The John F. Kennedy School is a district wide middle-secondary special education school. Currently there are two separate programs at this school: Autistic and Multiple Disabilities with Moderate Cognitive Involvement. This outcome based program services students from the ages of 10 to 21. The specialized curriculum emphasizes the development of functional academics and life skills necessary for independent functioning in the home, community, and workplace. The students’ needs, talents and interests form their individual educational program. The focus of this program is in assisting students in reaching their full potential in becoming active participants in their community and in the workplace.
The goal is to have activities of daily living taught in a simulated apartment setting. Job sampling centers expose students to a variety of vocations geared to their functional level and projected availability of job placement in the community. Actual work experiences are provided both in the school and at a variety of community-based work sites. These work experiences are developed and implemented through the efforts of a fulltime Transition Team consisting of: A Social Worker 2, School Counselor, Child Study Team Case Manager, one Transition Teacher and three Job Coaches. The Social Worker 2 and School Counselor solicit and maintain contact with community agencies and businesses for potential work sites for students; the Transition Teacher instructs students in the area of social skills needed for success in the work place; the job coaches work with the students off site and as a liaison with school personnel by assisting the students in areas of need. The School Counselor visits sheltered workshops and other community agencies to solicit and provide post school experiences for lower functioning students.
In addition, the students may receive services from the following full time therapists: speech, occupational and physical. They also receive on site hydrotherapy in our swimming pool, Art and Music Therapy.
In our autistic program skills are taught using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Natural Environment Teaching. Our students with autism are also included in a Sensory Motor Integration Program which is provided in class. This comprehensive program involves direct student involvement. It includes Aromatherapy, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Sound Therapy and Movement/Touch Therapy to involve as many senses as possible.
Student achievement is the focus of all activities at John F. Kennedy School. The students are offered an extended school day program, which includes the following: homework assistance, academic tutoring, computer skills development, health and nutritional guidance, and recreational programs such as swimming, skating and bowling. The students are also offered an extended year program and can attend 210 days per year.
The Individualized Education Program (I.E.P.) is the mechanism for identifying, delivery, adapting and modifying areas of the curricula, which are appropriate for our moderately disabled students. These goals are assessed by teachers periodically through Progressive Data Analysis. Additionally, the students are formally assessed utilizing the N.J. State Alternate Proficient Assessment as well. These assessments provide teachers with the necessary information by which to develop educational goals, lesson plans, rubrics and other assessments.