Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


This report describes a project that resulted in the development and implementation of community life-based curriculum for students in the County of Summit Board of Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities (CSBMR/DD) school program. The Summit curriculum altered the present self contained system of classroom instruction and utilized the community settings as a means to increase the amount of student instruction time in the “real” community environment. The most recent review of the Weaver School programs, by the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities suggests that the curriculum and the districts IEP process by re-designed to promote more and direct community involvement of students. The probable cause of this situation was identified as: lack of or non-existent of increased institution time that students spent in real life community settings. Solution strategies include: 1) conducting ongoing staff development on “activity approach”: 2) developing a curriculum to improve the functional skills of MR/DD students through an “activity approach”: 3) devising a system of record keeping for students through a new IEP format: 4) devising a system for parents or friends to be implementors of instruction for their students: and 5) evaluating the results of IEP developed outcomes. Practicum outcomes were measured by review of IEP objective analysis and informal assessment. The project results included a 98% increased in the ability of parents to develop future needs assessments, an 85% increase in the amount of instructional time that students spend in normal community environments, a 71% increase in the writing of therapy objectives related to general community skills, and a 66% increase in the number of educational objectives with parents/caregivers designed as primary implementors. This proposal will serve as a guide to other educational systems wishing to design and implement a community-based curriculum.

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