Over twenty years ago, Region III Superintendents asked that a public school program covering pre-kindergarten through eighth grade be developed to serve the needs of children with autism and related learning difficulties in the Northern Valley area. Neighboring special education regions joined in to support the concept of a high quality program providing research-based interventions together with inclusion opportunities within the community.
PIE PLUS, the original name of the program, formed a Developmental Committee with parents, staff and administration. The first consultant group, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University, was hired to assist. After two preschool classes were started, the Eden Family of Services of Princeton, New Jersey and its Director of Outreach Services became the new consultant.
We changed our name to the Valley Program in our fourth year. At the same time, the Region II joined Northern Valley in providing services to these students. We expanded to work with Region V in our fifth year, with the addition of three classes in the River Dell Middle School.
The Valley Program presently offers twenty-four classrooms for children three to eighteen years old with inclusion resources available at all levels. Our preschool children have opportunities to participate in the Little Tots Preschool Program. Nine Valley classrooms are housed in regular educational settings. In 2016-2017, we started the Summit Program working in conjunction with Northern Valley Regional HS Special Education Department for students 18-21 years old on the autism spectrum.
* Nationally Certified Staff in Applied Behavioral Analysis oversee the Valley Program.
* Staff to student ratios 1:1 for preschool and 2:1 for primary and upper elementary. Additional teacher assistants meet individual student’s needs per the IEP.
* 6.5 hours of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) per day.
* Fourteen masters-level speech therapists serve our children. Speech services include individual sessions, group sessions, and pragmatics consultation within the classroom.
* Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are provided as directed by the IEP.
* Parent Clinics and written progress reports four times per year to update families regarding student progress.
* Parent training for parents of students newly enrolled in the Valley Program to assist parents with techniques used in the classroom/home/community. All parent requests will be reviewed by administration.
* Opportunities for inclusion with typical peers is available at all Valley locations, when appropriate.
* Community experiences for the students to develop appropriate social skills, behavioral controls, and generalization of skills into a variety of natural settings.
*Valley Regional Programs P.T.O.- https://www.nvrpto.org/