Founded in 1993 by two lifelong educators, Carolyn Hancock and Marie Lupinski, The David Gregory School (DGS) is located in Paramus, New Jersey. They are an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) school that provides customized educational programs to children with autism, pervasive developmental disorders and developmental disabilities. Working together, they use the Verbal Behavior Curriculum (VBC) developed by Dr. Gladys Williams to help each student achieve their targeted goals.
DGS has over 40 students ages 3-21 currently enrolled. Each student has their own individual teaching assistant, and every classroom has a head teacher. They all work together to create a warm, welcoming and nurturing environment.
The David Gregory School has been a critical testing ground since 1995 for the Verbal Behavior Curriculum. They work closely with Dr. Gladys Williams, PhD, who originated the VBC, to help every student achieve their targeted goals. Dr. Williams is an internationally recognized specialist in ABA curriculum design and verbal behavior. From the VBC page:
The David Gregory School in Paramus, NJ, and CIEL, in Barcelona, Spain, provide laboratory settings in which the VBC is being continuously validated and improved.
After many years on the cutting edge of curriculum design, DGS began looking for the perfect data collection and analysis solution. Like everyone else in those days, they were collecting data with pen and paper. It was a difficult, time-consuming process that involved transcribing hand-written scores into a spreadsheet, manually creating graphs, and analyzing trends.
The first electronic data collection platform that DGS implemented fell short of their expectations. Their experience with that first system included the following issues:
- Lack of features around phase/condition change lines
- Inability to turn on/off features or choose customizations.
- Difficult navigation and user experience
- Features and functionality did not match their workflows, and required complex workarounds.
- Inability to generate timely reports
- Difficulty importing their curriculum
It was time to move on! In the spring of 2019, the David Gregory School began using Thread Learning - and it made all the difference.
How Thread Helped
Moving from web-based data collection to Thread’s mobile application had several benefits for DGS. They received improved reports for their BCBAs, who could analyze data more efficiently. Their staff was happy because Thread was much easier to use, and they spent less time tinkering with software and more time focusing on their students.
Thread also took less time to onboard than most other technology or platforms. Initial training took about an hour, compared to weeks for many platforms. All the staff learned it easily and quickly. Thread support was readily available for continued training, which included video demos when staff needed a quick refresher. They also leveraged Thread’s live chat support feature, which was useful when staff had questions about the app.
Additionally, BCBAs received better reports, which were easily exported, allowing them to make better decisions regarding care for their students. This resonated with parents, who could see current data and progress reports when meeting with educators.
Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans
The results were noticeable. Staff morale improved, as they were no longer frustrated with the tools they were using. They saved time since Thread quickly collected more accurate data, which led to better clinical care.
This freed up more time for training and continued education for the David Gregory School so they could focus more on the students, curriculum and protocols, and less on the tool. With their previous electronic system, they spent hours looking over graphs to make decisions. Now, Thread did the work for them.
Other positive results included the ability to gather data offline and an improved graphic interface. In the future, DGS plans to continue to improve and better coordinate care amongst BCBAs, teachers, aides, students and parents.
Testimonials from DGS
“Thread Learning platform is (1) Very easy to use, and (2) the graphs are excellent and extremely flexible. The school instructors where I do consulting are very happy with the switch. They went from a platform that was cumbersome and very difficult to use, to the Thread Learning platform which they describe as ‘Awesome’.”
- Gladys Williams, Ed.D ABA
“Thread is the best electronic data collection system that I have used. It is user friendly, gives many options and has the best graphs.”
-Sara P., BCBA
“I am very impressed. I have heard nothing but good things… from our teachers, staff and behaviorists. The platform is easier to use…provides better and more informative graphs, and is more effective from a managerial perspective…Thread and their staff are a pleasure to work with.
- David R., Principal