The Matheny School
Mission and Vision
The Matheny School in Peapack, NJ, is a private school that serves students with multiple disabilities. These special needs students are provided with the opportunity to reach their highest level of academic achievement while also obtaining maximum independence.
The long-term goal is to prepare them for a smooth transition into post secondary functional and community-based programs. The Matheny School takes unique measures to make adjustments to its curriculum, which is based upon the Common Core standards and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards.
In addition to traditional testing, “Professional Learning Communities” develop projects to help improve student performance based upon SMART goals and collect data to see if those goals are reached.
Technology for Special Needs Students
Matheny special needs students benefit from the latest technology such as SMART Boards and Tables, iPads, iMacs, Powerbooks, HO-Touch computers and much more. Matheny asks, "How can our students do that?": and uses everything to help its students attain higher results than any have felt possible.
Related services are vital to the core of the program. Occupational, physical and speech therapies are integrated into the school program through authentic tasks and settings. In physical therapy, students utilize adaptive tricycle riding and standing and alternate positioning programs developed by physical therapists. In speech, students are not limited to speech patterns and topics chose by the curriculum teams; they enjoy phrases selected by either themselves or their parents. Occupational therapy looks to enhance all areas of functional life with a focus toward real world expectations.
Special Education Curriculum
In lower grades, Matheny utilizes center-based learning, and students rotate through various activities. All grades benefit from the arts, music and exposure to world languages.
In the high school, Matheny’s focus shifts away from the straight academics, moving to the development of practical transitional skills. Some of these transition skills for our students with developmental disabilities may be as simple as increased emphasis on activities of daily living (ADLs), based upon student need and guardian wishes. Students work through the Novice Level where they develop skills inside purpose-designed transition rooms to the Journeyman Level where they practice the skills within community settings. Some Matheny students reach the Mastery Level where job coaches support their transition to independence.
Parents are part of the planning process and are invited to be part of the special education curriculum design team. Parents receive regular communications form the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.
Matheny views public school districts as partners and welcomes them to visit its classrooms. The Matheny philosophy is based on the TEAM concept – Together Everyone Achieves More.