Extended School Year (E.S.Y.)


The E.S.Y. program is a highly structured, innovative and supportive summer opportunity for students with disabilities enrolled in the Jersey City Public Schools.  Currently, it serves students ranging in age Pre-K to 21.  Eligibility criteria for the program are based on student data and the student’s ability to regress and/or recoup skills over an extended period of time. E.S.Y. must be required and documented in the student’s I.E.P.


Alternate Proficiency Assessment (A.P.A.) / Dynamic Learning Map (D.L.M.): 

Danielle Gitlin, Supervisor (201) 309-1642;

Dorothy Walsh and Jaime Merced, Lead Teachers


The APA/DLM is a computer-based assessment that is aligned with the Essential Elements/NJ State Educational Standards, which is designed to measure progress.  Eligible students are only those with severe disabilities who are unable to participate in the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (grades 3-8 or the High School Proficiency Assessment grade 11).


Grades and Subjects:

  • Students in grades 3,4,5,6,7,8 & 11 will test in DLM English Language Arts and Mathematics.
  • Only students in grades 5,8 & 11 will test in DLM Science.
  • Students in grade 12 must take the test if they did not take it in the 11th grade.


Assisting Children to Transition into Inclusion (A.C.T.):

Tracey Pettiford, Supervisor (201) 915-6032

Kara Ryan, Jennifer Arends, Kristen Nardini, and Stephanie Raywood

Lead Teachers (201) 915-6185 or  (201) 915-6794


The ACT program is a collaborative effort geared towards identifying and transitioning preschool-disabled children into lesser restrictive settings or inclusive environments. Collaboration between the classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, occupational & physical therapists, speech therapists, child study team case manager, and Preschool Lead teachers is essential to the success of the project. The targeted groups of 19 self-contained preschool classes housed in 9 schools (PS#8, 12, 14, 15, 22, 26, 30, 37, and 41) meet quarterly for student-centered discussions on progress, concerns, and implementation of strategies to address student weakness.  A.C.T. Brochure


Assistive Technology Program (A.T.):

Megan Costigan, Supervisor (201) 915-6077

Jaime Merced, Lead Teacher (201) 547-2094


The Assistive Technology Program serves to increase awareness, provide training, coordinate services, facilitate and assist in the acquisition of and implement and assess the utilization of assistive technology (AT) systems, services, devices and strategies that augment the abilities and compensate for the disabilities of students, making it possible for them to be educated with their non-disabled peers or the least restrictive environment (L.R.E.).


Auditory Impairment Program:
Tiffany Smolansky, M.S., CCC-SLP / [email protected] / 201-915-6216
Jodi Zaleck, M.A., LDTC / [email protected] / 201-915-6108, Program Supervisors
Jersey City Public Schools is proud to have established an Auditory Impairment program! Located in the heart of the Jersey City at PS #11,  our program strives to meet the changing and varied needs of deaf and hard of hearing students. The JC Auditory Impairment program continues to build upon its foundation of quality and strengths, as we expand our knowledge and skills to address the current trends in deaf education. With a literacy program specifically designed to meet the unique needs of our students, we are dedicated to providing an education that is fully accessible to deaf and hard of hearing learners. 


Autism Spectrum Disorder Program (A.S.D.):

David Gibbons, Supervisor (201) 547-2062

Jennifer Arends, Kristin Nardini,  Dorothy Walsh-Calabro

and Stephanie Raywood, B.C.B.A.'s (201) 915-6794


The Autism Spectrum Disorder program serves students between the ages of 3 to 21 who are identified eligible for special education and related services under the classification of Autism, providing them with quality services, while integrating them into the general education environment as much as possible. This A.S.D program operates under the  T.E.A.C.H program, where the emphasis and focus of the program are on language development, social skills, and increasing appropriate behaviors so that students with A.S.D. can be integrated into an inclusive setting. 


Behavioral Disabilities Program
Carol Sisterhen, Compliance Supervisor
David Gibbons, Instructional Supervisor
(201) 547-2062  (201) 351-2443 


The Behavioral Disabilities Program at the Jersey City Public Schools uses positive behavioral supports to increase positive behaviors and decrease negative behaviors of students with behavioral and/or emotional disabilities.  Skills are actively taught to students in both formal and informal settings and are modeled by classroom staff.  Students are given opportunities to practice skills and receive reinforcement.  Students’ behavior is actively tracked and reported so that data-based decisions can be made as students’ needs change.


The Connect Learn and Move Forward (CLM) program promotes  the connection with students in order to teach the skills required for the student  to move into a classroom setting with the same aged peers (inclusion).  This will be done by providing support to the teachers and providing students with strategies to make learning cohesive.

Three phases of the program are:

  • Connect-Engagement
  • Learn-Skills/Strategies
  • Move Forward-Inclusion/LRE



Creating Happy And Motivated Pupils to Succeed (C.H.A.M.P.S.):

Dina Kosc Supervisor (201) 915-6780

 Heather Piechocki and Robyn Drag, Lead Teachers (201) 547-6079


The C.H.A.M.P.S. program is designed for students with mild/moderate intellectual disabilities, as well as, students with severe learning disabilities.  Students in the program receive intensive intervention in the areas of Language Arts and Mathematics to reduce delays in speech, language, reading and mathematics development.  Other components include Daily Living skills, Pre-Vocational Skills, and Vocations Skills.


Chapter 192 and Chapter 193 – Non-Public Schools

Dr. Andrea Blake-Garrett, Supervisor (201) 915-6170


Chapter 192 programs and Chapter 193 programs are provided to eligible students enrolled full-time in nonpublic elementary and secondary schools in Jersey City. Chapter 192 programs provide nonpublic school students with auxiliary services such as compensatory education, English as a second language, home instruction, Chapter 226-nursing, security, textbooks, and technology support. 

Chapter 193 programs provided to eligible students enrolled full-time nonpublic elementary and secondary schools in Jersey City with remedial services such as evaluation and determination of eligibility for special education and with limited related services that include supplementary instruction in Math and Language Arts as per current ISP and speech-language services.


Charter SchoolsTracey Pettiford, Supervisor (201) 915-6032;

Lissa Ramirez, Charter School Facilitator (201) 714-4329


The Jersey City School District and the Charter Schools of Hudson County have established a collaborative, educational relationship. This initiative is based on shared information and maintaining open lines of communication as we strive to meet the educational needs of Jersey City students. JCPS and the Charter Schools have established ongoing communication in efforts to provide appropriate programming for students with special needs.  At present, the Special Education Department collaborates with (10) Hudson County Charter Schools.  


Collaborative Consultation Teacher Program (C.C.T.) PreK:

Tracey Pettiford, Supervisor (201) 915-6032

Tarinesha Bush, Lead Teacher (201) 915-6185


The Pre-K Collaborative Consultative Teacher (CCT) is a Special Education Teacher serving in a consultative role to a General Education Teacher to support students with an IEP within the GE preschool classroom.  The CCT works closely with the classroom teacher to facilitate modifications, strategies, and interventions as well as implement adaptations and accommodations.  The CCT continuously monitors students' progress toward goals/objectives in order to obtain data for further academic and/or behavioral recommendations.  Additionally, the CCT will collaborate with the GE teacher on interventions and strategies to assist at-risk GE students on an as-needed basis. 


Collaborative Consultation Teacher Program (C.C.T.):

Megan Costigan, Supervisor (201) 915-6077

Mabelle Manzo, Lead Teacher (201) 915-6185


The CCT Program was developed with the objective of affording the opportunity for students with an IEP to be educated with their non-disabled peers. These students have been targeted for possible "declassification" based on their performance on district and state assessments. Additionally, the CCT provides support to general education students that have been identified as "at risk" before they are referred to I&RS or the CST for possible evaluation. The CCT provides direct instruction, general ed teacher support modifications, accommodations, co-teaching, and other supports to help students with disabilities and general education students.


Creative Arts Support Program (C.A.S.P.):

Megan Costigan, Supervisor (201) 915-6077

Bonnie Shultz, Madison Indyk, Emilee Davis, and Lucas McCarren,

Lead Teachers (201) 915-4975


The C.A.S.P. program provides students in self-contained classrooms with creative arts experiences designed to help them grow developmentally, socially, emotionally, and academically.  The purpose of the program is to help students be more receptive to academic instruction and to be more successful in the school setting.  In addition, skills acquired through the creative process can help students function more effectively in life.  The C.A.S.P. Lead Teachers service students in multiple schools throughout the district.


Children’s Adaptive Physical Education (C.A.P.E):

Megan Costigan, Supervisor (201) 915-6077

Eric Pawlowski and Steven Lenardo, Lead Teachers (201) 915-6108


The C.A.P.E. program focuses on movement skills that encompass locomotor, non-locomotor and manipulative concepts to assist in the student’s psychological, social and intellectual development. This program focuses on students in the self-contained autistic classes, students with behavioral disabilities and students with intellectual disabilities in the school district. The grade level for this program is from Pre-Kindergarten through high school.



Leaders Integrating and Networking Knowledge for Support (L.I.N.K.S.):

Megan Costigan, Supervisor (201) 915-6077

Kara Ryan, Melissa Cook, Pedro Lopez, Jennifer Valdora, Danielle Dima,

Mabelle Manzo, and Jaime Merced, Lead Teachers (201) 915-6185


The L.I.N.K.S. Lead Teachers explore and respond to the professional development needs of our district staff.  Student support includes accommodations, adaptations, interventions, modifications, behavior management, support to students using positive guidance techniques, and setting limits with clear and consistent expectations. 


Leaps and Bounds Secondary Education: 

Dina Kosc, Supervisor (201) 915-6780

Heather Piechocki and Robyn Drag, Lead Teachers (201) 547-2060


Leaps and Bounds Application 24-25


The Leaps and Bounds High School Program provides instruction to students with Mild and Moderate Intellectual Disabilities. The focus of the program is to increase cognitive abilities, communication/social skills, motor skills, adaptive behaviors, and personal independence through intensive support. In addition to receiving instruction in academic subject areas, students are provided with an opportunity to participate in the following learning environments:


Real Life Experiences Classroom for Daily Living Skills:(Life Skills Room) This classroom is designed to make learning basic skills and domestic skills a tangible experience for students with intellectual disabilities. The simulated room will consist of “real” settings such as the kitchen, dining room, laundry room, office, and store.


Social Skills (Social Skills Room) This classroom is designed to foster social interaction among peers in the program. Students will learn how to communicate effectively with others, establish friendships and develop positive social relationships.


Hudson County Community Enterprise: This is a work-based learning program in which students are assisted in making career decisions, network with potential employers, select courses of study and develop job skills relevant to future employment.



Non-Public School Programs:  

Dr. Andrea Blake-Garrett, Supervisor, (201) 915-6170


A nonpublic school means an elementary or secondary school within the district, other than a public school, offering education for grades kindergarten through 12, or any combination of them, wherein any child may legally fulfill compulsory school attendance requirements and which complies with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [N.J.S.A. 18A:46A-2(b)].

Nonpublic schools are eligible to receive services for their students through several state and federal programs. The programs are administered through the Jersey City Public Schools district in which the 25 nonpublic schools are located. To be eligible for services, a nonpublic school must be registered with the New Jersey Department of Education and must complete the Nonpublic Enrollment Report annually, located in the NJDOE Homeroom under NonPublic Enrollment.


Out of District Programs:

Carol Curtis Sisterhen, Supervisor (201) 351-2443


Out of District Programs services students in need of educational and therapeutic services not currently available in the Jersey City Public Schools system, providing the least restrictive environment for students in need of specialized services and structured therapeutic environment.


Project SEARCH:

Dina Kosc, Supervisor (201) 915-6780


Hudson County Project SEARCH is a one-year, business-led, unpaid internship program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school that takes place entirely at a host business site. It provides students who want to work a chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills. The combination of instruction and immersion in the workplace prepares young adults with disabilities to make successful transitions from school to productive adult life.



Program for Preschool Children with a Disability

Carol Curtis Sisterhen, Supervisor (201) 351-2443

Jessica Llamas, SSW, Case Manager/Child Find [email protected]


Our preschool special education program is a specialized educational setting designed to provide intervention and support for children with developmental delays or disabilities between the ages of three and five years old. These programs are part of the broader special education services and are tailored to meet the unique needs of young learners who may require additional assistance to reach their developmental milestones and prepare for formal schooling.


Program Flier:

Parents Information Pre-K program

Parents Information Pre-K program(Espanol)


Jersey City Special Education Intake Center (Grades K-12)

Karlynn Brown, Supervisor;

Contact: Joshua Jantas (201) 210-5543


The Department of Special Education oversees the Intake Center. It is located at 128 Duncan Ave (Room 107) in Jersey City. The Intake Center facilitates in registering special education students preschool age 3 through grade 12 in order to enroll the child in the appropriate program at their home school, or as close to home as possible.


NOTE: E.S.L. or Bilingual students believed to be in need of services must first appear at the Multilingual Center located at P.S. 7 (201-420-5247) before registering at the Intake Center.


Please be sure to have the following when registering your child:

  • Proof of age/ grade (birth certificate, transfer, and report card)
  • Proof of residency (rent receipt, tax bill or gas and electric bill)
  • Medicaid number if the student is eligible
  • Health records
  • Proof of eligibility for Special Education (I.E.P., evaluations)


Special Education Preschool Intake and Referral Center

Carol Curtis Sisterhen Supervisor (201) 351-2443

Preschool Liaisons: Jessica Llamas, [email protected] and Earleen Flowers, [email protected]

(201) 915-6506 Location: 70 Bright Street



By appointment only.


The Special Education Department has a Preschool Referral Center for families of preschoolers who are not currently enrolled in a preschool program and may require services offered through the Special Education Department. The center is intended to provide families with support and offer an orientation that will facilitate the referral process of your child.


Program flier:

Prek Intake Center English

Prek Intake Center Spanish

Prek Intake Center Arabic


School Psychologist Externship Program:

Carol Curtis Sisterhen, Supervisor (201) 351-2443


The School Psychology Externship Program provides experiences, training activities, mentoring, and field supervision for candidates seeking certification as School Psychologists. Please send an electronic copy of your resume along with a cover letter to [email protected]


School Social Worker Internship Program:
Karlynn Brown, Supervisor (201) 413-6937
The School Social Worker Internship Program provides real experiences working with our students in a school setting, training activities, mentoring, and field supervision for candidates seeking a School Social Work Certification.


Teaching and Education of Autistic Children through Collaboration and Harmony (T.E.A.C.H.): 

David Gibbons, Supervisor (201) 547-2062

Jennifer Arends, Kristen Nardini,Stephanie Raywood,

and Dorothy Walsh, BCBA's/Lead teachers (201) 915-6794


The Teaching and Education of Autistic Children through Collaboration and Harmony (T.E.A.C.H.) program provides professional collaboration and support to students with Autism. These professionals will work together to teach and reinforce social and emotional skills, as well as language development. Students receive services including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Art Therapy, Music Therapy and Adapted Physical Education. Students work on developing their skills, gross and fine motor development, sensory processing, self-expression, and communication.


Parents Advisory Group: 

Danielle Gitlin, Supervisor (201) 915-6760


The Special Education Parent Advisory Group consists of parents representing each school in our district, as well as a representative from our out-of-district school placements.  The parent representatives report to their respective schools on the Department’s activities and initiatives.


Unified Sports Special Olympics 

Dina Kosc, Supervisor, (201) 915-6031


An outgrowth from the Special Olympics New Jersey Sports Program, however, unlike Special Olympics which can be segregated, the Unified Sports Special Olympics Program was designed to include students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers (siblings, friends and classmates) in sporting events and competitions throughout the school year. Students throughout the district ages eight (8) through twenty-one (21) are afforded the opportunity to participate in Aquatics, Basketball, Bowling, Softball and Track & Field.   The program runs on Saturday mornings from 10 AM until 12 noon. Additionally, athletes are afforded the opportunity to participate in Special Olympics New Jersey-sponsored events. 


JCPS SOUS Participation Packet


Unified Sports Flyer