Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
Welcome to our new and returning families and students. I hope everyone has enjoyed a relaxing summer, and is ready for a successful and enjoyable school year.
We are welcoming students and adult clients to their new location at the Bergen County Special Services Education Center. The Education Center will serve as a central location for the district’s programs for
students and adults with autism, as well as adult vocational programs, Post-21 services, and administrative offices for the Special Services and Technical Schools Districts. Educational Enterprises, which provides support services for students in their local districts, and the CAPE Resource Center, which offers training and workshops for parents and professionals, will also be located in the new Education Center.
At the beginning of each school year I encourage all of our families to join and participate in their respective campus’s Parent Groups. We recognize the importance of parent involvement in their children’s education and welcome the opportunity to work with you to ensure our students’ academic and social success. Presentations to parent groups are offered that provide information and tips to help you and your child as you both progress through the school years. In addition, parents have the opportunity to play a role in holiday celebrations and special events that are highlights of the school year.
The CAPE Center is another valuable avenue for obtaining information for both parents and professionals. The CAPE offers Graduate Credits through Concordia University Wisconsin as well as Type II continuing education credits by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. You can visit the CAPE registration web site to view and register for upcoming workshops at http://cape.bergen.org.
Howard Lerner, Ed.D.
The Board of Education of the Bergen County Special Services School District, located in Paramus, New Jersey, governs the school district. The district offers a broad spectrum of special education programs and services for children and adults with disabilities at over 30 sites throughout northern New Jersey. Programs for students ranging from pre-elementary to secondary (ages 3-21) are structured around five separate divisions called continuums. These include the Auditory or Communication Skills Continuum, the Autistic Continuum, the Behavioral Skills Continuum, the Life Skills Continuum, and the Pre-School Continuum. Through these groupings, the district serves students with a variety of physical and cognitive disabilities. In addition, there are adult programs, professional support services for students, transition services and other specialized programs that address the needs of the county and local school districts.
The seven-member Board of Education includes the County Superintendent who has an unexpired term, six members recommended by the County Executive of Bergen County and confirmed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Superintendent, who serves as an exofficio, non-voting member. Each of the six appointed members serves a three-year term expiring July 1st. Prospective members of the Board must adhere to certain legal requirements. They must be able to read and write; must hold citizenship and one year''s residence in the school district; may not have a contract with or claim against the board; and must be registered and eligible to vote.
One of the prime obligations of a school board is to formulate policy to conform to all national, state, and local laws and regulations as determined by the New Jersey State Board of Education and detailed in the New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC), Title 6 & 6A. Policy serves as a guideline for the district''s important goals, serves as a legal basis for its actions, and enables the school district superintendent to create rules and regulations for policy implementation. Through the budget, the local board of education determines how money should be allocated to carry out board policies. The board approves the budget, balancing the educational needs of the students with the ability of the district to support those needs.
Individual members have no authority to act on their own, but meet as a board in a formal session. All discussions and official actions, unless specifically exempt by law, must take place in the public session. A quorum of the board is required for all official board actions. The board cannot act without the Superintendent''s recommendations, which are presented in the form of resolutions at monthly public board meetings.