Presentation Title

Improving academics/behavior for students with disabilities in alternative schools

Brief Biography

James Schwab, Mora Pressley, Zachary Johnson, Carrie Kane, Brandis Ansley, and Weke Andrews are all working toward their P.h.D for students with exceptionalities through the project LEADERS grant under the direction of Drs. David Houchins and Kris Varjas. Project LEADERS is housed in the Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education, and Communication Disorders at Georgia State University and stands for Leaders in Exceptionalities Alternative and Delinquency-related Environments through Research and Scholarship. The grant is funded through the Federal Department of Education, Office of Special Education under grant H325D110030. Project LEADERS research focus is for students in alternative school settings and is the merging of special education and mental health services. In collaboration with Derrick Gilchrist, director of the South Metro Georgia Network for Educational and therapeutic Support (GNETS), our goal is to improve academic and behavior services for students with disabilities in alternative school settings through rigorous research in both special education and mental health.

Highest Degree of Presenter(s)

James R. Schwab- Doctoral Student

Mora M. Pressley- Doctoral Student

Zachary G. Johnson- Doctoral Student

Carrie Kane- Doctoral Student

Brandis Ansley- Doctoral Student

Weke Andrews- Doctoral Student

Derrick Gilchrist- Ed.S

Kris Varjas- P.h.D

David E. Houchins- P. h.D

Presentation Abstract

This presentation will summarize the findings of a mixed methods needs assessment that was conducted in collaboration between Georgia State University and an Atlanta area GNETS school. GSU researchers and GNETS administration personnel will collaboratively present. Evidence-based practices will be provided for participants to address the academic and behavioral needs of students in alternative schools. Presenters will provide academic, behavior, and stress management strategies that can be used by teachers and staff. Since there is a link between academics and behavior (Templeton, Blood, & Neel, 2008), academic strategies for reading, and math will be presented for students with disabilities who are below grade level as well as behavior strategies from the literature. Each strategy will be described in detail along with handouts so that participants can immediately implement them in their classroom. Since stress is one of major issues teachers experience, stress management techniques from the literature will also be demonstrated. This presentation will provide both the research team and school‘s perspective on how to improve the academic, behavior, and mental health services for students with disabilities in alternative schools.

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Improving academics/behavior for students with disabilities in alternative schools

This presentation will summarize the findings of a mixed methods needs assessment that was conducted in collaboration between Georgia State University and an Atlanta area GNETS school. GSU researchers and GNETS administration personnel will collaboratively present. Evidence-based practices will be provided for participants to address the academic and behavioral needs of students in alternative schools. Presenters will provide academic, behavior, and stress management strategies that can be used by teachers and staff. Since there is a link between academics and behavior (Templeton, Blood, & Neel, 2008), academic strategies for reading, and math will be presented for students with disabilities who are below grade level as well as behavior strategies from the literature. Each strategy will be described in detail along with handouts so that participants can immediately implement them in their classroom. Since stress is one of major issues teachers experience, stress management techniques from the literature will also be demonstrated. This presentation will provide both the research team and school‘s perspective on how to improve the academic, behavior, and mental health services for students with disabilities in alternative schools.