IN THE NEWS

New Jersey Joint Council of County Special Services School Districts

 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7 2017

Atlantic county special services school teacher leads students on career path

Heather Moller

Heather Moller

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Heather Moller, a resident of Egg Harbor Township, was selected by her peers at the Atlantic County Special Services School as the 2016-17 Teacher of the Year earlier this year. That’s a pretty remarkable achievement since she is rarely visible in the school located in Mays Landing.

Most of Moller’s time is spent at the Trinity Learning Center in Egg Harbor Township where she instructs and supervises a group of students enrolled in the school’s structured learning experience. Each day the 18 to 21-year-old students are brought to the center where they are taught vocational skills in a community setting.

 Read More 

THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2017

From NJEA Magazine:  Pride-supported prom fashion show puts Burlington County Special Services students in the spotlight

Burlington County Special Services students and staff celebrate a successful prom fashion show.

The catwalk glowed, the music pounded, and 19 students strutted their stuff in prom finery to the applause, gasps and cheers of their families and friends in the Burlington County Special Services multipurpose room. The district’s first prom fashion show gave the students the opportunity to express themselves through fashion, and show off the runway moves they’d perfected with the help of family and staff.

Read More

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2017

Teen on autism spectrum becomes Eagle Scout after service project

John Sztenderowicz wanted to honor the veterans of his hometown of National Park with his Eagle Scout Service Project. He decided fixing up the park would be a fitting honor. (Taylor Henry | For NJ Advance Media)

Sixteen-year-old Boy Scout John Sztenderowicz wanted to honor the veterans of his hometown of National Park with his Eagle Scout Service Project.

The tenth grader, who is on the autism spectrum,  will be the only current student at Bankbridge Regional High School to achieve the highest rank in Boy Scouting: Eagle Scout. Before a Scout can attain that honor, he must complete a service project that benefits the community. John chose to repaint National Park’s welcome sign and restore the town’s Veterans Memorial Park.

With the help of his fellow Scouts, John cleaned the park, planted rose bushes, painted the benches and sign and raised the sunken memorials. EP Henry donated stone to be used for walls around the property, and family and friends made donations towards other materials. John hopes to gather donations to convert the park’s non-working gaslights to solar lighting.

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2017

Burlington County Alternative School students move in to new $5.5 million building

Burlington County Alternative School. photo by Brian Woods for the Burlington County Times

MOUNT LAUREL — Burlington County opened its new Alternative School building to students last Tuesday, moving it down the street at a cost of about $6 million.

County employees spent the spring and summer renovating much of the 20,000-square-foot building on Briggs Road, near Rowan College at Burlington County, to make room for over 100 students. The county bought the building for about $5.5 million in April.

To get the building ready for the second half of the school year, the county spent just over $700,000 making “in-house” upgrades with its staff, according to county spokesman Eric Arpert.

Read More

THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2016

Atlantic County Special Services Hosts Comedy Fundraiser at Borgata:

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will host “Comedy For a Cause” on July 10, an event scheduled to take place at The Music Box in order to raise money for children with disabilities who attend the Atlantic County Special Services School District.

Read more

FRIDAY,  MAY 20, 2016

From The Atlantic City Press: Special Services school lands in Oz for prom

573f6d90be5cb.imageAtlantic County Special Services School prom, coordinated by the staff at the school for children with disabilities, is an annual declaration that every student deserves a big party to celebrate a momentous achievement in their lives. But there are mixed emotions too.  

Read more

SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2016

Bankbridge Student Greenhouse Opens for its 14th Year

-afbc96cc314491c5From trimming flowers to re-potting vegetables, students participating in Bankbridge Regional School’s horticultural program are preparing for the upcoming annual opening of their greenhouse.

For the past 14 years, this Gloucester County Special Services School District has run a very unique program that helps immerse students from grades 6 – 12 in learning hands-on skills in the areas of greenhouse production, maintenance and customer service.

Each February students in the horticultural program start from scratch by planting seeds and plugs. The care and upkeep of the flowers and vegetables for the next three months culminates in the opening of the greenhouse to the community to sell these well-cared-for plants. When sales begin on April 28 students are hoping they will exceed last year’s sales of over 1,500 pants sold.

Read More

TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2016

From Shore News Today: Hundreds of Kids Blow Bubbles for Autism

Children danced and sang, read poems and blew thousands of bubbles, Monday, April 4, as a way to raise awareness for the annual “Blowing Bubbles for Autism” event at the Cape May County Special Services School District.

Read More

FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2016

From the Vineland Daily Journal: Donated wheelchair opens doors for Bridgeton girl.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 2.11.39 PM

Spring fever struck the Salem County Special Services School District Wednesday, prompting an afternoon dance party in the gym.

De’Shira Hubert, who everyone calls “DeeDee,” took a spin on the dance floor with classmate Phillip Sheppard. Holding the handles of her lightweight wheelchair, Phillip gently glided DeeDee around the room to the One Direction song, “What Makes You Beautiful.”

Read more

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2016

From the Bergen Dispatch: Bergen County Partnership Provides Job Training for Individuals with Disabilities.

Bergen County has established a partnership with two area hospitals to provide job training for individuals with disabilities, giving them portable and marketable skills that can be transferred to a host of employment opportunities.  Project SEARCH is targeted at 20-year old students and provides real-life work experience and hands-on extensive training for individuals with disabilities.  It seeks to transition those students from school to adult life with internships that provide vital job training and skill development.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2016

From the Burlington County Times: Stories signed for all at Burlington County library

By Sean Patrick Murphy, Staff Writer

WESTAMPTON — For Karla Hernandez, “Sign Me A Story” is a godsend.

Denean Montes and her daughter Maria Montes

Denean Montes and her daughter Maria Montes, 9, do the sign for an owl during “Sign Me A Story” at the Burlington County Library in Westampton on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016.

The Mount Laurel mother attended the county library program Saturday afternoon with her two boys.

The initiative, which started in September, is a way for children who are deaf and hard of hearing to have stories signed to them in American Sign Language. It is held once a month in the county library’s Westampton campus.

Hernandez’s older son, 7­ year-­old Lucas, is deaf and has double cochlear implants. Her 3­year­old, Danny, is hard of hearing and wears a hearing aid. They were among the 15 participants Saturday to take in three books that were read and signed.

“This is perfect for them because the little one loves to sign,” she said. “These kind of events are awesome for the kids.”

Hernandez said when Lucas was younger she could not find events to meet his needs or interessts. Now he is interested in interacting with other kids like him.

She said she is not fluent in ASL, in part because she is from Mexico and Spanish was her first language.

Mary Ann Linsell, of Eastampton, was at the event with her two grandchildren, 3 and 5, neither of whom are hearing impaired.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “I think it’s important to use their imagination.”

Linsell said the event is also good because her grandchildren could socialize with other kids, hear stories and watch how kids who can’t hear interact.

Victoria Pine, of Medford, was at the library with her husband and 3­ year­-old daughter who doesn’t know ASL.

Pine also said making friends, learning some sign language and being exposed to other ways of communicating are all positive reasons for taking part.

“Everyone should be able to communicate with one another,” she said.

Superintendent of Schools for the Burlington County Special Services School District and Burlington County Institutes of Technology Christopher Manno is excited about the program’s potential.

” ‘Sign Me A Story’ provides an opportunity for both deaf and hard of hearing children and non­deaf and hard of hearing children and families to learn about American Sign Language,” he said. “It provides our deaf and hard of hearing students an opportunity to enjoy story time and enjoy the county library in a way that meets their needs and meets them where they are.”

The lessons are for all kids.

“I want the kids to take away from this experience a love of literacy and an appreciation that we all approach literacy in a different way,” Manno said. “Literacy is for everyone.”

Nicole Margiotta, supervisor for the deaf and hard of hearing initiative for the Burlington County Special Services School District, said they wanted reach out to the community to let people know about the program.

“We wanted to expose everybody to American Sign Language, to literacy,” she said.

Margiotta said some of the kids who take part are nonverbal and can benefit from the program. She said she wants to increase community understanding that there’s more than one way to communicate.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2016

From the Burlington County Times: Assistant teacher in Westampton wins NJEA award

By Sean Patrick Murphy, Staff Writer

WESTAMPTON — Pat Niehaus loves her job and it shows.

Pat Niehaus, an elementary teacher's assistant in the Burlington County Special Services School District, has won the assistant of the year award from the New Jersey Education Association. She will be formally recognized in February.

Pat Niehaus, an elementary teacher’s assistant in the Burlington County Special Services School District, has won the assistant of the year award from the New Jersey Education Association. She will be formally recognized in February.

The 13­-year veteran of the Burlington County Special Services School District has recently been named Educational Support Professional of the Year by the New Jersey Education Association.

“I knew I always had a love,” Niehaus said. “I wanted to do special ed.”

The elementary school teacher’s assistant said she graduated from Penn State University in 1972.

“I am just surprised,” she said of being bestowed the honor. “I think every parent deserves an award, especially here. They go above and beyond with everything that they do,” Niehaus said. “They’re phenomenal, they’re dedicated, they’re vested in the school.”

She said she works as a team “which I think is one of the most important things” with teacher Belle Shields.

“She respects me. I respect her,” Niehaus said. “I’ve always worked with excellent teachers.”

Pat Niehaus, an elementary teacher’s assistant in the Burlington County Special Services School District, has won the assistant of the year award from the New Jersey Education Association. She will be formally recognized in February.

Kathryn Coulibaly, associate director of communications for the NJEA, had high praise for Niehaus.

“Pat is such a great example of the wonderful work that paraprofessionals do across the state in classrooms around New Jersey and I think it’s really special that we happen to be at Burlington County Special Services (School District) because it really highlights the amazing work that special needs paraprofessionals do because it’s amazing work and it’s such a blessing for the students and their parents,” she said. “This year Pat is being honored because of the extraordinary work that she does.”

Last year’s award went to a bus driver.

The NJEA will officially recognize Niehaus and the other 2015 county winners at its annual Educational Support Professionals conference in early February.

On National ESP Day, the NJEA celebrates the work and achievements of its 54,000 members who are educational support professionals (ESPs) in the state’s public schools. Educational support professionals s include secretaries, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, lunch aides, security guards, custodians, maintenance workers, and computer technicians among a host of other job categories.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2015

From the Cape May County Herald: Sometimes Special Education Is a Place: An opinion piece by Barbara Makoski, Superintendent of Cape May County Special Services School District

Cape May County Special Services School District was established over 40 years ago by a group of people dedicated to providing the most appropriate education and services to students with special needs in Cape May County. Although it is not a secret that we are tucked into the area around the county administration buildings, people are still surprised when they find out we are here. Read more

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015

Holiday Express Visits Bergen’s Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School in Paramus

Founded in 1993, by Tim McLoone, Holiday Express works year-round to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to adults and children in need during the holiday season and throughout the year.

This organization includes 150 professional singers, musicians and various adult and children volunteers. The programs include Frosty, the Grinch, Cookie Monster, Santa and many elves who volunteer their time to perform at specialized schools, psychiatric facilities, homeless shelters and soup kitchens.

Holiday Express made their annual visit to the Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School in Paramus on Wednesday, December 2. Students were enjoined into the musical performance and were provided with many opportunities to share their musical talents and dance moves with these truly wonderful volunteers. Our Superintendent, Dr. Howard Lerner joined in the festivities and graciously supported us in welcoming these very special performers. A wonderful time was had by all!

Holiday 2015

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015

From Shore News Today: Bountiful Holiday for Areas Residents

Cape May County Special Services School District students and staff put together 56 bags of food and supplies to provide Thanksgiving feasts to needy families within the school district. Read more

Thanksgiving photo

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2015

From the Burlington County Times: New day program at Burlington Special Services fills ‘critical need’ for adults with disabilities

A new program at the Burlington County Special Services School District could provide some relief for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families, who can face an uncertain path once aging out of the school system and the services provided there.
Through a partnership with Bancroft, the Cherry Hill-based nonprofit day program for adults with special needs, the district’s campus off Woodlane Road will now house an expanded specialized adult day and vocational training program. Read more

THURSDAY, NONEMBER 26, 2015

From Lehigh Valley Live: Special Needs Students Whip Up a Feast in Warren County

The house was bustling like any other on Thanksgiving. It hardly seemed like a classroom, but essentially that’s what it was. The HILLS House — which stands for Helping Individuals Learn Life Skills — is nestled in a corner of the Centenary College campus in Hackettstown. It serves as a realistic setting for pupils under the Warren County Special Services School District to practice what they’re taught. Read more and see the photo gallery

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2015

Mercer County Special Services School District Honored by The Arc of Mercer as Community Partner of the Year

The Arc Mercer honored the Mercer County Special School District at the 2015 Annual Fall Gala Awards dinner on November 20  at the Hamilton Manor. See the video of Principal Brian Kozakowski discussing the award.

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2017

Teen on autism spectrum becomes Eagle Scout after service project

By Taylor Henry for NJ Advance Media

John Sztenderowicz wanted to honor the veterans of his hometown of National Park with his Eagle Scout Service Project. He decided fixing up the park would be a fitting honor. (Taylor Henry | For NJ Advance Media)

Sixteen-year-old Boy Scout John Sztenderowicz wanted to honor the veterans of his hometown of National Park with his Eagle Scout Service Project.

The tenth grader, who is on the autism spectrum,  will be the only current student at Bankbridge Regional High School to achieve the highest rank in Boy Scouting: Eagle Scout. Before a Scout can attain that honor, he must complete a service project that benefits the community. John chose to repaint National Park’s welcome sign and restore the town’s Veterans Memorial Park.

With the help of his fellow Scouts, John cleaned the park, planted rose bushes, painted the benches and sign and raised the sunken memorials. EP Henry donated stone to be used for walls around the property, and family and friends made donations towards other materials. John hopes to gather donations to convert the park’s non-working gaslights to solar lighting.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2017

Burlington County Alternative School students move in to new $5.5 million building

Burlington County Alternative School. photo by Brian Woods for the Burlington County Times

MOUNT LAUREL — Burlington County opened its new Alternative School building to students last Tuesday, moving it down the street at a cost of about $6 million.

County employees spent the spring and summer renovating much of the 20,000-square-foot building on Briggs Road, near Rowan College at Burlington County, to make room for over 100 students. The county bought the building for about $5.5 million in April.

To get the building ready for the second half of the school year, the county spent just over $700,000 making “in-house” upgrades with its staff, according to county spokesman Eric Arpert.

Read More

THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2016

Atlantic County Special Services Hosts Comedy Fundraiser at Borgata:

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will host “Comedy For a Cause” on July 10, an event scheduled to take place at The Music Box in order to raise money for children with disabilities who attend the Atlantic County Special Services School District.

Read more

FRIDAY,  MAY 20, 2016

From The Atlantic City Press: Special Services school lands in Oz for prom

573f6d90be5cb.imageAtlantic County Special Services School prom, coordinated by the staff at the school for children with disabilities, is an annual declaration that every student deserves a big party to celebrate a momentous achievement in their lives. But there are mixed emotions too.  

Read more

SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2016

Bankbridge Student Greenhouse Opens for its 14th Year

-afbc96cc314491c5From trimming flowers to re-potting vegetables, students participating in Bankbridge Regional School’s horticultural program are preparing for the upcoming annual opening of their greenhouse.

For the past 14 years, this Gloucester County Special Services School District has run a very unique program that helps immerse students from grades 6 – 12 in learning hands-on skills in the areas of greenhouse production, maintenance and customer service.

Each February students in the horticultural program start from scratch by planting seeds and plugs. The care and upkeep of the flowers and vegetables for the next three months culminates in the opening of the greenhouse to the community to sell these well-cared-for plants. When sales begin on April 28 students are hoping they will exceed last year’s sales of over 1,500 pants sold.

Read More

TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2016

From Shore News Today: Hundreds of Kids Blow Bubbles for Autism

Children danced and sang, read poems and blew thousands of bubbles, Monday, April 4, as a way to raise awareness for the annual “Blowing Bubbles for Autism” event at the Cape May County Special Services School District.

Read More

FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2016

From the Vineland Daily Journal: Donated wheelchair opens doors for Bridgeton girl.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 2.11.39 PM

Spring fever struck the Salem County Special Services School District Wednesday, prompting an afternoon dance party in the gym.

De’Shira Hubert, who everyone calls “DeeDee,” took a spin on the dance floor with classmate Phillip Sheppard. Holding the handles of her lightweight wheelchair, Phillip gently glided DeeDee around the room to the One Direction song, “What Makes You Beautiful.”

Read more

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2016

From the Bergen Dispatch: Bergen County Partnership Provides Job Training for Individuals with Disabilities.

Bergen County has established a partnership with two area hospitals to provide job training for individuals with disabilities, giving them portable and marketable skills that can be transferred to a host of employment opportunities.  Project SEARCH is targeted at 20-year old students and provides real-life work experience and hands-on extensive training for individuals with disabilities.  It seeks to transition those students from school to adult life with internships that provide vital job training and skill development.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2016

From the Burlington County Times: Stories signed for all at Burlington County library

By Sean Patrick Murphy, Staff Writer

WESTAMPTON — For Karla Hernandez, “Sign Me A Story” is a godsend.

Denean Montes and her daughter Maria Montes

Denean Montes and her daughter Maria Montes, 9, do the sign for an owl during “Sign Me A Story” at the Burlington County Library in Westampton on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016.

The Mount Laurel mother attended the county library program Saturday afternoon with her two boys.

The initiative, which started in September, is a way for children who are deaf and hard of hearing to have stories signed to them in American Sign Language. It is held once a month in the county library’s Westampton campus.

Hernandez’s older son, 7­ year-­old Lucas, is deaf and has double cochlear implants. Her 3­year­old, Danny, is hard of hearing and wears a hearing aid. They were among the 15 participants Saturday to take in three books that were read and signed.

“This is perfect for them because the little one loves to sign,” she said. “These kind of events are awesome for the kids.”

Hernandez said when Lucas was younger she could not find events to meet his needs or interessts. Now he is interested in interacting with other kids like him.

She said she is not fluent in ASL, in part because she is from Mexico and Spanish was her first language.

Mary Ann Linsell, of Eastampton, was at the event with her two grandchildren, 3 and 5, neither of whom are hearing impaired.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “I think it’s important to use their imagination.”

Linsell said the event is also good because her grandchildren could socialize with other kids, hear stories and watch how kids who can’t hear interact.

Victoria Pine, of Medford, was at the library with her husband and 3­ year­-old daughter who doesn’t know ASL.

Pine also said making friends, learning some sign language and being exposed to other ways of communicating are all positive reasons for taking part.

“Everyone should be able to communicate with one another,” she said.

Superintendent of Schools for the Burlington County Special Services School District and Burlington County Institutes of Technology Christopher Manno is excited about the program’s potential.

” ‘Sign Me A Story’ provides an opportunity for both deaf and hard of hearing children and non­deaf and hard of hearing children and families to learn about American Sign Language,” he said. “It provides our deaf and hard of hearing students an opportunity to enjoy story time and enjoy the county library in a way that meets their needs and meets them where they are.”

The lessons are for all kids.

“I want the kids to take away from this experience a love of literacy and an appreciation that we all approach literacy in a different way,” Manno said. “Literacy is for everyone.”

Nicole Margiotta, supervisor for the deaf and hard of hearing initiative for the Burlington County Special Services School District, said they wanted reach out to the community to let people know about the program.

“We wanted to expose everybody to American Sign Language, to literacy,” she said.

Margiotta said some of the kids who take part are nonverbal and can benefit from the program. She said she wants to increase community understanding that there’s more than one way to communicate.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2016

From the Burlington County Times: Assistant teacher in Westampton wins NJEA award

By Sean Patrick Murphy, Staff Writer

WESTAMPTON — Pat Niehaus loves her job and it shows.

Pat Niehaus, an elementary teacher's assistant in the Burlington County Special Services School District, has won the assistant of the year award from the New Jersey Education Association. She will be formally recognized in February.

Pat Niehaus, an elementary teacher’s assistant in the Burlington County Special Services School District, has won the assistant of the year award from the New Jersey Education Association. She will be formally recognized in February.

The 13­-year veteran of the Burlington County Special Services School District has recently been named Educational Support Professional of the Year by the New Jersey Education Association.

“I knew I always had a love,” Niehaus said. “I wanted to do special ed.”

The elementary school teacher’s assistant said she graduated from Penn State University in 1972.

“I am just surprised,” she said of being bestowed the honor. “I think every parent deserves an award, especially here. They go above and beyond with everything that they do,” Niehaus said. “They’re phenomenal, they’re dedicated, they’re vested in the school.”

She said she works as a team “which I think is one of the most important things” with teacher Belle Shields.

“She respects me. I respect her,” Niehaus said. “I’ve always worked with excellent teachers.”

Pat Niehaus, an elementary teacher’s assistant in the Burlington County Special Services School District, has won the assistant of the year award from the New Jersey Education Association. She will be formally recognized in February.

Kathryn Coulibaly, associate director of communications for the NJEA, had high praise for Niehaus.

“Pat is such a great example of the wonderful work that paraprofessionals do across the state in classrooms around New Jersey and I think it’s really special that we happen to be at Burlington County Special Services (School District) because it really highlights the amazing work that special needs paraprofessionals do because it’s amazing work and it’s such a blessing for the students and their parents,” she said. “This year Pat is being honored because of the extraordinary work that she does.”

Last year’s award went to a bus driver.

The NJEA will officially recognize Niehaus and the other 2015 county winners at its annual Educational Support Professionals conference in early February.

On National ESP Day, the NJEA celebrates the work and achievements of its 54,000 members who are educational support professionals (ESPs) in the state’s public schools. Educational support professionals s include secretaries, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, lunch aides, security guards, custodians, maintenance workers, and computer technicians among a host of other job categories.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2015

From the Cape May County Herald: Sometimes Special Education Is a Place: An opinion piece by Barbara Makoski, Superintendent of Cape May County Special Services School District

Cape May County Special Services School District was established over 40 years ago by a group of people dedicated to providing the most appropriate education and services to students with special needs in Cape May County. Although it is not a secret that we are tucked into the area around the county administration buildings, people are still surprised when they find out we are here. Read more

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015

Holiday Express Visits Bergen’s Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School in Paramus

Founded in 1993, by Tim McLoone, Holiday Express works year-round to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to adults and children in need during the holiday season and throughout the year.

This organization includes 150 professional singers, musicians and various adult and children volunteers. The programs include Frosty, the Grinch, Cookie Monster, Santa and many elves who volunteer their time to perform at specialized schools, psychiatric facilities, homeless shelters and soup kitchens.

Holiday Express made their annual visit to the Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School in Paramus on Wednesday, December 2. Students were enjoined into the musical performance and were provided with many opportunities to share their musical talents and dance moves with these truly wonderful volunteers. Our Superintendent, Dr. Howard Lerner joined in the festivities and graciously supported us in welcoming these very special performers. A wonderful time was had by all!

Holiday 2015

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015

From Shore News Today: Bountiful Holiday for Areas Residents

Cape May County Special Services School District students and staff put together 56 bags of food and supplies to provide Thanksgiving feasts to needy families within the school district. Read more

Thanksgiving photo

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2015

From the Burlington County Times: New day program at Burlington Special Services fills ‘critical need’ for adults with disabilities

A new program at the Burlington County Special Services School District could provide some relief for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families, who can face an uncertain path once aging out of the school system and the services provided there.
Through a partnership with Bancroft, the Cherry Hill-based nonprofit day program for adults with special needs, the district’s campus off Woodlane Road will now house an expanded specialized adult day and vocational training program. Read more

THURSDAY, NONEMBER 26, 2015

From Lehigh Valley Live: Special Needs Students Whip Up a Feast in Warren County

The house was bustling like any other on Thanksgiving. It hardly seemed like a classroom, but essentially that’s what it was. The HILLS House — which stands for Helping Individuals Learn Life Skills — is nestled in a corner of the Centenary College campus in Hackettstown. It serves as a realistic setting for pupils under the Warren County Special Services School District to practice what they’re taught. Read more and see the photo gallery

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2015

Mercer County Special Services School District Honored by The Arc of Mercer as Community Partner of the Year

The Arc Mercer honored the Mercer County Special School District at the 2015 Annual Fall Gala Awards dinner on November 20  at the Hamilton Manor. See the video of Principal Brian Kozakowski discussing the award.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017

Burlington Special Services School District creates transition campus

Superintendent Christopher Nagy announced the transition campus.

WESTAMPTON — Joyce DeVito envisioned a program for her students that simulated an actual work environment as closely as possible.

This year, she got her wish. The Burlington County Special Services School District has expanded its transition program into a transition campus.

Read More (archived copy)

 

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2017

Cape May County Special Services Hosts Kindness Carnival to Combat Bullying

by Vince Conti

Nestled in the county complex at Crest Haven, the Cape May County Special Services School District had its fourth Kindness Carnival May 12. The district encompasses three separate schools that share a set of buildings and a special mission to provide an education for students who need more than the local school systems can provide.

Students participate in anti-bullying programs throughout the school year, but the effort culminates in the annual carnival each May. Games, face painting, and activities of all sorts are arranged around tables in the school gymnasium.

For the students and staff of the Special Services School District this event is the conclusion of another year of focus on the proper way to interact with others.

One look at the enthusiasm of the teachers, case workers, administrators and one-on-one staff makes clear the dedication and attention the school gives to the special needs student.

Read more  

FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2016

From the Trenton Times: Mercer High School stages The Lion King.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.38.44 PM

Mercer High School, part of the Mercer County Special Services School District, staged The Lion King on April 28 and 29.  

Under the direction of Julie Braeckman, students spoke, sang and danced their way through the stage adaptation of the 1994 Disney movie.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.40.56 PM

Mercer County Special Services School District, for over thirty years, has focused on serving families of children with special needs in Mercer County and the surrounding area. Programs include preschool, primary, elementary and secondary age populations. Also, the district provides programs for preschool disabled, multiply disabled, autistic and emotionally disturbed students.  See more photos on NJ.com

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.48.42 PM

Photos by Michael Mancuso for NJ.com

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016

Bergen County Special Services Welcomes Distinguished Guests To New Educational Facility

On March 30, Superintendent Dr. Howard Lerner led a tour of the new BCSS Educational Facility in Paramus which opened in September 2015. The building is home to the New Bridges Middle/High School programs for students with autism spectrum disorder, as well as adult clients with intellectual/developmental disorders accessing vocational programs and Post 21 services. The administrative wing of the complex includes the Superintendent’s office; the Business office; the Curriculum Department; the Bergen County Special Services CAPE Resource Center; the Educational Enterprises Division, which provides services to students in their local school districts; and the District’s Board of Education Meeting Room.

 Joining Dr. Lerner were NJ State Senate President Steve Sweeney, NJ State Senators Paul Sarlo and Bob Gordon, Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III, Bergen County Freeholder Dr. Joan M. Voss, and Bergen County Freeholder Vice Chairwoman Tracy Silna Zur.  The visitors had the opportunity to speak to New Bridges students who are currently studying state government in their history class, and observe adult clients cooking a meal in the ADL (Activities of Daily Living) room.

 special_services_4_3_16

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2015

From the Bergen Record: Ribbon-Cutting marks opening of new Bergen County Special Services School District Building

“We are ever mindful that at the core of our purpose is the provision of outstanding services to children and adults with disabilities. This state-of-the-art educational facility and the dedicated people who work within it speak to this mission that we hold so dear.”

With these words, Dr. Howard Lerner welcomed invited guests, students, and staff members to a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony celebrating the opening of the Bergen County Special Services Educational Facility, and the Administrative Offices of the Bergen County Technical and Special Services School District. Read more

Ribbon_Cutting

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2015

From the Courier Post: Burlington County Special Services Hosts New Bancroft Program for Adults

Before he and his family moved to South Jersey earlier this year, Sean Hurley mostly spent his days at home. There were few programs for adults with autism in his Bergen County area. His mother, Mary Hurley, saw his behavior slip.

To find an appropriate program, they sold their house in Ridgewood and moved to Moorestown.

On Monday, the 22-year-old spent his first day at Bancroft at Burlington, a new day and vocational training program for Burlington County adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Read more

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2015

Joint Council Leaders Highlight Cost-Saving Services for Local School Boards

Representatives from five county special services school districts gave a presentation about the shared services offered to local boards of education during the NJ School Boards Association annual workshop in Atlantic City on October 27, 2015. View the presentation here

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2015

From the Atlantic City Press: Student-staffed Cafes Serve Up a Hot Lunch and Education

Atlantic County Special Services School District’s student-staffed Forest Restaurant was featured in an article about culinary education programs that offer students hands-on experience in preparing and serving food in student-staffed cafes that are open to the public. Read the article

 

SUNDAY, JULY 26, 2015

From the Atlantic City Press: County Special Services School Districts Find New Ways to Survive

With local districts seeking to educate more of their students with disabilities in their home schools rather than in specialized settings, county special services school districts are developing new partnerships to help support those goals. “This is a statewide issue,” said Kerri McGinley, assistant superintendent of the Atlantic County Special Services School. “How can we be a resource for districts to make sure students get the services?” One area is vocational training. Students with disabilities are entitled to free public education until age 21, and the Special Services high schools often take students who have “aged out” of traditional high schools. Read more

 

THURSDAY, JULY 2, 2015

From the Cape May Herald: Testing Students with Special Needs in New Jersey

Students with disabilities should be assessed to document their progress and achievements, but testing must be personalized and appropriate and should provide meaningful information that will help each student reach his or her full potential. Read more

 

JUNE, 2015

NJ’s Task Force on Student Assessments Considers Joint Council Recommendations

Cape May County Special Services Superintendent Barbara Makoski was invited to present the Joint Council’s recommendations regarding the assessment of students with significant disabilities to the New Jersey Task Force on Student Assessment in June 2015. View the presentation below