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In August 2009, the Autism Program (formerly know as Eagle Academy) opened its doors and welcomed its first students on the campus of Sierra Enterprise Elementary School.  The “school within a school” program addresses the needs of students currently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
The Autism Program is considered to be a “language-immersion” program, meaning every chance to encourage vocal and non-vocal language is utilized.  Opportunities to develop appropriate social skills and independence are built into the school day.
It also uses an intensive educational setting that utilizes research-based methodologies and curriculum to address the specific needs of children with ASD.
Students learn in a small class environment, with small class sizes to enhance each student’s educational experience.  Each classroom has a credentialed teacher with Autism-specific training and experience, as well as three full-time para-educators.
In addition to classroom staff, there are speech therapists, school psychologists, an occupational therapist and an adaptive PE teacher that work within the program on a weekly basis.
The staff is supported by board certified behavior analysts and Warren at the district level.  All members of the program’s staff attend regular team meetings to address the specific needs of children and to share strategies and ideas.
By Torreyana Johnson – Special to the Citizen
Published: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 5:06 PM PST