District Special Services
"The purpose of education is not to endow students with diplomas, but to equip them with the substantive knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. A high school diploma is not an education, any more than a birth certificate is a baby." -Presiding Justice Ignazio J. Ruvolo
Special Services Department
Mr. Ryan Kline, Acting Director of Special Services
100 Passaic Avenue
Belleville, New Jersey 07109
973-450-3500, Option 8
Mr. Michael Vargas, Supervisor of Special Services
(973) 450-3500, option 8
“The Belleville Public Schools Local Building and Improvement Project for Special Education-Least Restrictive Environment is designed to promote, provide and support the practice of inclusive education. The Belleville School District has adopted a proactive stance for including students with disabilities in general education. We are committed to developing and expanding our continuum of options for students to participate in general education. The district is building its capacity by reshaping and rethinking its mindset of LRE, specifically inclusive practices. We have gone beyond our traditional scope by changing the attitude of administration, staff, parents and students. To accomplish this goal, it is necessary that the district permanently embraces the LRE concept and provides accommodations and modifications necessary to ensure that all students achieve their educational goals.”
About Special Services
The Department of Special Services provides services to students with special needs between the age of three and twenty-one. Students with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, are identified and evaluated according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14. The department is dedicated to providing an overall system that connects and communicates in such a way that all children with special needs are served appropriately-within the context of the least restrictive environment. There are a variety of services available including, but not limited to, child study team consultation, evaluation, and case management, along with special education and related services.
The Child Study Team (CST) services are conducted by team members including school psychologist, learning disabilities teacher/consultant, school social worker and/or speech language specialist. Recommendations regarding the child are made by the child study team members, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and any relevant individuals having knowledge of the child.
The continuum of Special Education services spans a variety of placements including in-class resource programs, pullout replacement resource center classes and self-contained classes, both in and out of district, as well as home instruction as needed. Our focus is to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent appropriate with their non-disabled peers. Differentiated instruction is emphasized throughout all of our programs.
In addition, related services offer support and remedial services through supplemental instruction. Related services include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling- all delivered by certified therapists in their respective disciplines.
The department emphasizes compliance with Federal and State mandates; direct parent and staff educational opportunities in special education; identification of preschool children with special needs and provision of inclusive preschool experiences for them; transition planning services; and improved flow and accessibility of information to parents.
Project Child Find
The Belleville school district is committed to identifying students with disabilities that affect their ability their educational experience. If you are concerned that your child's development is delayed or that he/she is having difficulty learning, please contact us. Make a request to the principal of your child’s school or to the special services department. Belleville’s Department of Special Services can be reached at 973-450-3500, Option 5.
Early Intervention: Ages Birth to 3 Years Old
If your child is under the age of three, and you have concerns about developmental (behaviorial, speech, language, or motor skills), please contact Early Intervention at Family Link, Inc.- a regional service for Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties in New Jersey.
2333 Morris Ave., Suite A-204
Union, NJ 07083
New Jersey Early Intervention System of Personal Development
NJ Early Intervention
Preschool Students and Special Education
Pre-school students with disabilities may be eligible for special education services as indicated under federal law, IDEA, and state law, N.J.A.C. 1:6A. In order to receive special education services, the pre-school child will need to be referred to the Child Study Team for evaluation. Children may be eligible for services on the day of their third birthday. The initial referral should be directed to the Director of Special Services. Once a referral is received, a meeting will be convened with the parent and the pre-school Child Study Team. If the parents and the child study team agree to conduct an evaluation, an evaluation plan will be designed. An evaluation plan typically includes a multi-disciplinary set of evaluations such as a cognitive assessment, social assessment and a speech and language evaluation. Other evaluations may be added if needed. Once the evaluations are completed, an eligibility meeting will be held to determine the student's eligibility for services. If the student is eligible for special education services, an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) will be developed and services will be initiated.
The entire process, from the development of the evaluation plan to the provision of services, must be completed within 90 days. Referrals are accepted at any time of the year. If the pre-school student is receiving county-based Early Intervention, the parent is encouraged to begin the process 120 days before the child's third birthday. This will ensure that services begin on the child's third birthday if the child is eligible for such services.
Questions regarding pre-school student identification and services should be directed to the Department of Special Services at 973-450-3500, Option 5.
Special Education Parents Advisory Committee (SEPAC)
The goal of SEPAC is for the district to communicate information outward as well as provide the families of our students a stronger voice, which in turn will enhance our department and our students’ success. All SEPAC meetings will be open to the families of students with special needs however committee members will help set the tone of the meeting by collaborating with the development of the topics discussed. Specific meeting dates will be provided at our first meeting, with the intent to hold them on various Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm during the academic year. Our first meeting is scheduled for November 5 at 6:30pm.
New Jersey Administrative Code Title 6A, Chapter 14 Special Education
New Jersey Department of Special Education
Parental Rights in Special Education (P.R.I.S.E.)
Derechos de los Padres en Educacion de especial (P.R.I.S.E. en Espanol)
New Jersey’s Children’s System of Care
Perform Care- Behavioral Health Solutions
Transition from School to Adult Life
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)
United States Department of Education