Personalized Learning

Pillar Elementary School (which includes preschool, elementary school and middle school) and Pillar High School are located in Livingston, NJ and are state-approved programs for multiply disabled children ages 3-21 years old.

Pillar Schools take a functional approach to learning, tailoring our transdisciplinary, collaborative approach to teaching and delivering therapy services to meet the unique needs and abilities of each individual student. We believe that all activities of daily living – including everything from dressing and toileting to mealtime management skills and peer interaction- are opportunities for students to learn and grow. Individual occupational, physical and speech language services are integrated into the curriculum to ensure maximal educational and therapeutic benefits for each individual student. Each student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which provides the framework for individual goals and outcomes. Our curriculum is aligned with New Jersey’s Student Learning Standards; however, each goal is customized for each student’s unique educational requirements.

Our classrooms are bright and welcoming and are equipped with the most up-to-date educational and therapeutic technologies. Each student has access to various adaptive technologies, such as interactive whiteboards and displays, touch screen computer programs and software, iPads and adaptive keyboards. Each classroom is equipped with an assistive technology kit containing specialized switches, mounts and universal control units. Movement and positioning is integrated into each school day. Each child has access to custom seating, sensorimotor equipment, supportive standing frames and various types of walking devices. There are daily sensory-motor activities that incorporate movement and sensory input into the educational lessons in order to provide a very tangible learning experience for each child. Because our highly specialized therapists are such an integral part of the classroom, they are able to provide ongoing assessment and are able to modify each student’s program as needed to best meet their needs and cater to their disability. Our highly skilled therapists also provide feeding therapy, vision training, aquatic therapy and hippotherapy services on school grounds. An extended school year program is available in July and August.

Our educational program adheres to New Jersey Student Learning Standards in conjunction with specialized curriculum in the areas of Language Arts, Math and Science. Educational technology- including adapted computers, interactive whiteboards, TAP-it computer system and iPads – is used in creating and implementing lessons. We incorporate a variety of educational programs that are designed to meet the needs of our students including Equals Math, Touch Math, Aided Language Stimulation, Reading A-Z, Science A-Z, Interoception, and Handwriting without Tears.

Teacher pushing student in stroller

Our curriculum is based upon monthly themes and is developed by the entire preschool team, including the special education teacher, physical, occupational and speech language therapists.

These themes are used across subject areas to provide a cohesive and motivational learning environment. Principles are adapted from various curriculums, such as Montessori and the Creative Curriculum programs. This allows us to ensure that we provide the most appropriate level of education for our students for maximal functional outcomes.

Therapist and student in kitchen
Elementary & Middle School
Language Arts

From Kindergarten to 9th grade, specialized curriculum is utilized to assist students with significant cognitive disabilities in the instruction of Language Arts. This curriculum uses sight words combined with pictures to improve vocabulary, comprehension, and word identification within a specific scope and sequence.


Our math curriculum addresses number concepts in a variety of ways. Each lesson involves a story with real world applications and uses a variety of engaging manipulatives. The curriculum’s intent is to improve number skills to better prepare students for the Common Core Standards.


In Science, the students are given an opportunity to learn grade level content with modifications. Hands-on experiments are engaging with manipulatives and involve lessons with meaningful life situations. The units are focused on Five Senses, Rock Cycle, Earth and Space, and Life Cycles of Plants and Animals.

Student standing at locker
High School

At Pillar High School, we take a collaborative approach in teaching and we differentiate instruction based on each student’s needs, interests, strengths and learning style. Each student works on academic and functional goals that foster their independence.

The core subjects include Language Arts, Math and Science. In Language Arts, students focus on reading and writing adapted grade level materials. In Math, students learn through a program that is matched to New Jersey Student Learning Standards that focuses on Geometry, Algebra, statistics, and Functional Math skills including time, money and measurement. Each student receives accessible grade-level instruction that is systematically designed toward their specific learning goals and increasing their mathematical competency. In Science, Earth, Space, Life and Physical sciences are addressed in a way that students connect classroom science with everyday life.

Other subjects taught include Social Studies, World Languages, Technology Literacy, Visual and Performing Arts, Adapted Physical Education, Life Skills I, and Life Skills II.

How to Help

Our supporters are critical to helping our schools to go above and beyond for our students. There are a number of ways you can help.