The Phoenix Center's 30th Anniversary Milestones

The Phoenix Center celebrates its 30th birthday this year, and we’ve never been more happy and grateful for the contributions from those who have helped us get here. Thank you !

Below, we have created a “historical perspective” showcasing a milestone from every year. Enjoy and hope to see you at our commemorative Fundraising Gala on Saturday, June 5th, 2021!

Year 1

1991-1992

The Phoenix Center is co-founded and opened with 16 students and 12 staff in a 13,000-square-foot space in West Paterson. Enrollment as of June 1992 is 49 students.

Year 2

1992-1993

Home and School Association, Partners in Caring, is formed with the mission of supporting fundraising for the school.

TPC Milestone Year 2

Year 3

1993-1994

Approval for Supported Employment program received the first private school in the state.

TPC Milestone Year 3

Year 4

1994-1995

TPC Staff and enrollment continues to grow from original 16 students and 12 staff to where it is today.

TPC Milestone Year 4

Year 5

1995-1996

Community-Based Instruction (CBI) is introduced to allow students to learn how to use such local institutions as banks, bookstores, grocery stores, the public library, the post office, and restaurants.

Year 6

1996-1997

Interactive Restaurant Program is started with state-of-the-art kitchen equipment and furnishings (donated by Inserra Shop Rites of Mahwah).

Year 6 at The Phoenix Center

Year 7

1997-1998

Phoenix develops inclusion program to return students to their local public school districts.

TPC Milestones Year 7

Year 8

1998-1999

Percussion Ensemble is formed and cuts own CD.

TPC Milestones Year 8

Year 9

1999-2000

Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program starts.

TPC Milestones Year 9

Year 10

2000-2001

Phoenix purchases two additional vans to transport students into the community.

Year 11

2001-2002

School finds a permanent home in 44,000-square-foot former Catholic School in Nutley.

Year 12

2002-2003

Drama Club is formed. To date, they have performed five productions including Hansel and Gretel, Wizard of Oz, The Holka-Polka, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Lion King, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland.

Year 13

2003-2004

Dance troupe is introduced to enhance participants’ rhythm, concentration, and team spirit.

Year 14

2004-2005

First Annual Student Art Show is held at the school for families and the community.

Year 15

2005-2006

Phoenix introduces a Sensory Motor Gym.

TPC Milestone Year 15

Year 16

2006-2007

Family Night Out program is introduced to parents.

Year 17

2007-2008

The Phoenix Center purchases its first 16-passenger school bus (donated by the Dorothy B. Hersh Foundation).

Year 18

2008-2009

Consumer Family Life Skills Program is introduced (funded by Columbia Bank Foundation).

Year 19

2009-2010

Bowling League is formed with other Private Schools (funded by Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation).

TPC Milestone Year 19

Year 20

2010-2011

Horticulture Program is instituted to give students hands-on gardening experience and enhance beauty of the school’s outdoor garden (funded by Ramsey Area Garden Clubs and Columbia Bank Foundation).

TPC Milestone Year 20

Year 21

2011-2012

SMART Boards are installed in 14 of 16 classrooms.

Year 22

2012-2013

Achieved NCASES Accreditation.

Year 23

2013-2014

Multisensory Environment is opened thanks to a grant from Seton Hall University.

TPC Milestone Year 23

Year 24

2014-2015

Achieved Middle States Accreditation.

Year 25

2015-2016

Pet Therapy is introduced.

Year 26

2016-2017

Provided supervision for eight graduate school student interns in Occupational Therapy, Physical therapy, Speech and Counseling, from Montclair State University and Seton Hall University.

Year 27

2017-2018

Our students engaged in 3,930 hours of CFL in the areas of cooking, laundry, kitchen organization, and living space maintenance.

Year 28

2018-2019

Columbia Bank Foundation funds the construction of a secure school lobby.

TPC Year 28

Year 29

2019-2020

Met MSA goal for 90% of our students in all grades to increase their access to technology weekly within Academic Content areas by 200%.

Year 30

2020-2021

Happy Birthday to The Phoenix Center!