Newark and John F. Kennedy School
John F. Kennedy School, featured in Best Kept Secret, is located in Newark, New Jersey, a city with a population of 277,727, more than 25 percent of whom live below the poverty line. The state of New Jersey has one of the highest rates of autism in the nation.
John F. Kennedy School is a middle-secondary special education school that serves students throughout the district of Newark from 10 to 21 years of age. The school has two separate programs for students based on their diagnoses: Autistic and Multiple Disabilities with Moderate Cognitive Involvement.
Janet Mino, the teacher featured in Best Kept Secret, is part of the school’s transition team, which, in cooperation with students and parents, assesses the needs and skill-development required for students as they transition from school to work and independent living. The team includes two transition teachers, four job coaches, a guidance counselor, a school social worker and a Child Study Team case manager. Transition teams are required by the federal government to prepare students who are receiving special education for life after graduation.
» Augenstein, Seth. "N.J. Still Ranks High in Autism Rate, Report Says." The Star-Ledger, March 29, 2012.
» Autism Speaks. "Employment and Other Options."
» Goldberg, Dan."Autism Survey Finds 1 in 50 American Kids Are on the Spectrum." The Star-Ledger, March 21, 2013.
» Newark Public Schools. "John F. Kennedy School."
» Newark Public Schools. "State and County Quick Facts: Newark, New Jersey."