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Special Education Department develops HART and HaBIT to better support students with special needs

The Special Education Department staff members who support our schools have developed two programs to better serve students with autism and students with emotional disabilities. The Hampton Autism Support Team, or HART, was developed prior to the 2015-16 school year. The Hampton Behavior Intervention Team, or HaBIT, was developed at the beginning of this school year. April Fry, special education coordinator, and Kaylan Long, behavior specialist, help coordinate the HART program. Catherine Edler, special education coordinator, and Dever King, behavior specialist, coordinate the HaBIT program.

“HART works with students with behaviors related to autism,” Fry said. “HART is called in to help a school after evidence-based strategies are used to keep students in the least restrictive environment. If those evidence-based strategies are not successful, HART steps in to help. The goal is to strengthen classroom practices using structures already in place.”

She said that HART looks at all possible functions of behavior. She added that in one situation HART helped a student who frequently left the classroom.

“HART determined the function of the behavior was a sensory issue, so they put in place the necessary supports for the student,” she said.

Since the HART program began, 91 percent of the students served have stayed in their current placement. This statistic has attracted the attention of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Autism Center for Excellence (ACE), who has selected HART as one of Virginia’s five exceptional autism programs featured in a VCU-ACE webcast.

In addition to a special education coordinator and behavior specialist, HART includes special education instructional coaches, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and an assistive technology specialist.

“We want to help students access the curriculum and their educational programs while keeping them in the least restrictive environment,” Fry said.

Edler said that HaBIT works similar to HART and helps students with emotional disabilities and with behaviors not specially related to autism.

“We work with the staff and look at what the child is communicating to us with that behavior,” she said. “We do a lot of observations. It may take someone else’s eyes to see what might be causing the student’s behaviors.”

She added that in addition to observations, HaBIT and HART provide coaching in a classroom setting.

“We want to empower the teachers,” she said.

In addition to a special education coordinator and behavior specialist, HaBIT includes special education coaches and an occupational therapist.

Edler added that the teams for HART and HaBIT meet monthly to look at concerns and brainstorm solutions.


©2017 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000

HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000. 

1.     PURPOSE

Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, vcarper@hampton.k12.va.us

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HCS’s computer systems and networks include all of the computer hardware, operating system software, application software, stored text, data files, electronic mail (email), local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, and new available technologies. 

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The HCS website is designed and monitored by HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, who serves as the gatekeeper for website content and accessibility.   The Webmaster is under the direction of the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, supervised by the Director of Graphics.

Web visitors using assistive technology who may have trouble accessing information on the website may contact the HCS Webmaster, vcarper@hampton.k12.va.us., the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, dgulotta@hampton.k12.va.us, and/or the Director of Graphics, mhouser@hampton.k12.va.us.

When submitting a question or concern via email, “accessibility” should be included in the subject line.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to address the user’s concern within twenty-four hours.  To assist HCS in responding appropriately, all inquiries should include the following information:

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·      The webpage address of the requested material;

·      The format in which the user prefers to receive the material;

·      The user’s contact information, including preferred method of contact.

Some documents on the website are in a portable document format (PDF).  The Adobe website provides a free service to convert Acrobat PDF files to other formats, including text and HTML.  Adobe’s web-based tool will quickly change an Acrobat file into an HTML file or textile.  The online PDF conversion form is available on the online conversion tool for using Adobe Acrobat.  With this tool, users can read PDF files with a screen reader.  Adobe and the Trace Research Center also offer a free Acrobat conversion service that converts PDF files to text or HTML format by sending a user’s request via email.  All individuals with internet service can access the online conversion tool for using Adobe Acrobat PDF website.

4.      SELF-MONITORING

HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Prior to posting new website content, the HCS Webmaster determines if the proposed content meets the criteria of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  Periodically the HCS Webmaster checks the website with a recognized website checker such as 508 Checker and WAVE.  If the audit identifies issues of concern or content errors that impede accessibility to any user, the concerns/errors are evaluated and remedied within a six-week period.

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