Facility School Program

Description: Elevation’s facility school is an approved Colorado Department of Education facility School and a licensed Colorado Department of Human Services Day Treatment Program. Elevation serves as an out-of-district placement for students who’s moderate to severe problem behavior has negatively affected their ability to learn in a lesser restrictive environment. Elevation has several broad goals for our students:

  1. To dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of problem behavior.
  2. To develop extensive social, leisure, and academic skill repertoires necessary for transitioning back to a less restrictive environment.
  3. To provide high quality training and assistance to caregivers and school staff to set learners up for long term success.

Who: Students ages 6-16 with autism spectrum disorders and/or other related developmental disorders

When: Standard School Schedule with Extended School Year option (See current facility school calendar here). Mon/Tue/Thurs/Fri 8:30-3:30 and Wednesdays 8:30-1

Where: Elevation Ability Services-School (add Smoky Hill address)

Facility School/Day Treatment Team

Keelee Burtch, PhD BCBA

Keelee Burtch, PhD BCBA

Executive Director

Dr. Burtch has been in the field of developmental disabilities for over eighteen years, she has a Masters of Arts in Special Education, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education and Child Development, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Dr. Burtch spent the first seven years of her career in public schools as a special education teacher, autism specialist, and eventually a district special education administrator. She eventually left public education for higher education where she was an Associate Professor of Special Education.

She wrote and developed a four-course certificate program in autism intervention strategies for teachers. Dr. Burtch opened a private practice in 2008 that focused on in-home behavioral therapy for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The practice grew throughout Colorado and was acquired in 2011 by a national behavioral health organization where she remained the Regional Operations Director until 2012 when she accepted a leadership position at a local non-profit. After four years in non-profit management, her entrepreneur spirit was ready to venture into private practice again. She dreamed of providing quality behavioral services as well as education support for people with developmental disabilities.

Dr. Burtch is a member of Association of Behavioral Analysis International (ABAI), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Four Corners Association of Behavioral Analysis, and Colorado Applied Behavioral Analysis Association (COABA). Dr. Burtch is a past treasurer of the Colorado Coalition of Autism Professionals (COCAP). Her research area is in the supervision of paraprofessionals working with people with developmental disabilities, language development for children with autism, as well as organizational behavior management. Dr. Burtch has three sons. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, golfing, skiing, watching football, and working out at Orange Theory.

Jessica Low, MA BCBA

Jessica Low, MA BCBA

Executive Clinical Director

Jessica began working with children with developmental disabilities in 2001 as a paraprofessional in the public education system. While working in the public education system, she began providing in-home therapy and community based services for children with autism and other developmental disabilities through a local community center board.

Jessica completed her Bachelor’s of Arts with a Special Education Teaching Licensure in 2009 from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Jessica taught early elementary (K-3rd grade) students in a day treatment facility and also provided behavior consultation services (all grade levels) within the school district she taught. In 2011, Jessica pursued her Masters in Early Childhood Education and Development and BCBA licensure at the University of Colorado Denver. At this time, she also left teaching and began working full time providing direct in-home ABA services for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. In 2013, Jessica obtained her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and completed her BCBA course work. In 2014, Jessica completed her Board Certification and licensing process to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) as well as the requirements to be a supervisor in the field.

Jessica’s areas of expertise are in developing and implementing individualized and effective treatment plans that address socially significant behaviors, including those behaviors that present with risk of harm. Jessica has over 10 years of experience working directly with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities in a variety of settings (i.e. educational settings, home, community and clinic). Jessica has worked with children as young as one all the way up to middle age adults. Jessica is committed to improving the quality of life for the individuals she has the privilege to serve. Jessica is married to a math teacher, and has two sons who she loves spending time with.

Lara Leonard, MS, SLP

Lara Leonard, MS, SLP

Speech And Language Pathologist

Lara began working as a speech-language pathologist in 2013 after graduating from Truman State University with a Master’s in Communication Disorders. She chose to enter the field of special education because of her relationship with her younger brother Danny, who has Down syndrome. In 2013, she moved from her hometown of St. Louis to Denver, where she worked with children and their families in the home setting. Since then, Lara has worked in both public and facility schools with students ages 3-21. Lara is passionate about helping students with complex communication needs, specifically students on the autism spectrum. Her goal is to help each student she works with communicate to the best of their ability so they are able to actively engage with the world around them. Outside of work, Lara loves to ski, hike, camp, see live music and travel.

Ed Lesecki, MA, BCBA

Ed Lesecki, MA, BCBA

Behavior Analyst

Ed grew in up in Aurora, CO with his two sisters. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Millikin University in Central Illinois, his Master of Arts in International Security from the University of Denver, and his Master of Arts in Special Education (Applied Behavior Analysis) from Arizona State University. Ed has worked in special education for five years and in an Applied Behavior Analytic setting for two years. Ed looks forward to improving educational processes and improving the quality of care children in the community receive. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, listening to live music, spending time with his dog, Danny Zuko, and he is an avid reader.

Debora Davidson, PhD, OTR/L

Debora Davidson, PhD, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Debora has practiced occupational therapy since 1979, and she loves the profession now more than ever. Her clinical work has focused on children, youth, and young adults with a variety of mental health and behavioral concerns in therapeutic schools, community mental health, in-patient psychiatric hospital, residential treatment, and private practice. Her approach to providing OT emphasizes learning each client’s unique interests and preferences and incorporating these into motivating activities that will both reward and challenge them toward their goals. Debora’s holistic clinical style draws from sensory integration and developmental theory, as well as behaviorism.

Earlier in Debora’s career she served as a university professor, both full-time and adjunct. For over 20 years she taught in occupational therapy programs in Texas, Missouri, and Illinois. Her favorite courses included OT Theory, OT in Mental Health, and Advanced Clinical Reasoning. Debora has published numerous professional articles and book chapters, and she continues to present at state and national conferences on topics related to her clinical and teaching expertise.

After having moved around the country over the years, Debora is delighted to call Colorado her forever home. She lives in a 3-generation household with her husband, Ken, and their daughter and family. Their other daughter lives nearby in Littleton. Debora enjoys helping to care for her young granddaughter, gardening, biking, cooking Tex-Mex and reading fiction. She’s on the lookout for small rivers within a few hours of Denver for easy- to moderate-level kayaking… please let her know if you have any ideas!

Barb Taylor, MA

Barb Taylor, MA

Special Education Director

Barb has been working in the special education field for the past 30 years. The majority of her time has been in residential, day treatment, hospital and juvenile justice settings with a brief period of time as a special education teacher in the public school setting.

Barb has taught Sped 101 at the college level and has successfully coached teachers through understanding special education foundations and pillars in order to pass the PRAXIS test. In May 2010, a colleague and Ms. Taylor opened up their own business (PALS4Ed) to assist residential, day treatment and juvenile justice schools with their special education needs and helping to design sustainable education systems. Recently, PALS4Ed conducted a school audit for a charter school, starting with the enrollment process, RtI, 504, IEPs and the systems in use. Barb has also written a “Getting to Know You” module for students in an on-line social emotional learning curriculum.

Barb has assisted with writing successful grants for juvenile justice schools and recruiting paraprofessionals. Barb enjoys assessing new students as they come into schools, working with new educators and speaking to small groups. She is a lifelong learner and enjoys living in Colorado.