The Demonstration Program

Housed within the Ben Samuels Children's Center, is the Demonstration Program, a NJ Public-College-Operated Program for the Disabled (NJ Administrative Code 6a:14-7.1(a). This is a unique special education program for preschool age children with pervasive development delays that is guided by a framework that is responsive to individual differences, stresses affective development, independence and interdependence, and is consistent with quality early childhood educational practice.

Each child with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is included in one of four preschool classrooms. Each of these classrooms is led by a certified early childhood educator and has an enrollment of up to 18 children ages 3-5. There are a maximum number of four students with IEP's enrolled in each class as part of The Demonstration Program. Their membership and participation within the classroom is supported by a team of certified and/or licensed personnel and paraprofessionals. This group of professionals works as a transdisciplinary team sharing responsibilities and mutually training team members by sharing their expertise. Team members release their roles to one another so that responsibilities of one discipline (e.g. Speech-Language Specialist) become embedded in those of another (e.g. Early Childhood Educator). A non-teaching principal who is responsible for administration and supervision of the program is also a member of the staff.

Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and strategies are embedded into the classroom routines and activities. Related services are delivered within the context of the child's classroom schedule.

There are 180 school days for the Demonstration Program. These days run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am-2pm and Wednesday 9am-11:30am. Professional development, classroom planning and team collaboration occurs from 12:30pm until 3:30pm on Wednesday afternoons. An Extended School Year of 30 days is also a part of the Demonstration Program. During the Extended School Year the school day runs Monday through Thursday 9am-2pm and classroom planning and team collaboration occurs between 2pm and 4pm.