Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
Spring has finally arrived, ushering in the season of graduations and moving-up ceremonies. From our students in high school programs to our kindergarteners at BELA, it is a time to look forward to new adventures and experiences even as there is sadness in saying good-bye to old friends. We wish all of our graduating students and their families good luck in all their future endeavors.
The new BCSS Educational Facility is nearing completion and over the next few months we will be transitioning programs and offices to this new location. The facility will allow us to centralize our programs for students with autism, adult vocational programs, and Post 21 services, as well as administrative offices for both the Special Services and Technical Schools District. The additional space will also allow for the expansion of existing programs should the need arise. The CAPE Resource Center, which provides information sessions for parents and workshops for professionals, and the Educational Enterprises Division, which provides services to students in their local school districts, will also be housed in the new Education Center. The incorporation of services and educational programs at the center will result in projected savings for the district of at least $770,000 in yearly rental fees, as well as reduced transportation costs for both the Special Services district and local school districts. A central location will also afford savings in both travel and time for those employees who provide services for students in multiple programs.
In September a third vocational option—Child Care Assistant—will be added to our Career Crossroads Shared-Time vocational program. This innovative new program will partner with the BELA (Bergen Early Learning Alliance) Daycare Center to prepare students for positions in childcare. Students will gain experience supervising and guiding preschoolers, as well as assisting with planning and guiding activities, daily routines, transitions, and meals. Curriculum includes health and safety; study of physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of children; soft skills; and structured learning opportunities. Students in the program will complete First Aid and CPR training.
It will be a busy summer here at Special Services. Students attending Extended Year Programs will have opportunities to engage in academic and technical education programs combined with hands-on learning projects and educational field trips. The transition to the new Educational Facility will begin for school programs that will welcome September’s classes to their beautiful new surroundings.
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.