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-five 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.
The Valley Program also provides consultation and ongoing training to school districts and other local programs.
The Parent Teacher Organization and the Valley Foundation
The two organizations exist as non-political entities, independent of the Boards of Education and the schools. The PTO and the Foundation work may supplement the current Boards of Education and school programs. The Valley Foundation website link is listed below for your convenience.
The Valley Program 2020-2021