Bergen County Special Services School District is committed to providing a quality education that enables all students to become contributing and valued members of society. The Life Skills Continuum educates and provides related services to students from ages three through twenty-one with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Learning environments provide practical instruction designed to focus on mastery of skills required for employment. Program options provide personal, social, and work experiences aimed at successful living and working within the community.
The Life Skills Continuum was designed to enable students to benefit from a full program of functional academic instruction aligned to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Direct classroom instruction, use of model apartments, and full use of the community are components of this program. In addition to core academic subjects, students participate in art, music, therapeutic recreation, and physical and health education. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy are provided as prescribed by each student's Individual Education Plan (IEP). Most students in these programs participate in the state-mandated Alternative Proficiency Assessment.
Life Skills programs include various settings appropriate to individual needs. All programs within the Continuum provide community and school inclusion options. Community-based instruction allows students to attain appropriate workplace skills, achieve exposure to aspects of an industry, and develop transferable skills. Teachers reinforce technical, occupational, and work-related skills on the job site and in the classroom. Students also learn to travel on public transportation. Job coaches assist students in obtaining and maintaining employment. All students and families are linked to adult service providers so they can continue to receive the supports needed to succeed in life.
For students enrolled in Life Skills Continuum programs, inclusion settings and program placement options are available through local school districts with support of the BCSSSD inclusion specialists.
Life Skills Program Components Include:
- Independent Living Skills
- Personal Management Skills
- Functional Application of Skills
- Self-Advocacy Skills Development
- Career Exploration, Tours, and Job Shadowing
- Job Sampling
- Group and Individual Internships
- Travel Training
- Linkages to Adult Support Services
- Job Development and Site Identification
- Job Coaching
- Worksite Assessment