Pace approached and received funding from private foundations in Pittsburgh (e.g., Hillman, Benedum, Grable) to design a holistic intervention model, PLAID (Positive Learning and Integrated Design), which is innovative in integrating new strategies for instruction and whole-student development, especially social-emotional competencies; positive behavioral support; wellness; technology supports for applied learning skills (STEAM); parent engagement; and generalization of learning. PLAID is developed to promote teaching and learning for students with severe and challenging intellectual and social-behavioral disabilities (K through 12th grade).
Perhaps most unique, Pace developed the PLAID model with the centerpiece being the training and implementation of all staff in the Positive Growth Mindset approach of Carol Dweck. PGMS focuses on engaging the teachers in changing beliefs and acquiring new skills in promoting academic and behavioral changes and progress for all students irrespective of severity of disability.
Pace has engaged the SPECS Research Team from the University of Pittsburgh to design and conduct the program evaluation to provide ongoing feedback on the implementation of PLAID for program improvement and eventually to document the outcomes of a pilot study of the potential effectiveness of the new holistic PLAID model elements for Pace.