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Institute for the Redesign of Learning/Almansor Center Announces Plan to Open New School to Expand Autism Program

PASADENA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/20/12 -- Today, The Institute for the Redesign of Learning/Almansor Center announced plans to expand its Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) program by opening a new site for its Non-Public School (NPS), the Westmoreland Academy.

As a leader in special education in Southern California since 1974, expansion to this new location will further the organization's mission of using evidence-based models coupled with innovative approaches to empower students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to "take charge" of their learning, build on their strengths, and reach their full potential. IRL/Almansor's Taking Charge™ method is an individually tailored, competency-based system that supports day-to-day success while facilitating collaboration between professional staff, students, and their families.

"With the growing demand for individualized education that meets the unique needs of children and youth with an autism diagnosis, we are pleased to announce the establishment of the Westmoreland Academy," said Founder and President, Dr. Nancy J. Lavelle. "Every child has a gift, and the unique talents of children with autism need to be nurtured and celebrated. Working together with parents and professional staff, our new campus will create an optimum setting that allows every student to thrive."

Located at 5 and 6 Westmoreland Place, the new Westmoreland Academy is situated adjacent to a Pasadena landmark, the Gamble House, and possesses significant historical provenance itself. While extensive interior renovations will be completed to update the buildings' infrastructure and maximize its appropriateness for the students to be served, the exterior will remain essentially unchanged preserving its' historic character. The serenity of the campus is tangible and will provide an important foundation for children who are typically hypersensitive to external stimuli. Offering nearly 20,000 square feet of classroom and therapy space, the campus will be home to a state-of-the-art motor, movement, and occupational therapy labs; an assistive technologies and multi-media lab; on-site CASHA award-winning Speech and Language Therapy programs; on-campus adapted physical education classes; student and parent resource libraries; counseling, behavioral support, and educationally related mental health services; small class sizes with a rich student to instructor ratio; and parent support and education programs. To further meet the unique needs of these students, the facilities will be modified with specialized lighting, projected displays incorporating interactive video curricula, iPad educational applications, and other technologies designed to support students in becoming contributing members to the communities in which they live.

"As a parent of a child with autism, I am thrilled that Westmoreland Academy will lead the way in providing the support and nurturing atmosphere needed to ensure that my child, and countless others, will have all the tools and opportunities to reach their full potential," said Marc Share. "The unwavering support, caring, and dedication of Almansor's professional staff to valuing the diversity and uniqueness of, and ensuring the success of, each student is a beacon of light for the hope and potential of our children."

IRL/Almansor Academy's curriculum is in full compliance with California Department of Education guidelines and applicable State Standards and is both highly structured to provide a controlled and comforting routine, as well as exceedingly flexible, to enable students with exceptional abilities to succeed. The curriculum, coupled with assistive technologies and a well-trained staff, will offer a full continuum of academic programming to students ages 5-22 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

To learn more please visit www.redesignlearning.org or call Westmoreland Academy's Education Director, Dr. Melinda Docter at 323-344-5540.

About The Institute for the Redesign of Learning/Almansor Center:
IRL/Almansor's mission is to empower individuals with special needs to take charge of their own learning and become competent, caring, and contributing members of society. We are a visionary and dynamic team of professionals dedicated to empowering and inspiring students. We hold ourselves to high standards of integrity, compassion, and respect; and are accountable to students, families, and the community.

Rachel Southard
Cell: 623-810-9014
Email Contact

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