Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I send my child to Cornerstone?
A: Because at CDS you don’t have to compromise but get it all: a cutting edge licensed clinical program, a high quality college preparatory academic program, team sports, theater, art and electives program.

Q: Will courses taken at Cornerstone meet college standards?
A: Absolutely! CDS is accredited by Middle States Association, the very same organization that accredits all public schools in NJ. All colleges and universities recognize a Cornerstone Day School diploma nationally and internationally.

Q: My child does not want to give up playing on his district sports teams.
A: All children who are referred to out of district special schools are permitted to continue playing sports at their home school district. However, at Cornerstone, students have the option of playing on their home district team and/or the Cornerstone sports team.

Q: Where can I find out how to send my child to Cornerstone?
A: Click here for information on admission.

Q: How do I know if CDS is right for my child?
A: First you need to know who we do NOT accept at Cornerstone. Students are not appropriate for Cornerstone if they have a primary diagnosis of oppositional defiant or conduct disorder, an active alcohol/drug abuse diagnosis or who are dangerous to others in any way. Otherwise, if your child has a significant psychiatric or emotional problem and is in need of an out-of-district placement, Cornerstone may be the right place.

Q: I do not live close and the bus ride may be too long for my child. Isn’t that a problem?
A: No, not really. If you needed to see a doctor and the best one was an hour away, you would make the trip! This is really no different. It is not uncommon for a student, even one with a problem of school avoidance, to travel a long distance to get to Cornerstone.

Q: Why so long a school year? My child wants to have his summers off!
A: Emotional problems do NOT take a holiday! The summer program allows therapeutic gains to be maintained and enhanced. In addition, children with serious emotional problems tend to have academic deficits and miss a lot of school. Attending through most of the summer allows them to make up time and credits.

Q: Sounds great, but how do I sell a 220 day school year and “school all summer” to my child?
A: Actually, it’s easier than you think. In the summer, we start a little later, finish a little earlier, Thursday is a trip day and Fridays we are off. Our trips include everything from deep sea fishing, to glass blowing, to workshops at The Museum of Art and Design in NYC. Your child will have made friends and they will all be the school as well. So the summer is almost, but not quite, like camp.

Q: My district has a block schedule, why don’t you?
A: Children with emotional problems and other special needs do far better in schools that have shorter classes that meet throughout the year rather than longer classes that meet for a portion of a year. For most children with special needs, attention span is a major problem in school. The block schedule in a therapeutic school can in fact make it more difficult for students to progress clinically.

Q: What about National Honor Society?
A: Cornerstone Day School has been chartered and has established a Cornerstone Day School Chapter of the National Honor Society.

Q: If I send my child to CDS will she graduate from there and get a diploma?
A: The average length of stay at Cornerstone is about 18-22 months. Most of our students return to their school district and graduate, making the transition to college or to work much easier. Students entering in 11th grade or later, frequently graduate from Cornerstone.

We are fully accredited academically by Middle States, AdvancEd and the National Independent Private School Association and thus students can choose to receive a diploma from their district or from Cornerstone.

What Parents & Students Say

In an environment like Cornerstone, our son developed remarkable skills of self-advocacy, personal management and empathy.
Parent: Parsippany, NJ
Though I didn’t know it at the time, CDS meant everything to me. Ultimately, I was the one who made the choice to turn my life around and go down a new path.
Student, Fort Lee, NJ