FAIRFIELD – “What is behavior?” began Allison Summer, M.Ed, BCBA of The SEED Center for Social Enrichment and Educational Development. “When we understand that all behaviors are exhibited for a reason, we are able to reinforce appropriate behaviors and end negative behaviors,” she continued.

This workshop on “Reinforcement Theory” is the first of 6 planned professional development days funded by the Robert G. and Marguerite M. Derx Foundation. Topics including “Errorless Teaching Techniques”;  “Assessment Tools”; “Applied Behavior Analysis and Data Collection”; “Assistive Technology Support for Students on the Autism Spectrum”; and “How to Write Effective Behavior Plans” will provide the teaching and support staff at Saint Catherine Academy with a strong foundation for meeting the needs of the students enrolled at the Academy.

In 2012, the State Department of Education approved the Academy’s proposal to begin accepting students on the Autism Spectrum who also fit the profile of students who have been effectively served at the Academy since it opened in 1999.

“Students who are motivated to learn and benefit from small group instruction thrive at Saint Catherine Academy,” says Sr. Marilyn Muldoon, Principal. “Our program meets the needs of students who benefit from a functional academic and life skills curriculum. These students gain confidence as they develop valuable skills aimed at preparing each of them for independence.”

These professional development workshops are scheduled to be completed in the 2014-15 school year and correspond with individual teacher and staff goals as well.  At the end of the first workshop, everyone was excited to tackle the next topic!