All New Road Schools academic curricula follow the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Instruction is provided in small classes, usually of 12 or fewer students, and is provided one-on-one or in small groups as appropriate for each student.
Assessment and Planning
The development of an individual student’s course of study and curriculum begins with comprehensive assessment of his or her academic, social, and behavioral needs, using a wide array of assessment tools. Additional assessment is conducted throughout the learning process to help facilitate the continuous adjustment of the student’s curriculum as he or she makes progress.
Some of the tools employed for these assessments include:
- Teacher observation
- Various academic achievement tests
- Pre – and post-testing
- Software data and periodic progress reports
- Grades and test scores
- State-wide and district-wide assessments
- Standardized testing as required
- Level system tracking
- Student participation
- Attendance rates
- Tracking of “time on task”
- Client and customer satisfaction
- Student, parent, and school district surveys
- Social and emotional status
All academic classrooms are led by certified special education teachers and supported by one or more teaching assistants.
Our small student-to-staff ratio enables us to teach in the style most appropriate for each student, and encourages progress at his or her own pace. Students are provided individual work spaces to maximize their comfort level and minimize distractions while working independently.
Each student’s academic curriculum and instructional strategies are continuously adapted to suit the student’s learning style and leverage his or her individual strengths and interests.
Our classroom and instructional strategies make it possible for teachers and paraprofessionals to develop positive trusting relationships with their students. Students are frequently praised and rewarded – even for small successes – and they build confidence, competence and resilience as they learn.
Our school-wide culture of empathy combined with high expectations and accountability, ensure students make steady progress toward goals.
Language Arts and Literacy
Interpersonal communication, reading, and writing are critical to a student’s success in school, on the job, and in society. Improvement in a student’s verbal, reading and writing skills will benefit his or her depth and pace of learning. At New Roads Schools we recognize these skill sets as critical components of a student’s personal, academic and vocational growth. Reading can also be a fun and imaginative activity for children, opening doors to new interests and new learning opportunities.
Teachers at New Roads Schools have approximately a dozen different reading programs available to them. Certified staff can provide Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Reading and other science-based instruction.
Additionally, speech and language therapy is provided in pull-out, push-in, and natural school settings to ensure students’ progress and integration of these skills in their learning process.
Mathematics, too, has a broad impact on a student’s learning. Developing computational skills, followed by their application to problem solving, can be of critical importance to students with special needs. We guide students along a skills-application sequence, gradually introducing them to more demanding material. At every age, we emphasize those math applications that are particularly important for the individual child, such as time management and personal finance.
Social Skills Learning
Social skills play an important role in a student’s emotional health and well-being. Absent positive relationships, school – and life in general – can be an unhappy, lonely place that a child might want to avoid.
Social skills weaknesses negatively affect a child’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem, and directly impact all other learning. Children who have attention problems may have trouble listening and attending in conversations, be unable to inhibit the impulse to talk or say things at inappropriate times. Children with memory problems may have difficulty following a conversation because they cannot remember what was just said. Children with sensory or language/communication challenges are especially vulnerable to social problems, and may have difficulty keeping up with the pace or complexity of conversation, especially in groups. Children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome are especially challenged in social situations.
Our social skills program addresses these challenges using direct teaching, activity-based learning, and role-playing. We teach the skills of cooperation, active listening, accepting criticism, conflict resolution, anger management, responsibility and independence to help students become active and effective participants in their family, community, and society. Licensed Social Workers on staff are collaborative partners in our social skills training programs and provide counseling as needed.
Technology in Classrooms
New Road Schools classrooms employ technology as one of a variety of teaching strategies available to instructional staff. Desktop computers, Chromebooks, iPads, handheld devices, E-beams, and various software programs are available and used for both instruction and assessment, when appropriate. Most classrooms are equipped with at least 4 computers and iPads and Chromebooks for students. Click here to learn more about our use of technology in the classroom.
Specials and Other Classes
All students participate in a variety of other academic classes including:
- Computer Lab
- Physical Education