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Ridgewood board hears special education audit


Nicholas Katzban, Staff Writer, @NicholasKatzban Published 12:41 p.m. ET Aug. 31, 2017

RIDGEWOOD — According to a third-party audit presented this week, the Ridgewood school district special education programs exceed national standards, but staff training and guidelines could be improved.

The firm of Bryant, Gemza, Keenoy and Kozlik reported that “Ridgewood ranks consistently well when compared with similar districts in most categories.”

Based on a combination of their own reviews and observations, along with staff and parent surveys, the auditors noted that Ridgewood’s special needs programs, which serve children ages 3 to 21, offered some form of support services in each of the district’s schools. The report commended the dedication of specific classes for students with autism.

Ridgewood was found to have a rate of classification below the statewide mean, referring to the percentage of students in a district with a disability or receiving special-needs services. Superintendent Daniel Fishbein said a high percentage can raise the state’s eyebrows, as over-classification can be a means to increase a district’s funding.