Burlington County Special Services School District
The Burlington County Special Services School District is a school district in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States whose special schools offer educational and therapeutic services for students of elementary school age who have emotional of physical disabilities that cannot be addressed by their sending districts.
The Burlington County Special Services School District was established in 1972 by the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders. At first the district served 30 handicapped students, but grew within five years to accommodate 500 students from 40 sending school districts in the county. A newly constructed campus for the school was built in Westampton Township, starting use in January 1983. In 1990, the district opened a high school for at-risk students in Lumberton Township and a K-8 campus was opened the following year in Willingboro to help teach students how to overcome their disabilities.
A group of emotionally and physically disabled students from the school district's marching band participated in the inaugural parade for President Bill Clinton. The band also marched in the parade in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the 1993 Miss America pageant.
Saying that he "didn't even know it was a paying job" when he was elected to the Assembly in 1995, Superintendent Carmine DeSopo announced in 1996 that he would donate his entire $35,000 annual salary from the Assembly to the school district's marching band and to a camp the district runs for adult graduates. Having been responsible for the creation of the district, DeSopo announced in March 2001 that he was retiring at the end of the school year from his position as superintendent after 38 years in the field of education.
- BCSSSD History, Burlington County Special Services School District. Accessed June 23, 2010.
- District information for the Burlington County Special School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed November 5, 2009.
- Staff. "PAGEANT DECISION IS DISAPPOINTING, BUT BURLCO BAND PLAYS ON THE SPECIAL SERVICES SCHOOL'S PIONEERS WERE TO HAVE MARCHED IN A.C., BUT A LATE APPLICATION CANCELED THEIR APPEARANCE.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 15, 1993. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Cannon, Kathleen. "PAGEANT RELENTS, WILL LET DISABLED BAND MARCH IN PARADE", The Press of Atlantic City, September 17, 1993. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Johnston, Robert C. and Walsh, Mark. "State Journal: Surprise gift; No charge", Education Week, April 3, 1996. Accessed June 23, 2010.
- Staff. "PIONEERING BURLCO SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 2001. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Staff. "A new year brings changes in staff, Carmine DeSopo is retiring. Lenape gets ready for a new school. Others come and go.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26, 2001. Accessed June 22, 2010.