Individualized Education Services

  • Within Voyagers’ Community School, we offer Individualized Education Services that provide progressive, inclusive, personalized, and academically-rich support to the widest range of students with learning challenges. Children in this program attend classes alongside their classmates and we “meet them where they are.” They, with guidance provided by specialists, have their needs met through an experiential project-based holistic approach.

    Children receiving education services through individualized planning and ongoing support CAN and WILL learn in a proven loving and supportive environment which believes in every child’s ability to shine.

    The Individual Education Services support those who have the following and related challenges:

    • Anxiety Disorders
    • Executive Function Deficits
    • Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • ADHD and other neurological challenges
    The admissions process for new students to the IES Program requires additional documentation and evaluation.  Acceptance is selective and based on the results of a professional review of the student’s current and past school and medical records, reports and test results and current and past academic experiences. It also requires a two-day visit in the classroom and, possibly, follow up with professionals who see the child and assist the family on behalf of the child. Parents who continue to be interested in placing their child in the IES Program should submit all documentation immediately following a school tour. 
    These services require supplemental tuition. For more information, please contact our Admissions Office.

    Children receiving Individual Educational Services learn about their specific learning style – including both strengths and challenges. They learn how to work effectively, build specific skills, and discover meaningful strategies to ensure success throughout their lives.

    Working with a student and family, our learning specialists develop a specifically tailored service plan that provides a blend of 1:1, small group, and classroom support and instruction to fit the needs of students, most often while in our classrooms and outdoor spaces. Design to be inclusive, services are delivered by qualified staff in such fields as Special Education, Psychology, Wilson Reading, and Applied Behavior Analysis.

    Continuous Evaluation, Collaboration, and Communication

    Each child’s support team includes faculty, staff, parents, and where involved, outside service providers. An individualized plan is collaboratively developed and continuously revised through observation, interviews and on-going analyses. As part of the collaborative process, the team helps the student to set both long – and short-term goals while celebrating successes along the way.

    Formal communication with parents regarding each student’s progress occurs through a digital portfolio, informal communication, and quarterly meetings.

    Individualized Education Staff and Faculty

    The Faculty and Staff

    Kristin Foley – Special Education certified teacher + BCBA. Kristin is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Certified Teacher of Students with Disabilities as well as a Certified Elementary School Teacher, Grades K-5. Her expertise lies in designing individualized curricula based on students’ specific strengths and needs; analyzing programs for effectiveness; and staff training. She teaches graduate classes in Applied Behavior Analysis, Special Education, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her 15+ years of experience includes direct support and consultation of students with a variety of diagnoses, and their families, in both private and public schools, as well as home and community-based programs.

    Leslie Newport – Clinical Psychologist + BCBA-D. Leslie is a Licensed Psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D).  She holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University as well as her BCBA-D certificate.  She has been working in the field for more than 25 years.  She has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families in a variety of settings including primary, secondary and higher education settings, community-based programs, and private practice.  She has provided direct service and consultation to home and school programs for learners with a variety of behavioral and emotional needs and is experienced in staff training.  She teaches graduate classes in Autism Studies and Applied Behavior Analysis.

    Shelley Gershner – Literacy Specialist with continued training in Wilson Reading Systems. Shelley has the skills and tools needed to help our students become fluent, independent readers. She offers multisensory, structured reading and spelling curricula with the Wilson Reading System® and Fundations®

    Sandy Miller – Our Lower School Early Learning Specialist has 25 years of classroom experience, 17 in progressive schools, ten of which have been at Voyagers’ Community School. Sandy, with a BA in Early Childhood Education from Kean College, was among the founding teachers of the Primary Program at A Child’s Place School, the Director of Education for Head Start of Monmouth County, and a Teaching Assistant in the Tinton Falls Autistic Program for early childhood students. Sandy is trained in Lindamood Bell Learning Processes and studied in the Reggio Emilia Approach. She provides holistic, experiential learning in all standard curriculum areas. Sandy is committed to helping children succeed in our classrooms and in life.

    Jessica Gajano – Teacher/Researcher
    From the time Jessica was a young child, she knew she wanted to grow up to become a teacher. Every job Jessica has held has always involved working with children, e.g. babysitting, camp counselor, teacher’s assistant at a daycare center, etc. As Jessica got older, she took on such adventures as supervising a teen community service group in Costa Rica during a month-long work project.

    In 2002, Jessica earned a Bachelors of Science degree in elementary education from Towson University and is state certified in grades kindergarten-eight. She has since been a teacher in a public school district for thirteen years. Jessica has always prided herself in being an out-of-the-box thinker. During the last several years, Jessica’s philosophies and methodologies of education have become increasingly progressive and innovative. Jessica firmly believes children benefit most from a real-world, hands-on approach which helps to create meaningful lifelong learning. Jessica also believes in the ever-increasing need to “let kids be kids.”

    Jessica aims to provide a safe learning environment for her students where they feel confident and comfortable taking risks, are able to experience the power of learning from their mistakes, and are free to express themselves as individuals.

    Jessica is a lover of all things natural and enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible. Jessica is also a self-proclaimed nerd and is obsessed with math and science. She brings this passion along with creativity, innovation, rigor, and inquisition to her classroom on a daily basis through which students are engaged and take ownership of their learning.

    Melissa Collings – Special Education Teacher

    Paraprofessional – Graduate students in ABA or related fields.

    To learn more about enrolling your child please click here.