Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Craig School, and what types of students go to Craig?

The Craig School is a 2nd through 12th grade college preparatory program for students with  learning disabilities.

The Craig Lower School was founded in 1980 as an independent, elementary school for children of average or above average ability with learning disabilities. Many of our children have difficulty succeeding in the traditional classroom and require specialized instruction in a structured atmosphere. Such specialized phonics-based programs as Orton-Gillingham are offered in a small-group, nurturing atmosphere. We also focus on organizational skills derived from a variety of sources including the Landmark and Benchmark Schools.

The Craig High School opened its doors in 2000 in response to a void in the high school educational programs available to students with learning disabilities. Our goal is to provide a college preparatory program with strategic support to both our 8th grade graduates as well as families new to Craig.

What is the student-teacher ratio?

The overall ratio of students to teachers is 4:1. Our children benefit from a small, structured learning environment, so our class size is generally no more than eight students in the Lower School and seven students in the High School. For the younger students, our reading classes have a student-teacher ratio of approximately four to one.

How does your curriculum compare with the public schools?

In order for New Jersey school districts and private families to consider The Craig School a viable out-of-district placement, we follow the New Jersey Common Core Standards. Our academic course work prepares our students to take both the GEPA and HSPA state tests.

Is The Craig School accredited?

We are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and are a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

What kind of specialized instruction is offered at The Craig Lower School?

Orton-Gillingham instruction is offered both within the classroom and on a one-to-one or small group basis to address decoding, reading comprehension, and fluency issues.

Organizational and note taking strategies are taught based on the well-known Landmark notebook system.

A comprehensive social skills and character development program is followed at all grade levels and is based on the precept that a good sense of self is essential for good performance.

The entire school operates as a departmentalized system with students moving together within a designated group to different subject area classrooms. This system enables our teachers to concentrate on their specialized areas of teaching.

What kind of specialized instruction is offered at The Craig High School?

In addition to providing the courses required to meet New Jersey graduation standards, The Craig High School incorporates extensively researched, strategy based instructional techniques into our classrooms. Our 9th and 10th graders take dual English courses yearly in literature and writing. Each course follows a two-year curriculum and provides opportunities for students to progress at their own rate. Our writing program incorporates Strategic Instructional Models (SIMS) in sentence writing, paragraph writing and theme writing.

In our mathematics courses, we utilize a sample-example approach to math. This provides students with a systematic approach that begins as teacher initiated, but ends up as a structure for independent work. Our students also develop their own math process cards as an additional resource. Process cards allow students to focus on the multiple steps involved, which higher level math requires.

Our curriculum not only provides relevant content but also focuses on the acquisition skills necessary to be successful in high school and beyond. These acquisition skills are taught across all Craig High School courses and include organization, note taking, approaches to studying and self-advocacy skills.

Where is The Craig School located?

The Craig School is located on two campuses both about 30 miles west of New York City near Interstate 287. The Lower School (grades 2-8) and administrative offices are located in Mountain Lakes, the High School (grades 9-12) is in Boonton.

Do you have computers available for your students?

Yes. Many of our students have difficulty with written language, so the computer becomes an extremely valuable tool. At The Craig School, assistive technology is incorporated into all areas of our curriculum to support the learning process. At Craig High, students have access to wireless laptops in every classroom.

Do you accept children with emotional and/or behavioral problems?

The Craig School is not a school for students who are classified as emotionally disturbed. We are an academic program for students with learning disabilities. We do address the whole child and realize that there is, in many cases, a direct correlation between learned behaviors and academic difficulties. The focus of our program is on the academic difficulties, which in many cases when addressed, alleviates some of the more common behavioral responses.

What is the ratio of girls to boys?

The Craig School has a better percentage than the average boy:girl ratio in programs for students with learning disabilities. The national average is about 25% girls. The Craig School percentage of girls is 28%.

What is the admissions procedure?

Admissions is based on educational evaluations, a parent interview, and student visit.

To find out more about the admissions process or to request an application, please visit our admissions page or call our office at

(973) 334-1295 X 212

Is there a Summer School?

Yes, Craig offers a morning academic program during the month of July for both elementary and high school students. An enrichment program, which meets in the afternoon during July, is offered to elementary school students at the Mountain Lakes campus.

What types of extracurricular activities does The Craig Lower School offer?

Craig Lower students have a variety of activities available to them. The Craig School Badgers play other independent Middle Schools in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. Lower School students may also participate in a winter skiing program at the Hidden Valley ski area. Programs include fencing, tennis, golf and workshops for all ages. Students in the 7th and 8th grades participate in an environmental studies program for several days in the fall at Frost Valley, New York.

What types of extracurricular activities does The Craig High School offer?

While at Craig High, our students develop a greater understanding of who they are and the various roles and responsibilities they have in the larger community. Each student completes a yearly 20 hour community service requirement. Fulfilling this requirement includes both internal opportunities, such as being a part of the school recycling program, and external opportunities, such as volunteering at a local animal shelter.

Students also have an active role in organizing after-school social activities including school dances, Stepping Out events and various after-school clubs such as billiards bowling and miniature golf. All of the current sports teams (cross country, soccer and softball) were started based on the interests of students and initiated bystudents .

How involved are parents in the school?

Parental involvement is an essential part of The Craig School experience. This involvement ranges from working closely with teachers to facilitate constructive learning habits to participating in a variety of social and recreational activities throughout the school year. The Craig School has an active parents’ association (PACS) that sponsors events throughout the school year.

 

If you have more questions, please give us a call at (973) 334-1295.