Erie 2 BOCES LoGuidice Center Special Education Program Announces Collaboration with Fredonia College of Education

Instructors to share classroom techniques with prospective teachers concerning autistic and autistic spectrum disorder students.

Fredonia, NY, January 24, 2015 --( The LoGuidice Educational Center’s Special Education program recently launched a new initiative designed to provide quality programming and options for autistic and autism spectrum disorder students in Chautauqua and Southern Erie County.

In collaboration with The State University of New York at Fredonia College of Education, six special education teachers who teach students ranging in age from Kindergarten to High School will share their best behavioral and teaching practices with aspiring student teachers. Fredonia undergraduates in the College of Education, under the supervision of the Assistant Director of the Office of Field Experience, Mrs. Debra Karpinske-Keyser, will complete practicums in the LoGuidice Center special education classrooms. Opening up the classrooms and teaching practices for dissection, these prospective students will gain valuable learning experiences while teachers will continue to hone their expertise.

“We are excited to offer this unique collaboration between Erie 2 BOCES and Fredonia,” said Suzette Benson, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “It is a prime example of two of Western New York's leading educational institutions working together to provide students with special needs the best instructional programs possible.”

Dr. Laura Geraci from Fredonia’s College of Education will instruct students in a university class at the LoGuidice Center, providing a foundation for understanding and application of knowledge related to autism spectrum disorders. Students will then link theory to practice during their experiences and observations in the special education classrooms. Fredonia will use this as a clinical field placement for teacher candidates.

BOCES teachers will share their knowledge and application of Functional Behavior Analysis, Pivitol Response Training, and the TEACCH method among other strategies that are proven to be successful with students identified with learning and behavioral disabilities.

Mr. Jack Dugan, Mrs. Maureen Bialaszewski, Mrs. Elizabeth Davidson, Ms. Valorie DeLeon, Mrs. Rachel Schunk and Mr. Tim Jones are six of the teachers involved in this collaborative with Fredonia's College of Education. This instructional and program focus identifies best practices and emphasizes a curriculum that flows developmentally from one grade level to the next. This program is a comprehensive and consistent instructional plan that best meets the needs of students with autism which, in turn, results in measurable, data-driven outcomes leading to scholastic success. It also encompasses New York State-approved autism and CPI training and meets the needs of students with blindness or visual impairments. Una Raimondo, LoGuidice Center supervisor of special education, is excited to be working with the educational team at the Center. She credits them for taking up the challenge of putting their professional beliefs into action and in the process becoming teacher-leaders.

Previous to the launch of this new program, each class moved forward based on the experience and training of individual teachers. This updated approach combines special education teachers and related service professionals as together they lead the LoGuidice Special Education Program forward, based on research and best practices. The group also includes occupational and physical therapists, speech teachers, behavior consultant and counselors working together.

In addition, the special education staff at the LoGuidice Center is bolstered by student teachers from Fredonia's College of Education and Department of Psychology, as well as members of the Fredonia School of Music. The program creates “teacher-leaders” that use critical thinking to make classroom decisions based on their professional experiences.

"The commitment to making this initiative a success shown by our educators from both the LoGuidice Center and Fredonia is inspiring," commented Jennifer Saboda, Erie 2-Chautauqua- Cattaraugus BOCES director of alternative and special Education. "This team of teachers varies in levels of classroom experience, but each one of them brings something different to the table. Their dedication to learning, as well as sharing their techniques and expertise with one another, combine to offer a program that helps our students increase their success at school."

About Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES
The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus (E2CC) BOCES is one of 37 BOCES in New York State. The E2CC BOCES represents all the school districts in Chautauqua County, southern Erie County, and part of Cattaraugus County, a geographic area of 1,791 square miles. Services are offered in the following areas: Adult & Community Education, Special Education, Alternative Education, Career & Technical Education, Staff & Curriculum Development, Instructional Support Services, Technology Services, Management Services, and others. During the 2013-2014 school year, K-12 enrollment in E2CCB Career & Technical Education, Special Education, and Alternative Education programs was 2,014.

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Erie 2 Chatauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES
Joshua Gregory