Dr. Kara Loftin joined The Craig School as headmaster in July 2020 and it didn’t take long for her to put a name on what she saw as the school’s defining program.
The Craig School Way.
“There are five essential pieces to The Craig School Way,” Loftin says. “The first is multi-sensory instruction woven through any course, any grade. The second is structured literacy, followed by parent-student partnerships with bilateral communication. The fourth element is organizational skills. Finally, whole student development, which focuses on academic, executive functioning and social-emotional growth to move students toward independence as learners and thinkers in this global society.”
Educating Students and Staff
The Craig School began in 1980 as an elementary school and added a high school in 2000. Now, The Craig School serves 135 students in grades 2-12. Grades 2-8 are housed on the Mountain Lakes campus, with grades 9-12 on the School’s Montville campus. All students are taught using an adaptive and responsive program within an Orton-Gillingham instructional framework. This is a well-established approach that includes multi-sensory learning and assistive technology.
Dr. Loftin notes that professional development is a key tenet of education at The Craig School.
“Providing opportunities for professional development that not only include knowledge acquisition but hands-on application in the classroom is important to providing the best educational programming available for students with learning differences,” she says. “By bringing specialists to partner and work with our faculty, they are at the forefront of what is happening in the field of exceptionalities. Faculty are well versed in current research and this happens through intentional teacher development.”
Meeting Them Where They Are
The Craig School was able to open five days a week last year, with plans to do the same this year. While all schools talk about the need to meet students where they are in their educational journey, this is even more important with neurodiverse students.
“We have very individualized academic programs that are carefully and thoughtfully put together for our students,” Dr. Loftin says. “Assessment, observations and parent interviews inform our students’ educational plans. That coupled with high-quality teaching provides the tools for our students to shine.”
Call it The Craig School Way.
10 Tower Hill Rd., Mountain Lakes
24 Changebridge Rd., Montville