Accredited Private Special Needs School in Northern NJ for Students Ages 5-21

Based in Nutley, NJ The Phoenix Center is an accredited private special needs school serving the educational, behavioral and therapeutic needs of students ages 5-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. Our customized programs are built around the whole child and anchored by a hands-on, real-life, community-based instruction model.

A Message From the Executive Director

The time has come to welcome you all back to school! September officially marks The Phoenix Center’s 30th birthday! In September of 1991, The Phoenix Center opened its doors and continues to be a leader in special education! Over these 30 years, our staff has provided the highest quality of educational and therapeutic services to our students and support to our families! As always, I am honored to be shepherding this amazing and innovative learning community.

I am so proud of our students, parents, and staff for working through the challenges of the past year and a half. Together, we are rounding the corner and are making our way back to the normalcy of a full and regular in-person school day. Rest assured, we continue to be in close communications with our local health department, and are following the guidance provided by the NJDOE, CDC, and Governor Murphy.

This year holds much potential and hope—of ongoing health, strength, and prosperity for our learning community. It is because of that mantra that our chosen theme for the 2021-2022 school year is a rainbow of possibilities. Everyone’s rainbow may look a little different, but it is still a rainbow all the same.

As Executive Director, my rainbow of possibilities for this school year includes ongoing good health, students filling our hallways, getting our students back into the community, and in-person family events. As true as “there’s no place like home,” was for Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it is similarly true for The Phoenix Center, which has been called a “home away from home” for so many. Our rainbow represents the strength needed to face adversity and challenge while dreaming and planning for a future together.

I am excited to see the rainbow of possibilities this school year will bring.  I invite you to create your own rainbow of possibilities. Thank you for your interest in and support of The Phoenix Center.

With gratitude,
Julie Mower, M.A.Ed.
Executive Director

PS Please remember that you can support the initiatives and programming not covered by tuition dollars by donating through our DONATE page here.

Please click on the below document to view our 2021-2022 Health & Safety plan:The Phoenix Center’s Virtual/Remote Instruction and Health & Safety Plan 2021-2022 — ADDED 10/28/21 The following are our school closing and communication documents: The Phoenix Center’s Restart & Recovery Plan with an addendum, updated 3-17-21 The Phoenix Center’s Restart & Recovery Plan […]

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For children with disabilities, especially those with a diagnosis of autism, animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has become increasingly popular. Why? Because it’s often easier for kids on the spectrum to relate to animals than other people.   For the entire article, check out this post on NJ Education Report.

Therapy Dog Flynn
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