D34 has partnered with Easter Seals Chicago to provide targeted training and assistance to staff serving students with Autism. Easter Seals has an Illinois Autism Partnership program, which provides opportunities for school districts to individualize coaching, consulting, and training programs for staff. Through this partnership, the district has been able to access the wealth of knowledge and resources offered by Easter Seals Chicago.
Within the district, we have established a Structured Learning Program specifically tailored to students with Autism or similar needs. These students often require a range of specialized supports to help them thrive in their educational journey. Through our collaboration with Easter Seals Chicago, D34 has been able to access expert guidance and resources to help enhance the Structured Learning Program. These resources have aided our staff in developing a more robust understanding of Autism and refine our strategies for teaching and engaging with students.
The Easter Seals Illinois Autism Partnership program provides a multi-faceted approach that includes individualized coaching, consulting, and training programs tailored to the specific needs of the district. Over the years, staff has benefitted from classroom setup assistance before the school year begins, monthly coaching sessions from specialized Autism coaches, and has received training during staff inservice days. These opportunities have been a game-changer for the D34 staff, allowing them to provide more effective and personalized support to their students with increased expertise and use of the current best practices. Ms. Melissa Stetkus, a Structured Learning Program teacher at Antioch Upper Grade School shared, “Since the beginning of the school year Easter Seals never fails to come up with creative solutions to support our students’ day-to-day learning. They always go above and beyond to cater to each student’s individual needs. We are very grateful for their help and support.”
The Easter Seals Chicago partnership has made a profound impact on the lives of students with special needs, improving the educational experience for our students while fostering an inclusive and supportive environment within D34.