Autism Services

Educational Philosophy

Arlington Public Schools (APS) develops programming to serve students with autism based on strategies, interventions, and methodologies that have been shown by scientific research to be effective for students with autism spectrum disorders. The National Professional Development Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the University of North Carolina reviews ongoing academic research to publish a list of currently recommended evidence-based practices for teaching students with autism. That list is available at Evidence-Based Practices .

Programming for Students With Autism

APS provides specialized instruction along the full continuum of services, giving support to students in the least restrictive environment, as determined by the IEP committee. Those settings include:

Pre-K

    • Community-Based PreK with Special Education Resource Instruction
    • Cross-categorical special education PreK classrooms
    • Pre-K Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism (Mini-MIPA)
      The Mini-MIPA Program is designed to meet the needs of certain students with autism. The goal of the program is to improve communication, on-task behavior, independent life skills, and the ability to relate to others. The program uses a variety of strategies within a highly structured setting to prepare students to transition to less restrictive settings. The MIPA program aligns content area curricular instruction based on or adapted from the Standards of Learning and/or Aligned Standards of Learning (SOLs or ASOLs) with evidence-based practices shown to be effective with students with autism. The planned staffing ratio of a MIPA classroom is one teacher and two assistants for six students.
      Students who require countywide programs such as MIPA will attend the school closest to their neighborhood school. In the case that the nearest MIPA location is at capacity, the next closest location will be considered.
      Mini-MIPA Locations: Arlington Traditional | Barrett | Hoffman Boston | Long Branch | Reed

Elementary

    • Services and classrooms at neighborhood home schools with a range of inclusion and resource-level supports and opportunities
    • Cross-categorical self-contained classrooms at various grade levels with integration opportunities
    • Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism (MIPA)
      The MIPA Program is designed to meet the needs of certain students with autism. The goal of the program is to improve communication, on-task behavior, independent life skills, and the ability to relate to others. The program uses a variety of strategies within a highly structured setting to prepare students to transition to less restrictive settings. The MIPA program aligns content area curricular instruction based on or adapted from the Standards of Learning (SOLs or ASOLs) with evidence-based practices shown to be effective with students with autism. The planned staffing ratio of a MIPA classroom is one teacher and two assistants for six students.Students who require countywide programs such as MIPA will attend the school closest to their neighborhood school. In the case that the nearest MIPA location is at capacity, the next closest location will be considered.
      Elementary Locations: Barrett (2)Drew |  Hoffman-Boston | Jamestown (2) |  Long Branch | McKinley | Taylor (2)
    • Functional Life Skills (FLS) Program
      Locations:  Ashlawn | Barrett | Discovery

Secondary

    • Services and classrooms at neighborhood home schools with a range of inclusion and resource-level supports and opportunities
    • Secondary Program for Students with High Functioning Autism
      This program is designed to provide specially designed instruction to middle and high school students who have a special education eligibility classification of autism and require a program that has a focus on the development of social skills and organizational skills, in order to access general education classes.  Students will participate in general education classes per services on the students’ IEPs.  Students will receive support with a goal of fostering independence.
      Locations: H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program | Jefferson Middle School | Washington-Lee High School (2) | Yorktown High School
    • Cross-categorical self-contained classrooms at various grade levels with inclusion opportunities
    • Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism (MIPA)
      The Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism is designed to meet the needs of certain students with autism. The goal of the program is to improve communication, on-task behavior, independent life skills, and the ability to relate to others. The program uses a variety of strategies within a highly structured setting to prepare students to transition to less restrictive settings. The MIPA program aligns content area curricular instruction based on or adapted from the Standards of Learning (SOLs or ASOLs) with evidence-based practices shown to be effective with students with autism. The planned staffing ratio of a MIPA classroom is one teacher and two assistants for six students.Students who require countywide programs such as MIPA will attend the school closest to their neighborhood school. In the case that the nearest MIPA location is at capacity, the next closest location will be considered.
      Locations (Grades 6-8):  Kenmore (2) | Stratford
      Locations (Grades 9-12): Wakefield (2) | Stratford
    • Functional Life Skills (FLS) program
    • Stratford Program

APS Autism Specialists

Laura Depatch
703.228.2134
laura.depatch@apsva.us

     Deborah Hammer
     703-228-2133
deborah.hammer@apsva.us

APS Autism/Low Incidence Disability Specialist

Ryann Galganowicz
703.228.2589
ryann.galganowicz@apsva.us

Nadia Jamai
703.228.6151
nadia.jamai@apsva.us

Assignments SY 2017-2018 Click here

Staff Resources

  •  Heather Rothenbuescher, Supervisor, Special Education
    703-228-6050
  • Sara Shaw Child Find
    703-228-270
  • Kathleen Donovan, Parent Resource Center
    703-228-2135
  • Keieownna Hightower, Behavior Specialist
    703-228-2586
  • Dr. Patricia Jones, Coordinator, Special Education
    703-228-8630
  • Parent Infant Education Program – PIE
    703-228-1630
  • Parent Resource Center
    703-228-7239
  • Catherine Thompson, Coordinator, Speech and Language Therapy
    703-228-6045
  • Jennifer DeCamp, Transition Coordinator: Wakefield High School
    703.228.6728
  • Karen Sherman, Transition Coordinator: Yorktown High School
    703-228-2545
  • Dr. Thomas Sweet, Transition Coordinator: Washington-Lee High School
    703-228-6265