SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 23, 2009) – Research shows that aligning assessments and instruction to standards improves learning outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities.  Therefore, it is crucial for special education teachers to teach content that is aligned to standards.  To help teachers focus on standards-based learning, PCI Education, the number one provider of resources for students with special needs, developed Academic Curriculum Framework.  The comprehensive, K-12+ program aligns academic skills for students with moderate to severe intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Created by a team of educators experienced in special education, speech pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, Academic Curriculum Framework offers a developmentally sequenced progression of skills that can be implemented district-wide, providing consistency and continuity across schools and grade levels. The authors reviewed the general education standards for all 50 states and reduced them to developmentally appropriate standards for students with disabilities.

“Research indicates that students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities typically need extended time, practice and applications in context in order to master skills,” said Jill Haney, Director of Reading and Government Relations for PCI Education.  “Academic Curriculum Framework is a developmentally appropriate, standards-based framework of skills for all core subject areas.  With Academic Curriculum Framework in place, IEP teams will find it much easier to set and monitor student goals.“

Students with intellectual disabilities often have delays or gaps in their development and acquisition of skills and concepts; therefore repetition is essential for learning. To meet the needs of these students, Academic Curriculum Framework utilizes an integrated teaching and learning cycle designed to maximize strategies found to be effective in teaching students with special needs.  The cycle incorporates three instructional phases: teach/re-teach, guided and independent practice and informal assessment.
 
Individual student progress monitoring is an integral part of the program. Progress monitoring charts align directly with the framework’s content area skills, and provide a clear, efficient means of showing where the student stands in terms of skill acquisition.  Progress Monitoring Booklets are available for each grade band, providing educators with a common resource that can be used to consistently monitor student progress from K-12+.  Each student booklet provides a place to record specific, measurable data directly related to the content area skills on the program’s curriculum charts.

Academic Curriculum Framework is presented in four binders.  Each binder contains the complete curriculum framework for one grade band: Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12+).  Content area and application skills are provided at each grade level for language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and employability skills.

Pricing for Academic Curriculum Framework starts at $149.95 per grade band, with volume discounts available.  For more information, visit www.pcieducation.com/acf.

About PCI Education
PCI Education offers more than 7,500 instructional materials for a wide range of students with special needs, including learning differences as well intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism, mental retardation and Down’s syndrome.  In addition, the company’s products are used in English language learner and adult literacy classes, and to help students performing below grade level.  Based in San Antonio, PCI Education has been helping educators lead students to success in school, at home and in the community since 1991.  For more information, visit www.pcieducation.com or phone 800-594-4263.

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For more information:
–Nicole Horne, PCI Education, 800-594-4263, ext. 126, nhorne@pcieducation.com
–Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc., 608-839-9800, emily@cblohm.com

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