABA training. Network schools where AS programs are in need of support will be identified and given priority.


Anchor Goal(s) Supported:

Anchor Goal(s) Supported: Anchor Goal 1 - 100% of students will graduate ready for college or career, Anchor Goal 2 - 100% of 8-year olds will read on or above grade level, Anchor Goal 3 - 100% of positions are filled by great principals, teachers and employees  

 Office Originating Request: Academic Support