PISCATAWAY, NJ - Following recent approval from its Board of Directors, the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ) has changed the name of the Secondary Program at the Bright Beginnings Learning Center to the Future Foundations Academy (FFA).

A program for students aged 13-21 with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the FFA will remain at its current location on the Piscataway Campus, and expand for the 2019-2020  school year to include 12 additional classrooms presently under construction. where construction of the 50,000 square foot school is well underway.

Principal Sandy Giardino can still be reached at 732-339-9331 or sgiardino@escnj.k12.nj.us.

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“The new facility means we will have greater capacity to reinforce productive independent living skills for an increasing number of students,” said Superintendent Mark J. Finkelstein.

A major component of the FFA curriculum is Community-based Instruction (CBI), a research-based method that facilitates participation in life skills experiences including:  job-sampling, use of public transportation, meal preparation and operating common home appliances like toasters, microwaveovens and dishwashers.  Behavior management techniques and conflict resolution skills are also part of the curriculum.

Along with core academic offerings, the FFA curriculum includes robotics, computer coding and wellness instruction. Experiential culinary and horticultural courses will be added to the curriculum when the FFA is relocated.

The FFA building will also be home to ESCNJ’s Professional Development Academy (PDA). Two conference rooms with 300-seat capacity will be used for PDA programs, and be available for business and community use.

The ESCNJ operates seven  Middlesex County schools for student’s ages 3-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, and at-risk behaviors, in addition to providing special education services to school districts statewide. The largest Educational Services Commission in New Jersey, the ESCNJ also coordinates transportation services for over 12,000 students across the state, and manages a 1,200 member Co-op Pricing System, the largest cooperative buying program in New Jersey.