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Founded in September 1971

The Center School was founded by a group of parents and teachers interested in creating a school for special needs students who needed more support, specialized services, and flexibility than was being offered in their home districts. After another special education school (The Willis School) closed its doors, several of the staff and parents reorganized and founded The Center School, which opened in the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bound Brook. The school opened with 45 children and a half-day program.


Within five years the school moved to a larger location in Warren Township which allowed its population and programs to grow. Over the next 14 years, not only did the school’s student body and staff double in size, but specialized programs including gym, art, typing, woodshop, speech & language, computers, pre-vocational skills development, and career awareness were added.

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In 1989 the school moved to Highland Park where it continued to figure prominently in the education of special needs students over the next 22 years. The school recovered from a building fire within a one-week period in February, 2012, when it reopened in Branchburg. Two and a half years later one more move was made to its present state of the art

location in Somerset.


Over the past 50 years, The Center School has maintained its original mission of serving the needs of special education students while updating its many programs to meet and exceed the standards of education in New Jersey.


The Center School maintains an elementary, middle, and high school, all housed within its three-story, 80,000 square foot building. Additionally, a transition program for 18-21 year-olds serves the needs of older students. Today we serve over 50 different sending districts from all over New Jersey.

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