Statewide Program Striving to Create Inclusive Environments for Every Student Continues to Grow

Published On: September 25th, 2023|Categories: News|
Statewide Program Striving to Create Inclusive Environments for Every Student Continues to Grow

Moving All to Success & Health (MASH) Enters Third Year with an Expanded Team of Specialists

While schools faced closures and transitioned to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for alternative programming and support for school teams working with students who need intensive behavior support became glaringly evident. Moving All to Success and Health (MASH), a program created in partnership by Educational Service Districts across the state, emerged as a solution to these pressing issues and unprecedented challenges in the public education landscape.

The program started in 2020 with one team of three part-time staff members. Due to the program’s profound impact on students and community, the demand only increased for its services and commitment to ethical, inclusive, and effective support. Going into the 2023-2024 school year, 60 students state-wide are being served by the program’s three-full time teams of multiple behavior specialists. 

MASH is a collaborative initiative based in Washington, led by North Central ESD, Olympic ESD, and Puget Sound ESD with funding from OSPI. The program strives for hope and progress for students, school teams, and families in need of intensive behavior support. MASH operates on a fundamental principle of ethical service, striving to create an inclusive environment where every student can thrive within their natural environment- whether it be at home, school, or within the community.

Historically, students who struggle to fit “in the box” of traditional school settings find themselves sent to Non-Public Agencies (NPAs). An NPA is an entity authorized to contract with districts to provide programming for students whose special education needs cannot be met in their school district. These can be day-schools where students are bussed to and from each day, sometimes several hours each way. An NPA can also be a residential facility where the students live 24/7. This practice, while well-intentioned, has its shortcomings. It separates students from their families, support networks, and familiar environments, making it harder for them to transition back into their schools and communities successfully.

In 2022, 574 Washington State students were participating in NPAs, 60 of which were sent out of state.

MASH recognizes the need for a different approach, one rooted in inclusivity, empathy, and collaboration. The program offers a comprehensive support system that revolves around the unique needs of each student. This is done by bringing together teams of dedicated professionals comprising of Special Education Specialists, Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT), and Social Workers.

MASH’s mission is to “empower change through collaborative student-centered plans, enhancing quality of life. This mission embodies the program’s unwavering commitment to facilitating positive transformations in the lives of students by prioritizing collaboration and putting their individual needs at the forefront. At the heart of this is the belief that every student deserves a chance to succeed, irrespective of their challenges.

Roles of the MASH team

The Special Education Specialist is an invaluable resource for school staff. By coaching school staff members, our Specialist ensures that they have the knowledge and tools necessary to meet students’ needs effectively while maintaining legal compliance. 

The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) work hand-in-hand to develop behavior intervention plans that are evidence-based and sensitive to each student’s strengths and challenges. This collaborative effort ensures that students receive the specialized guidance they need to thrive in their natural environments. Beyond the classroom, MASH recognizes the importance of addressing the holistic needs of students and their families. 

Our Social Workers provide wrap-around support, working closely with families to navigate challenges, access community resources, and develop strategies for fostering a supportive home environment. This approach not only benefits the students but also strengthens the bonds within families and communities.

To cater to the diverse requirements of students and families, MASH offers four distinct package options for school districts, each designed to provide varying levels of support to ensure their success.

Above: Graph showing data from the MASH program highlighting the change in enrolled students access to general education.

Access to General Education

The “Change in Least Restrict Environment (LRE)” graph shows us that students access to General Education increases after being enrolled in the MASH program. On average across all package types, students’ access to General Education increases by 19% from the first day in the program to the last day in the program.

The results of MASH are nothing short of remarkable. Students who once faced exclusion and uncertainty now find themselves at the center of a supportive network that champions their growth and development. By staying close to home and within their communities, they have the opportunity to build lasting connections, both socially and academically. MASH serves as a shining example of what is possible when collaboration, empathy, and dedication come together to transform lives and educational opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about MASH and/or refer a student, please contact us at or visit our website.

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