ECLC offers parents peace of mind that their child with special needs will be supported for as long as needed! Our school alumni continue growing and thriving through our PRIDE Day Program, evening enrichment classes and job placement. Like an extended family, our students stay connected for years to come!

Students complete simple jobs, like stuffing envelopes, in the SKIL program.

The journey begins in our two non-profit, private schools located in Chatham and Ho-Ho-Kus. Our student population, ages 5–21, is diverse. Students are diagnosed with a wide range of disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, intellectual or medical disabilities.

Students are referred to ECLC from sending districts in 11 New Jersey counties. Eligibility and placement is determined by the sending district and the ECLC Child Study Team.

Our schools provide an outstanding academic program that is aligned with the New Jersey Department of Education Core Curriculum Content Standards. Students are grouped according to abilities not by their grade levels. They may stay in the same class for several years or move, as appropriate. The maximum age range within a classroom is four years. The student-teacher ratio is maintained at 6:1 with a maximum number of 12 students per class.

Students and clients with special needs thrive at ECLC of New Jersey.

Contact Us

Chatham School
21 Lum Avenue
Chatham, N.J.07928
Principal Jason Killian
Tel: (973-601-5410)

Ho-Ho-Kus School
302 North Franklin Turnpike
Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.07423
Principal Vicki Lindorff
Tel: (201-670-7880)


We believe in educating the whole student with the goal of preparing them for life after graduation. Teachers use a variety of creative and unique multisensory instructional materials and techniques. And, the individual needs of each student are met through specific, tailored approaches. An equal emphasis is placed on enhancing academic skills and developing the social-emotional well-being of students.

Our team of specialists includes:

  • Learning Disabilities Teaching Consultant (LDTC)
  • Nurse
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Speech therapists

These related services providers partner with our classroom teachers and physical education, art and music teachers to optimize the learning environment.

Teachers at both schools use the SCERTS framework in all classes. SCERTS (Social Communication Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support) is a multi-sensory, child-centered and activity based model. The approach is individualized, based on each child’s developmental profile. The Ho-Ho-Kus campus was the first school in New Jersey to formally train every staff member and integrate SCERTS into the daily curriculum.

Community-Based Instruction

At both campuses, the local community becomes an extension for testing independence and learning daily living skills. On a regular basis, all ECLC students explore the library, post office, bank, drug store, restaurants and other locations in the surrounding community. While enjoyable, these are not recreational field trips. CBI involves teaching academics, social skills and other content during activities that occur naturally within community settings.

Sports & Clubs

Our students aren’t left watching on the sidelines. Students celebrate the typical school milestones of prom night, field day, talent shows, award assemblies, Thanksgiving feasts and holiday shows! ECLC offers many extracurricular activities, including:

  • Boy Scouts
  • Cheerleading
  • Dance
  • Drama/music clubs
  • School newspaper
  • Sports teams
  • Student government
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga
  • Zumba

Respite Weekends

ECLC keeps students engaged even on the weekends with the respite (sleepover) program. Activities are planned to practice social skills, teamwork, and the “art” of relaxing and just hanging out. All of these programs are offered with no cost to the district!

Learning for Life

Students enjoy a dynamic art, music and physical education program, too!

Starting at age 14, ECLC prepares students for life after graduation, through the SKIL (Seeking Knowledge for Independent Living) program. In our dedicated Transition Rooms, students complete simple jobs and learn the “soft” skills of expected behaviors and attitudes in the workplace. They manage mailings, collate newsletters and create custom invitations, T-shirts, mugs, napkins, menus, and more. They even run the school lunch program.

These projects support real customers as well as take care of school needs. After students have mastered the basics, they move out into the community to “sample” jobs. They get to experience anything from child care and retail to food service, maintenance and office administrative support.

Upper School & Transition

Occupational therapy helps our students improve their everyday living skills.

Our goal is to prepare our students for independent living and for a smooth transition from school to young adulthood! In their final years before graduation, our employment specialists from Community Personnel Services (CPS) help students create a plan to take them into the next chapter of their lives.

Students learn to write resumes, practice interviewing skills, interact with co-workers and make decisions — with their families — about work or a day program. CPS has a 21-year track record of successfully assisting people with disabilities obtain and retain jobs. The job placement rate in 2015 was 98%.

ECLC runs the PRIDE Day Program exclusively for alumni who are not good candidates for work, because of the nature of their disability.

All of our students graduate with a concrete plan for their future – and that is the ECLC difference!



HIB Coordinator:
Samantha Schatz,
(973) 601-5533

HIB Specialist:
Brieanne Richards,
(973) 601-5536


HIB Coordinator:
Priscilla Guzman,
(973) 601-5418

HIB Specialist:
Dr. Allison Weideman,
(973) 601-5456

Frequently Used Acroynms

Students enjoy therapeutic horseback riding sessions at both campuses.
  • CBI – Community Based Instruction
  • CPI -Crisis Prevention Institute
  • CPS – Community Personnel Services
  • CST – Child Study Team
  • DLM – Dynamic Learning Maps
  • ECLC- Education, Careers, and Lifelong Community
  • ESY – Extended School Year
  • IEP – Individualized Education Plan
  • LDTC – Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant
  • LIFE – Learning Is Forever
  • NJDDD – New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • NJDVRS – New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • OT- Occupational Therapy
  • PASS – Promoting Appropriate Social Skills
  • PBS-Positive Behavior Supports
  • PRIDE – Promoting Responsibility, Independence, Decision-making and Employability
  • PT- Physical Therapy
  • PTO – Parent/Teacher Organization
  • SCERTS – Social Communication Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support
  • SGA – Student Government Association
  • SKIL – Seeking Knowledge for Independent Living
  • STEP – Students Earning Privileges
  • TES – Transition Empowerment and Self Advocacy
  • WEC – Work Experience Cluster