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University of South Florida

Jennifer Sessa, Sarasota County
Island Village Montessori
CARD Staff: Ellie Weber

CARD staff: Ellie Weber Jennifer Sessa is an ESE liaison as Island Village Montessori Charter school in Venice FL for grades K-4. She is also and ESE/intervention teacher for children with disabilities. She is presently attending school for a Master of Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis in pursuit of becoming a licensed behavior analyst. She would like to pursue a PhD. Jennifer has worked with CARD for the past two years providing the teachers training to work with their students on the autism spectrum. She is looking forward to the PEPSA Partnership and providing support for both the teachers and students at her school. Jennifer has been married for 13 years and has three wonderful children ages 12, 9, and 4.

Proposed Project:

This is a continuation project. The purpose of the first year was to provide support for the general education teachers conducted by the support personnel in the format of a learning community. The format was to have the teachers research information about strategies for working with students with autism such as visual supports, pragmatic supports, or social stories. The reason for doing it this way is to give the teachers the opportunity to read the research for themselves and bring to the group the information to share with the group. Sometimes this is more helpful for the teachers to share and discuss interventions. Then they were to go back to their classroom to implement the intervention and then let the group know how it went in a follow up session. The key is to have the teachers implement the intervention and to see for themselves how these strategies can work not only for students with disabilities but general education students as well.

During the second year, the intention is to continue providing support for general education teachers through a learning community but to possibly offer and online forum in an effort to make collaboration and communication more convenient for the teachers’ schedules. The goal would also be to video tape the teachers implementing different strategies in the classroom in order to provide training materials for new teachers.


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This product was developed by the Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism, a project funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, K-12 Public Schools, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, through federal assistance under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.
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