Embracing Innovation and New Insights on Staff Development Day
With students off for the day, hundreds of teachers, teacher assistants, and therapists from across BCCS headed to Brookville for a full day of training on November 7. This training was one of the first to bring together nearly 300 staff for training and deepen connections with colleagues across campuses.
Brookville morphed into a hub for staff workshops with topics ranging from ” —addressing how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impacts a student’s experience at home, school, and — to insights and easy-to-implement
During a “What if I had Autism?” segment led by Senior Clinical Coordinator Kristine Loccisano, teachers received little information to prepare for the session. When they arrived on location, they were given assigned seats and asked to write with their non-dominant hand. Other tasks followed, meant to put attendees a little outside of their comfort zone. After the exercise was a presentation on sensory processing disorders and the different reactions a person can have to stimuli.
According to Kristine, her goal is for Brookville Center educators to deepen their understanding of sensory disorders, better relate to their students, and foster more successful classroom interactions.
“We constantly have to re-evaluate our expectations of a student and recognize that the student may not be able to do something and may need support to do it,” shared Kristine. “Kids with autism don’t necessarily pick up from their environment. With this exercise, our teachers not only get a presentation but also experience what their students might be facing when they first come to class.”
Teachers and therapists also attended training to receive and maintain professional certifications. Thirty-seven Ed Center staff received a Links training certificate for their participation in a Links Curriculum Workshop taught by Links Lead Training Specialist Tricia Severs.
Links is a product of STAR Autism Support and is backed by an award-winning, evidence-based curriculum for school-age students.
Curriculum Coordinator Edward Hackimer shared, “Currently, we have nine Ed Center classes using the Links curriculum. We do not use it in every classroom yet but are hoping to add more in the future.”
At the same time off site, there were also on-site training courses for select Barbara C. Wilson Preschool staff in Westbury as well as 20 preschool teachers who attended the Expanding Opportunities For Early Learners in Pre-K and K Conference at the Crest Hollow Country Club.