The ABA Academy, Inc.
7555 Claxstrauss Dr
Sarasota FL 34240
The ABA Academy believes that all children are entitled to an education in a setting where they can thrive emotionally, academically, and socially. In collaboration with parents and community partnerships we strive to develop the full potential of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities. Our programs have a foundation in the evidence-based practice of Applied Behavior Analysis while being tailored to the unique needs of students as individuals.
Our Beliefs:
  • All children are capable of learning.
  • Educational programs should be held accountable to produce outcomes that are socially valuable, functional, and acceptable.
  • If the child cannot learn by the way that we teach, then we must teach in a way the child can learn.
  • Learning can be fun, and not all teaching must be done at a desk.
  • Behavior is simply a means of communication and an opportunity to teach
  • We must utilize teaching procedures and strategies that have a history of research validating their effectiveness.
  • The only acceptable education is an effective education in which parents and teachers work as a team.

The ABA Academy, Inc. will admit students without regard to race, color, national and/or ethnic origin. All students shall have the same rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school will not discriminate on the basis of race in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and other administered programs.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Shelly Swift
Board Chair Shelly Swift
Board Chair Affiliation The ABA Academy, Inc.
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2013
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $250,000.00
Projected Expenses $200,000.00
IRS Letter of Determination
Impact Statement
The ABA Academy was founded in March 2013 and opened in August 2013. In 3 years since we opened the school has grown to serve 35 students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disabilities. The students have the opportunity to work with the teacher both one to one and in small groups of a maximum of four to six students. This low teacher student ratio provides the students with frequent learning opportunities throughout the school day which is imperative for students with special needs. This year we are expanding to a brand new state of the art larger facility built to suit our students needs. The new building can serve 50 students and we anticipate being at full capacity by January 2017, The clinical director is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is in the classrooms daily to provide on site guided feedback to teachers and intervene with behaviors of students that may interfere with them reaching their learning potential. 
  • Provide outstanding education for students with special needs in a small classroom environment.
  • Offer quality education to families at a reasonable cost that parents can afford
  • Train staff and offer continual professional development
  • Educate the community about Autism Spectrum Disorders by providing opportunities for community awarness
  • Provide parent trainings so that parents are empowered to work with their children at home
  • Collaborate with other organizations through transition plans and a team approach to treatment
  • Prepare students not only for academic success but independent life skills and positive behavior outcomes
Needs Statement

There is a great need for special needs schools within the state of Florida. The numbers of Autism are rising to 1:68 children identified with Autism according to estimates by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring. A new study funded by Autism Speaks estimates autism’s economic cost for 2015 at an estimated $268 billion in the United States. Families with one child with Autism spend an average of $60,000 per year for their treatments. We can relieve some of this financial burden, and more importantly improve lives of those we serve, by teaching our students employable skills and independence to reduce the future need for group home care etc. The state of Florida does not offer the same educational opportunities as some other states and parents are often left with little options in terms of selecting school placement. For those that cannot relocate, they need more options. Our goal is to provide and education that teaches not only academics, but necessary life skills that will enable our children to be adults who can contribute and participate in society. Many of our students need help with more than academics and our staff specialize in teaching these skills.

  1. Student Scholarships- Many families are burdened with costs of therapy and other essentials for their special needs child and cannot afford to send to them to a private school such as ours. $200 per month would cover the tuition costs for one child for a full school year.
     2. Continuing Education- $4,000
It is extremely important that the staff in our school are qualified not only in the field of Education but also Behavior Analysis to implement interventions that have been scientifically validated. We are now requiring our staff to obtain a credential called “RBT” Registered Staff Technician. This credential is maintained by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board and requires a 40 hour course plus passing grade in the board exam. We would like to continue to use funding to support our staff as a staff benefit with obtaining this credential as well as necessary CEU courses. Our staff salaries range from $28,0000-$36,000 and do not include healthcare so we feel it is important to offer CEU benefits to prevent turn over and maintain the level of quality staff.
3.    Behavioral Therapist- $35,000 

Our program has tripled in size this year and by far our greatest need is always additional staffing to help students with behavior concerns. This staff person would provide support to both our teachers and students which is critical for the success of our program Funding from tuition and the McKay Scholarship does not provide us with enough staffing for the level of severity of disability of our students. We also want our children to progress as quickly as possible and many of them learn best in a one to one teaching environment. It is our goal for the 2017-2018 school year to hire a full time therapist who can work with all the students as needed whether for communication, toilet training, or behavior support. This position would also create an opportunity for coverage for teachers who are out sick, which is often an issue for us as it is hard to find staff qualified to fill in. Our goal is for each elementary student ages 4-7 to receive at least one session of one to one therapy per week with the Behavior Therapist who is hired.

Background Statement
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Mental Health & Crisis Intervention
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
As CEO of The ABA Academy I am inspired to take action to better lives of students and families with special needs children. Our mission began as the organization saw a need for students to have a small loving atmosphere with staff who were qualified and provided with continuing education and training. Our goal is simple- improve the lives of those affected by Autsim Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays. With the incidence of Autism rising we saw a need to use our expertize to help the families of our community by providing an education for students where they can thrive academically, socially,  and emotionally.
Shelly Swift MS/BCBA
The ABA Academy is a day school program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disabilities ages 3-22. Curriculum is based on the scientific approach of applied behavior analysis and focuses on not only academics but other areas that our students struggle with such as communication, self-care, and social skills. The school has a 4:1 student teacher ratio and is overseen by two Board Certified Behavior Analysts who specialize in Autism.
Budget $400,000
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success
Students attend our program for 6 hours per day to develop communication, social, academic skills, and an overall improved quality of life. Data is collected per student on a daily basis and average gains per student are at 3 new skills per week.
Long Term Success
The ultimate success for each student will be measured by their ability to transition to a less restrictive program upon graduating from our school. Some of our students may be mainstreamed in general education, some will return to the public school system, and others may enter a program that focuses on job skills.
Program Success Monitoring
The success of the program is monitored by an Assessment of Basic Language and Learning (ABLLS) for each student that are completed every 6 months. This assessment measures areas of communication, receptive and expressive language, imitation skills, self care skills, and others. Data is collected on a daily basis for each student and this data is complied, analyzed and reviewed with parents monthly.
Program Success Examples
The ABA Academy opened in August 2013 and at this time has 35 students enrolled. Data collected shows each child has improved in areas of social significance and parents have expressed how the school has helped their children. Our goal is for the children to be able to care for themselves and feel empowered by staff who is empathetic to their needs and trained to increase their skill level.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Shelly Swift
CEO Term Start Mar 2013
CEO/Executive Director Email
Shelly Swift has a Master's of Science in Child and Adolescent Therapy and a Board Certification in Behavior Analysis. She has 15 years experience working directly with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families.  She has experience in business management, billing and coding with insurance pertaining to Autism.    
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 9
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 11
Volunteers 2
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
At this time The ABA Academy collaborates with several community speech and occupational therapy companies that provide services to our students. These agencies are welcome to provide their services to students during school hours in the available one to one therapy rooms. Our school is also seeking to collaborate with agencies that serve the teen and adult population as our students transition out of our school.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years N/A
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy
Policies and Procedures No
Other Documents
Board Chair
Board Chair Shelly Swift
Company Affiliation The ABA Academy, Inc.
Board Term Mar 2013 to Mar 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Anne Katz The ABA Academy
Linda Patterson Linda Patterson, CPA
Adam Swift Manatee County School Teacher
Shelly Swift The ABA Academy
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 83
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 75
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $250,000.00
Projected Expenses $200,000.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose The purpose of this campaign is to raise funds for our new building expected to be complete July 2016.
Campaign Goal $320,000.00
Campaign Dates Jan 2016 to Jan 2021
Amount Raised To Date 3000 as of June 2016
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$195,235$148,408$47,658
Administration Expense$23,556$651$106
Fundraising Expense$1,503$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.251.331.34
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%100%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$123,593$68,177$25,438
Current Assets$118,796$63,365$25,438
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$4,216$2,817$8,977
Total Net Assets$119,377$65,360$16,461
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Unspecified $181,432Program Service Revenue $138,348Pride Fest Income $60,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFederated Campaigns $68,549Contributions, gifts, grants $59,542Contributions, gifts, grants $4,225
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountTuition $24,262Investment Income $680 $0
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities28.1822.492.83
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal 990-EZ.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support.
Nonprofit The ABA Academy, Inc.
Address 7555 Claxstrauss Dr
Sarasota, FL 34240
Phone 941 341-9992