Integrating State of the Art Psychiatric Treatment With Outstanding Academics in a Dynamic School Environment

To learn more, or to refer a student, contact Jennifer Hayes, our Director of Enrollment, at 908-543-0220 Ext 200 or


Parents, Students and Educators
What They Say

“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

“I want to personally thank you for all of your help with this very difficult family. Their son is in great need of treatment and I know both parents are comforted by the high level of care that he will receive at Cornerstone. For them I know that they see the 24/7 hot line as a godsend: Mom said that it’s the first time that she can really sleep at night.”

Case Manager, Essex County, NJ

“Cornerstone meant a lot to me. It taught me how to cope. It has truly made me the person I am today, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Student, Union, NJ

Learning begins with one-to-one or small-group instruction

Each student’s academic profile is developed by incorporating the results of several assessments administered upon enrollment in Pathways. Then, a personalized plan, in accordance with the IEP, is developed.

Students usually begin by receiving 1:1 instruction and then progress to two students working together with one teacher. This individualized attention allows for rapid progress and the development of a healthy teacher-student relationship, which helps students overcome their anxiety and become comfortable in Pathways and mainstream Cornerstone classes.

Student Instruction

  • While we utilize the NJSLS, our teachers adjust the pace of instruction and are flexible with the content, all as a function of the individual needs of each student
  • Instruction is delivered by teaching staff rotating throughout the day, working with students in each content area. The goal is to use teachers who will continue to work with the student once the student enters the general class setting.
  • Instruction is frequently delivered on the suite’s “round table.” Those who prefer to work alone and more privately can choose to work in a study cubicle. 
  • As students become more comfortable with one another, they naturally form connections and small groups. Once that occurs, project-based learning activities are introduced.

Student Management

  • Educational and/or clinical staff are always present in the Pathways suite when students are present.
  • The stay in Pathways can vary greatly, all as a function of what best helps each student.
  • Schedules are highly flexible and determined by individual needs, with some students participating in a shortened day, increasing their time at school as they experience therapeutic growth.
  • When ready, students begin attending regular high school or middle school academic classes throughout the building, eventually leaving Pathways for the full Cornerstone Experience.