Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
Spring has arrived, ushering in the season of Moving-Up Ceremonies and Graduations. From our youngest students at BELA to our graduating seniors it is a time to look forward to new experiences and expanding horizons. We wish all of our graduating students and their families the best of luck in all their future endeavors.
It will be a busy summer for students and faculty in our Extended Year Programs. EYP offers students opportunities to engage in academic and technical education programs that incorporate classroom instruction with hands-on learning projects and educational field trips. Some of our students will also participate in Work Ready/Work Now, acquiring valuable skills and experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Our first year at the new BCSS Educational Facility has been a great success. For our students and adult clients, the expanded facilities such as cafeterias and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) rooms and kitchenettes offer functional teaching opportunities, while state-of-the-art technology provides greater access to academic resources. We've also had the pleasure to host tours of the facility for many of our elected county and state representatives over the course of this school year.
On behalf of the administration, faculty, and staff of Bergen County Special Services, I wish everyone a relaxing summer spent with family and friends. We look forward to welcoming our new and returning students and families in September.
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.