Being the parent of a child with special emotional and educational needs is difficult enough without having to worry whether or not your child can get access to the special education programs he or she requires. Thanks to a state law called the Naples Act, the schooling of many New Jersey students at special education institutions such as Sage Day is facilitated and funded by the state, allowing students to be placed in the school that best meets their individual education needs.
The Naples Act – How Does It Work?
The Naples Act is a New Jersey education law passed by the legislature in 1989. Under the Act, students in need of special education can be placed into any properly accredited school that best meets their educational needs, regardless of school district. Thanks to this law, children who require special educational services can gain access to the services they need regardless of where they live or which school can best provide them with an education.
Private schools that accept children under the Naples Act must meet these requirements:
- The school must be accredited by a recognized accrediting body.
- All staff members must be appropriately licensed or certified.
- The services rendered by the school must be non-sectarian and non-discriminatory.
- The school’s special education program must meet all requirements for such programs under state and national law.
- The school must provide the most appropriate placement for the student.
Whether or not a school best meets a student’s needs is determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP), a mandated part of the national Individuals with Disabilities Act. After the IEP has determined that a school is the best fit for a student, the application process is rather straightforward; applying for placement in a private school under the Naples Act is no more difficult than applying independently.
At Sage Day, the majority of our students are accepted based on transfers from their school districts. Sage Day meets all requirements for funding under the Act, including accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools, as well as the National Independent Private School Association (NIPSA). Since 1997, the school has been accepting students under the Naples Act.
If you believe that your student would be best served by an education at Sage Day, the Naples Act greatly simplifies the process of transferring from a public school to a private institution. Under the Naples Act, reimbursements to school districts are identical, no matter where the student attends school; this makes it more likely that school districts will accept a student’s transfer to a new school, and that the process will run as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
Transfers under the Naples Act are approved by the county superintendent and district superintendent. Sage Day will provide all necessary documentation for placement in the school. For more information on Sage Day, our therapeutic education programs, our student body and faculty, or for any other information, please contact us today at 877-887-8817.