Frequently Asked Questions

What is Westlake School?

Westlake School is a public elementary and high school that is a member of the Union County Educational Services Commission.  The program was developed to provide hands on educational and therapeutic services to children between the ages of 7-21 diagnosed with multiple disabilities and autism.

What are the school hours?

Westlake School follows a public school calendar.  The school day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m.  An optional Extended School Year Program is offered to all students for six weeks and hours of operation are 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

What is the Instructional Program?

Westlake School follows a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum focused on the development of functional academic, communication, daily living skills, work readiness, sensory integration and social skills.  All academic content is aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.  Instructional programs are individualized for each student using a variety of materials and curricula including: Touch Math, Edmark Reading Program, Foss Science Curriculum.

What do you use to assess students?

Westlake’s main means of assessing students is through the Activities of Functional Living Skills (AFLS).  We take a proactive approach in getting to know the student’s strengths and interests through student inventories, student profiles and through discussions with families and the student’s themselves.  Westlake affirms that assessment is part of instruction throughout the school day.  In addition to the AFLS, we also assesses students using the ABLLS, Edmark Reading and various other curricula.

Students are assessed individually and all student strengths and areas of improvement are identified.  Student instructional assessments come in the form of benchmark assessments, task analysis, state assessments and summative/formative assessments.

What is the AFLS assessment?

The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) is an assessment, skills tracking system, and curriculum guide for the development of essential skills for achieving independence. It can be used to demonstrate a learner's current functional skill repertoire and provide tracking information for the progressive development of these skills throughout the lifespan.  The AFLS is a unique tool for assessing basic school, home, and community participation skills of individuals with disabilities of all ages, including adolescents and adults.  The AFLS assessment protocols will help educators, parents and professionals develop individualized programming and transition plans in providing a roadmap for students to progress at their own ability.

What related Services are offered?

Students participate in Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Counseling sessions on an individual and/or small group basis in accordance with their IEP recommendations.  Therapy sessions are integrated across a variety of settings to promote generalization and functional application of skills.  Clinical support services are provided by a School Nurse, Social Worker, Referring School Psychiatrist and Behavior Specialist. 

What opportunities exist for Parent Training and Support?

Westlake has an active Parent group called the Westlake Parent Organization (WPO).  The WPO meets monthly to discuss fundraising events and other business to support Westlake school and families.  The WPO sponsors special events, guest speakers and student activities outside of the school day.  Family members are encouraged to participate in the WPO as well as all school activities!

We maintain an ongoing dialogue between home and school through phone calls, written communication, progress reports, IEP meetings and parent conferences.  Parents are invited to schedule classroom observations by calling the main office.  Guest speakers facilitated by our social workers are invited to speak with parents on a variety of relevant topics. 

What is the admission process?

Students are referred to Westlake School by resident school districts.  Educational records are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary admissions committee.  Appropriate candidates are invited to participate in an intake appointment along with their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) and child study team case manager.  Acceptance is based on our ability to address the cognitive, behaviors, social/emotional and language needs of students along with the availability of an appropriate classroom placement.  A three day screening process maybe offered to potential new Westlake students prior to acceptance.

How can I obtain additional information?

For additional information about Westlake School or to arrange a tour, please contact the Principal at (908) 232-4181 or [email protected].