STARS Program

School, Therapy & Autism Rehabilitation Services (STARS)

The AK Child & Family STARS Program is an alternative day school and behavioral health program for children in grades 1st through 5th with an autism diagnosis with behaviors that impair their ability to thrive in a public classroom setting. The STARS program is housed on the Jesse Lee Campus, 4600 Abbott Road. STARS will accept referrals from anyone in the community, but will seek guardian consent to the referral.  Acceptance to the program occurs after an AK Child & Family eligibility assessment is completed and approved, and placement is a collaborative decision between the guardian and AK Child & Family. Initial and ongoing collaboration will occur with the Anchorage School District (ASD). To determine eligibility and appropriateness for the program, the screening and intake process will include a review of school records (to include current IEP, IEP eligibility report, Functional Behavior Assessment or behavior plan, clinical records and psychological testing, if available/applicable), interviews and observations. AK Child & Family will validate that insurance will cover services and an agency representative will communicate the financial responsibilities to the guardian. 

To be considered for eligibility for the program, the student must meet criteria for an autism diagnosis, Severe Emotional Disturbance (a functional impairment in two or more life domains), and have behaviors affecting their education as determined by an AK Child & Family assessment.  They also need to have been assessed by AK Child & Family to have the ability to respond to the interventions used by the trained professionals in the therapeutic setting, thus maintaining safety for the individual and his/her peers. If accepted, the placement agreement is given to the guardian to review and sign, which communicates consent and commitment to the program services as well as financial responsibility.

The STARS program will be geared to assist children (1st through 5th grade) in the classroom setting, to facilitate the coordination of active treatment in conjunction with classroom behavior and learning, and to help with the development of home and community pro-social skills. Each child will have a comprehensive educational and treatment plan that will be established by the guardian, the educational (ASD) and treatment (AK Child & Family) teams. The educational and treatment plan will be geared toward the emotional and behavioral needs of the student and family, both at home and in the classroom while school is in session and during school breaks. This educational and treatment plan will have two goals in mind: (1) to help the child return to a public educational setting, and (2) to develop social, emotional, behavioral and educational skills allowing the child to achieve his or her maximum capacity throughout life.  

Partnered in funding with the Alaska Mental Health Trust