Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a sampling of some of the most common questions that come up during an initial visit to The Gateway School.
In addition some of these questions come up upon the students’ acceptance into our school. If you should have any further questions please call us at 732-541-4400.
How long is the school day?
Students arrive at 8:30am and bus dismissal is 2:30pm.
What is the ratio of staff to students?
A typical class of eight students has one special education teacher and one to three assistants. There is usually one staff member for every two students.
How do you handle behavior issues?
Each classroom teacher develops a classroom plan for their students to work on encouraging: following directions, appropriate social interaction, and building student confidence. This is based off the work of Lee Canter’s Assertive Discipline theory. The teacher identifies the Classroom Rules; identifies the negative consequences for noncompliance; and identifies the positive consequences for appropriate behavior.
If a student needs an additional individualized behavior plan, the student’s team of Gateway staff (which may include teacher, paras, related services staff and behavior analysts) will meet to develop a Behavior Intervention Plan to best target the goals for that student. The team will take data and communicate regularly to make changes as necessary and build skills.
- This plan will also include parent input, and will be included in the IEP.
- Gateway School also implements Crisis Prevention and Intervention strategies as necessary and appropriate.
Are the staff certified?
All of our teachers and therapists hold certifications or licenses that allow them to work with special needs students. All of our assistants have completed two years of college or they have taken and passed the Para-Pro Praxis Test.
How many students are in a class?
There are usually six to ten students in a class.
Can I observe my child in the classroom?
The school has an “open door” policy and parents can visit and observe their child. Parents can also observe their child having therapy. Therapists are willing to train parents in what they are working on with a particular child so that the parent can do the same activities at home. This will serve to enhance the child’s program and help the parent and therapist to work together to improve the child’s skills.
How long are speech, occupational and physical therapy sessions?
Therapy sessions are thirty minutes long.
Is the therapy done individually or in a group?
Therapy can be done individually or in a group. The therapist decides which format is appropriate and will best meet each child’s needs.
How is transportation provided?
Transportation is provided and arranged by the sending school district.Transportation can be done by a public school van or bus or by vehicles that are privately contracted by the sending district.
How can the parent/guardian communicate with the staff?
- A communication book may be used by some students at any grade level. Teachers may also use email, texting or the DOJO platform, using whatever works best for the parent/guardian.
- Ongoing communication will include important school news and any reports of the student’s day. Families are encouraged to communicate to the teacher any changes at home that might affect the student’s day, to include poor sleep, a change in schedule, upcoming vacations, or any family difficulties.
- In addition, parent conferences are held in November & March to afford parents/guardians and staff to meet. The annual IEP meeting provides another opportunity to collaborate on the student’s upcoming year.
- Lastly, the parent/guardian is always encouraged to call the school if they need to speak to a teacher, and will get a return call by the end of the day.
At The Gateway School, we have an open door policy which means that parents may come in to meet with school staff and administration at any time. We just ask parents to call the school to make sure the staff members they wish to meet with are in attendance.
What will determine the child's acceptance in The Gateway School?
The Principal will review the child’s records. During the initial visit the principal, classroom teacher and therapists will observe the child and determine if the placement will meet the child’s educational and therapeutic needs. The parent will be informed of the school’s decision to accept or not accept their child at the end of visit.
How soon can the child begin attending The Gateway School?
The child can start as soon as The Gateway School receives the IEP and as soon as transportation can be set up by the school district.
Who is eligible for placement and who initiates the placement?
The decision to seek placement at the Gateway School is the responsibility of the local sending school district Child Study Team which includes parents/guardians, and all professional team members with knowledge and expertise relevant to the student’s academic and behavioral needs. An application is sent from the local school district to the Gateway School. The packet includes all relevant reports and the most current IEP.
The principal or supervisor of instruction at Gateway will review the packet to determine if the student seems appropriate for our program. If so, we contact the district to schedule an intake visit for the student, parents/guardians, and the district representative.
After the intake, Gateway will notify the sending district Child Study Team of the decision to accept the student.
How much is tuition and who is respondsible for payment?
How are the children grouped in classes?
Children are group-based on their age, as well as the academic, social and behavioral needs as specified in the student’s IEP. Each class has a diversity of academic levels. At certain age levels there are several classes available.
What is The Gateway School's approach to academics?
While each student individualized education plan (IEP) is the foundation of his/her academic program, it’s the use of integrated and multi-sensory teaching methods that make the curriculum work so well. Instruction in language arts and math is typically implemented in one-to-one and small group settings. Instruction in other subject areas such as science, social studies, health, social skills and activities of daily living are typically taught in classroom or large group settings. Classroom area programs are dynamic-changing as necessary to meet each student’s needs and consider their learning styles and developmental levels.
Are students taught life skills?
Life skills are embedded into all areas of the curriculum. The Gateway School also has a simulated apartment that is used by all classes to teach independent living. Students have the opportunity to practice cooking, cleaning, laundry and personal care skills. In addition, through the use of Community Based Instruction (CBI), all of our students have the opportunity to take trips off-campus that allows them to practice their skills in the community.
Does The Gateway School offer transition services?
Career awareness is introduced across the academic curriculum starting at the age of five through classroom lessons and CBI trips. By the time students reach formal transition age when they turn 14, they are well-prepared to learn specific work-related skills and appropriate work attitudes and behavior. They may participate in our in-school work program in various jobs including secretarial work, custodial work and working in our school store. When Gateway students reach an age of 18, their work skills and independent living development can continue with participation in Gateway’s off-campus work program which includes job training at local businesses such as Shoprite, Walgreens and the Carteret Public Library.
Does The Gateway School have a summer school program?
The Gateway School runs a 30-day Extended School Year program in the summer from early July through mid-August. The curriculum includes a continuation of the goals and objectives that are worked on during the regular school year. Several trips are planned throughout the summer including visits to the beach, zoo and bowling.
Does The Gateway School have a lunch program?
All children bring their lunches from home and eat them in the lunchroom at their assigned lunch hour. On most Fridays, students will have the opportunity to purchase lunches prepared by our high school students as part of our in-school job program.
What type of related services are available at The Gateway School?
At The Gateway School, students may receive related services in the areas of Occupational, Physical and Speech Language Therapy in addition to counseling as specified in their individualized education plan. Related services may be provided individually, in small groups or integrated into the classroom program. All of our related service specialist work closely with classroom teachers to address our students’ therapeutic needs.
Is there parent training offered at The Gateway School?
Parent workshops are typically held twice a year. Speakers provide information on topics of particular interest to the parents. Examples of topics include: transition planning, guardianship, special education rights and responsibilities, and behavior management.