Cornerstone Day School

Cornerstone Day School's accredited and clinically certified, has the goal of returning each student to the sending district private school for mainstream schooling or, if that is not possible, to recommend him or her to a less therapeutically intensive school upon leaving Cornerstone.
For those students who come to us toward the end of high school, our goal is to prepare them for either a work or college environment after graduation.
Cornerstone Day School is licensed by the department of health and human services as an out patient mental health center.

Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • School Type: Special Education School
  • Grades: 5-12
  • Students: 130 students
  • Average class size: 8 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 5-12
ADD/ADHD Support
Yes
Learning Difference Programs
Yes
Learning Programs Supported
non-behavioral emotional problems
Year Founded
2006
Summer School Offered
Yes
Summer Program Cost Notes
All students attend in summer. There are 220 days in the school year.

Student Body

Total Students
130 students
Student Body Type
Co-ed
% Students of Color
18%
State avg.: 39%
Students by Grade
Cornerstone Day School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
16 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
8:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
60%
Average Class Size
8 students
Number of AP Courses
3 courses
Classroom Dress Code
Casual

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Tuition Notes
Tuition paid by school districts
Admissions Director
Jennifer Hayes LCSW
Admissions Associate
Jennifer Hayes

Sports

Total Sports Offered
6 sports

School Notes

  • Cornerstone Day School's accredited and clinically certified, and the only school licensed by the NJ Depatment of Health, has the goal of returning each student to the sending district private school for mainstream schooling or, if that is not possible, to recommend him or her to a less therapeutically intensive school upon leaving Cornerstone.
  • For those students who come to us toward the end of high school, our goal is to prepare them for either a work or college environment after graduation.
  • Cornerstone Day School is licensed by the department of health and human services as an out patient mental health center.
Profile last updated: 07/20/2021

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (6 reviews)
5  
I can honestly say that CDS was a life saver for my son. He benefited from all services provided. We were besides ourselves and the school gave him opportunities that he wouldn't have had through mainstream education. They gave him the psychological help in addition to therapy and got him through and over the speed bumps. He graduated from there got back in high school graduated and got his bachelor's degree from college. He works full time and is grateful for his life experiences. All students need to look at this environment as a stepping stone in life and take advantage of your place here and grow. Life will be a challenge in many ways and CDS is there to help you figure things out if you let them.
- Posted by
5  
My Child has now been in Cornerstone for a little over three years. In the beginning, she was hard to deal with and was sent to the hospital a few times, refused to go to school often. It got to the point there was talk of residential placement. Fortunately, that did not happen. They have a variety of students at different levels emotionally and academically. Having been around the school for a few years we have seen some go the more restrictive placements but have seen more student's progress to the point of returning to their home school, and some graduating from Cornerstone going off to college. I do see them differentiate learning. But it is firstly a therapy school with academics in it. Things like bullying do come up here as in public school, but I have found them effective in handling things. There were times when I didn't agree with what was suggested by therapists, the psychologist or the administration, but always tried the suggestions. Usually, they were right. Cornerstone Day School works as a team with you and your child as a team. It requires all to take part in success. My daughter's progress has been great. There is now talked of her splitting days between Cornerstone and our County Vocational School next year. I am very thankful for Cornerstone, and they are most definitely the right placement for my child.
- Posted by
5  
Cornerstone is a unique blend of academics, therapeutic intervention, and social and personal development. There is no aspect of my son's life that has been left unaddressed. Cornerstone has worked on his school avoidance, his academics, his executive functioning skills, his social skills, his mental health, and his general sense of self-worth and purpose. Cornerstone fosters growth in areas of weakness and celebrates strengths. My son has learned directly about his diagnosis, has developed coping skills, developed his work ethic and formed friendships. I am beyond grateful that our family found Cornerstone!
- Posted by
5  
This school has literally changed our lives! My daughter suffered for a number of years in a district. While everyone in Nutley did their absolute best to provide her with what she needed, it just was not possible. She is very smart but could not manage the social setting and needed consistent clinical care and guidance to navigate her days. When our district recommended a therapeutic school, I would admit I was unsure and very nervous. It was a half hour from our home, I would have to trust someone to take her and bring her home, I had to make a commitment to be there once a week to participate in family sessions, and it was an environment I didn’t understand. However, I felt strongly about my daughter being educated. Most therapeutic schools do not offer the level of academics Cornerstone offers. So we dug our heels in and let it happen. Two years later, and this was so much more than we could have ever hoped for. We have built a team between us and the school. I can trust no matter how I send her off to school in the morning, she will be met by a group of capable clinicians and teachers along with administrative staff. We work together to come up with solutions that enable my daughter to grow and learn at the same time. She is now in honors classes and working hard to continue growing. Furthermore, because of the way Cornerstone engages the entire family, the dynamic in our home has improved immeasurably! We still have setbacks and difficult days. However, my husband and I feel so completely supported by the staff at Cornerstone, we know no matter what a day holds, they will help us through it and we will all be better off for it.
- Posted by
5  
I've had a HORRIBLE experience. Most complain about the school daily but cry about leaving everyone behind and put the school on a pedestal. But not me. It was an abomination. The whole staff and administration plays favorites. Its evident and obvious.They are not consistent with rules.Its like no teacher is allowed to be mean (in terms of yelling, aggressiveness and putting down) so they're incredibly rude instead. Lunch is 6 dollars and 2 dollars for a drink. They order from outside, real places. So you get real food. The price seems cheap at first but after ordering everyday, it catches up with you. Unless you are definitely financially secure, this might be a problem for you. The therapy is mediocre in so many ways. You either get too much or too little. We have group, individual and family therapy. Group is everyday for an hour. Individual is typically weekly. But you can request to see your clinician if you please. Family...it says weekly but many get it every other week (whole family does not need to come in).The students are diverse in terms of therapeutic needs. Some look like they're going off the deep end, some look like they should be in a padded room and with some students, you wonder why they're even there because they appear to be perfect. Violence amongst students is not tolerated and results in expulsion. Students come and go so I cant generally speak on how they are. Its varies depending on who is currently in the school while you're there. (I did not have a positive social experience)!The population is about 100 and usually floats somewhere between 80 to 100. Therefore, there is A LOT of drama at some points (not all the time) because information gets around very, very quickly. The clinical staff is always sticking their noses inside you personal social life. I got treated very different and unfairly than everyone so for that alone, this is not an honest or good school. Everyone should be treated the same despite your personal feelings and opinions on the students. Keep it platonic and neutral. No favorites or kids you despise. I did not "grow" per say but regressed deeply, instead.2 STARS
- Posted by
5  
Cornerstone is a special place that brings together all the moving parts that a parent of a special needs student otherwise has to coordinate on their own (school, psychiatrist, therapist...). In this environment, you as a parent, should still strive to stay involved, and provide feedback and observations from the home-front. There is a balance in working with kids with such needs, prioritizing what CAN be done, in order to accomplish what SHOULD be done. Our experience is that this is a place whose practices encourages positive behaviors and allows development toward a sustainable state through sensitivity to and awareness of IEP aspects that can get lost in a more mainstream environment. They do look to return students to the mainstream when they are ready to handle it.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • School Type: Special Education School
  • Grades: 5-12
  • Students: 130 students
  • Average class size: 8 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Union County, NJ is $5,625 for elementary schools and $9,713 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Union County, NJ is 95% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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