"Life-Changing Outcomes for Exceptional Kids"

The progress I’ve seen while Brandon has been at First Children is amazing. In just one year, his transformation has been incredibly significant.

Welcome to First Children School!

First Children School in Fanwood is a New Jersey Department of Education approved private school for students with disabilities serving students in grades PreK through high school. We specialize in educating students with multiple disabilities including those who are medically fragile, developmentally, intellectually, or physically disabled, deaf or hard of hearing, and/or visually impaired.


First Children School is a stepping off point for children with disabilities who need highly specialized educational and therapeutic services for some period in their lives.

The goal of First Children School is to ultimately return a student to their home district. We assist with this process to ensure a smooth transition, including providing a half day service. We also provide assistance to public schools that are in need of a more specialized program in district.

First Children School utilizes the New Jersey Student Learning Standards curriculum, modified for the learning of our students. The preschool follows the HighScope as well as the Creative Curriculum. Every student receives instruction in mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, character education, music, and health. Classroom activities, as well as field trips, enhance the curriculum. Every student at First Children, grades three and up, participate in the state testing. The Dynamic Learning Map (DLM) is given every spring to assess the students learning. In Language Arts, the teachers use a variety of materials including Edmark Reading and Reading Milestones which are proven successes. In other subject areas, all lessons are multi-sensory with specific goals as per their individualized education program (IEP). Manipulatives and projects are used to reinforce skills.


Specialized Instruction and Support for Students with Complex Needs

Our Teachers of the Deaf provide in class support as well as individualized instruction. An audiologist provides consultative services and monitoring.

Learn more >

We have a full time Teacher of the Visually Impaired who provides individual and consultative sessions to our students and staff.

Learn more >

Behavioral Support

Students can receive one to one ABA as well as push in services to the classroom.

Medically Fragile

Our nurses are trained in the total care of students that have significant medical issues.

Additional Support

Physical, occupational, and speech/feeding therapy are provided individually as well as in small groups. Educators and therapists meet daily to discuss goals and treatment planning.

Meet Our Therapy Team

We have a full staff of nurses who are trained in the care of students who have significant medical issues.

Meet Our Nursing Staff

Medical Clinics

We offer a wide range of school based clinical services. These include Physiatry, Neurodevelopmnental, Audiology/Speech/Feeding, Orthotic, and Rehabilitative. Parents are encouraged to participate.

Our 7-week long summer program gives new youngsters the opportunity to become acquainted with their new school in a particularly low-key environment, and it allows current students to maintain learning that is hard to retain over long summer breaks.

Extended School Year Dates

Enrichment Therapies

We utilize music, pet, and horticultural therapies in our curriculum.

Our students learn to explore their environments. Field trips, community based instruction as well as interactive presentations help to broaden knowl-edge and generalize skills.

Vocational skills encompass a wide range of competencies needed for employment, including skills such as time management, effective communication, team work, positive attitude, and problem solving.

Family  Support Services

We have the best team available to educate and care for your child. And YOU are an important part of our team!

We have an open door policy, so parents are always welcome to observe classes or therapies. We also provide informational and support services, like our free weekly sign language class.

Visit our Family Support page with resources and tutorials for the families of our students>

School Closing Update

On March 26, 2020,  Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey public and private schools will remain closed through at least April 17, 2020 at which point, a decision to reopen schools will not be revisited. As such, First Children School will remain closed indefinitely.

In an effort to continue with the learning process, we have transitioned to distance learning and therapy. In the first couple weeks of distance learning, teachers focused on reviewing lessons and providing exercises that help students practice skills through repetition. Currently, we are building on those skills each week, slowly introducing new topics. Exercises focus on learning new topics in addition to reviewing skills learned throughout the year.

Our teachers and therapists are working hard to create customized lessons and therapy for students using various means of media including video. Here is an example of a video in which music teacher Melinda Bass O’Neal pre-recorded music therapy for one of our early elementary classes taught by Debbie Earley.

First Children School student engaged in remote music therapy

You can view this video along with other remote video lessons and therapy on our First Children School Remote Video page.

Please be aware that anyone calling the school will get a recorded message. Our staff will be working remotely all day, each day. You will be able to reach them by email.  Email addresses for administration and staff are available on our website.  For general school questions, please email Kathleen Gorski, Principal, at kgorski@firstchildrenservices.com or call (908) 868-0709.

Letter to First Children School Families RE: COVID-19 Response-March 13, 2020

The health and safety of our students and staff are paramount, and we are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. We are adhering to guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Education. Here are some resources for families and staff regarding COVID-19.

New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 Webpage

New Jersey Department of Education COVID-19 News and Resources

New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub

nj211.org COVID-19 Resource Website