The Department of Special Services
OLD BRIDGE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL SERVICES
The Department of Special Services is responsible for the development of educational programs for student who are identified and/or classified as disabled children. The department facilitates evaluation and diagnosis of children who are believed to need special education programs. The child study teams make recommendation for placement and services.
The philosophy of the Old Bridge Department of Special Services is to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE). To the greatest extent appropriate, students with disabilities are instructed with non-disabled students. Removal of a student with a disability from the student’s regular class shall only occur when the nature or severity of the educational disability is such that education in the student’s regular class with the use of appropriate supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Placement for students with disabilities is provided in appropriate educational settings as close to home as possible.
The district has twenty-five (25) child study team (CST) members, including learning disability teacher consultants, social workers, and psychologists. These team members work with teachers and parents to form an individualized education plan (IEP) for each classified student. They monitor the progress of the student and re-evaluate the IEP accordingly.
The district also has thirteen (13) speech language specialists (SLS) who work to improve student communication skills within the district. These 13 SLSs are divided amongst our fifteen (15) schools.
SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATION (SEPTA) and
SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT ADVISORY GROUP (SEPAG)
Old Bridge is very fortunate to have a Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA) and Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG). All parents of children with special needs, from preschool through high school, are encouraged to get involved and participate in both SEPTA and SEPAG.
Both these groups of dedicated parents are available to other parents who have questions, concerns, and ideas about how to work effectively on behalf of their child. Both SEPTA and SEPAG groups meet regularly to provide information and topics on Special Education within the district.
SEPTA meets once a month at the John Glenn School where parents of children with special needs meet to learn about relevant topics and discuss their concerns. Topics of prior meetings have addressed such topics as:
- Special services in schools
- Guardianship and trusts
- Department of Developmental Disabilities
- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Legal updates
- Transition services
- Peer mediation
- Middlesex County’s Vocational-Technical programs
- Camp Robin
- Special Olympics
Regional Professional Development Academy (RPDA)
To enhance parents' access to a variety of workshops, Old Bridge Public Schools has entered into the Regional Professional Development Academy. The mission of the Regional Professional Development Academy continues to be to address students with moderate to severe disabilities in the general education classroom. For a complete offering of free workshops that parent and educators can attend, please go to the RPDA website at https://www.lehsd.org/rpda.
If you have questions or concerns about the needs of your students, please contact us at 732-360-4461.