Since its founding in 1967, The Deron School has provided a warm, supportive structured learning environment that empowers students with special needs to reach their highest level of independence and achievement. Today there are some 100 students in Union (ages 3-14) and 120 in Montclair (ages 14-21) who are taking advantage of all that The Deron School has to offer.

At Deron, teachers, paraprofessionals, behaviorists and speech, occupational and physical therapists collaborate to provide a comprehensive school experience for students with a range of special needs. The school provides a nurturing environment, family culture and personalized curriculum to help students with disabilities including Autism, Down syndrome, cognitive impairment and brain injuries reach their greatest potential.

“We nurture and take care of our students because we want them to be the best they can be despite their disability. I believe that’s just what educators do,” says Director Lori Alter, whose in-laws founded the school. Educators at Deron prepare students with disabilities to lead successful, productive lives and become contributing members of their community, all while children are discovering their talents, cultivating strengths and conquering challenges and—most importantly— fulfilling their dreams.

The Union location is home to a STEAM Lab for science, technology, engineering, the arts and math, while Montclair has Tiger Tech Inc., providing transition skills for employment. Both facilities offer courses like software, coding and digital citizenship.

“I know the name of every child in the building,” Alter says. “Because we are family-run, we insist on that familiarity with all of our students and families.”

1140 Commerce Ave., Union
130 Grove St., Montclair