The Gateway School located in Carteret, NJ caters to the needs of students with special needs. Our School empowers such students with skills that are necessary to lead a normal life. We accept students with challenging behaviors and help them to garner all the skills and confidence.
We are looking forward to working with all the students, parents and sending districts again this school year to provide the best quality special educational program in the area!
New Supervisor of Instruction
We wish to introduce and extend a warm welcome to Mr. John Gonzalez, who joined the Gateway team as Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction in July of 2016. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and New Jersey City University. Mr. Gonzalez holds a Master of Arts in Special Education and brings 15 years of experience working as a classroom teacher, head teacher, and administrator with the Jersey City and Newark Public Schools.
Mr. Gonzalez has many exciting and innovative ideas for our curriculum and instruction and is actively engaged in all the classrooms. He has quickly begun to increase the use of technology in the classroom through leading-edge applications that will benefit students and teachers. He has facilitated improved electronic communication between staff and parents with the implementation of “Classroom DoJo”. We welcome “Mr. G.” to our team and look forward to a well-rounded, progressive year ahead, focusing on group and individualized learning.
Collaborative School-Based Program with Rutgers – UBHC
The collaborative partnership between Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) and The Gateway School to offer “The School Based Program” is now in its third successful year!
This service, which provides a range of confidential mental health services at no charge to the parents, allows us to better address the mental health and psychiatric needs of some of our more challenging developmentally disabled students. UBHC and Gateway use a team approach to develop prevention and intervention strategies, which promotes a healthy environment for learning towards academic and life success.
The School Based Program provides a range of free and confidential mental health services including:
Dr. Raymond Chong, Child Psychiatrist, visits once a week to meet with families/students for medication management of specifically-identified students.
Mrs. Alejandrina Batista, LCSW – Mental Health Clinician II, works collaboratively with Dr. Chong, and the Gateway Staff, families and students. She observes students, advises teachers, develops behavior plans, and monitors student progress. Mrs. Batista provides individual and family counseling, and facilitates crisis intervention as needed to support the positive mental health of our students.
Our Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Program, is overseen by Alison Dever, M.S., BCBA. The program is another approach to assist with behavior modification for those students who would benefit from this type of intervention. Mrs. Dever is in her second year as part of the Gateway team. She brings extensive experience, having worked in private and public schools, behavior support agencies, and home therapy settings with students with disabilities throughout New Jersey. Mrs. Dever engages in classroom observations, behavioral counseling with students, and family conferences. She works collaboratively with staff to develop, implement, monitor and update individual behavior plans to help each student succeed to their potential. Consistency and teamwork is the cornerstone of this program to help students understand social expectations and the positive interpersonal rewards associated with appropriately learning to manage their behaviors.
The focus of the science of ABA is to determine why students engage in problem behaviors through careful observation, data collection and targeted interventions. When the “function” of the behaviors have been discovered, socially appropriate replacement behaviors are taught to the students.
New STEM Lab added
Gateway School is proud to introduce a wonderful addition to our curriculum -our new STEM Lab! The Lab is located on the second floor of the school in a newly renovated classroom. The state-of-the -art equipment has been installed by experts in the field of bringing STEM labs to schools.
In today’s world, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) play a critical role in jobs, homes, and every aspect of advanced learning. The integration of STEM disciplines into every students’ education is an important contribution to their future success.
STEM is a Project-Based Learning environment where students are fully engaged in ventures, using their hands and minds. Projects are technology driven and use digital media arts. Combining Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics helps students learn and understand the correlation and connection between all four subject areas.
By completing projects in the lab, students are encouraged to improve their skills in problem-solving, personal relevance and intrinsic motivation. Working in groups, students will actively practice communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, information literacy, adaptability and presentation skills, all which are carried over into any future job setting.
The STEM Lab is a wonderful way for our students to create, invent, build and express their creativity using a whole new method. Mrs. Erika Casablanca, who previously taught as a Gateway classroom teacher, will be working with the students in the lab three full days per week. She is very excited and looking forward to seeing the amazing things the students come up with when given the opportunity to explore with their hands and their minds.
Activities of Daily Living Classroom
One practical part of the Gateway School curriculum is instruction on domestic living skills that as adults we engage in on a daily basis. Our Activities of Daily Living Classroom (ADL) provides an environment where teachers focus on pragmatic functional skills such as cooking, the use of a washer and dryer, learning to make a bed and, of course, cleaning up.
The newly renovated classroom sports a brand new island made of a solid surface countertop, a new stainless steel sink, with new tiling and appliances. All of the Gateway classes rotate through this learning center to learn and practice hands-on and multi-sensory activities. Every Friday, one of the high school classes creates and cooks a hot lunch for staff and students who choose to participate in the program. Students help to plan the meal, identify shopping sales at the nearby grocery store, drive to the Shop-Rite to complete the shopping, do the cooking in the ADL room, distribute the lunches throughout the school, and ensure the clean-up.
Often times in the ADL room you will find the Related Services’ staff – Speech and Occupational therapists – collaborating with the classroom teacher and para-professionals, to conduct concrete lessons focused on cooking and other domestic skills activities.
Community-Based Vocational Training Worksites
As the students begin to age towards adulthood, the focus of the program tilts toward Transition and preparing students for leaving school and entering the world of the adult services. Being that New Jersey is an Employment First state we work closely with parents, Case Managers from the sending districts, and students themselves to seriously consider the world of work. In order to better emphasize this aspect of The Gateway School curriculum, lessons revolve around job exploration and preparation, vocational readiness, and the “soft” skills our students need to demonstrate in order to be successful in real work environments. To get our adolescents and young adults ready, we begin to take students out of the confines of the classroom and school building to experience community-based job sampling around the Carteret community. This school year we have identified five (5) different work environments that we are utilizing to teach our high school students real work skills and work-related behaviors. These include the following locations:
Students are transported to the community-based work sites and taught by staff members who have specific training in Job Coaching such as Noemi Candia. Staff is working under the leadership and supervision of our Transition Specialist and SLE Coordinator, Patricia Gutowski.
In order to provide students with Related Services within natural contexts, our preferred instructional methodology, at times the Speech Therapist or Occupational Therapist might go with the Job Coach to implement practical and relevant sessions right at the work site.