A Step Up Academy’s School Aged Programming is based on the Pennsylvania State Standards as well as the Pennsylvania Alternate Eligible Content. Each student receives individualized support specially tailored to their strengths, interests, and educational goals. Progress is carefully monitored through regular data collection and families are invited to actively participate in their child’s learning.
Each student is an individual
Each student has an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) tailored to their individual needs.
Families are invited to actively participate as equal team members in the creation of IEPs and are provided with regular communication about the progress of each goal. They are encouraged to participate in aligning school-to-home coordination of programming, transfer of skills, and generalization.
Communication is what sets ASUA apart.
Communication is a key component of ASUA’s programming. Daily and weekly communication between the school and family occurs through the Communication Binder and includes data sheets, anecdotal notes from the day, and session notes from all related service providers. The binder also provides the opportunity for families and home teams to engage with the classroom and communicate notes of interest from home.
In addition to IEP meetings, families and home team members are invited to participate in Student Update meetings in 8-week intervals. These meetings provide an overview of student progress and encourage coordination between the school and home settings. Additionally, progress reports are provided for each trimester and provide a data-driven and detailed goal-by-goal analysis of student progress.
Parents are encouraged to further their participation by making use of our Open-Door Policy, which allows them to observe their child at any time they wish, without an appointment.
ASUA provides unique programming.
ASUA provides support to a student base with a diverse set of needs. In the development of maximally beneficial learning environments for this diverse population, we have developed a dual band program. This program allows the time, space, and flexibility to meet each child where they are, learn their strengths, and develop programming that builds upon these strengths to reach success.
We have created two bands (i.e. classrooms) based on levels of support. All student programming, in both bands, includes academic support, behavioral support, social engagement support and opportunities, as well as highly specialized related services which can include speech, occupational, physical, dance and movement, and music therapy as well as vision support and orientation and mobility.
Key components of this band include:
Small class sizes (maximum of 6 students) with a 1:1 student to staff classroom ratio. Students in this class require consistent staff support throughout the school day to support attention to tasks, elopement, safety, ongoing toileting issues, medical issues, etc.
Key components of this band include:
Class structure that promotes individual and small-group learning with a small class size. Students in this classroom do not require 1:1 support. This classroom will have a maximum of 8 students with a maximum of three staff members.
ASUA utilizes a diverse set of research-based curricula to meet individual needs.
In addition to speech & language delays, many children with autism function below their grade level in reading and math skills. With the goal of keeping each student at or as close to grade level as possible, the researched-based School Aged curriculum follows a developmental sequence to learning that enhances academic skills in a positive setting with a flexible manner. Educational goals are functional and measurable, providing the framework for ongoing progress monitoring. Subject areas taught include reading, math, science, social studies, social skills and communication.
Inclusion is a key component of maximizing student progress and generalizing skills.
Through the development of partnerships with other local schools, ASUA is able to offer a variety of inclusion opportunities for all students. Each student participates in inclusion which is individualized to their learning path.
Inclusion in a General Education classroom:
ASUA’s students may visit other partner programs with ASUA supports. Visits may include participating in special area classes, lunch and recess, or special interest projects. Students may also regularly attend full-day inclusion programming at partner schools, while still maintaining enrollment with ASUA.
ASUA support in an inclusion setting is also offered as a stand-alone service for students enrolled in other programs.
In a reverse inclusive setting, inclusion peers join ASUA’s students on ASUA’s campus and may assist in special projects or participate in special area classes. ASUA staff facilitates and plans.