Jenny Lind Elementary School City-Wide Autism Program
The autism teachers at Jenny Lind share a commitment to high quality programming and support for your child. As part of the district-wide Institute For Learning Initiative, we regularly meet to examine and practice important intervention techniques in depth. Jenny Lind has hosted a City-Wide Autism Program for students with autism since its inception in 1995. The program provides a variety of services including speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and DAPE. The program is able to offer students a variety of environmental supports. Large motor and organizing sensory stimulation can be provided in our sensory break-out room. Students with personal care needs can develop these skills with private bathroom facilities.
The Jenny Lind autism team includes Kim Pangborn, Jodie Mettee, and Lis Moriarty, as well as 7 special education assistants, and a district autism coordinator. Services provided by social workers, occupational therapists, speech/language clinicians, and adapted physical education teachers are based on individual student need.
Minneapolis Public Schools City-Wide Autism Program
The City-Wide Autism Program is a full-day program providing programming throughout the school day in the student’s least restrictive environment with a high staff: student ratio. Special education teachers, in conjunction with Special Education Assistants, deliver interventions and ongoing assessments on objectives, remedial academic curricula, functional skill sequences or other research-supported sources. To address needs in sensory processing, social and communication skills, and conceptual difficulties, the instructional team identifies and implements adaptations and modifications to the classroom environment, specialized instructional procedures, and behavior intervention plans. In accordance with the Least Restrictive Environment mandate, instruction may occur in a variety of locations, including the general education classroom, special education classroom, or settings.
The City-Wide Autism Program exists to ensure that students with autism spectrum disorder and related needs reach their full potential.
The City-Wide Autism Program’s vision is to teach students to be successful and productive in all environments (school, community, work, and home), facilitating an independent life. The program is positive and inclusive, fostering respect for all students, families, and staff.
Service will be fully individualized and child-centered using proven best practices to facilitate growth towards identified achievement standards. Student progress will be maximized and accelerated by frequent data analysis, evaluation, and program revision by team members including families. The program will be supported through comprehensive staff development and appropriate resources to meet the needs of the students.
Characteristics of Students
This program serves Minneapolis Public Schools' students from birth to grade 12 with significant educational needs related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Individuals appropriate for this program are those who require a higher level of special education service than can be provided in the student's community or home school. Special education services are designed to support students demonstrating characteristics related to ASD which may include:
• Significant impairment in reciprocal social interaction
• Significant impairment in verbal and non-verbal communication
• Restricted repertoire of activities and interests
• Apparent sensory dysfunction as evidenced by under-responsiveness or over-responsiveness to touch, light, sound, or pain.
• Uneven acquisition of skills and difficulty integrating and generalizing acquired skills.
• Repetitive, self-stimulatory behaviors including obsessive-compulsive and ritualistic behaviors.
Special education teachers have access and are trained in a variety of research-based curricula. Curricula will be selected based on individual student need and Individual Education Plan (IEP) team discussion with consideration of curriculum being utilized in general education. Citywide ASD service staff/Special Education Department provide teachers with information and training on a variety of curricula that have been found to be appropriate for students with ASD. Ultimately, continuous progress monitoring of individual goals and objectives guide educational and curricular decisions.
Service Model Delivery
A continuum of services is offered. Such services range from a full inclusion model (for students pursuing academic goals exclusively) to a functional skills model (for students pursuing remedial academic, life skills, and community skills). Services are provided in included and separate settings, as appropriate. Individual student needs, goals and services are determined by the IEP team.