Special Education

Special Education Programs & Services at PCTVS

The Superintendent and Board of Education at Passaic County Technical-Vocational Schools are dedicated to serving the needs of classified students throughout the county. 20% of all the openings for incoming students are reserved for classified student applicants. These students are eligible for special education services with individual Educational Plans (IEP).

Our Mission

Through the concerted efforts of the Child Study Team members, speech therapists, crisis counselors, and transition coordinator, we strive to assist students in developing to their full potential both in academic and vocational areas so that they can take their places as contributing members of the community and the nation. We encourage the development of self-aware young adults who can advocate for themselves in the future.

Child Study Team

The needs of classified students are overseen by the Child Study Team Department. PCTVS has four Child Study Teams – each team consists of a psychologist, a social worker, and a learning disability teacher consultant. Each classified student has a case manager who is one of the members of the Child Study Team. The case managers ensure that the students receive an appropriate educational & vocational program that meets their unique needs. Academic options are considered on an individual basis at every Annual Review Meeting.

A directory of the PCTVS Child Study Team can be found here.

Educational Programs

The classified students at PCTVS are afforded a variety of academic options. These include:

  • General Education Courses – with modifications provided as stipulated in the student’s IEP
  • In Class Support General Education Courses – These classes have both a general education content area teacher as well as a certified Teacher of Students with Disabilities.
  • Resource Center Courses – Replacement classes based on the general education curricula for those students in need of slightly modified curricula, smaller classes, and employing diverse modalities.
  • Language and/or Learning Disability Courses – Replacement classes for learners who need a high modified curriculum and slower pacing.
  • Deaf Education Program – Classes taught in all academic areas by teachers of the Deaf utilizing American Sign Language as the basis for communication.

Vocational Programs

Classified students apply to and are accepted into all of the vocational programs offered at PCTVS for which they are qualified. In addition to the full range of general education vocational areas, there are three vocational areas that are open to only classified students: Building Maintenance (an adjunct of the Construction Trades Program), Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Sciences (an adjunct of the Business Program), and Kitchen Personnel (an adjunct of the Culinary Arts Program).

Related Services

Speech and Language Therapy

PCTVS has 2 speech therapists who provide speech & language services. Our therapists and their unique program were featured on “Classroom Close-Up” an NJEA television program highlighting instructional programs and practices throughout New Jersey.


PCTVS provides counseling through the services of the Child Study Team members, guidance counselors, Crisis Counselor and SAC personnel. These services range from group counseling sessions, that deal with the common age-related issues our students are struggling with, to, more intensive, one-on-one counseling sessions, for those in need of greater support.

Transition Services

The Transition Coordinator is responsible for assisting students in developing and moving into their post-graduation plans.

Sign Language Interpretation

New Jersey certified Educational Interpreters for the Deaf accompany all hearing-impaired students into classes that do not have a teacher of the Deaf.

Child Find

For information about the Child Find program, click here.

Child Study Team

Michele Rizzo
Director of Special Education

(973) 389-4197
  Tamara Brown
Executive Secretary

(973) 389-4258
  Sarah Baldino

(973) 389-2053
Jamisin Saracino
Crisis Counselor

(973) 389-2053/td>
  Lourdes Lopez
Transition Coordinator

(973) 389-4248
  Stacie Bennett

(973) 389-2052
Team I
Nicole Halligan
Social Worker

(973) 389-4156
  Rachel Portelli
Leaning Disability Teacher Consultant

(973) 790-6000 X 5039
  Aislyn Cardona

(973) 389-4253(AR)
  Maria Donohue

(973) 389-4250(AR)
Team II
Aurora Rangel de la Carrera

(973) 389-4244
  Danielle DiGiamo
Social Worker

(973) 389-4249
  Dana Bascietto
Learning Disability Teacher Consultant

(973) 389-4247
  Emily Sturtz

(973) 389-4247
Team III
Chantel Alva

(973) 389-4243
  Marybel Hernandez
Social Worker

(973) 389-4254
  Joseph DeGiacomo
Learning Disability Teacher

(973) 389-4251
  Jennifer Limekiller

(973) 389-4246
Team IV
Carolyn Steele

(973) 389-7233
  Lorena Hincapie
Social Worker

(973) 389-4252
  Lori Henry
Learning Disability Teacher

(973) 389-4131
  Michael O'Brien

(973) 389-7228
  Selena Justice

(973) 790-6000 X 5021