Helping Special Needs Children
Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department offers specialized programs and services to students with special needs, as well as at-risk general education students. They provide comprehensive expertise, education, support and tools to improve the quality of life for students with disabilities and their families. As public stewards, the Special Education Department is also accountable for ensuring that all special education programs, regulations and procedures comply with the I.D.E.A. (Individual with Disability Education Act).
Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department believes that each child matters and is dedicated to introducing schools with programs and services that promote the success of all students. They nurture collaboration between students, families and school staff to develop individualized education programs for students with disabilities and their families. The goal is to prepare all students to achieve their unique potential and become productive, valued, and contributing members to their families and society.
HealthierJC + Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department
For the Special Education Department, building a Culture of Health means recognizing and advocating for a holistic approach to educational, social, emotional and community experiences that promote student growth. They also understand the importance of developing programs that have the appropriate cultural context and respect the rich diversity across Jersey City.
Programs developed by Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department closely align with the HealthierJC goal to expand access to education, fellowship and programs to address socioeconomic disparities. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the ongoing contribution of Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department in advancing a progressive urban Culture of Health within Jersey City.
Drumming Circle Therapy
Thanks to the HealthierJC mini-grant, the Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department was able to purchase drums for a drumming circle. Studies by mental health specialists have shown that rhythmic music affects more primitive parts of the brain that are responsible for how we regulate our emotions.
During the grant period, Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department held a series of drumming circles for students with emotional regulation impairment at Public School #14.
A total of 10 sessions were conducted, with 14 students and 2 drum circle facilitators per session. In addition to impulse control, drumming circles have also proven to be beneficial for special needs children in several ways, including:
- Communication and speech.
- Motor skills, like hand-eye coordination.
- Social interaction skills.
- Emotional expression.
When the pandemic limited in person gatherings, Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department attempted to pivot, and conduct virtual drumming circle sessions. However, these virtual sessions were suspended, because they could not effectively replicate the in-person experience, nor provide needed 1:1 child interaction.
Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department remains committed to enrichment, acceleration, and support for any students with a physical, cognitive, emotional or psychological disability.
Moving forward, the Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department will continue to interact with special needs families and communities to understand needs and priorities.
This ongoing due diligence will be used to develop programs and bring in experts to help any disabled or at-risk child become academically competitive in a global society.
For more information about Jersey City Public Schools Special Education Department, please visit the organization’s website at https://www.jcboe.org/ or call their local number at (201) 915-6079