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School Name – Autism Academy for Education and Development
School Address – Tempe, Chandler, Phx, Tucson
Phone Number – 480-240-9255
Email – [email protected]
How long has your school been open? – 7 years!
About how many children are served? – 475+ students
What grades does your school currently offer? K – 12th grade
How did your school begin, and what are some of the reasons it was started?
Our owner, Laura Newcomb, was supporting special education services at charter schools. She had to private place a student because the charter did not have the needed programming. She looked for options, and placed the student. Laura visited the student often and one day found the student in the cafeteria being ignored on the floor. She decided that was not good enough and wanted to offer all kids with autism the best. This is how the Autism Academy was created!
What types of students or communities does your school serve?
Student with varying levels of Autism
Why do you personally feel your school is a great option for Arizona families?
In Arizona, school choice is amazing for families. At the Autism Academy, we service the whole child – working towards student’s personal best academically, socially and behaviorally. We strive for every student to achieve their personal best each day. Our program is designed to look at each student and help them grow!
What makes your school unique, and how do you meet the unique needs of your students?
We have so many supports for families, students and teachers. We create a true team atmosphere. We have opportunities for students to feel included, create friendships and move forward academically. Autism Academy is an accredited school so students of all abilities can benefit. Autism Academy helps student reach high academics, work on social/job skills to become independent, and understand social norms navigating the world outside of school. From K-12th grade students work on these skill areas with family input and support the whole journey. At Autism Academy we also offer families opportunities to support the school, social family events and fun weekend activities. AAED is true a community of families and educators working as one.
What makes your school a place that teachers want to be at?
Support! Our teachers have ongoing trainings, mentorship programs, behavior specialists and team support. You are not an island at AAED. You always have someone to go to for ideas and have opportunities to share your area of expertise, too. Teachers who wish to grow and help lead are able to excel at Autism Academy!
What does a day in the life of a typical student at your school look like?
It really looks like any other school – just with more support and special accommodations. Students learn all academics and have daily social skills lessons. Students have special classes not limited to art, music, PE, technology. We want to give every student the opportunity to work on interest areas. We hold field trips, community outings and family fun days. Many students need more breaks, visuals, written schedules and academic support but they are done naturally in the classroom. In addition staffing is a 4 to1 ratio or less so you will see more adults guiding students to learn.
If your school is private, what types of scholarships or financial assistance do you have for families?
We accept the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship (ESA) and we also accept Arizona state tax credits through an STO.
What are some of the characteristics you would say describe the students / environment at your school?
Kids First! Fun, friendly, quiet, and lots of hands on learning!!!
What is something you’d like to make sure we know about your school, or something that you would like prospective families to know?
We would love to invite you to come take a tour, and see what we offer. We believe that we can help a variety of students on the Autism Spectrum, and would love to share more with you in person.
Why do you feel that school choice / educational freedom is important for Arizona families?
Kids in general do not all look the same in their talents and abilities. All kids do not learn the same and with the same method. Arizona is amazing and gives parents the choice to find a school that fits the needs and learning style of the student. School choice offers parents the ability to find the right fit for their child so they can grow and love learning!
What’s the best way for families to talk to someone if they are interested in your school? Who should they contact?
Please visit our website and fill out an application today at www.aaed.org!! You can also call for a tour of one of our 4 locations at #480-240-9255.