The Department of Special Services’ mission is to identify students who meet the federal and state guidelines as a student with a disability. Upon identification, the district will provide appropriate services to teach the students to become active members of the community based on their individual abilities and strengths. We are focused and committed to providing a program to meet the diverse academic, social, and emotional needs of our students. This mission is not possible without the collaboration of parents, students, administrators, related services personnel, child study team members, general education teachers and special education teachers.
The special education program in Livingston is based upon the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:14 for special education. http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap14.pdf IDEA governs how special education and related services are to be provided to children with disabilities from the age of 3 through 21, in accordance with the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
It also provides that children with disabilities must be provided with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that prepares students for further education, employment, and/or independent living. Through collaboration among parents and the professional staff, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed for a student taking into account the child’s unique needs in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). “To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated in classrooms with children without disabilities. Placement in special classes, separate schools, or removal from the regular education environment should occur only when the nature of severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aides and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.” 20 U.S.C. 1412 (a) (5) (A). This is accomplished in Livingston via a continuum of services which promotes access to and participation in general education.
The purpose of these inclusionary practices is to ensure that students with special needs are educated in the general education setting for as much of the day as possible, with the supports students need to be successful. Our inclusion practices include appropriate supplementary aides and services; accommodations and modifications; consultative services; paraprofessional/aide support; co-teaching; differentiated instruction; assistive technology and services; collaboration; related services and other supports or services an individual student needs to access the district curriculum in a general education classroom.
Livingston Public Schools offers a variety of programs designed to meet the needs of our students. They include:
To access the New Jersey Department of Education’s, Parental Rights in Special Education (PRISE), go to http://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/form/ or contact the Office of Student Services at 973.535.8000, ext. 8032.
Ted Kozlik, Ed.D.
Interim Assistant Superintendent of Student Services & Instruction