- Child Find
- Child Study Team Services
- Counseling and Crisis Intervention
- Health and Information Services
- Non-Public School Support Services
- Special Education Program Options
- Preschool Programs for Children with Special Needs
- Department of Pupil Services Directory Contact
Welcome to the Department of Pupil Services
Mission Statement: The Department of Pupil Services is committed to the academic, social, and emotional success of all students in order to prepare them for independent living, employment, and/or college readiness. Students with disabilities will be placed in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent possible with the goal that every student will learn the NJ Student Learning Standards.
Vision Statement: We are committed to providing every student with an individualized program that applies best practices in education so that students will feel safe, supported, and secure. In-class support options through innovative co-teaching practices for students will be available in each school. All students are valued members of our community with equal opportunities for meaningful participation in extracurricular activities. We pride ourselves on our interdisciplinary partnerships that bring together team members across departments including the Child Study Team, related service providers, teachers, school counselors, health service providers, the administration, outside agencies, and families who will support each student in reaching their highest academic, social, and emotional potential.
Kids to Kids is a non-profit organization for high school students located in Morristown. The group offers high school peer mentors to assist students with special needs during a variety of activities in the areas of swimming and art. Please click here for a brochure on Kids to Kids.
The Parent Advocacy Council for Education (P.A.C.E.) is a parent support and advocacy group. Please click here for additional information about P.A.C.E.
Project Child Find
New Jersey School Districts are required to establish "Child Find" procedures to identify children who may have disabilities. Parents, physicians, agency representatives, school staff or administrators and others may refer a child for an evaluation. For additional information on Project Child Find, please click here for an attachment to an FAQ regarding the program.
The District provides direct services to students with disabilities between the ages of three and twenty-one. Children with disabilities below the age of three may be eligible for an Early Intervention Program (EIP) and services coordinated through the State Department of Health, Special Child Health Services. Information about these services within Morris County is available through:
Special Child Health Services/ Morristown
Morris County Case Management Unit
Morristown Memorial Hospital
Morristown, NJ 07962-1956
CHILD STUDY TEAM SERVICES
When a student has experienced serious, persistent difficulties with some aspect of school, staff members or parents may seek assistance from the school's Child Study Team (CST). Children between the ages of three (3) and twenty-one (21), whose parents are legal residents of the Morris School District, can be evaluated by the Child Study Team (CST) to determine if there exists an educational disability.
A basic Child Study Team is comprised of three members:
- School Social Worker
Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant
A Speech and Language Specialist is a member of the team for evaluations of preschoolers and those school age students whose presenting problems appear to be in the area of language development. Other specialists are included for some types of evaluations (e.g. an audiologist for a student with a hearing impairment or a physician when there are medical issues).
Each school in the Morris School District has a Child Study Team assigned on a regular basis. The District contracts with a variety of agencies and professionals in private practice for some types of specialized evaluations.
The purpose of a Child Study Team evaluation is to determine if a student has a disability and is eligible for special education and related services. The criteria for making these judgments are outlined in the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14(N.J.A.C. 6A:14).
Please see the general CST process below.
1. Referral: A referral is the first step in the special education process. It is a formal written request that a student be evaluated by the CST to determine whether an evaluation will be conducted and/or if a student is eligible for special education and related services. A case manager is then assigned and the identification meeting is scheduled within 20 calendar days (excluding holidays). The information is collected regarding the child’s educational process.
2. Identification Meeting: Participants include parent/guardian, all CST members, at least one of the student’s general education teachers. A decision is made as to whether a CST evaluation is warranted.
3. No Evaluation or Evaluation: If an evaluation is not deemed appropriate at this time, the student will return his current educational setting. If an evaluation is deemed appropriate, an evaluation plan is written describing the required evaluations and parental consent is obtained. The process begins and the evaluations are completed within 90 days.
4. Eligibility: Once evaluations are completed, an eligibility meeting is scheduled to determine whether the student is eligible for special education and related services. The case manager or evaluator will review the evaluation results and answer all questions. The case manager will discuss the rationale for determination of eligibility or non-eligibility.
5. IEP Meeting: Once a student has been found eligible for special education and related services or speech and language services, and IEP must be held. This meeting is required before any special education services can commence. The purpose of the meeting is to determine the student’s current educational status and develop a program designed to meet the student’s unique needs. This meeting may be held immediately after the eligibility meeting with parent consent or within 15 days of the eligibility meeting.
Parental Rights in Special Education (P.R.I.S.E.) English version (revised December, 2015)
Parental Rights in Special Education (P.R.I.S.E.) Spanish version (revised August, 2016)
Counseling and Crisis Intervention
Elementary School Counselors
Each elementary building within the Morris School District has an elementary counselor (either a School Social Worker or a School Psychologist) who focuses on specific social and personal issues that may affect student performance in the school setting. Counseling services are usually short term with clearly defined purposes, related to:
- Social skills
- Separation or loss
- Conflict resolution
- Self esteem
Counseling sessions are provided to small groups or individuals. Parental permission is required for participation on a regularly scheduled basis. Teachers, administrators, and parents may ask the counselors to assist a student. Students may also seek this help themselves.
In addition to these counseling sessions, the elementary counselors have a variety of other responsibilities with staff and students. They collaborate with teachers for projects or special activities involving whole classes (e.g. transitioning to a new school). The elementary counselors are available for crisis intervention when students and families are experiencing serious distress and may need immediate assistance and possible referral to community based agencies. They are familiar with a full range of resources and can facilitate the often complex process of gaining access to community social, medical and support services.
Elementary counselors may be contacted by phone, email, or by mail through the main office at each elementary school.
Middle School and High School Counselors
Frelinghuysen Middle School and Morristown High School provide counseling and crisis intervention services through the Guidance Departments, the Student Assistance Counselors, and Child Study Team members. The Guidance Department at Morristown High School is also responsible for college and career counseling. The handbooks for both schools describe the specific services, personnel, and procedures for contacting counselors in more detail.
In cases of serious mental health emergencies or when there has been a tragic episode related to students or staff in the District, mental health personnel from outside agencies provide interim counseling and consultation. Counselors from Morristown Memorial Hospital and other agencies such as the Traumatic Loss Coalition have provided assistance when sudden, violent death has occurred. Follow-up assistance from other agencies also has been made available when loss or a tragic event has affected students and families.
Perform Care is the single point of entry for children and families in need ages 3-21 who may be experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties, developmental/intellectual disabilities, substance abuse, or trauma. Perform Care provides children and their families with counseling services, mobile response to stabilize crisis situations, behavioral supports, substance abuse treatment (up to age 18), respite care, family support, and care management for complex needs. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year, 877-652-7624. Please click here for additional information. You can also access their website: http://performcarenj.org
Mobile Response and Stabilization Services are available for children and youth who are engaging in a behavioral or emotional crisis. This service is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The purpose of these services are to deescalate a crisis, keeping the child and family safe. Please click here for additinal information or to access services, call 1-877-652-7624.
ELEMENTARY COUNSELOR STAFF DIRECTORY
- Maite Biggan
- Cheryl Cohen
- Mary Ellen DuPre-Burns
- Christy Maher
- Bryn Markovich
- Sasha Soriano
- Guidance Counselor
- Dawn Wallace
HEALTH INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
A child's health plays an important role in his or her intellectual, physical, and social growth and development. Recognizing this relationship, the Morris School District is committed to working alongside parents to support the health and wellness of our students.
Each Morris School District has on staff one or more Registered Nurses to provide guidance and support for parents and to answer questions regarding school-related health issues. Contact information for school nurses may be found HERE.
If a child in grades Pre-k to 5 will be late or absent from school, parents are to call the school health office prior to the start of the school day and leave a message that include's the child's name, his/her teacher's name, and the reason for absence or lateness.
Parents of students at Frelinghuysen Middle Schol are to call the attendance office at 973-292-2200 X 8066. Parents of high school students are to report a lateness or absence to the attendance office at 973-292-2000 extension 3.
INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Flu Information (February 2016)
Head Lice: Fact vs. Myth (English)
Head Lice: Fact vs. Myth (Spanish
HPV Vaccine Information (CDC & NJ Depatment of Health)
Lice Information (English)
Lice Information (Spanish)
Meningitis Fact Sheet
NJ Health History and Appraisal Form
MORRIS SCHOOL DISTRICT HEALTH FORMS
Asthma Emergency Treatment Plan (English & Spanish)
Medication Authorization (English & Spanish)
Non-Public School Support Services
Students ages 5-21 who are placed by their parents in nonpublic schools may be referred for Child Study Team evaluations through their schools. The district in which a private school is located, not the district in which the parent resides, is responsible for the Child Study Team evaluation.
The Morris School District contracts with a private agency for all evaluation services to students attending the nonpublic schools located within its boundaries. In order to initiate a referral:
1. The non-public school submits a state form (407-1) to the Pupil Services Department at 31 Hazel
Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
2. After approval by the Superintendent, the form is sent to the agency, which:
- Contacts the parent to obtain parental permission
- Conducts the evaluations
- Determines eligibility for services
- Develops an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
The District contracts with a public agency for speech and supplemental education services for classified students placed by parents in nonpublic schools.
Program options for students include the following, which begin with the "least restrictive" and move in the direction of more restrictive options.
Preference is given to general education classes with supplementary aids and services in the school which the student would attend if not disabled. Such additional aids and services support successful integration and may include the following as examples:
- In class support classes are available in all schools and provide support instruction from a special education teacher. This additional support from a special education teacher takes place in the general education classes. The specific type of service for each student is determined through the Individualized Education Plan.
- Out of class support or replacement classes are available in all schools and provide support and/or replacement instruction from a special education teacher. Students are usually in general education classes for portions of the day, depending upon their needs. The specific type of service for each student is determined through the IEP.
Self contained classes are located in most buildings. The preschool handicapped program offers special education and related services for children beginning at age three and continuing until they are eligible for Kindergarten. Learning and Language classes are in place throughout the district and some schools have Multiple Disability classes that serve the needs of students with Autism and other significant disabilities, who cannot make appropriate progress in a general education class.
Out of District placements are made when a student's needs can not be accommodated within the District. There are a range of programs available in other public school districts that accept tuition students, and in programs administered through various agencies. Private schools approved for services to children with disabilities also provide specialized programs. Occasionally, the IEP Team places a student in a school that is an accredited facility, but not approved by the New Jersey Department of Education for special education services.
Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS©): The Morris School District partners with Columbia University to educate students in the special and general education settings. The CABAS© program offers a self contained program, grades preschool through 5 in two of our elementary schools and grades 6-8 in our middle school. In addition, the Accelerated Independent Learner (AIL) model of instruction is also a CABAS© program that educates students with special needs and typically developing peers in the same general education classroom. Please see the link below for our brochure for a complete description of the CABAS© program offerings and click here to access the CABAS© website. If you are interested in this program, please contact Dr. Jessica Neu, Supervisor of Pupil Services for additional information.
Effective School Solutions (ESS): ESS is a program located in Morristown High School that provides therapeutic supports to students on an individual basis who may be experiencing academic, behavioral and/or emotional challenges. Please see the link below for a complete description of the ESS program offerings and click here to access the ESS website. If you are interested in this program, please contact Dr. Duoma, Supervisor of Special Education at Morristown High School for additional information.
TeenPride: TeenPride strives to help young people improve their lives by providing free individual, group and family counseling so they may build self-esteem, self-reliance and practice healthy lifestyles. Our counseling program is centered at Morristown High School with intensive therapeutic services also offered at Frelinghuysen Middle School. TeenPride provides individual, group and family counseling. The TeenPride staff consists of licensed mental health professionals, in addition to counselors with an expertise in drug and alcohol prevention and career counseling. Our counselors work with students struggling with academic, social, emotional, psychological and behavioral issues. Counseling takes place during the day or in the evening, on school premises, in a student’s home, or at a mutually agreed upon location. Click here to access the Teen Pride website for additional information regarding the organization and program.
Transition Skills Program at Morristown High School: Our Transition Skills Program is located in Morristown High School and equips learners with special needs the skills and capabilities they will need to develop a productive life outside of the classroom. The program is based on the individual needs of each learner. A variety of instructional settings are offered for core subjects such as math, language arts, history, and science. In addition, students are offered the opportunity to enroll in our Transition Skills elective that offers weekly Community Based Instruction trips and a formal Structured Learning Experience or certification program once the students turn 16.
Click here to access our Transition Skills Program Facebook page.
Preschool Programs for Children with Special Needs
Lafayette Learning Center
31 Hazel Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
Dr. Karen Andre, Principal
The Morris School District Lafayette Learning Center Preschool was developed to address the educational and developmental needs of students ages 3-5. It is comprised of three types of classes: inclusive classes that educate both typically and specially developing three and four-year old students; preschool classes for students with Individualized Educational Programs and the need for smaller groups sizes and more individualized programming. Although there may be a waiting list during some points in the year for general education students, there are always openings for students who are classified by our Child Study Team (CST).
The Lafayette Learning Center Preschool is a full day, 5 day a week program for all students. Our full-time staff, all of whom have met highly qualified state standards, includes certified teachers, speech therapists, behavior specialists, occupational therapists, teacher assistants, assistant behavior specialists, and a school nurse. A school social worker is also available on a daily basis, serving as the case manager for most children with identified disabilities.
Please see the attached preschool Child Study Team timelines for evaluation and classification.
Our preschool classes employ the Tools of the Mind (TOM) curriculum, a research-based program endorsed by the NJ Department of Education. The TOM curriculum was designed to enhance student growth in all areas of development, with a special emphasis on fostering self-regulation through the development of students’ attending, remembering, and thinking skills. Students follow a daily schedule which includes many purposeful activities and structured environment designed to foster creativity, imagination, problem-solving, communication, meta-cognition, and the expansion of core understandings and skills. The teachers utilize the Tools of the Mind curriculum and work towards achievement of the NJ Preschool Learning & Expectations: Standards of Quality.
If you would like to know more about our Tools of the Mind curriculum – its history, philosophy, activities, staff training, related resources, or samples of play plans, please access the TOM website at Tools of the Mind
We also offer a Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS©) preschool program. This program is a research based, individualized educational program that accelerates student learning. The Accelerated Independent Learner (AIL) classroom is a general education inclusion classroom. The instructional staff includes graduate level students in the Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis Program at Columbia University. The classroom teacher is a doctoral candidate and the teaching assistant(s) is a masters level student. The program is overseen on a weekly basis by University professors in the program.