Q. How is the assessment tied to the Functional Academics curriculum?
A. Each section that is assessed is linked to at least one, often a few, subject areas in the curriculum that are designed to address the deficits identified by the assessment. Each section of the assessment and curriculum includes a flow chart that directs you to the appropriate skill in the sequence to teach. For instance, if your student can count by 1s to 10 in the assessment, the flow chart directs you to teach Money Management B, which is teaching the student to use money with the next dollar (up) strategy. In addition, the flow chart refers you to the Community Based Training (CBT) programs that apply the skills in the community. In this example, if a student has the skill to count by ones and you are teaching him the next dollar strategy in the classroom, you will also have programs to teach that skill in the grocery stores and restaurants.
Q. Can I use the Styer-Fitzgerald curriculum to write my IEP goals?
A. The Student Assessment allows you to determine each student's Present Levels of Performance (PLOPS), in other words, where the student is in a particular skill area. The present levels of performance guide, found in each student's assessment booklet, indicates what level the student is at currently. Then each skill area of the assessment and curriculum provides a flow chart that tells you what skills to teach, in other words, what the student's IEP goals will be.
Q. I work in a resource classroom. Does a teacher have to use the entire curriculum, or can I just use pieces of it to teach some of the skill areas in the curriculum?
A. Sections of the Styer-Fitzgerald Program are being used with students that do not belong in a self-contained special education program but struggle in certain resource/high incidence classes. Because of the Program design, it's easy to find a section that is more appropriate for these students in a particular area and simple to implement because of the easy to follow, fully explanatory lesson plans. In any classroom, the beauty of using the Styer-Fitzgerald Functional Academics curriculum is that you can use the entire curriculum for one student and just a few sections for another student. The actual skills that you teach a student will be driven by his or her annual IEP goals or other goals you have for the student. What you teach each student in the sequence of a particular skill area will depend on the assessment results. The flow chart in each section will help you determine where to start in the skill sequence.
Q. How is this curriculum different from other special education material I've looked at?
A. We can't answer for all the programs you've looked at, but from our search for curriculum over the years and feedback we've received from administers and teachers using or observing the Styer-Fitzgerald Program, it is more comprehensive (covers 11 key functional academic areas in multi-lesson depth) in its approach to real-world skills. In contrast to many other programs, the Styer-Fitzgerald Program clearly emphasizes functional academics. The Program also has a uniquely effective way of linking assessment and movement through the curriculum for steady student progress. Plus, it supports continuity between special education programs in a district because it can be used across grade levels. Based on longitudinal records on our students over many years and on feedback from parents and others, the result of work with the Styer-Fitzgerald Program is that people with disabilities develop the skills they need to be successful at tasks they work on at their optimum level, they learn to be as independent as possible, and they become more confident in life.
Q. How does the Styer-Fitzgerald Program align to state standards?
A. Quite well, actually! We have provided examples of how the Styer-Fitzgerald Program satisfactorily aligns to state standards in Texas, Florida, and to the Common Core. We hope that these examples give you ideas for how our Program can align with your own state's standards.