New program helps older special needs students in postsecondary world

Deron School program aims to help older students achieve postsecondary goals

students-postsecondaryTen Deron School students between the ages of 18-21 who have learning disabilities or varying levels of autism are participating in a new program called PACE, which was established to meet the needs of older students who have fulfilled their high school graduation requirements but may need further education and experience to prepare for post-high school goals.

PACE is a new program where older Deron students participate in an educational job-shadowing effort. This group partnered with the New Jersey Devils. Before the start of a recent Devils home hockey game, the students were given the opportunity to observe a “behind the scenes” view of how employees make each event at the Prudential Center a success.

“When the students arrived they were enthusiastically greeted with a standing ovation by over 150 employees from the Devil’s Guest Relations Department,” said Deron School’s PACE instructor Patty Schmid, “Needless to say, we were touched by their support and it was also an exciting way to kick off this new program,” she added.

(Next page: PACE’s main objectives)

Laura Ascione