Best Kept Secret premieres September 23, 2013 at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.) The film will be available for streaming on the POV website from September 24 to October 7, 2013. As an added bonus, the POV film Neurotypical, which shows the world of autism through the voices of those on the spectrum, will also be available for free streaming online during the same period of time (September 20, 2013 – October 7, 2013).
At a public school in Newark, N.J., the staff answers the phone by saying, “You’ve reached John F. Kennedy High School, Newark’s best-kept secret.” JFK provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs. In Best Kept Secret, Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission. She races against the clock as graduation approaches for her severely autistic minority students. Once they graduate and leave the security of this nurturing place, their options for living independently will be few. Mino must help them find the means to support themselves before they “age out” of the system.
After the broadcast, you can visit the Best Kept Secret companion site to learn from the filmmaker in a video interview, download a discussion guide and other viewing resources, find out more about autism and the state of special education programs, and get an update on what’s happened to the subjects of the film since the cameras stopped rolling.