Dr. Jenine Kastner, Director of Special Services 

    July 29,2020

    Dear Parents/Guardians, 

    I hope all of our CPS families are doing well. Over the last month, CPS staff and community members have been working on plans to safely reopen our school. As you are aware, these plans and requirements are comprehensive. The schedule that has been chosen will reduce the number of students in each class allowing for social distancing and a lower student to teacher ratio. Additionally, families have the option to have their children continue to learn remotely.  

    Parallel to these decisions, the Special Education Department has been brainstorming and researching best practices to ensure student needs are being met through the hybrid and fully virtual model. During this time, all providers on your child’s IEP team are working collaboratively to ensure enhanced delivery of instruction and related service. Therapists, teachers, and child study team members will continue to be available for virtual meetings to provide additional support and consultation about the learning process when we transition back to school in September. 

    The goal of our teaching staff and therapist is to continue to provide services to our students with disabilities through different modalities designed in consideration of the student’s needs and learning format (hybrid or fully remote). Therapists and teachers will be available to meet one on one or in small groups to provide their instruction.  


    I developed a FAQ sheet to help answer any questions you may have. Please reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns using the form attached. I am always available to meet or respond. 

     FAQ Sheet 

    Special Education and School Reopening 2020-2021

    • Will students receive resource center instruction? Yes, every student will have a schedule and be assigned to the programs and services outlined to their IEP. For example, if a student has an IEP which includes Resource Center Pull Out Replacement, the student will be assigned to a resource center class for that academic subject. If the student is learning through the hybrid model, the resource center teacher will meet with the student live on days in school and will schedule Google Meets and live instruction on the scheduled virtual days. For students fully virtual, the student will have a schedule with their resource center program. The Special Education Teacher will set up Google Meets and live instruction for the students based on their IEP needs. 

    • How will my child receive in-class support virtually? Special Education Teachers will be assigned to in-class support classes based on student IEPs. This support will be a combination of face to face and/or virtual for students. There will be a high level of support in the virtual classroom as well as teacher collaboration to ensure student needs are being met and accommodations/modifications are in place. 

    • How will my child receive related services? Our therapists are developing an intervention plan based on the individual needs of each student. Some students have done very well with the virtual therapies and this is a way to reduce pull out from their live instructional time (face to face).  If virtual therapies are not an effective platform for the student, the therapists will coordinate a schedule for students while in school. For students receiving instruction 100% remotely, virtual therapies will be scheduled. 

    • How will individual goals and objectives in IEP be measured and met? Despite the format of instructional delivery, each child’s needs will be met. We will continue to measure goals and objectives using progress monitoring protocols. Specialized intervention programs will be utilized and instruction will be delivered virtually with consideration and awareness of the individual student.  Parents will receive progress reports at the same time as report cards. 

    1. Will IEP meetings be held virtually? Yes, to ensure continued safety of staff, students and our community, all IEP meetings will be held virtually. We will continue to use Google Meet which allows for an option for calling in, using the app,  or using the computer video features. 

    1. Will my child still have a case manager assigned as a main contact? Yes, case managers will continue to be assigned and follow up with families and students. You will receive an informational letter in August identifying your child’s case manager. Please reach out to me or Brandon Rauchbach at any time with questions or concerns.

    2. What if my child is not making meaningful progress with the hybrid or fully virtual format of instruction? If at any time a student is not making meaningful progress, a teacher or parent may request an IEP meeting to discuss necessary changes and additional interventions needed to ensure success. 

    3. Will the specialized programs have a different schedule (LEAPS, HORIZONS, SOAR)? Yes, due to the instructional platform in the specialized programs, the students in these programs will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8: 30 am- 12: 45 pm. 

    4. Will my child receive instruction on days they are scheduled to be virtual? Yes, a virtual schedule will be provided to all students in resource rooms so they can have optimal instruction time. Some students may require one on one instruction or small group. The Special Education Teacher will make the necessary accommodations to meet the needs of each learner. 

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to submit any comments or questions using this link. I will be happy to get back to you with any individual concerns or questions. 







    The Clinton Public School 2020 Extended School Year will be delivered as a virtual program. Based on the individual needs of each student, a comprehensive plan was developed. Below you will find a weekly schedule and description of how to access material and programs (if applicable). During this time, all providers on your child’s IEP team are working collaboratively to ensure enhanced delivery of instruction and related service. Therapists, teachers, and child study team members continue to be available for virtual meetings to provide additional support and consultation about the learning process. Parents received information about individual student schedules and learning plan. The program will begin on June 29, 2020 through July 30, 2020. 


    Nancy Lenahan, OTR, from Therapeutic Intervention, Inc, will present on how to understand your child’s sensory needs, and provide strategies for you to utilize at home to address sensory processing and self-regulation abilities. If you will be attending this hour long presentation please click the RSVP image below to complete the registration form.

    Wednesday, May 13th


    Zoom link will be sent after you register

    Dear Parents/Guardians:

    During this challenging time and feeling of uncertainties, Clinton Public School District Department of Special Services is here to support you and your child(ren). During the school closure, CPS has taken steps to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided the special education and related services identified in the student’s individualized education program.  While providing these services through online learning schools across America are preserving the focus to ensure the health and safety of our students and school community. 

    The Clinton Public School teachers and therapists have created and developed comprehensive plans to meet the needs of individual learners and measure their progress. Students have been provided with various learning opportunities that are developed and accessible in accordance with your child’s IEP. Lessons have been focused on enhancing skills and needs identified in their goals and objectives as well as aligning instruction to common core standards. Related service providers including Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Counselors are providing a myriad of supports and services including consultation, teletherapy, and home programs to allow continued growth during this time. Therefore, a continuity of special education and related services are provided through different approaches and formats to meet the individual needs of the learners in the home environment. During this time, all providers on your child’s IEP team are working collaboratively to ensure enhanced delivery of instruction and related service. Therapists, teachers, and child study team members continue to be available for virtual meetings to provide additional support and consultation about the learning process. 

    The final marking period progress reports include information about student growth and learning through the first date of our district’s closure on March 13, 2020 until the last day of school. During the period of remote learning, teachers have developed on line learning and different ways to measure progress toward IEP goals and objectives.  Through different formats of observation and review of data, student skills were assessed to determine if they have demonstrated evidence of learning pertaining to individual goals and/or objectives. Data collected prior to school closure will be included to provide a clear picture of overall growth.

    I want to thank the CPS community for your support and dedication to your child’s education. These are very challenging and uncharted times in education. It is essential that students and families make every effort possible to engage in learning and connect with their teachers and therapists.  If a student is unable to participate in learning and complete assignments, please contact the teacher or therapist so an alternate plan can be developed.  We are available to support you and your child to ensure continued growth and progress for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. 


    Dr. Jenine Kastner

    March 28, 2020

    Downloadable Book for Parents: 



    March 13, 2020


    Dear Families of Students with Special Needs;


    The continued information received regarding COVID-19 changes daily, as a district we have been in a constant state of planning and preparing.  The District has an approved Preparedness Plan that provides for equitable access to instruction for all students in the event of a closure. This letter is to focus on the instructional contingency plan for special education students. During this process, support staff, administration, and teachers have met to discuss the needs of individual learners. Each individual plan is reflective of thoughtful consideration and deep discussions with staff invested in both the education and well being of our students. 


    Instructional staff that provides services to our students with disabilities will provide students with instruction through different modalities designed in consideration of the student’s needs. The teachers and therapists will provide students and parents with information about each child’s plan. Related service providers (if applicable) will provide you with a plan of action based on individual needs. The plan will include activities that can support their educational program and IEP goals and objectives.  


    For students in specialized programs, you will receive information about the programs that your child is working on at school. They have been adapted to include ideas that will assist you in working with your child from home. Please complete the attached document to track activities completed until school reopens. While we are closed, the assigned teacher will be available daily via email and will be in contact with the parent to check in about progress. This will help any revisions needed to the plan to continue to meet your child’s needs. The teachers will check emails three times a day and will also email you. If you would like to schedule a conference call at anytime, please email your child’s case manager who will coordinate that ‘meeting’.


    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  Email jkastner@cpsnj.org




    Dr. Jenine Kastner


    Fundation Reading Resources


    Fun Resources for HOME: 


    Wilson Reading Resources: 


    Scholastic Resources:




    Dear Families, 

    Our Behaviorists and teacher compiled a list of home suggestions to reinforce the skills during the school closure. Please review and have some fun with your children while engaging in these activities. Your child's teacher is available via email and can set up a phone conference if you have any individual questions or concerns. Additionally, case managers assigned to your child are always available.  Our thoughts are with everyone during this difficult time and we hope everyone stays healthy. 

    Preschool: Teacher: Kristin Pignio at kpignio@cpsnj.org

    Case Manager: Dawn Eberhard at deberhard@cpsnj.org

    LEAPS: Teacher:  Carolyn Schorr at Cschorr@cpsnj.org

    Case Manager: Jenine Kastner at jkastner@cpsnj.org

    HORIZONS: Teacher: Allyson Kubik at Akubik@cpsnj.org

    Case Manager: Jenine Kastner at jkastner@cpsnj.org

    SOAR: Teacher: Jillian Houllihan at jhoullihan@cpsnj.org

    Case Manager: Brandon Rauchbach at Brauchbach@cpsnj.org

    Director of Special Services: Jenine Kastner at Jkastner@cpsnj.org


    Fine Motor:

    Lacing with beads (or cereal, fruit loops work well. You can use string or a pipe cleaner, for 2 year olds a pipe cleaner might be more sturdy and easier for them. Since you have two it might be challenging so helping one at a time would work. You could also stick the pipe cleaner in a small mound of play dough so it stays up. I would do this activity in their  high chairs or at the table so that they have their attention focused on activity) 

    Playdough using rollers and cookie cutters

    Pom Poms into ice cube trays. You can use tongs if you have ones small enough for little fingers. If not you can use a variety of cup sizes and have them practice putting it into the cups (tall, short, etc) 

    Place a piece of paper on the wall and have student write using markers, chalk (if using black paper), or crayons, this is great to strengthen the wrist. You can do this outside and tape to the garage etc, if you don’t want your walls dirty 

    Laundry Line- Clothes pins of any size, student can hang anything on the line, clothes, paper, etc. 

    Attach clothes pins together

    Copying or imitating folding shirt

    Rolling pair of socks up and tucking in

    Cooking: stirring, pouring, rolling, etc. 

    Puzzles, legos, small manipulative are all great practice that is fun for all kids! 

    Use a whisk and have them stick cotton balls in the whisk, this is a great fine motor activity

    Use a colander and stick pipe cleaners in the holes 

    Use paper towel holders and tape to the wall. Find a ball that fits and create a marble run. This also works if you cut the paper towel holder in half and tape up. 

    Use a box and let them color all over it. Then pretend it is different things, like an air plane, train, boat while you sing common nursery rhyme songs

    Gross Motor: 

    Animal Game- bear crawl, crab crawl/kicks, yoga moves like down dog, great for building hand and wrist strength

    Stacking cups, give them plastic cups and have them stack them

    Pots and pans- Give them some pots and pans and some different types of utensils (safe ones obviously) and have them sing some of their favorite songs (twinkle, twinkle, abcs, happy birthday, etc) 

    Walking up and down stairs

    Use masking tape or painters tape and make shapes on the floor. Have them hop from shape to shape or find things in the house and have them match the shapes to the big shapes on the floor. 

    Playing outside in the backyard

    Uno workout game: each card you put down you have to do the number and exercise (color code your exercise)

    Mini golf: take boxes and cut holes in them.  Put them around the house and hit golf balls into the holes (use ping pong balls).

    Crafts & Games: 

    Tearing strips of paper and then gluing to make a collage

    Bean gluing - place glue in fun shapes and have student  place the beans on the shape to guess what you made

    No glue? Mix water and flour together, using a little more water will mimick the consistency of glue. 

    Melt broken crayons with hair dryer to make cool pictures.

    Draw a picture and then use water and a paintbrush to create a cool water collor effect with sharpie markers.

    Create a daily “escape room” using your kids’ toys with clues.  Kids have to find the clues to escape the room!

    Discrete Trial Teaching Skills:

    Matching colors- find a bunch of things that can be sorted “put red together or put all cars together here”. You can put a bunch of their toys out and sing the clean up song have the help you to clean up. I would say no more then 3 different toys. 

    Use a laundry basket and dump all the clothes on the floor, have them put them back in, or you can do it in reverse and have them take one clothing item out to help you sort 

    Put different color post its on the wall and have them stick and sort by color. I had some different shape ones and my 3s loved doing this with the different shapes. 

    Do activity schedules.  For learners who are not fluent in completing activity schedules, put out bath towel or floor mats and place an activity that can be done independently on it.  Tell child to complete each activity on each mat to earn a prize. 

    Adaptive Living Skills/Life Skills:

    Sort laundry

    Sort utensils

    Wipe tables or surface tops

    Task analysis for handwashing, teeth brushing, and any hygiene tasks

    Online Web-Based Academic programs: (Many are offering free accounts now)

    Everydayspeech.com   (great online social skills games/programs)


    Khan Academy

    Adventure Academy




    Water play- super important for developing learners. Give them each a bucket of water and some cups, they can pour the water in one cup to the other, give them some really cool things to put in the water that they normally wouldn’t do. 

    Use old water bottles and have them put some items in it to make noise: pasta, beans, bells, big beads, then fill it with water and a little oil to make some of the things float. Tape the top with duck tape so water doesn’t explode out. 

    Shaving cream- again, sensory so important. Give them shaving cream and a paint brush, have them paint their high chair trays or you can do this in the bath tub 

    Create and play snow out of conditioner and baking soda


    You tube the singing walrus, and Laurie berkner, they have great gross motor direction following songs for kids

    Related services help children with disabilities benefit from their special education by providing extra help and support in needed areas, such as speaking or moving. Related services can include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

    I.Speech and Language Therapy Speech-language pathology services are provided by speech-language professionals and speech-language assistants, in accordance with state regulations, to address the needs of children and youth with disabilities affecting either speech or language.

    Speech and Language Specialists
    Amanda Thomas 735-8512 ext. 115 athomas@cpsnj.org
    Nicole Vazquez 735-8512 ext. 115 nvazquez@cpsnj.org  
    II. Occupational Therapy OT services can enhance a child’s ability to function in an educational program and may include such services as: self-help skills or adaptive living (e.g., eating, dressing);functional mobility (e.g., moving safely through school);positioning (e.g., sitting appropriately in class);sensory-motor processing (e.g., using the senses and muscles);fine motor (e.g., writing, cutting) and gross motor performance (e.g., walking, athletic skills);life skills training/vocational skills; and psychosocial adaptation.
    Occupational Therapist
     Karen Sinagra .   Ksinagra@cpsnj.org

    III. Physical Therapy  These services generally address a child’s posture, muscle strength, mobility, and organization of movement in educational environments. Physical therapy may be provided to prevent the onset or progression of impairment, functional limitation, disability, or changes in physical function.

    Physical Therapist
     Debbie Best . Dbest@cpsnj.org
    Great Resources From Autism Speaks

    Looking for at-home ideas to keep busy? Browse activities by area of interest by clicking on a link below. While many of these resources offer courses for those with special needs, this is not a list of exclusively autism-friendly programming. Thanks to Autism Behavior Consultants and Los Angeles Unified School District, which together curated many of the activities listed. Thanks also to New England Center for Children, Gateway Learning Group, Helping Hands Family, Kadiant, Neurabilities and Early Autism Services for contributing resources.


    Learning Activities:

    • 123 Homeschooling – Homeschooling worksheets. Free.
    • ABCya! - provides free educational games organized by grade and subject area
    • All Kids Network! – Resources for children’s crafts, worksheets, coloring pages, mazes, dot-to-dot, and more. Free.
    • Amazing Educational Resources – Resource guide of educational companies offering free subscriptions due to the school closures.
    • BrainPOP – Educational website with over 1,000 short animated movies for students in grades K-12, together with quizzes and related materials, covering the subjects of science, social studies, English, math, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music.
    • Boom Cards - premade or customizable flashcards for skill building/maintenance (utilizes discrete-trial training format)
    • Daily Science Project from Easton Children's Museum - easy-to-do-at-home science experiments
    • Crash Course – A YouTube channel offering engaging educational videos suitable for high school students. The channel features a wide range of subjects, from anatomy to world history.
    • Edgenuity – For K-12 students to access core curriculum. Each student has an individual code that will allow them to access lessons in English language arts and mathematics. Science and history/social science lessons are available for middle and high school students.
    • Highlights Kids – Online magazine with activities, games, recipes.
    • Kids Activities Blog – List of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closing.
    • KidsKonnect - printable worksheets for teachers & homeschool parents
    • Math Play - provides online math games organized by grade level, content and game type
    • Math Worksheets 4 Kids - provides Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social studies printable materials
    • The Math Worksheet Site - provides Mathematics-related printable materials
    • Mystery Doug - posts a new video every week answering scientific questions
    • Mommy Poppins Poppins at Home – e-learning, crafts, activities and games for a range of ages. Topics include cooking, gardening, STEM, crafts, languages story time and more!
    • Nassau County Museum of Art - engaging kids on the autism spectrum
    • PBS SoCal, KCET, and PBS – Free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans for at-home learning. Available for students in Pre-K through 12th grade.
    • LA Parent Magazine – Activities and information on remote learning for children and families.
    • Originator – List of educational mobile and tablet applications for children and families. Fees apply.
    • Reading A-Z,  RAZ kids and Vocabulary A-Z - provides leveled books, passages, comprehension printable materials, quizzes for interactive reading practice and vocabulary word lists/lessons with online practice. Subscription
    • Scholastic Learn at Home – Allows open access to daily learning journeys divided into four grade spans: Pre-K – KGrades 1-2Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-9+, covering ELA, STEAM, science, social studies, and social-emotional learning. Free.
    • Starfall - provides Reading and Math games, movies, books and music
    • Universal Class – Classes to guide parents and teachers to build their own unit study courses for homeschool purposes. Free access with a Los Angeles Public Library card (which can now be obtained online).
    • Virtual School Activities – A collection of sites to live webcams, virtual tours/tips, and other miscellaneous fun educational sites for homeschooling.
    • www.EdHelper.com - provides Reading, Grammar, Math and Science printable materials. Subscription
    • www.Education.com - provides Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies printable materials as well as Reading and Math online games. Subscription
    • www.EnchantedLearning.com - provides Writing and Science printable materials. Subscription
    • www.mathworksheetsland.com - provides Mathematics-related printable materials. Subscription


    Art and Crafting: 




    Movement and Mindfulness:




    Outdoors and Animals:

    • American Museum of Natural History – Their Ology science website provides games and activities for kids and covers a range of science topics, including archaeology, paleontology, astronomy, and marine biology.
    • Center for Discovery – Safe indoor and outdoor activities for families in the time of the coronavirus.
    • Explore Mars from NASA – Explore the real surface of Mars, recorded by Nasa’s Curiosity rover.
    • Google Arts & Culture and National Parks – Google has teamed up with five national parks in the US so people can enjoy the beauty of the natural world virtually: Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska), Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii), Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico), Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah), Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida).
    • Live Science – Breaks down stories behind the most interesting news and photos on the Internet, while also digging up fascinating discoveries that hit on a broad range of fields, from dinosaurs and archaeology to wacky physics and astronomy to health and human behavior.
    • Los Angeles Zoo – Videos of animals.
    • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute – Resources from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute introduce students to the impacts of climate change on marine habitats; explain the adaptations of animals that live in the deep sea; and present the challenges faced by ecosystems invaded by nonnative species, such as the so-called zombie shrimp.
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Tour marine sanctuaries and ocean habitats with a collection of virtual dives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    • San Diego Zoo – Videos, activities, and games from the San Diego Zoo.
    • Smithsonian’s National Zoo – Animal webcams at the zoo.
    • The Nature Museum in Chicago – How do butterflies eat? What’s the difference between frogs and toads? The Nature Museum in Chicago has videos and activities to acquaint kids with the natural world and to inspire their curiosity about the plants and animals in their own backyards.
    • Virtual Field Trips – Videos to explore the world, organized by curriculum, by grade, by location, for grades K-12th.
    • Yellowstone National Park – Virtual tours of some of Yellowstone National Park’s main attractions around the park.



    • Audible – Free audiobooks for kids and teens.
    • CommonLit – Free reading passages and literacy resources in all literary and nonfiction genres for Grades 3-12.
    • LA County Library – Sign up for a Digital Library Card to get free access to all of the Library’s digital offerings, including ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, TV, homework help, online classes, and more.
    • PJ Library - sign up to receive free books and participate in virtual storytimes.
    • Storytime at Los Angeles Public Library – Recorded storytime with the Los Angeles Public Library staff. There are also guided storytimes so that families can create their own version at home.
    • Time for Kids – For elementary and middle school students, digital subscriptions are free for the duration of the school year. This is the first time that the magazine is fully accessible at home.
    • Tumblebook – An online collection of animated, talking picture books, which teach young children the joys of reading. Books available in seven different languages. Free trail available.



    • Baseball – Baseball – A Film by Ken Burns.
    • Basketball – Free preview of NBA League Pass.
    • Football – Complementary access to Game Pass.
    • Hiking - A custom program designed by PopFit!
    • Hockey – ‘Pause Binge’ replays of archived games.
    • Swimming - A custom program designed by PopFit!



    • Scratch (MIT Media Lab) – Learn to code for ages 8-16, but used by people of all ages. Program your own interactive stories, games, and animation and share with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.



    • The Met Opera Stream – Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming.
    • Playbill – Guide of Broadway plays and musicals available to watch online.
    • Shakespeare’s Globe Theater – Theater lovers can browse a range of classroom activities and plays by Shakespeare.


    Virtual Field Trips:

     Resource (https://www.autismspeaks.org/virtual-activities)