Welcome to the Gateway School
The Gateway School of Carteret, NJ The Gateway School is a private school located in Middlesex County in the borough of Carteret, NJ. The school currently serves approximately 50 students from fifteen school districts representing five counties in central New Jersey. It is staffed with 42 dedicated special education instructional and support service professionals allowing for a low student-teacher ratio.
The warmth and energy that permeate the school creates an outstanding learning environment to provide the students support and structure to grow and progress both academically and socially. The program currently serves children, adolescents and young adult students ranging in age from five years old up to twenty-one. Of the 50 students currently enrolled, approximately 60 % are classified as Multiply Disabled or Cognitively Impaired. Over 30% are students diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The remaining individuals are students with learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury or other health impairments.
The goal of Gateway School is to provide an individualized learning environment that fosters the total development of each student and prepares them for future adult settings. We build functional academic skills, increase motivation and strive to bolster children’s self-esteem. Gateway School provides each child with a solid foundation that serves as the basis for future success. Gateway begins by establishing an important bond between parent, sending district, student and school staff. The experience of a Gateway School education offers a definite advantage in preparing students with disabling conditions to lead satisfying, productive and independent lives.
Principal, Gateway School
On Wednesday, March 18th, Gateway School will have a 1p.m. dismissal for students so that our staff may participate in a follow up workshop on Rethink First. With three main pedagogical focuses–core developmental skills, inclusive practices, and behavior–in twelve key domains, the Rethink First curriculum makes it easy for teachers to address Common Core standards as well as IEP-based goals and objectives. Rethink First will allow our staff to provide individualized, data driven programming to promote student success at Gateway School.
Spring is just around the corner and on Thursday, March 19th Gateway School will be having a single session day for students due to Parent -Teacher Conferences. Conferences will be held in the afternoon from 2-4 p.m. and in the evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. so that parents/guardians may come and discuss their child's progress with their teachers and related service providers. Transportation will be provided for afternoon conferences on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will also be holding a parent workshop that night from 6:30p.m to 8:00p.m..Our presenter for the evening will be Paul Prior from the law firm of Hinkle, Fingles & Prior. Topics Paul will be discussing include Social Security, Medicaid, Special Needs Trusts and other Adult services/Entitlements. This will be a very informative evening and we hope to see you all there.
On Tuesday, March 17th, students of all ages will participate in our St. Patrick's Day Dance. The dance will be held in the school gymnasium where our students will partake in festive treats and dance the afternoon away. Any parents wishing to donate refreshments for the dance may contact the main office.
Continuing with our intra-mural sports activities this year, Gateway School will compete against students from Harbor and Alpha schools in a Floor Hockey tournament at the Center Circle in Rahway on Tuesday, March 24th. Competitions will include varsity, junior varsity and a girl’s team. GO GATORS!!
Our Special Olympics sport’s programs are currently in full swing. On Saturday, April 17th our students will compete in the Power Lifting Regional up in Flemington and on Saturday, April 24th our students will compete in the Bocce Regional which is held in Lawrenceville. Track & Field regionals will be held in Bridgewater on Saturday, May 2nd.
Gateway School will be closed for Spring Recess from Friday, April 3rd to Friday, April 10th. Classes will resume on Monday, April 13th. Enjoy the break!
Community-Based Vocational Training Worksites
One aspect of our Activities of Daily Living skills curriculum is developing cooking skills. Students in several classes will be practicing those home economic skills by preparing and baking desserts for our special day on Friday, January 23. On that day Gateway School is sponsoring a Lunch and Learn to provide staff and guests with a professional development session/workshop entitled "Yes Yes Good: The Heart of Teaching, Multiple Intelligences Theory and The Teaching Artist" presented by Cheryl Hulteen.
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:
- 1.) The Borough of Carteret – this job site might specifically have our students job sampling in several different work settings around the borough, i.e., the Carteret Town Hall, the Tax Assessors office, etc.;
- 2.) The local ShopRite located at 801 Roosevelt Avenue in Carteret. At this site students will be assisting in various capacities primarily in the Bakery Department preparing baked goods to be put on the shelves, and stocking produce; and,
- 3.) The local Walgreen’s located at 833 Roosevelt Avenue in Carteret where they will be helping to stock the empty shelves cleaning and customer service; and,
- 4.) The local RWJ Rahway Fitness & Wellness Center located at 60 Cooke Avenue in Carteret. At this fitness center and pool, Gateway students are involved in doing several jobs including cleaning and mailings;
- 5.) The Carteret Public Library located at 100 Cooke Avenue here in the borough is our last work site. Students come here to learn cleaning activities, as well as sorting and cataloging books and DVDs.
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.
Special Visit From Some Holiday Elves - Holiday Express
On Monday, December 15th the Gateway School had a special treat. Once again this December all of our student and faculty came down to our multi-purpose room to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Holiday Express volunteers who visited to help celebrate the holiday season! This wonderful organization was founded in 1993, by Tim McLoone. Holiday Express works year-round to deliver music, food, gifts, and human kindness to adults and children in need, including the mentally and physically disabled, the isolated, individuals in addiction and recovery programs, the poor and the homeless, and children with serious illnesses. With a constituency of more than 15,000 throughout the metropolitan tri-state area, our priority is to serve those who are desperately in need and often forgotten. Nearly two decades ago, a small group of volunteers visited 10 charities. From that time, and a rather uncertain beginning, the charity programs have grown to a remarkable 60, slated from mid-November through Christmas Eve and Holiday Express is now an anchor in our community. The organization includes 100 professional singers and musicians who volunteer their time, and more than 1,300 other children and adult volunteers who work tirelessly year-round to prepare and perform the private charity programs at specialized schools, psychiatric facilities, homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Our from-the-heart troupe of musicians with several dozen support volunteers, bring music, friendship, hope and joy. These programs include a meal, gift bags, raffle prizes, face painting, crafts and the company of colourful characters including Frosty, the Grinch, Santa, and lots of Elves. (see www.HolidayExpress.org for more information)
Joseph Burgos joined the faculty of Gateway School after several involvements with professional football teams as a lineman. He traded in the football locker room for the classrooms of Gateway School.
While at Temple University Joe majored in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Early Childhood education. During that time he also had a stint as a Teacher Assistant at an Elementary school in inner city Philadelphia. After leaving Temple University in 1993, Joe went on to play with several football teams in both the Canadian Football league and in the Arena leagues – these included the Toronto Argonauts Football club, the New Jersey Red Dogs Arena Football team and the LA Avengers.
Just prior to coming to Gateway School in 1998, Joe worked as a Supervisor for an after-school program at a YMCA in Roselle, NJ. He continued to pursue his interest in working with children by beginning at Gateway School in 1998. He initially started as a Substitute Teacher and later he was hired as a full-time Teacher Assistant. This did not last as another football contract came his way.
During the late 1990’s, with his good looks, Joe was able to land a few commercials on television. Then back in 2000, Mr. Burgos also became a star of the big screen, acting in the fact-based comedy The Replacements starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman. Multi-faceted and multi-talented, he considered a career in Hollywood.
Despite all his many interests and adventures, Joe discovered a true passion for working with students with disabling conditions. He signed on to work with Gateway full-time again in 2002 and he was here to stay. And we are so glad he made that choice! Joe has a presence that the students’ respond to. His height, athletic appearance and booming voice command attention. But Joe has always had a sensitive and compassionate nature that allows him to foster a nurturing rapport with even some of our most challenging students. As a member of the Crisis Prevention and Intervention team, Joe has worked diligently to be able to shape students’ positive and socially appropriate behaviors, even when some of these kids are struggling with their self-control. Joe is universally admired and respected by the students, especially those many adolescents who also dream about success on the football field or basketball court. He is also loved and appreciated by his peers who enjoy his gregarious nature and larger-than-life personality. Not a month goes by without Joe breaking into a resounding rendition of Happy Birthday in the cafeteria, and leading the congregation, upon discovering that it’s someone’s special day – both students and staff!
We are lucky to have “Mr. B”, as he is affectionately referred to, as an important and essential member of the Gateway School team.