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Union: (908) 206.0444Montclair: (973) 509.2777

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The Deron School Union Campus (Ages 3-16)

The Deron School Union Campus (Ages 3-16)

The Deron School provides a well-rounded program to address the academic, social and emotional needs of multiply disabled students, ages 3-21 in a bright and spacious facility with the latest technology available throughout. In addition to seventeen well-equipped classrooms, the building includes rooms designed specifically for Art & Music, a simulated Apartment, Speech Therapy rooms, a full-service Cafeteria, and Sensory Room as well as a Gymnasium that doubles as a multi-purpose room for school shows, assemblies and graduation.

Related & Support Services

The Deron School offers extensive support services including Counseling from licensed Social Workers, therapy from certified Speech & Language Pathologists, Physical and Occupational Therapists, as well as a School Nurse.  Students receive  therapy on an individual basis and in small groups as mandated by their IEP. Sensory integration at Deron is a school-wide initiative that begins by teaching students how to identify and request what they need to self regulate and work to their greatest potential. Deron’s unique Collaborative Service Delivery model enables staff to take a team approach when addressing therapy goals.

School-wide positive behavior supports are designed to encourage and reinforce positive behavior- an integral part of Deron’s approach. Overseen by Board Certified Behavior Analysts, individual, class-wide and school-wide plans are developed to ensure appropriate behavior is acknowledged in a variety of ways. Both students and staff alike take part in the development of students’ plans to ensure ownership and accountability.

Special Education Learning Activities at Deron

Each student’s program is determined at their annual Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting.  Participants include parent(s), teachers, related service providers, district Child Study Team representatives and the student (when appropriate).  Following review of the student’s present levels of functioning as well as their academic, behavioral, and social needs, the IEP Team develops a set of goals and objectives, teaching strategies to be implemented over the course of the next year.

Encouraged to work at their own pace, students are provided with as much individualization as possible from certified teaching staff and experienced para-professionals. Deron’s low student to staff ratio affords students the opportunity to work towards reaching their greatest level of independence.

In addition to core academic subjects, students participate in Physical Education, Music, and the Arts.  Students are also introduced to a variety of prevocational activities in Workshop and Daily Living Skills in our apartment.  All students participate in Enrichment and Community Based Instruction (CBI).

CBI is a researched-based practice that involves the use of repeated instructional activities that take place in the community. Incorporating academic and functional skills, it provides real life training for students of all age levels to successfully live in the world today.  Concepts and skills that are introduced in the classroom are applied and practiced in natural environments in the community using CBI. These experiences allow students to see, hear, smell and do things in real life settings as opposed to simulated or artificial settings that are very abstract.  Community-based instruction facilitates age-appropriate activities that can be addressed in home, school and/or community environments.

Weekly Enrichment offers all students opportunities for social interactions through activities that support and enhance the regular school program. Other school programs such as Student Council, cheerleading, JV and Varsity basketball, Drum Ensemble, Celebration of the Arts, the Awards Ceremony, Social Studies and Science Fairs, Spelling Bee and After School Socials add to the

Great Beginnings

Great Beginnings is designed to ensure our youngest learners reach their greatest potential at the most critical stage of their development. Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Natural Environment Teaching and a collaborative team approach, students in Great Beginnings learn in structured, goal-oriented classrooms. Creating a foundation for success, our team consists of Board Certified Behavior Analysts, certified teachers, teacher assistants, physical, occupational and speech therapists, social workers, a teacher of reading, a full time nurse, CST members and parents. Staff receives ongoing training and support from Board Certified Behavior Analysts at the highly esteemed Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center of Rutgers University.

PLUS Program

The Deron School Union Campus serves students ages 14-21 in its PLUS Program. The PLUS Program meets all NJDOE high school requirements. Students gain additional knowledge & experience through a non-traditional teaching approach with a focus on Community-based Instruction, hands-on learning, life skills and prevocational training.

Deron I PLUS Program

  1. P reparing for the Future
  2. L earning Employment Opportunities
  3. U nderstanding our Environment
  4. S ocial Skills Development


NJ Special Education & Special Needs High School teaches independent livingWithin the Specialized Learning area, everyday activities are broken down and repeated on a regular basis, giving students the chance to internalize skills for Independent Living.  Students are especially fond of cooking activities which take them through the stages of menu planning, making purchases, food preparation & follow-up procedures.  Additionally, they develop housekeeping and laundering skills.

Students gain experience traveling on mass transit to a variety of public venues including the grocery store, restaurants and recreational sites – each of which becomes a multi-level learning experience.

Students age 16 and older are afforded the opportunity to participate in Structured Learning Experiences (SLE). Students who participate in SLE go out to work for a portion of the school day shadowed by a Deron Job Coach.  SLE placements are carefully selected for each student based on their strengths, interests and needs. Detailed plans and evaluations, both on and off site ensure these opportunities effectively prepare students for life beyond Deron.  While they begin as unpaid learning experiences, many students are offered paid positions. Community partners include local businesses that share Deron’s vision to help each student reach their greatest level of independence. SLE includes placements in retail, food services, colleges, and other office/ administrative opportunities effectively preparing students for life beyond Deron.

All students receive Support Services (Speech & Language Therapy, Counseling, and Occupational and Physical Therapy) as indicated in their Individualized Education Plans, as well as the coursework required by the NJ Department of Education for High School graduation.

View the Deron PLUS Brochure >>

NJ Special Education & Special Needs High School academic & transition programs

NJ Special Needs and Special Education pre-employment skills for High School Students