The science and social studies programs are based on the New Jersey Standards. For science, the current standards are the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by the state in 2017. The New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Social Studies were updated and adopted by the state in 2014. While planning, the science and social studies teachers at The Craig School use the grade level content to teach a multitude of other skills the learning disabled student needs to be directly taught in order to be successful. You will find that our teachers are not only experts in their content areas, but are actively trained to incorporate reading, writing, and executive functioning skills into their lessons and units.
In our science classes, we offer a general science curriculum at all grade levels, encompassing the essential elements of life, earth, and physical science. The goal of our science teachers is that all students learn the basic scientific principles such as cells, atoms, the laws of motion, ecology, and astronomy. All grade levels follow an inquiry-based science curriculum along with the pre-teaching of background knowledge and vocabulary.
Our social studies classes take full advantage of 21st century learning to introduce and develop concepts. Our young students can be found skyping their way around the world to make their experiences in geography concrete, while our middle school students are using virtual reality experiences to visit historical places they are learning about. As in the science classes, the goal of the social studies teachers is to introduce and expose students to the concepts that they will study more in-depth in high school including US and World History, ancient civilizations, and geography.
Our curriculum in the content areas is designed specifically to meet the needs of students with language-based learning differences. As students who are often delayed in their reading development, they have not had the opportunities to encounter the background information and vocabulary their age-related peers have been exposed to through reading. Teachers make sure to pre-teach vocabulary and necessary background information. Students are taught that all learning is a process and starts with activating prior knowledge, this gives new information a place to be stored in the brain and lets the teacher address any possible misconceptions from prior experiences. The needs of our students are also addressed in learning specific strategies for organization, note-taking, and study skills, as well as project planning and test-taking.
STEM, the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math has been a nationwide educational initiative and was infused into The Craig School in 2016. The national initiative is based on the fact that we do not have enough qualified people to staff our STEM-related jobs, thus we are outsourcing those positions. At the elementary school level STEM is meant to inspire and motivate students. In addition, students are made aware of the career opportunities associated with the different STEM fields. Our STEM program is housed in our science department where students are motivated to use the 21st-century skills employers and college administrators have deemed predictive of future success. Those skills being communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Our students practice these skills while completing STEM-based challenges, some of which have quickly become school-wide traditions, like our annual pumpkin chunkin’ competition in the fall and Family STEM Night in the spring.
The Craig School is committed to ensuring our students are prepared for the world they will enter. Environmental science will continue to be a monumental concern and industry that infiltrates all fields and is one we want our students to be aware of as they enter high school and start to think about their futures. Not the least of these environmental issues is that of sustainability. This is a topic that is not only directly taught, as is necessary for students with learning disabilities, but is also infused in many aspects of the curriculum. While learning about types, transfer, ad sources of energy, natural resources, human population trends, as well as advances in genetic engineering and agriculture, students are encouraged to think about their carbon footprint and environmental responsibility. These concepts are developed in many ways including research, discussions, current events, proposals, and projects.
The Craig Lower/Middle School Campus
15 Tower Hill Rd
Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046
Phone 973.334.4375 | Fax 973.334.2861
Craig High School
24 Changebridge Road
Montville, NJ 07045
Phone 973.334.1234 | Fax 973.334.1288