August 18, 2008

Spectrum Center Schools Earn Highest Rating From Accrediting Organization

SAN PABLO, Calif., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Spectrum Center Schools today announced it earned the highest rating given by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accrediting organization in recognition of Spectrum's quality programs and commitment to continual improvement.

Spectrum operates state-certified schools and several integrated collaborative classrooms on public school campuses that provide special education services to more than 60 school districts in Northern California. Spectrum serves students ages three to 22 with emotional disturbance or a wide array of disabilities, including autism, traumatic brain injury, hearing impairment and blindness with the goal of facilitating students' transition back to their referring school districts or into adult life after high school.

Spectrum is a division of Educational Services of America (ESA), the nation's leading provider of special and alternative education. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits public and private schools in California and other regions. WASC accreditation is not required of Spectrum, but Spectrum sought it voluntarily.

   Spectrum was evaluated based on rigorous research-based standards for:    -- Organization, including vision and purpose based on student needs,      governance, leadership and staff; and resources;    -- Standards-based student learning regarding curriculum, instruction,      assessment and accountability; and    -- Support for student personal and academic growth.    

Spectrum earned the highest rating, "exemplary," in all categories for its pre-kindergarten through grade 12 programs, meaning that Spectrum Center Schools exceed the standards established by WASC.

"The Western Association of Schools and Colleges is dedicated to helping schools meaningfully create the highest quality learning experience they can envision for all students," Gail Debiec, ESA senior vice president of operations for the West region, said. "Accreditation by WASC certifies that Spectrum is a trustworthy institution of learning and, at the same time, challenges us to continually assess and improve our programs for the benefit of our students, our school district partners and our community."

Spectrum is also accredited by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), an international alliance of premier accrediting organizations, in addition to WASC.

About Spectrum Center Schools

Spectrum Center Schools work cooperatively with local school districts to develop a customized curriculum for each student based on the student's Individual Education Program (IEP), abilities, interests and goals. Spectrum Center schools and programs meet state education standards and are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is a discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. Spectrum's ABA curriculum includes specific strategies for preventing behaviors of concern, teaching alternative appropriate behavior, teaching self-control strategies, improving student learning skills and responding to behaviors of concern in a safe and respectful manner.

Spectrum serves students with emotional disturbance or developmental disabilities who benefit from a consistent and structured program, with an emphasis on a successful transition to a less restrictive environment. All Spectrum Center students receive individualized instruction in academic, social and behavioral skills, including independent living and vocational skills.

Spectrum also serves students with autism, who receive a continuum of specialized education services in dedicated classrooms. Applied Behavior Analysis is the foundation of Spectrum's approach to teaching children with autism in an environment that is predictable, consistent, structured and positive. Spectrum's curriculum for students with autism is highly structured, involves repeated presentation of instruction and focuses on communication, behavior, social and academic skills.

Spectrum Center Schools

CONTACT: Jan Morrison of Lovell Communications, +1-615-297-7766,[email protected], for Spectrum Center Schools