Best Kept Secret

Synopsis: JFK High School, located in the midst of a run-down area in Newark, New Jersey, is a public school for all types of students with special education needs, ranging from those on the autism ...
Director(s): Samantha Buck
Production: Argot Pictures
  3 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min

[Piano playing

"This Little Light of Mine"]


Thank you for calling

John F. Kennedy,

best kept secret in

the Newark Public Schools.

How may I help you?

[Indistinct conversations]


have a look.

Hi, Quran, how are you?

Fine. How was your New Year?

Yeah? Good, I see you smiling.

You must have had a good year.

-Bianca, how you doing?


How was your New Year?


You slept a lot?

So did I.

I'm on this side,

let me get it.

Okay, thank you.

Pull, pull, pull!

So you don't have to walk back,

you can ride back.

You're welcome.

...One nation, under God,


with liberty and justice

for all.

Have a great day.

Happy New Year.

Good morning, JFK.

Let's hear it for JFK!


Welcome back

to 2011!

We made it another year,

isn't that great?

Robert, it's good to see you!

Say hi.






Good job,

that's good talking.

-Good morning.

-Good morning.

Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh! Relax.

-Happy New Year.

-Happy New Year.

Can I get a kiss?

Thank you.

I'm not a doctor.

I'm not trying to look

for a cure.

But if I could teach you how

to take care of yourself,

how to express yourself,

or just get some type

of language out of you,

where you could be able

to voice for yourself.

These are the things that we

really need to work with.





All right, high-ten!


You did that

by yourself, too.

Do you want something

for that?


I didn't understand that.

Do you want something for that?


-You have to say it louder.


If you don't speak louder,

nobody's going to ever

give you what you want.

So, do you want something?




-Okay, what do you want?




Oh, that was nice and loud.

Sure, you can have a cookie.

But that was beautiful.

You get a big cookie

for that, too.

Ra-ra, look at me!

Is this our friend?


Rahamid got a fear of plants

and we try to desensitize him.

Outside, he won't go

by the trees.

Okay, lesson's over. Okay.

Could you put this back for me?


Are you going to put it back?


-Ouch what?

Do you want to put it back

for me or no -- yes or no?


-You want me to do it?


-Okay, I'll do it.

-What is your name?


Very good.

My name is Janet.



My name is Erik.

-I live in Montclair.

-I live in Montclair.

-No. Ilive in Montclair.


I l...





Very good.

Up, up, up, up, up!

Come on!

Good. Up.



[Sand rattling]

I've been teaching

for over 20 years.


I had several kids

graduate before.


But this time it's different

because my entire class

is graduating.

[Sand rattling]

So, we're going to talk

about transition.

We're going to have a discussion

about what happens

with our students

once they leave here,

and particularly since

your entire class

is graduating.

One of the biggest problems

that we have

for our students

with autism is,

there's not a lot of resources

post-high school.


they have like a day

recreational program

where the kids just come

and do activities,

and then they have

a work program.

But it's not anything

that I would consider, you know,

a standard, traditional job.

Do they have

any live-in programs?

Oh, yeah, uh...

It's very private.

And you've got to pay.

And most of our kids

wouldn't be able to pay.

-Oh, it's private.


You know, when you

graduate school,

you're no longer a student,

they call you a "consumer."

So they allow the consumer

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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