Every Spring, our Chatham school hosts an Employer Breakfast to thank area businesses and nonprofits for opening their doors to students with special needs to learn new work skills!

Nearly 30 employers participated in the program during this school year, including child-care centers, retail stores, environmental organizations, a museum, several restaurants, a library and even a hair salon!

The work-skills program is a critical component of the school’s curriculum to prepare students as they approach graduation. Students are placed with an employer to learn hard skills and “soft” skills that are just as important to understand in a workplace. They learn how to show up on time; stay on task; ask a manager questions; and appropriate social interactions with coworkers.

Life After Graduation

Unlike most other special-needs schools, we offer lifelong services.

Students receive transition and supported-employment services through our affiliate, Community Personnel services (CPS). The staff collaborates with students and families to create a road map for success. CPS staff help families navigate the complex maze of government agencies to access aid and services, including transportation.

CPS staff eliminate the anxiety and worry, almost like falling off a cliff that can occur at schools without these individualized services.

Based on skills, abilities and interests, students “job sample” prior to graduation with the goal of identifying the best match. CPS has a consistent track record of placing more than 90 percent of those seeking a job into employment.

Students who may not be ready for work are offered tours of alternative adult habilitation programs, including the option of entering our PRIDE Adult Program, if appropriate, and educational programs.

CPS also offers Support Coordination services and is one of the few agencies in New Jersey allowed to approve individual plans without state oversight. The agency is so successful that a number of public school districts contract for its services!