Craig School New Jersey

Craig School parent launches book: Excerpts from the book about The Craig School

The Craig School is proud to introduce our parent Micki Boas, who has a sixth-grader Matias. She has just launched a book on Simon and Schuster called One In Five: How We're Fighting for Our Dyslexic Kids in A System That's Failing Them. She talks about the obstacles that parents face as they look for education equality. She went across the country and spoke with over 200 parents and experts to get to the heart of the issue. She provides advice that "professionals" won't tell you.

Excerpts from the book about The Craig School:


Exceeded Expectations

The Craig School came recommended by all of our experts. The toughest part of the search had been finding a school that specialized in educating younger children of Matias’s age. Early intervention through private pay is not a route many parents take. Most kids come into schools like Craig around the fifth grade, when the discrepancy model really kicks in, and their schools can no longer ignore their needs. The Craig School had a proven record with kids in second grade, led by a super-smart lower-school director, so it became the obvious choice. Not to mention the beautiful scenery was a perk; driving up to lake views is not too bad.

Enjoying Paradise

On a fine fall day in November, Matias entered the Craig School. He was greeted by a sweet girl named Ev. She was the only other person in second grade, so she was happy to have a friend in tow. She showed him the locker she had personalized for him, introduced him to all her favorite teachers, and taught him the schedule.

He came home glowing on the first day, talking about how great the teachers were and how great of a welcome he had received. This was the first time on this journey that I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. That night, we had a beautiful conversation that lasted for hours. Our family finally began to sleep well.

He started the first two hours of each day with a highly skilled Orton-Gillingham teacher, Mrs. Schilling, who is dyslexic herself. She crafted each lesson around his interests, his progress, and his abilities. Then he worked with the language arts teacher, Mrs. Wallace, who headed the department and graduated from the best school in the state for special education. To this day Matias still cries when he sees her, remembering their time together.

All the other subjects were built for how his brain learned, too. They learned science by planting and composting in the garden with Mr. Furlong. For history, his teacher would roll out a large map onto the floor and help them with visual-spatial skills to understand where each country was by standing inside the map. Math was Matias’s jam, and there was a system in place that brought context to the equations, which was a plus.

Did I mention there was swimming on Fridays, a reward program called badger points, and a fishing club?

Like I said, pure paradise. I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience.

Click this link to purchase this book -

Serving roughly 130 students with learning disabilities in grades 2-12 across two campuses in Mountain Lakes and Montville, The Craig School has been a leader in the provision of a strategy-based, comprehensive, challenging and rewarding school experience for 40 years.

Read the article on
The Craig School: A beacon of light and learning

“In my mind, Kate is the epitome of what a Craig teacher should be. She is friendly, inclusive, patient and a positive role model to all students. Anything that has been thrown her way over the years she has taken on the challenge with much success.  From starting the photography club which quickly became a big hit and favorite amongst students, she has helped get our students out into our community putting together and overseeing various cultural field trips. Our 9th grade parents share how accommodating Kate is with her World History class. She truly accommodates and modifies as you would want and expect any teacher at Craig to do.  She’ll go the extra mile meeting kids during support to review with them and will sit and map out a plan if they are overwhelmed.  She has a very comforting energy about her helping students feel safe and important. Kate seems to find a way to meet their needs and make a special connection with each of them.”
Dr. Kara A. Loftin, Head of School

The Craig School is happy to announce a new Head of School, Dr. Kara A. Loftin.

For the past 22 years, Dr. Loftin has been a leader in the education of students with learning disabilities both in the field as a dyslexia specialist working directly one to one with students as well as the creator and founder of The Learning Center at Wasatch Academy which provided a nationally recognized evidence-based whole child approach to educating students with exceptionalities. She has been featured as the keynote speaker at the Kuwait Association of Learning Disabilities National Conference, conducted a series of week-long workshops at the Kasiga School in Dehradun, India on school behavioral management systems and social-emotional competences and spoken about inclusive practices for students with learning disabilities at many national and international conferences including the Pac Rim International Conference on Diversity and Disability, and the annual conferences for the Council for Exceptional Children, the the Learning Disabilities Association of America, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Independent Educational Consultant Association. In 2018, her work was recognized at the National Association of Independent Schools as one of the Top 10 Innovative Programs among the 3,000 member schools. Her passion for supporting the individual needs of each student translates into her work as a teacher trainer and thought leader in the field of education for students with exceptionalities. Over the past 22 years, her philosophy that education is not only an equalizer, but a powerful tool to lift up society and break down barriers between individuals with different backgrounds, values, and abilities, has driven her work, guiding her in creating educational experiences that are inclusive, embrace neurodiversity, and a celebration of a student’s competencies and strengths. Speaking of her appointment as the Head of School at The Craig School, Dr. Loftin states, “I am honored and humbled to begin my journey at The Craig School. The sense of care and commitment to building community and bringing forth the best from each student served at The Craig School is most evident.”

Celebrating its 40th year, The Craig School, located in Mountain Lakes and Montville, New Jersey, provides students in grades 2 - 12 with a strategy-based, comprehensive, and challenging school experience that acknowledges their learning disabilities, builds on their aptitudes, and strengthens their self-awareness and self-esteem.

Kara earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado and holds certifications as a Structured Literacy™ Dyslexia Specialist (C-SLDS), a Wilson ® Dyslexia Therapist (WDT), and an Applied Behavior Analyst.
As promised, the missing pieces of our recent Class of 2020 graduation video have been completed.  Below is the link where you will find the original graduation video and below that video, you will find the Diploma exchange, the Tassel flip, and Cap Toss video.
It's still graduation weekend so we made it under the wire!
Enjoy and congrats again to the CHS Class of 2020.,
Dr. Cap

In 2010, Dan Firestone graduated Craig Middle School and wrote in his 8th-grade yearbook under his class picture, “One day I will be going for my MSW at Rutgers University”.

In 2014, Dan was a graduating senior at Craig High and sent to his teachers a text that said – I GOT IN –three well-chosen words that conveyed his acceptance into his first college of choice, Marist College ( located in Poughkeepsie, NY where he would go on to study at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences to focus on Social Work and Psychology.

Fast forward six years and one BA later, Dan sent his CHS teachers another text just this week.  This time it says – I GOT IT –three well-chosen words that conveyed the fulfillment of his prediction from Middle School that he would graduate from Rutgers with a master’s degree in social work which he did this past May as a member of the Rutgers University Class of 2020.  Way to go Dan!


Please consider supporting The Craig School at one of these giving levels:

$100 Craig Supporter
$101-$500 Sponsor a Teacher's Workstation
$501 - $2000 Replacement of Technology
$2001-$5000 Sponsor Teacher Appreciation in the Fall
$ Level of your choice Honor a faculty member of your choice

(You can include a tribute during the checkout process to honor a teacher or student in the notes area)

Along with all of our lives this spring, our Craig School Annual Auction to celebrate 40 years has taken a different turn. At Craig, our strategy-based practices have taught us all the lifelong lessons that we can always rise to any challenge and we will succeed.

During the next few weeks, we will be sharing with you quotes and letters from our community on what The Craig School means to them. You may laugh or you may cry, but I think you will all be able to relate to the incredible impact the Craig School has had on the students who have passed through our doors. Even during these uncertain times, it's been amazing to witness how our teachers have continued to provide such a personalized and unique learning environment virtually and how the structure of the Craig academic day provides our students with the routine they need right now.

Although we won't gather together on May 2nd, The Craig School still needs your support! Our Annual Auction is vitally important to the financial well-being of the school, ensuring that our programs remain at the forefront of our strategy-based learning curriculum and that our faculty remains top tier. The auction supports our teachers and our programs and balances the budget of the school, and we are excited to announce a different opportunity allowing each of us to show our love for Craig from the security of our homes.

We are creating a virtual fundraiser offering various sponsorship opportunities to honor our school, as well as our incredible faculty and staff. A contribution in any amount will be appreciated.  

Does Your Company Have a Matching Gifts Program?

Click here to search our database of matching gifts companies.

Letter to Parents, Summer School

May 12, 2020

Dear Craig Community,

Last Tuesday, on National Teacher Appreciation Day, I wrote to tell you that we would not be returning to our school buildings this year.

Our Summer Academy Morning Academic program will be following our remote learning program and it will be offered online beginning Monday, July 6 through Thursday, July 30, 2020.
The program will run from approximately 9 am until 12-noon Mondays-Thursdays.
The Lower and Middle School and Craig High School will be providing specific details about the program in June.

We will not be able to conduct our afternoon Enrichment Program with the sports, arts, and film offerings virtually, so we will be not offering that program during our summer academy.

If your previous plans concerning attending our Summer Academy have changed, please contact Nicole Moon and our bookkeeper Colleen Pauwels with any questions regarding payment.

Many of us are disappointed that we must continue our remote learning online in July but the decision to continue with remote learning is based on the health and safety of everyone in the Craig family. We miss our students and our students miss being together. The summer program has always been a special time for the teachers and students to work together, and we are confident that continued remote learning will support summer learning.

In closing, please look for additional information in June with specifics about the schedule and program.

It is our hope that your family is safe during this time, and thank you again for your support and participation in all we do at Craig.


Tad Jacks
Head of School.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Dear Craig Faculty & Parents,

In keeping with our virtual learning environment, we wanted to reach out virtually to acknowledge Teacher Appreciation Week.

If a picture says a thousand words, let this speak volumes about how much you are appreciated!

With tremendous THANKS,
The Parent Association of The Craig School

Parents Share Praise For Our Teachers During Teacher’s Week

Subject: Thank you!
The Craig School has changed Evan’s life, we cannot thank you enough…each one of your teachers are fabulous! I think you know who our favorites are!! 


Virtual learning at Craig has been simply put AMAZING. I am in awe at how hard all of you have worked to make this unusual school experienced be as close to in-person as possible. Thank you to everyone at Craig. I can not say enough about how this has been a positive experience in spite of the challenges around us.

Thank you to all of the Craig staff. I feel so fortunate to have been here with my Julianna at was has been a time like no other!!!!



Giving at Craig

For more information on ways of giving or to make a donation online you can clicking here.


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The Craig School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate based on race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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