Frequently Asked Questions
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Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.
Click on a question to expand it to the answer.
Why would I send my students to WGA versus my other options? (from the perspective of a counselor or case manager).
Child study teams, case managers, counselors, and school administrators are under pressure to conserve funds and keep their special education students in their public school. However, they are unaware that Warren Glen Academy is one of the best financial and student investments in the New Jersey counties that Warren Glen Academy serves.
Also, Warren Glen Academy has many benefits to the student that public schools cannot provide, including:
- Small school setting (the campus sits on bucolic, rural NJ acreage in a school built in 1952). It provides a “wholesome” environment not found in most suburban public schools or inner-city specialized schools.
- Low student-to-teacher ratio
- Every adult in the school knows every student
- A level of flexibility in programming and teaching, and instruction that is not found in most public schools
- Can better meet your child’s needs where they most need it
- Broader ability to customize the program to the student. Every student achieves as the program speed is adjusted forward or backward as needed
- Better opportunity for a path to college or career (plus an in-house extended program “Job Exploration Transition” or JET, for 16 to 21 year old students).
- Culture with a foundation based on Choice Theory (see final page notes)
IN SUMMARY – Warren Glen Academy fills in the gaps public schools cannot address with your child.
What makes Warren Glen different from other specialized instruction schools? Why should parents consider this instead of a different special needs school or their home school?
In addition to the points above, Warren Glen Academy recently achieved 100% compliance from the State of NJ Department of Education. The state’s monitors completed a deep dive into every facet of the school, examining everything from lesson plans to the curriculum to conducting staff interviews. Warren Glen Academy and students achieved 100% compliance rating in every facet; few schools pass as many areas as Warren Glen Academy continues to find success.
Warren Glen Academy also offers a “Super Seniors” program, created to bring life skills to advanced students 16-21 years. In addition to teaching essentials like laundry, personal hygiene, and learning to cook, the program also encompasses career advice, job sampling, and job placement services.
Broad and diverse activities focus, including:
- Therapy dogs
- Community Outreach (help food pantry and community cleanups)
- Social Skills activities (museum trips, swimming, ice cream socials)
- Life skills program
- Industrial Arts (woodshop)
- Technology (coding, drones, robotics, web design, 3-D printing)
- Music Infused
- Physical Education and Adaptive Physical Education (working individually with students to help improve coordination, improvement to reaction time, eye-hand coordination, and develop greater muscle memory)
- Sensory Room
- Equine Therapy
- Counseling (individual, small group, large group)
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- School to Careers/College
What is Choice Theory?
The foundation for much of the Warren Glen Academy curriculum is based on Dr. William Glasser’s views on psychology. He writes that, if practiced, psychology could reverse our widespread inability to get along with one another, an inability that is the source of almost all unhappiness.
For progress in human relationships, he explains that we must give up the punishing, relationship-destroying external control psychology. For example, if you are in an unhappy relationship right now, he proposes that one or both of you could be using external control psychology on the other. He goes further. And suggests that misery is always related to a current unsatisfying relationship. Contrary to what you may believe, your troubles are always now, never in the past. No one can change what happened yesterday.
NOTE: This book is widely accepted in the special needs educational community, and many case managers will be familiar with it. Click here to download a summary.
What else should I know that I haven't asked?
Expectations on both the staff as well as the students exist. We view students as students, as opposed to children with special needs or having behavioral challenges and hold expectation for students to learn the importance of accountability.
Our culture reduces pressure on the child who has been forced to have to “fit in” a mainstream setting. Instead, students can better relate to one another, which promotes better learning and behavior.
Here are a few important themes:
- Graduation Rate
- Transition back to public school classroom
- Transition to adult life
- Full-time careers
- Partnering with outside schools, colleges, technical trades
- Small classroom enrollment
- Dedicated, reliable and knowledgeable staff
Warren Glen Academy is a quality educational program that does an exemplary job with a diverse student population.
Warren Glen Academy specializes in serving children and adolescents who are identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Development Delays, Health Impairments, Multiple Disabilities, Speech and Language Impairments, Emotional Regulation Impairment, ADD, and ADHD.
What will change from Stepping Stone School to Warren Glen Academy? Same focus, same services, same student population?
Warren Glen Academy has successfully implemented an Autism program and continues expanding upon programs tailored to the advanced student population.
Will Warren Glen still be run by the Board of Trustees of Elnorah, Inc? Who is Elnorah, Inc, and why is their involvement important? And if not still run by Elnorah, then who—and what expertise do they bring to this school?
In 1978 there were two women, Elnorah Fitzpatrick and Lana Martin, who had their own children with special needs in public education. Together they co-founded Stepping Stone School (now Warren Glen Academy). They developed a Board of Trustees which create and follow board policy, state mandates, and regulations as an Approved Private School for Students with Disabilities (APSSD) ensuring the school is well managed. Warren Glen Academy trustees participation spans many years of dedicated service to this school with no personal agenda, discontentment, or seeking higher office, unlike many public school boards. Some trustees have unselfishly served on the board since 1978 when the school was founded.