Increasing Administrative Support to Achieve Systems Change in Educational Setting for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Noel Woolard, VCU Autism Center for Excellence (ACE)
Given the continued increase in those identified with ASD, the need to build capacity within Virginia is a necessity. Building capacity is improving the ability of individuals with ASD, parents, supports and services to increase independence and inclusion into the community. The process used to achieve capacity building is called systems change. In order to achieve true systems change, administrators must be able to support their teachers who work with students with ASD. This webcast will outline administrative support documents that can be used to assist administrators and teachers in increasing the quality of the classroom structure, environment, and instructional practices for students with ASD. Also, this presentation will provide the current model being used in Hampton City Schools, in partnership with VCU-ACE, to build capacity for effectively supporting individuals with ASD and those individuals working with individuals with ASD.
Noel Woolard, M.Ed, BCBA, has been working with people with autism since 1994. She holds degrees from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Rutgers University. She worked as a behavior analyst under Mary Jane Weiss, David Celiberti, and Beth Glasburg at the Rutgers Autism Program at Rutgers University. In 2001, she moved to Virginia to serve as Program Director for Commonwealth Autism Services (formally The Autism Program of Virginia). Noel has worked in the public school setting as a paraprofessional and special education teacher and has supported student with autism, deaf-blindness, and developmental delays. In 2008, Noel created and is currently teaching autism coursework endorsed by the Virginia Autism Council at Rappahannock Community College. She is a founding member of the Virginia Autism Council and is certified in behavior analysis. Noel joined the ACE team in 2011 and supports divisions in the Northern Neck of Virginia as well as Hampton City Public Schools. Noel lives in the Northern Neck of Virginia with her husband and four kids.
Holly Whittenburg, M.S., is a special education coordinator with Hampton City Schools, where she works with the early childhood special education and autism programs. Holly also works collaboratively with the Autism Center for Excellence as the division lead for the ACE grant project. As a teacher, Holly worked with students with autism in middle school inclusion and elementary school self-contained classroom settings.
Jessica Davis, M.Ed, has taught grades K, 1, and 2 for 15 years and is currently an elementary administrator within Middlesex County Public Schools. She has taught students with autism within her classroom over the years and has served as a division instructional coach and mentor in Lancaster County Public Schools for VCU’s Autism Center for Excellence.