Advocacy, Commitment, Excellence, Service  

Mission: Dedicated to enhancing and transforming lives through education, innovation, and leadership.

Vision: To create an equitable and socially just world, one life at a time.

ACES dedication to better serve its community is exemplified by the wide array of services and programs offered. These include adult and vocational programs, interdistrict programs, Open and Magnet School Parent Choice programs, Minority Teacher Recruitment initiatives, behavior services for individuals on the autism spectrum, occupational/ physical therapy, professional development, and technology services.

ACES History

Founded in 1969, Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES), was initially funded with declining grants under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.  The North Haven school district was the administering agent during those early years.

After a planning period, followed by a year of aggressive and imaginative educational programming for its initial 18 member towns, ACES and other similar agencies petitioned Connecticut's General Assembly for legislation to permit it to function as an educational service center. Public Law 10-66 became effective on July 1, 1972, signifying recognition within the General Assembly of the viability of the educational service center concept. Legislation passed in 1978 further supported Connecticut's educational service agencies.

In its 1969-1970 planning year, ACES had a staff of two and a total budget of $70,000. As of the 2016 - 2017 fiscal year, its broad and extensive programs involve more than 980 skilled staff members in 19 facilities working with a budget of $87,000,000. ACES now generates income in two principal ways: from the fees participating members and clients pay for its services; and from state, federal and foundation grants.

Organizational Beliefs

  • Each individual has inherent worth
  • All individuals can learn
  • High expectations and effort are essential for higher achievement
  • Quality education provides the foundation for the success of the individual and the community
  • Diversity strengthens an organization
  • Individuals are accountable for their actions
  • Everyone has a responsibility to each other and to contribute to the common good
  • Honesty and respect are essential for building trusting relationships
  • A positive attitude enhances performance
  • Collaboration enhances productivity and generates creativity
  • Families are essential partners in education
  • The willingness to change is necessary for individuals to grow and organizations to thrive

Member Districts

Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) exists to improve public education through high quality, cost effective programs and services. We are the Regional Educational Service Center (RESC) for the twenty-five school districts in south central Connecticut. Over 40 states operate Educational Service Agencies because of the financial benefits that are obtained through regional collaboration.

We meet the educational needs of our member districts by acting as both a Local Education Agency (LEA) and as a regional service agency. As a Local Education Agency, we operate schools designed to meet the specific needs of the region; currently special education and Interdistrict Magnet schools. As a regional service agency, we develop solutions to the most pressing needs of our member school districts. From school-based technical assistance to programs that advance the education workforce, we work hand in hand with state officials and local educators to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Our revenue sources include tuition and fees for services from Local Education Agencies, state and federal funds, and private sources, including grants and fees for services. Local school districts appoint a representative to the ACES Governing Board and work collectively to set a strategic direction for the organization based on the educational needs of the region.

Map of districts ACES services

East Haven

New Haven
North Branford
North Haven

West Haven
Regional District #5 (Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge)
Regional District #13 (Durham, Middlefield)
Regional District #16 (Beacon Falls, Prospect)