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STAR Autism Academy provides a highly structured language and academic based curriculum. STAR Autism Academy utilizes Direct Instruction, DISTAR and HighScope teaching techniques and curriculum.


Direct Instruction is an instructional method that is focused on systematic curriculum design and skillful implementation of a prescribed behavioral script. On the premise that all students can learn and all teachers successfully teach if given effective training in specific techniques, teachers may be evaluated based on measurable student learning

DISTAR is an acronym for Direct Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading, a trademarked program of SRA/McGraw-Hill, a commercial publishing company. DISTAR Reading Mastery, DISTAR Arithmetic and DISTAR Language for Learning and Language for Thinking are all part of the curriculum.

Download the 2022/2023 School Calendar & Curriculum Calendar

Direct Instruction is one of several highly structured methodologies for teaching elementary, middle and high school students.

In the past decade Direct Instruction curricula, especially Language for Learning, have become popular tools for teaching language arts skills to children with developmental disabilities such as autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Knowledge of Direct Instruction methods is mandatory for any applicant aspiring to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

HighScope is based on child development theory and research, originally drawing on the work of Jean Piaget and John Dewey. Since then, the HighScope curriculum has evolved to include the findings of ongoing cognitive-developmental and brain research. The HighScope curriculum draws upon the strategy of adult scaffolding - supporting children at their current developmental level and helping them build upon it. The HighScope curriculum emphasizes active participatory learning, classrooms follow a predictable sequence of events called the daily routine (or schedule), uses a plan-do-review sequence approach and focuses on children's strengths, offers them support, and encourages children to problem solve.

For more information regarding these techniques and curriculum please see: Direct Instruction, SRA/McGraw-Hill DISTAR, HighScope.

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