Item Coversheet

Action Items - Intermediate Unit - 6.

Title: Contract with STAR Autism Support, Inc. – Professional Development for Teachers of Students with Autism in Grades 6 Through 12 ( $247,000)

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:



 STAR Autism Support, Inc.



To provide comprehensive professional development for teachers and professional staff who teach and support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in grades 6-12


Start date: 7/1/2020


End date: 6/30/2021


Compensation not to exceed: $247,000



District elementary, middle, and high schools with 6-12 grade Autistic Support Programs



Currently, approximately 1,900 6-12 grade students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) attend District schools.  Approximately 1,400 of these students receive instruction in 135 self-contained autistic support classrooms.  The remainder of these students are enrolled in inclusive classroom settings. Research has consistently demonstrated that valid curriculum based on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) methods implemented with fidelity will improve the academic and behavioral performance of students on the autism spectrum.


 STAR Autism Support (SAS) is the creator and sole proprietor of the highly effective LINKS Curriculum, a comprehensive and research-based and proven ABA program designed for secondary students with ASD.  Over 200 schools, including many of the largest school districts in the United States, utilize LINKS. Since 2015, SAS has provided training to District teachers of secondary students with ASD, and has supported District secondary autistic support classrooms. Secondary students supported by SAS specialists, and receiving instruction from teachers trained by SAS and who implement the LINKS curriculum with fidelity, have demonstrated significant improvement in academic, behavioral and transition outcomes.


 For the 2020-2021 school year, training and consultation provided by STAR Autism Support will be available to all grade 6-12 teachers of students with autism providing in-classroom support to teachers and staff in an estimated 135 classrooms.  Autism Classroom teachers and staff as well as 6-12 grade general education teachers and staff across the District will be offered the opportunity to attend comprehensive professional development workshops and webinars. The Links Administrator, Implementation Checklists, and Needs Assessments report progress on teacher/para/support staff implementation of the evidence-based practices while the Links Student Assessments yield measurable data that student outcomes, academic, communication, social and adaptive skills as a result of receiving instruction, support, and interventions with the Contractor’s methods and programs.  This data is shared with teachers, school, and network teams to maximize the learning and behavioral outcomes for students with ASD.


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


Funding Source(s):  


 Office Originating Request: Academic Support