Initially I started my work career as a high school history teacher and community college adjunct in the late 1980's. After spending the next 22 years in a law enforcement career, I returned to my love of teaching and found the field of special education here at The Center School. I started in September 2012 as a high school history teacher. Since 2012, I have been fortunate to work with our students as a teacher, then as a supervisor, then school Principal, and now as the Executive Director.
It is with this intimate insider knowledge of our school, that I can speak so informatively about our programs and staff.
Our programs are designed to be the latest best practices in the field of special education with an emphasis on the current needs of the students we serve. These needs have changed over the years as a result of societal changes and increased scientific knowledge of learning disabilities. Although we have been successful as a special needs school since 1971, much has changed since then with academic and emotional needs.
Our staff is second to none. They are all here at the school because of one common reason... a sincere and unwavering devotion to the field of special education and desire to see our students succeed to their fullest potential. Our staff constantly update their practices to meet the everchanging landscape of the field and the needs of our students. They are driven by the daily and post-Center School successes our students achieve. They will never settle for what has been accomplished or rest on their laurels, but instead continue to push forward each year with implementing new programs and methods to see our students succeed.
Inside The Center School
The Center School has been around for more than 50 years. Our academic programs and special services are second to none, as are our staff. Highly trained and expert in the field of special education, our teachers and support service professionals are great people to work with. But far more importantly, they are selflessly dedicated to the mission of the school. Our staff far exceed the typical expectations of a “teacher”. Their passion for their students’ success is only surpassed by their devotion to each of their students, which equals that of a parent’s.
The Center School prides itself on using a school-family partnership model which fosters a collaborative approach to student success. Our students can only be successful if we work together with our families to ensure we have a shared knowledge and understanding of the individualized needs and interests of each child. To that end, we keep open lines of communication weekly, sometimes daily, and also encourage parent involvement in our school activities and events.
I am proud to be able to lead a school which offers families an opportunity to provide an exceptional academic setting and related services to advance the lives of their children. Despite their myriad challenges, students who come to The Center School find a school where they are personally known to their teachers, can express themselves, explore their strengths, and feel comfortable being who they are. It does not matter whether they intend to go on to higher education, out into the work force, find vocational opportunities, attain more job training in a transition program, or any other avenue they wish to pursue. The foundation of those endeavors is solidly built here at The Center School.
Ronald P. Rinaldi, Ed.D.