Rutgers Day School (RDS) is an out-of-district special education school located within the UBHC Building in Piscataway. The mission of our school is to provide educational and therapeutic services in an integrated manner to children whose psychiatric, behavioral and learning problems are too severe for them to be educated effectively in their local school systems. RDS includes eight therapeutic classrooms with a total capacity of sixty children. Although the ages of our students range from four years old through thirteen, over ninety percent of our students are between the ages of five through eleven at the time of admission. The educational range is between kindergarten and seventh grade. Planned lengths of stay typically range from six months to three years, with a very small number of children who are discharged during their fourth year. All referrals for RDS are from local school systems or from the Office of Education. The sending school districts or the Office of Education support the costs of placement through tuition payments. The Program includes an Extended School Year (summer program) as well. Students enjoy weekly educational field trips to nature and environmental centers, art and science museums, botanical gardens and historical sites.
The eight classrooms function as autonomous, self-contained, therapeutic classrooms. Staffing includes a psychiatrist, a Program Manager, a Principal, clinicians, certified special education teachers, mental health specialists, some of who function as assistant teachers and have substitute teacher certification, psychiatric nurses, a speech/language therapist and an occupational therapist.
The eight classrooms include:
- The Greenhouse classroom has a maximum of seven children, four through six years of age, with one teacher and two assistant mental health specialists. The school day runs from 9:00am - 3:00pm and the curriculum emphasizes enhancing the needs of the whole child. It includes a focus on functional, social and emotional skill development, language development, perceptual and cognitive development, gross and fine motor skill development, academic readiness skills and sensory process skill development.
- The Therapeutic Primary classroom has a maximum of nine children, seven through nine years of age, with one teacher and two assistant mental health specialists. The school day runs from 9:00am - 3:00pm.
- The other classrooms within the RDS include six classrooms which are open from 9:00am - 3:00pm each with a maximum number of nine children, seven through thirteen years of age, with one teacher and two assistant mental health specialists.