Special Needs Middle School

I got into education because of middle school students…middle school is so hard now for kids.- Marcie Fiorentino, Executive Director and parent of a special needs student.

Skill development is emphasized in small, self-contained settings while varying degrees of departmentalization are introduced. Students begin learning to adapt to different teachers and class groups through many special programs that are tailored to meet the needs of each class. Transferring authority, developing organizational skills, and increasing personal responsibility prepare students for returning to district or advancing to Center School ‘s departmentalized high school program. Academic instruction and materials are adjusted for each student on a continuing basis.

NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards are addressed in the following areas:

  • Reading/Literature
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Skills
  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Health
  • Life Skills
  • Wood Working

The Center School , a private, non-profit, state-accredited facility for bright, learning-disabled students was founded in 1971 by a small group of concerned parents and educators. The first location was a church school in Bound Brook, New Jersey. The doors opened in September 1971 with 34 students and a staff of 15. By 1976 the need for more space was critical, so the school moved from Bound Brook to Warren, New Jersey, where a newly vacated public school was rented. In May, 2014 The Center School took possession of their new property at 2 Riverview Drive, Somerset, NJ in Franklin Township. The new location is conveniently located off of Route 287 .

Some of our Programs:

Elementary/Middle/High School Learning StudiosPerforming Arts/Drama
Robotics ProgramScience Lab
Video ProductionSensory Integration Program
Indoor SportsHealth & Wellness Area
Work Readiness ProgramSeeds to Salad Garden
Outdoor PlaygroundCommercial Kitchen Area
Extended School Year (ESY)Explorers & 4-H Club

We can be reached at (908) 253-3870 or

Complete the form on this page.

The "new" Center School, Somerset NJ

The “new” Center School

Since 1971, there have been many changes at Center School. The student population is now four to five times larger then the original enrollment with corresponding expansion in staff and budget. There are three separate divisions including an Elementary School, Middle School, and High School which provide individualized programs that adhere to New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.

Although the number of school districts served each year is usually between 55 and 65, approximately 150 districts have made referrals to Center School. Disabilities served have included Learning/Language Disabilities; Dyslexia Spectrum Disorder affecting Reading, Spelling, and Written Language; Mood Disorders/Bipolar, Depression; Anxiety Disorders/OCD, PTSD, etc.; Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Oppositional Defiant Disorder; Adjustment Disorders; Asperger’s Syndrome; Motor Skills/Sensory Integration Deficit; and Tic Disorders.

A long-standing record of creative shared-time scheduling, a strong return rate to local districts, and frequent transition to higher education reflects Center School’s philosophy of preparing students for future educational and vocational experiences.It is hoped that with ongoing support by dedicated members of the Center School community, our services will continue to expand to meet the ever growing needs of our student population.

HighlightsDisabilities Served
►Individualized program adheres to NJ Core Curriculum Standards
►Departmentalized High School offers all graduation credit requirements
►Creative shared-time scheduling to meet individual needs
►Social skills instruction integrated into curriculum
►Frequent parent communication
►Comprehensive behavior program
►Highly qualified, dedicated, professional staff
►Approved state testing site: NJASK/PASS, GEPA, HSPA
►Average enrollment: 2 to 3 years
►Strong return rate to local districts
►Frequent transition to higher education
►Learning Disabilities
►Language Disabilities
►Dyslexia: reading, spelling, written language
►Mood Disorders/Bipolar, Depression
►Anxiety Disorders
►Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
►Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
►School Phobia
►ADHD-Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
►Oppositional Defiant Disorder
►Adjustment Disorders
►Asperger’s Syndrome
►Motor Skills/Sensory Integration Deficits
►Tic Disorders
►Defiant Disorder
Quick FactsSpecial ProgramsHighlights
►Founded in 1971 as high school of special needs students
►Private, non-profit day school for classified students
►Accreditation: New Jersey Department of Education
►Divisions: Elementary School, Middle School, High School
►Student Population: 112
►Student/Certified Teacher Ratio: 5:1
►Student/Staff Ratio: 2:1
►Student/Therapist Ratio: 21:1
►Length of School Year: 10 Months
►Extended School Year: 20 Days
►Number of Districts served: 50 to 60
►Work Readiness Transition Program
Academic Programs
Extended School Year
Summer Enrichment
Social Skills
Positive Behavior Reinforcement
Work Readiness Transition

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About The Center School
The Center School Philosophy
The Center School Anti-Bullying Policy
►Individualized program adheres to NJ Core Curriculum Standards
►Departmentalized High School offers all graduation credit requirements
►Creative shared-time scheduling to meet individual needs
►Social skills instruction integrated into curriculum
►Frequent parent communication
►Comprehensive behavior program
►Highly qualified, dedicated, professional staff
►Approved state testing site: NJASK/PASS, GEPA, HSPA
►Average enrollment: 2 to 3 years
►Strong return rate to local districts
►Frequent transition to higher education
Nancy, a Center School parent.Logan, a Center School graduate.Call today (908) 253-3870.dpuf

Your child will learn,
graduate and go on to be a productive member of society.

Call us today at:
908.253.3870.

The ultimate goal is to provide a cutting-edge special education private school for each student. Students should be able to function well even with disability in school or whatever setting he/she may next experience. This may be a return to a local school, college, armed services, or any combination of these opportunities. At The Center School we teach to strengths while centering on needs to empower our students.

Memories from Back-To-School Night!

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The Center School Philosophy
The Center School Anti-Bullying Policy