Schools participating in Project ASPIRE receive training and follow-up technical assistance to support the successful implementation of the ASPIRE process. Resources including training materials and sample lesson plans are also provided. In addition, ASPIRE staff and consultants collect fidelity of implementation and outcome data to measure the effectiveness of the process and outcomes for students, families, and teachers participating in the process. A summary of these activities is included below:
Training: Evidence-based training is a critical component of Project ASPIRE. Administrators, teachers, parents, and students participating in the project receive training on the ASPIRE process using materials developed by the Georgia Department of Education.
- District and school administrators from participating schools and districts attend a training session to receive an overview of the ASPIRE process and expectations.
- Teachers from participating schools attend a face-to-face training session where they receive information on self-determination and self-advocacy as well as strategies for teaching these critical skills to their students through the student-led IEP process.
- Parents of students participating in ASPIRE also participate in a session where the importance of self-determination, self-advocacy skills, and participation in the IEP process are discussed.
- Students receive instruction in self-determination/self-advocacy skills and how to participate in the IEP process in the context of classroom instructional activities.
Resource Sharing: Project ASPIRE has developed a resource manual for participating schools that includes information on the IEP process, research related to self-determination and self-advocacy, and strategies for teaching these skills to students. Sample lesson plans are also provided. Project staff are currently in the process of publishing several videos that provide schools/districts with alternative methods for training to build capacity.
Data Analysis and Reporting: Data are collected from parents, students, and teachers via pre-surveys and post-surveys to determine progress on ASPIRE Vital Behaviors. The vital behaviors cover the five competencies which are the focus of the curriculum (IEP Awareness, IEP Participation, IEP Content, Knowledge of Strengths and Challenges and Communication Skills).