Special Services

Dr. Sandy Mercedes
Director of Special Services


Serving: Children with special needs, ages 3-21 

It is the mission of the Hillside Public School's Department of Special Services to provide the opportunity for each student that has been identified as eligible to receive special education services, to achieve the maximum intellectual, academic, social and emotional growth. Our goal is to ensure that each student reaches full potential, develops a positive self-image, and become a productive citizen in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.


To provide leadership in the identification and programming of students with special needs from ages 3 to 21.  To collaborate and monitor special auxiliary services for district students and staff.


To ensure modifications and compliance with the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards in each of the core areas outlined by the NJ Department of Education as the standards pertain to student’s individual education plans.


To include classroom visitations that provide ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the instructional program. 

To assess instructional programs in order to develop effective, district wide professional development/in-service programs. 

To collaborate with principals in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of effective programs of supervision and evaluation. 

To provide guidance to school leadership teams in the selection and use of textbooks and instructional materials.

To assist in the recruiting, interviewing, screening, and recommending of qualified candidates for positions on the school professional staff.

To ensure services are offered to students and staff who may require special accommodations.


Parent/Community Relations:

To collaborate with parents/guardians to build confidence and engagement towards the development and acceleration of their child/ren’s emotional, social, and academic growth.

To establish on-going communications regarding Special Education rules and regulations, current trends and available local, county, state, and federal services.

To serve as township/school liaison.



To prepare and submit State and Federal Grants pertaining to Special Education funding.

Other departmental duties:

504 Compliance, DCPP liasion, Homeless liasion 


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Child Study Team Referrals

To make a referral to the Child Study Team for an evaluation, a letter to the Director of Special Services should be mailed via the postal service or hand-delivered.  Referral letter must refernece child's name, date of birth, attending school and grade (if child of school age), parent  name, address, phone number and original signature.

Dr. Sandy Mercedes

Director of Special Services

1100 Woodruff Ave

Hillside, NJ  07205