Special Education Services

Department of Educational Services

Ms. Didi Deitcher, Director of Educational Services, ext. 5002
Ms. Amy Coppola, Supervisor of Educational Services, ext. 5003

Ms. Elaine Donnelly, Administrative Secretary, ext. 5002
Ms. Susan Powell, Asst Administrative Secretary, ext. 5003
Ms. Sheryl Magaziner, Asst Administrative Secretary, ext. 5004

Getting Started: Child Find
"Child find" refers to the process of locating, identifying, and evaluating children with disabilities to ensure that they receive services to which they are entitled. Children and youth, 3 to 21, living in the Highland Park School District, who are suspected of having a disability, may be referred for a possible evaluation to determine if they are eligible for special education services.

An effort is made to provide special education students with programs in their home schools. Where the program is not available in the home school or when a student's IEP team determines they qualify, special transportation is provided by the school district to and from the student's home. An aide will be assigned to the bus, if necessary.

District Testing Program
The New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) is given to students in grades 3 - 11. In order for students graduating in 2020, 2021 and 2022 to meet their graduation requirements, they must take and pass the English Language Arts 10 and Algebra I assessments. They can also take and pass an alternate assessment as determined by the State.  

All classified students must participate in state testing. Most take the same tests in the same manner as other students unless they are exempted from passing one or more sections because the IEP does not contain the full range of proficiencies tested. Other classified students may take the state testing with modifications. These modifications may include extended time and small group administration. A classified student can be exempted from passage of the NJSLA if the IEP team determines the student qualifies. Some students may be exempted from testing itself by the IEP team, but must participate in the alternate assessment, the Dynamic Learning Map (DLM).

Graduation Requirements
Most special education students in Highland Park graduate with their class. In order to receive a high school diploma from the Highland Park Schools, a student must take and pass required courses, accumulate 135 credits, and pass the NJSLA as described above. Exemptions from these requirements can be made for students who, because of their disability, cannot meet these requirements. This is a matter to be addressed at the IEP meeting and in the IEP document. Most special education students are required to meet these requirements. Any special education student who graduates by meeting either the standard graduation requirements or the alternate requirements detailed in the IEP will receive the same high school diploma given to any other student and can participate in the regular high school graduation exercises and related activities. Neither the high school diploma nor the school transcript make any reference to special education classification, courses, or services.