At Craig High School, a specialized college prep program for high school students with learning disabilities, students learn executive functioning skills and are immersed in cross-curricular strategic approaches that allow them to manage their learning and ultimately become the independent learners they are capable of and will need to be to navigate the post-secondary world.
By Dr. Eric Caparulo
Director of Craig High School
As the director of The Craig High School for the past 23 years, one of the most common questions that I am asked is, “What makes Craig High different than any other high school?” My response is to share who we are: Craig High is a specialized college prep program for high school students with learning disabilities.
Each element of our identity is essential in defining who we are as a school and community. We are a college prep program with the goal of preparing our students for whatever post-secondary opportunities await them. This preparation involves building executive functioning skills and immersion in cross-curricular strategic approaches that allow our students to manage their learning and ultimately become the independent learners they are capable of and will need to be to navigate the post-secondary world.
We are an independent high school that exceeds New Jersey graduation requirements and that provides to our students what we, as educators and parents, aspire for all of our teens — a comprehensive high school experience. This experience includes more than just academics. It includes sports teams, student-led clubs, student councils, National Honor and Art Societies, proms, Spirit Days and Stepping Outs (our version of afterschool adventures).
The most defining principle of who we are is that we are specialists in working with students with learning disabilities. There is a reason that the term “learning disability” is at the tail end of our school identity. It is because learning disabilities are a commonality of the students of Craig High, but it does not define them as individuals. It is an essential piece of their self-puzzle and one that they must come to terms with, accept and learn to manage. That is where Craig High comes in. As important as any academic skill or strategic research-based approach is, so too is our students’ sense of self and the understanding that their disability is just a piece of who they are. They have aptitudes, passions, drives and motivations that they must learn to embrace and navigate to truly understand the self-puzzle that makes them who they are as both young adults and scholars. That is what makes The Craig High School unique and different from traditional high schools.