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Frequently Asked Questions about:


What is ECLC of New Jersey?

ECLC of New Jersey was formed in 1970 by a group of committed parents to provide early intervention services to a handful of pre-school children. Our acronym originally stood for “Early Childhood Learning Center.” Now, because of our extensive adult services, our acronym has been updated to mean: “Education, Careers & Lifelong Community.” ECLC is an accredited, non-profit, educating students ages 5–21 with autism spectrum, Down syndrome, severe learning and/or language disabilities or multiple disabilities at two schools. A separate entity called Community Personnel Services (CPS) provides post-graduate transition services, support coordination and job placements to any special-needs adult. The PRIDE program offers pre-vocational training, independent living skills and more.

How many people with special needs are served by ECLC’s schools and adult programs?

ECLC serves nearly 800 and adults with special needs. Across our various entities, we offer lifelong services:

  • Students ages 5–21 are enrolled at schools in Chatham (170) and Ho-Ho-Kus (80).
  • Adult clients (74) work in supported-employment jobs through ECLC’s affiliate, Community Personnel Services (CPS).
  • Students/adult clients (238) are aided in creating budgetary plans and accessing government services through Support Coordination services offered by CPS.
  • Students (66) and their families are helped to transition from the classroom to adulthood through CPS.
  • Adult clients (170) continue to grow through PRIDE programs at locations in Florham Park and Saddle Brook.

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Who attends ECLC schools?

ECLC of New Jersey serves moderately to severely disabled individuals. The most prevalent conditions among students are autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome and “intellectual disabilities.”

How are students grouped?

Students are grouped according to abilities not by their “grade” levels. They may stay in the same class for years. The maximum age range within a classroom is four years.

What are the classroom ratios?

The student-teacher ratio at the schools is 6:1 with the maximum number of 12 students per class.

How is eligibility determined?

Students attend ECLC when their local public school determines that an out-of-district placement is indicated. Eligibility for placement is determined by the local sending district and ECLC Child Study Team. The sending district provides the students’ records, which are reviewed by the ECLC Child Study Team. This is followed by an intake in which the child spends the day at an ECLC school being considered for placement.

Are there after-school or summer programs?

ECLC offers after-school programs and Extended School Year (ESY), which is determined by a student’s IEP.

What is the graduation rate?

100% of ECLC students graduate!

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Community Personnel Services

What is Community Personnel Services?

Community Personnel Services (CPS), an affiliate of ECLC of New Jersey, is a non-profit supported employment agency located in Chatham, N.J. CPS was created in 1995 to enrich the lives of students by helping them obtain successful employment in integrated community settings. CPS has grown from serving an initial graduating class of 30 ECLC students to providing services to 300+ clients.

How is CPS funded?

CPS is funded by the N.J. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NJDVRS), N.J. Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJDDD), the N.J. Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) and public and private schools, which contract for services.

Does CPS serve students from non-ECLC schools or programs?

Yes! CPS also provides transition services to students from other schools and employment opportunities to young adults who were not ECLC students. CPS staff serves graduating students of ECLC at the Chatham and Ho-Ho-Kus schools, clients referred by New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NJDVRS), New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJDDD), New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), and local school districts. CPS also provides Support Coordination services to CPS is one of the few agencies in New Jersey that can approve budgetary plans without oversight from the DDD. CPS support coordinators combine their experience, knowledge, advocacy and sincerity to help individuals and families create viable plans.

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What is PRIDE?

PRIDE is an adult program for those ECLC alumni who are offered a placement and a limited number of adults with special needs who did not attend an ECLC school. In this client-centered program, the day is divided into one-hour increments, targeting four key areas for habilitation: Social Appropriateness, Independent Living, Work Enhancement Skills and Community Participation. Clients choose their schedule of preferred activities from a wide range of options. A hallmark of the program is that clients are out in the community nearly every day, either volunteering, on field trips or participating in enrichment activities, such as book club and fitness.

Where is PRIDE located?

ECLC has two PRIDE Centers, located in Florham and Saddle Brook.

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ECLC Foundation

What is the ECLC Foundation?

The ECLC Foundation was established in 1994 to provide supplemental moneys to fund scholarships; after-school programming; adult weekend and enrichment programs; and events during non-school hours that require staff. Foundation moneys also provided the start-up costs for CPS and PRIDE and continue to supplement both adult programs.

How does the Foundation raise money?

The Foundation raises money through private donations, grants and events. The Foundation’s major annual fund-raising events include gala dinners organized by staff and parents from each school; a summer golf outing; a walkathon in the Fall and the Chatham Jaycees Fishawack 4-mile run.

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