Speech and language services are provided to students who demonstrate, through formal evaluation, a mild to moderate disorder in language, articulation, voice, or fluency.
Primary Learning-Language Disabilities programs are also available to District students who qualify for that setting at Hartshorn and Wyoming Elementary Schools. Each class is geared toward a presenting need such as autistic, multiple disabilities, behavioral problems, and K-1 transition.
Just as at the elementary schools, Millburn Middle School offers a variety of special education program options in accordance with student IEPs. There is a full-time Child Study Team on staff, as well as a dedicated speech-language therapist, and a full guidance department.
In addition to inclusion, in-class support and resource center options, a multiply-disabled Life Skills class is in operation at the Middle School. Millburn School District presently accommodates district and tuition-paying students from other districts in the program. The class provides programming for those students who require a structured, full day Life Skills program with a smaller class size than is offered in the Regular Education and Resource Pull Out Replacement Program, in order to make meaningful progress in meeting IEP goals and objectives.
The program provides strong academic and community-based supports, following the scope and sequence of a functional Life Skills curriculum according to student needs. The academic program follows IEP goals. Components provide small group instruction and opportunities to integrate into the community.
This self-contained class uses an Applied Behavior Analysis approach for the purpose of teaching academic and functional skill acquisition for our special needs students with severe disabilities. This approach focuses on the use of ABA principles for the incremental learning of new skills for this challenged population. The complementary extension of this technique for the successful accomplishment of the students? IEP objectives include generalizing those skills that have been learned during classroom instruction sessions to real-life situations in the community. Since the students? ages range from 10 to 14 years, they need a Life Skills Curriculum, which emphasizes the teaching of skills involving work ethics, life needs, recreation, leisure, and work activities. This curriculum fosters the outcomes of independence, a sense of individualization, productivity and choice. These outcomes are critical and essential in providing the necessary foundation for our students to become successful and responsible members of society. Access to the Township makes them visible and viable members of their community and begins the process of their travel training.
High School Special Education
Millburn High School Special Services follows a natural continuum of programs as middle school students transition to the high school. A full Child Study Team is on staff and plays a major role in overseeing the education and implementation of IEPs for classified students. In accordance with student Individual Education Plans, classified students are scheduled in general education classes in all areas of the curriculum to the fullest possible extent. High school programs include in-class support, resource center replacement, and resource center support.
A self-contained Life Skills class operates at the high school level, as well. The program provides strong academic and community-based supports, following the scope and sequence of a functional Life Skills curriculum according to student needs. The academic program follows IEP goals. Components provide small group instruction and opportunities to integrate into the community. Social skills are addressed through the community and vocational/employment part of the program. Opportunities for job training are found within the school setting as well as the community at large. Within the school, the students work in the main office, and have started a copying business in their classroom. Students work at various local businesses and at the school district central office. Some students work independently and some are accompanied by a job coach. The goal is to fade the coaches as the students become more independent. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of regular education settings, including physical education and specials. They also have the opportunity to participate in sports and after-school clubs. Students with severe disabilities are taught through a hands-on, activity-based program. Career awareness and exploration activities are begun in this program, and students eventually begin work at a variety of internships throughout the community. Repeated practice of skills and competencies is necessary for successful transition in post-school settings.
As part of transition planning for all classified students over 14-years-old, staff is available to assist in the development of skills they will need to meet the world after high school. They are encouraged to understand the nature of their disability, understand and identify the information included in their IEPs, and are encouraged to take an active role in their Annual Reviews. They are made aware of their rights and responsibilities according to state and federal law.
Preschool Integrated Program
As with any school-aged resident child, Millburn Township School District provides a full continuum of services for students aged three to five years old who are found eligible for special education and related services through the evaluation process.
The Preschool Integrated program is located at South Mountain School. Three-year-old students attend class in the mornings; four-year-old students attend class in the afternoons. The ratio of regular education students to special needs students is approximately 50-50, with the scales more often leaning toward the regular education population. This integrated program (inclusionary) follows a general education preschool curriculum. All of the preschool integrated teachers are additionally Teacher of the Handicapped Certified. The special needs students receive in-class support through their teacher, and related services are provided in accordance with their IEPs. Each preschool integrated class is additionally staffed by a paraprofessional. Behaviorist support is provided on an as-needed basis.
Special needs students are automatically admitted to the program upon determination of eligibility for special education and related services. Regular education students are admitted through a yearly lottery process. There is a tuition fee for regular education students. It is the philosophy of the Millburn Preschool Program to foster developmentally appropriate programs for its students and to encourage them to become independent, confident learners.
Preschool Disabilities Program
The Self-Contained Preschool Disabilities Program is also available at South Mountain School to those students who require a structured, full-day ABA program with a smaller class size than is offered in the Integrated Preschool Program. This program is offered in order to make meaningful progress in helping students meet IEP goals and objectives. The full-day program provides opportunities for intensive small group instruction, 1:1 instruction and opportunities for integration into the preschool integrated sections for generalization. Related Services are provided as per student IEPs.
The program is developmental in nature, following the scope and sequence of a preschool readiness curriculum in accordance with the core content standards. The academic program incorporates individual student IEP goals. Components include Circle Time, 1:1 teaching, generalization into small group instruction, and opportunities to integrate into the preschool integrated classes. This self-contained program is staffed by an ABA trained Special Education teacher and 1:1 ABA trained paraprofessionals. The Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention provides consultation, oversight and staff training for this program.
Students who require ABA (discrete trial and behavioral strategies) will receive these services during individual teaching time. Students also receive speech and OT/PT groups. Socialization skills are addressed in group and individual settings.
All Millburn Township Preschool Programs provide an environment that is stimulating and nurturing. A variety of teaching methods are utilized that range from child-initiated play to teacher-directed instruction. Parent training is provided for parents of all preschool students.