New Jersey Joint Council of County Special Services School Districts

Mission of the Joint Council

To promote the unique role of county special services school districts as providers of highly specialized placements for students with severe and multiple disabilities and cost-effective shared services for local districts.

The New Jersey Joint Council of County Special Services School Districts – and its eight county special services member districts – provide a broad array of services for, and in partnership with, school districts throughout the state. The eight county-based districts serve approximately 3,900 students with significant disabilities in specialized public school placements. In addition, the districts provide extensive shared services to local school districts, lending their expertise to help meet specialized student needs in a responsive, cost-effective manner.

Authorized by the New Jersey Legislature, the special services school districts’ programs are part of a “continuum of services needed to meet the needs of students with severe disabilities.” In recent years, the pressure to keep students with disabilities in their local schools has increased. Although many students can benefit from being mainstreamed in a regular education setting, students with the most significant disabilities need small, specialized classes, as well as intensive services and supports to help them to achieve their full potential.

Providing such intensive services on a regional basis – at county special services districts – generally is more cost-effective than replicating them in multiple local sites. Additionally, the Special Services Districts offer to schools and districts the highest quality shared services, most focused on special education, at a manageable cost.