Page Links
Graduate School

Autism Spectrum Annotation Cohort III Celebrates Their Completion!

Posted by Dara Eisenstein on August 28, 2012

ToastA toast to the Cohort III Autism Spectrum Annotation Graduates

On July 26, 2012, the Autism Spectrum Annotation Cohort III celebrated their completion with the Advisory Board, instructors and faculty leaders from Bank Street College and family members. Cohort members presented a practicum area of particular interest to them.

Nancy Çharlene Prisah

Nancy discussed a compelling aspect of the STOPPS workshop.

Charlene reflected on how she will use what she learned and her experience in both the leadership grant program and the autism spectrum grant. Priscah’s family shows their support and pride in her upon completion.

The Autism Spectrum Annotation, funded by an Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) Federal grant awarded to Bank Street College, is designed to increase understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), promote optimal conditions for learning, and advocate for students in the school setting.

flyerIn order to be eligible for consideration into the program, cohort members must already possess a master’s degree in Special Education and hold a highly qualified status granted by the New York State Department of Education. Applicants are also required to complete a Bank Street College application with essays and interview with an annotation instructor or an advisory board member.

The annotation is a sequence of six courses, three expert workshops, invited expert lectures, a transition seminar, and a month long practicum. Each cohort initiates their program in July (Summer II session), with a very intense course regarding the range of autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. The candidates are exposed to a full range of evidence-based programs and view students engaged in the programs at their home sites. This course is followed by an assistive and instructional technology course that is held off campus and taught by two training leaders from the technology resource center at United Cerebral Palsy of New York City. During the spring semester, students enroll in two other courses: Comparative Migration Experiences and Cultural Perspectives of Immigrant Groups and Advocacy & Collaboration in School & Community. The five-day transition seminar helps plan for expanded opportunities for post school experiences.

LemonadeA Cohort III member designed a sequence of steps to enable a Rebecca School student to independently make lemonade.

The culmination of the 13-month annotation is a field-based practicum in July of the following year. The candidates’ own professional experiences and the work from the courses are applied in specially selected settings. One experience consists of work for eight days during which each candidate prepares an educational strategy for one student within a class at the Rebecca School, a therapeutic day school. This is supported by concurrent coursework in planning and managing learning environments for ASD students.


Debriefing led by the Principal of P721R and the Parent Coordinator

Cohort III students visited four District 75 schools recommended by the Superintendent as best practice sites for two days at each site. Candidates are introduced to examples of evidence-based programs, data collection techniques, and discussions regarding the impact of the programs on the development of skills within the student body. Each day provided time for debriefing and further exploration of what was seen. This is supported by concurrent coursework in assessment and curriculum planning.

A wealth of documents was shared at the STOPPS workshop.

Cohort III was very fortunate to have a two-day workshop from the D75 STOPPS Program regarding RTI and the impact a system-wide program could have on increasing effective methodology of both staff and students in handling difficult behaviors. Techniques that are supported by data to change the strategies of students in handling difficult issues and also in changing the methods staff use to work with challenging behavior were presented.

The whole cohort also visited the Recreational-Social-Vocational Program (RSVP) at P226M. The program was developed to provide six weeks of intensive social skills training and community-based practice across recreational and vocational settings for high school-aged students on the autism spectrum.


There was an opportunity to work on challenging behaviors from the schools of cohort candidates.

The RSVP program enhances the social and transition related skills for students who are planning their graduation from public school. The program, led by Teri Bush, a teacher who has been with the program since its inception was initially designed by experts in the social skill field, the principal of P226M, and staff members. Cohort III candidates discussed how to handle expectations and relationships that they now have. They were also able to talk directly with the P226M students about their experiences in the RSVP program.


For more information about The Autism Spectrum Annotation, please contact Marcia Singer.

tagged: autism, autism spectrum