Our Philosophy & Methods

Our Core Values

The staff at Durand come to work each day to educate and empower the students of Durand to help them strive above their disability and to achieve new levels of success and happiness. To do so, the Durand School operates under the following core values:

  • Each student is someone’s child and will be treated with respect and dignity.
  • We focus on what each student CAN do, not what they can’t do.
  • We act with honesty and integrity in all situations.
  • We provide high quality programs that are research-based and designed to meet the needs of each student

The Learning Environment

We have found that students’ learning increase by offering a variety of modalities for learning and socialization via an integrated model.  These include:

  • Customized Programing
  • Curriculum
  • Behavioral Support Services
  • Related Services

Customized Programming

We have a customized approach to curriculum development and instruction that focuses on each student’s individualized needs.  Our program is founded in principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which included Discrete Trial and Incidental Teaching of new skills as well as Verbal Behavior (i.e. manding and tacting).  These principals are integrated throughout the students’ day into functional activities during weekly Community-Based Instruction (CBI) as well as support employment options as they age in to this program.

Occupational therapist, physical therapist, and speech-language therapist work simultaneously with staff to ensure there is transfer from the therapy room to the classroom as well as other settings.


As a New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE)- approved full-day educational program for children with disabilies, the Durand School’s curriculum is based on the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS).  During the school year, the students engage in a variety of special events and field trips to expand the academic curriculum.  Educational programs are individualized for each student.

Behavioral Support Services

The Durand School’s philosophy focuses on the use of Positive Behavior Supports to enhance the quality of life for our students.  We follow a least restrictive model of treatment when developing Behavior Support Plans (BSP).  The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) works collaboratively with the teachers, staff, and related services when developing a BSP examining all aspects of the student (i.e. medical, communication, academic, sensory, social).  All members of the team assist in collecting data and work collaboratively to monitor the effectiveness of the BSP after implementation. Training and treatment integrity checks on BSP on completed on a regular basis by the BCBA.

Appropriate, pro-social skills taught via the Behavior Support Plan are reinforced throughout the student’s day in all settings (i.e. classroom, Community-Based Instruction) by all staff members.

We provided a full range of integrated therapeutic services including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work services, counseling, and behavioral support services.

Community Based Instruction

Community Based Instruction is a regularly scheduled program that provides students with the opportunity to generalize skills taught in the classroom setting to the community setting.  Data is collected by staff while in the community to retarget while in the classroom.  Specific community activities are planned by the classroom teacher so that they directly correspond to the students’ communicative and academic needs.  This trips includes local walking trips to area retail stores, bus trips, as well as learning to use public transportation.  All community based lessons and activities are aligned to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards (NJCCS).


The Lakeside building is a part of the Durand School program that is located adjacent to our school parking lot.  The Lakeside building is set up to facilitate learning for job sampling sites to allow the students to have the prerequisite skills prior to work in accordance with the Core Curriculum Content Standards set forth by their individualized education plans.  Currently, the program maintains eight working stations:  a teaching kitchen, a bedroom, a grocery store, an office, a library, a retail store, and a clothing store.