Superintendent's Spotlight

April 2024

Superintendent's Update

Thank You, School Bus Drivers!

Hooray to all our incredible MUJC bus drivers! April 23rd is National School Bus Driver Appreciation Day! You're the best!!

A Solar Eclipse is Coming April 8th!

It’s an exciting event that happens rarely and you’re probably hearing a lot about it. While New Jersey is not in the path of totality, we will experience a partial solar eclipse, where the moon will cover a majority of the sun. According to NASA’s map, we may see about 85% of the sun concealed by the moon. In our region, the partial eclipse will start at 2:07 p.m., peak at 3:24 p.m., and end at 4:36 p.m. Watching all parts of the eclipse will be dangerous to look at directly without special approved glasses. Out of extreme precaution, all DLC outside activities will conclude by 1:00 p.m. on April 8th. Additionally, we will make April 8th, “Wear a Baseball Cap Day.” Students and staff are encouraged to wear their favorite baseball cap throughout the day and at dismissal time. Wearing a baseball cap at dismissal may decrease the likelihood of a student looking directly at the sun. Thanks and watch safely!


Our revised 2023 - 2024 DLC school year calendar was approved at the March 7, 2024 Board of Education meeting. The last day of school this year is now Thursday, June 13, 2024. Please click here to view the revised 2023 - 2024 calendar. The Extended School Year (ESY) Program will begin for DLC students on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, and conclude on Wednesday, August 7, 2024. Click here to view the 2024 ESY calendar. Many exciting events are planned for ESY!


Action for Earth” April 2024

The New Jersey Department of Education has invited school districts to participate in “Action for Earth,” a month long celebration for environmental protection. The DLCs will be participating in various activities that engage students in healthy habits, the community, and our planet. Students will explore climate related challenges and solutions through weekly themes of energy, food, waste, and nature and wellness. Stay tuned for the different activities students will participate in throughout April.

DLC–New Providence

School Spirit Day, Tuesday, April 2

DLC-New Providence students and staff are encouraged to wear the color blue or DLC spiritwear to celebrate School Spirit Day on Tuesday, April 2nd.

Autism Acceptance Walk, April 8

Parents and special guests are invited to join us for our annual Autism Acceptance Walk on Monday, April 8th. The rain date is Monday, April 22nd. DLC-New Providence students will participate in garden games, music, bubbles, and chalk. More information will be sent out in EBB which will include class schedules. 

Earth Week, April 15-19

In celebration of Earth Week, DLC-New Providence has planned a series of enriching activities designed to deepen our students' connection with the environment and foster a community spirit dedicated to sustainability. Our classrooms will come alive with the magic of storytelling, featuring a curated selection of books that highlight environmental themes. This initiative aims to instill a sense of wonder and responsibility toward our planet through engaging narratives. We're inviting students to think green and get creative by bringing recyclable materials from home to craft into beautiful art projects. DLC - New Providence students will participate in a tree planting initiative by planting a Redbud tree, symbolizing our collective commitment to nurturing the environment.

Artist of the Month

Students will be creating various pieces of artwork inspired by artists, Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Be sure to view our social media to see what DLC-New Providence students create!


DLC-Warren receives Koppelman Keats Teacher Grant

DLC-Warren has received the Koppleman Keats Teacher Grant, a grant to enhance the education of children on the Holocaust and Genocide. Students will have the opportunity to learn the history of the Holocaust and the important skills of empathy and inclusivity as our students learn to appreciate the differences in others who they may encounter on a daily basis. Grant activities will also promote social inclusion which is a skill that we focus on regularly at the DLCs. Three cheers for Marissa Zinberg who wrote the grant!

Autism Acceptance Walk, April 2

To commemorate Autism Acceptance Month, students and staff will wear their favorite superhero shirt for a themed walk on the morning of Tuesday, April 2nd. Students will be walking around the outside of the building, weather permitting, and there will be bubbles and music. This will be a great way to kick off Autism Acceptance Month!

World Art Day, April 15

The theme for World Art Day this year is "A Garden of Expression: Cultivating Community Through Art." Students will participate in garden-themed activities to celebrate and honor this occasion. Stay tuned for pictures of DLC-Warren students' creations for World Art Day!

First Responders/Law Enforcement Breakfast, April 18

DLC - Warren students will be hosting their annual First Responders/Law Enforcement breakfast on April 18, 2024. This yearly event is a tradition at DLC-Warren and is special to students, staff, and first responders/law enforcement officers. 

Autism Acceptance Event, April 23 

In celebration of Autism Acceptance Month, parents are invited to join DLC-Warren for our Autism Acceptance sports event on Tuesday, April 23. The rain date will be Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Students will be participating in a variety of fun outdoor activities. More information as well as the classroom schedule will follow in EBB.

Washington State School Leaders visit  DLC - Warren, April 29

On April 29, twelve school leaders from the State of Washington will visit DLC-Warren to see what our amazing students are doing and tour our incredible school. They hope to take back great ideas for their school districts. Please join us in welcoming them!

Climate Action Club

Students have been invited to participate in the Global Student Showcase on April 5th. Some students will be showcasing the DLC-Warren greenhouse and hydroponics on that day.

To commemorate Earth Day, on April 9 students from DLC-Warren will gather with their paired school from Argentina to exchange the exciting projects they've been developing through the Climate Action School program. Be sure to view our social media for pictures!

Technology Tips

See below for valuable tips to help children develop healthy digital habits:

  • Build a family media plan that balances time with and without devices. Work together to set rules about media use so you and your children agree on how devices fit into your lives. Talk regularly about which tech-free activities you want to make time for.

  • Create screen-free times and places in your home, such as meals and bedtime. Set “do not disturb” on phones when you want undistracted time. For younger children, it helps to have consistent and predictable media routines and time limits. Use built-in timers to make it easier for young children to transition away when time is up.

  • Have regular discussions as a family about your online activities. Discuss new areas of learning, fun discoveries, as well as difficult experiences for both parents and children. 

  • Start regular, open-minded conversations with your children about their media use and yours. 

  • Make sure your children know they can come to you about their experiences online, even if they feel embarrassed or worried. Let them know you are there to support them through challenges since we are all learning as we go.

  • Help children understand what's real and what's edited, how to recognize ads or inappropriate content, and when influencers are authentic versus outrageous.

  • Set a good example. Include your own habits in discussions about social media usage. Be aware of when your attention is on your device and what you may be role modeling. 

  • Check settings. When your child or adolescent starts a new social media or video game account, set parental controls and privacy settings at the most secure level. Discuss safety rules for who they can chat with online, how to report problematic posts, and whether they can make purchases. Get familiar with how the platform works by reading about it or having your child take you on a tour.

Finally, be aware of signs of problematic media use. For adolescents, this could include withdrawing from friendships and hobbies. In younger children, signs include arguing about media constantly and lack of interest in other activities. At all ages, another red flag is if time spent on social media, devices, or video games interferes with physical activity, healthy eating, or bedtime.

Transition Talk

The New Jersey Comprehensive Assessment Tool (NJCAT) is a tool that the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) uses to evaluate an individual’s support needs in three main areas: (1) self-care, (2) behavioral, and (3) medical. Completion of the NJCAT is required for any individual who wishes to access DDD services. Parents/caregivers must register and apply with DDD to start the process. If you require further information on how to apply, contact DLC transition coordinators Ray Colon at or Matt MacDougall at

Functional Criteria Assessment (FCA) 

The FCA component evaluates whether an individual meets the functional criteria to be eligible for DDD services, by assessing the individual in the following areas: self-care, learning, mobility, communication, self-direction, economic self-sufficiency, and ability to live independently. Your resident school district completes the FCA for your child. If you need a copy of the assessment, please reach out to the school district in which you reside.

Developmental Disabilities Resource Tool (DDRT) 

The DDRT component evaluates an individual’s support needs and relative need for services, ensuring that those with like needs receive a similar level of support. 

There are no “right” or “wrong” answers on the NJCAT. Answers should reflect an individual’s support needs and conditions at the time of the assessment. 

Staff Recognition  

Congratulations to DLC–New Providence teacher, Kristy Feige, and DLC–Warren teacher, Gail Padavano, who were chosen for the 2024 Union County Teacher Recognition Program! They will be celebrated at Kean University on May 28th at the Union County Teacher Recognition Breakfast. Congratulations, Kristy and Gail!

We also congratulate DLC–New Providence teacher assistant, Roxana Forero, and DLC–Warren teacher assistant, Abigail Tomas-Mendez, for their nomination for the MUJC’s  2024 Teacher Assistants of the Year. Hooray and Congratulations, Roxana and Abigail!

All award recipients will be honored by the Board of Education at the June 6, 2024 Board meeting.    

As always, thank you for your support of our students and staff!

Dr. Janet L. Fike


Morris-Union Jointure Commission


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