Home School News Brick Considers Options For High School Students With Behavioral Disabilities

Brick Considers Options For High School Students With Behavioral Disabilities

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Brick school district is considering a number of measure to provide services for students with behavioral and psychological issues who are currently at risk of being placed in private facilities outside of the district at a significant cost to taxpayers.

Since the 2013-14 school year, the district has contracted with Effective School Solutions, a private company that has provided clinical programming for students with emotional and psychological disabilities in-district at a cost of $525,000 per school year. The program, school officials say, has worked, with its 59 participants having increased their grades by 66.7 percent, decreased their disciplinary infractions by 67.6 percent and decreased their absences by 48.3 percent.

The issue with which school officials are wrestling is the fact that so many more students could benefit from such a program. David Nyman, one of the founders of Effective School Solutions (ESS), said at a Board of Education meeting last week that the company and its staff members have identified numerous other students in need of special services and at least 11 students that are currently at risk of requiring placement outside of the district in a private institution, which comes at a significant cost to taxpayers.


ESS currently provides what is known as a “wrap-around” program for 36 students in both Brick Township High School and Brick Memorial High School. The program includes a therapeutic environment that incorporates family services, school avoidance intervention, plus supervision and training for district employees. Its other programs include supportive measures for families outside of the wrap-around program itself.

“We provide an intensive clinical program for these students,” Nyman said. The numbers “tell you the impact that the programs are having on the students. They perform much better academically, they behave much better and they stay in school.”

Nyman said the Brick district – one of the state’s largest suburban school systems – could benefit from an alternative school for students in need of psychological services. Such a school would likely be housed in one of the township’s two high schools, effectively a “school within a school” that would provide an intensive program for students.

Superintendent Dr. Walter Uszenski said that officials are currently examining the availability of space and the cost factor for starting such a program within the district.

“Right now, there seems to be a need,” Uszenski said. ” Once we have all that information, with the Director of Special Services we’ll make a presentation to the board.”

Nyman said an alternative school would be created in self-contained classrooms. The Freehold Regional school district, he said, recently implemented such a program.

Uszenski said Brick officials have been in contact with their counterparts in Freehold to obtain more knowledge on the program as it is hosted there.

  • Frank Rizzo

    It is way expensive but worth it to keep the “Nuts” away from the rest of the kids. You should explain better however that this is not for “Special needs” children but for those with mental health issues.

    • #@#.com

      It appears that You are the “Nut” with the mental health issues.

      To the poster using the Frank Rizzo pseudonym, you are a very ugly person.
      I have agreed with you in the past, and defended your right to your opinion in the past, no matter how ignorant, racist, or stupid it was, but you just lost all respect.
      Anyone that would mock and insult children with special needs or mental health problems, is just a low life disgusting piece of human debris.

      • Trevor

        Yeah I think he just trolls and intentionally says this nonsense just to get a rise out of people because he/she/it/300lb person behind computer doesn’t really have anything better to do with their life.

      • Frank Rizzo

        I never made any mention against “special needs” kids. I defended them if anything. The kids with mental health issues need to be removed from the regular population to make ALL kids safer in school, bring up our ratings and in turn our property values.

  • JW P

    That’s almost $10k per pupil. Maybe they could find some cost savings with the ‘school within a school’ thing- VMMS has pods that work pretty well and isolate grade levels. Best of luck to the BoE and superintendent in cutting costs.

  • Mindy Murray Moich

    Behavioral issues by high school age are usually serious issues. Its cheaper to keep it in house . Why not put them over at the superintendents office.

    • Good question, Mindy. I actually did ask the superintendent about placing these students in the building near the Central Administration office. The issue with doing that is a state law that dictates special ed students cannot be “segregated” together in a single place. Since essentially all of the students in this program are special ed students (or have IEPs), it would be illegal to place them all together in one location away from the normal school setting.

      • Mindy Murray Moich

        Well then I feel my child will not be safe. If it is in the best interest of these children to be in another building then they should be. So when they are sent out of district are they put in general population where we send them? It seems yet another case of sacrifice the majority for a few. I asked the superintendent and board to school the addicts at the EEC. The EEC needs over a million in work. I asked if we raised it through grants would they remove the kids with serious problems. The only one who even offered to read a grant proposal a few of us were working on was Talty. So anything for the good of the majority has fallen on deaf ears.

      • Mindy Murray Moich

        You know something just came to mind, IEP if the dream team at school thinks a child will benefit from being schooled with people that have like problems…then we have to do it. Also if the child is a danger to themselves or another student the BOE has the right to place them somewhere else.. It is LEGAL to expel kids in NJ. and there is NOT an age requirement to expel. Yet there are very few kids in the state expelled. Again sacrifice the majority for the few. Does anyone know if these students will still be held to the rules of our schools. Like drugs,bullying, cutting classes?

  • Frank Rizzo

    Separate these kids as they are doing currently. They are not true special ed students who need extra help or are Autistic. They have schizophrenia and other mental health disorders and bring down our schools ratings by being violent and not participative in learning. The county should have a school where all districts can send violent and disruptive students to.