Frequently Asked Questions
How is your school different from others?
Sage Day is best described as two places in one. We are about as close to a mainstream environment as possible because we offer all the academic subjects necessary to go on to college, as well as many electives. Our intensive child therapy component sets us apart from other schools. The program provides twice-weekly individual and group psychotherapy, and once-weekly family therapy. It is through these interventions that we have been able to make a meaningful impact on the issues that have hindered our students’ ability to be successful in school.
What kind of student is enrolled at Sage Day?
Children who attend Sage Day are good students who are confused and frustrated as to why their lives are not going as they plan. Many are afraid and anxious of the future and of being lonely.
Sage Day students are not a tough or physically acting out group. The children will have a variety of differing life experiences, family make-up and diagnosis, but are bound together through the recognition that their ways of coping are not working. These ineffective ways of coping may include: school avoidance, ignoring their self-care, rejecting help that is available to them, inability to start or sustain friendships, challenging authority or becoming over-active or withdrawn. While these types of reactions are commonplace during adolescence, our students feel them intensely, and it impairs their ability to fulfill their potential.
What changes can I expect to see in my child coming to your school?
For many students, just entering our doors brings immediate relief. For others, past school experiences and circumstances contribute to their skepticism that school could ever be a positive experience, let alone a transformational experience. We recognize this sentiment and work closely with the student to understand their particular story, and over time, to gain their trust by not just saying we understand, but by showing it. Some of the students who had the most difficult starts have had some of the best success stories.
Does everyone need to attend family therapy?
The family therapist and parents meet together initially to consider the situation. Generally, the goal is to have family members attend who can be most helpful in working through the issues at hand.
My child is smart. Will Sage Day prepare them for college?
About 80 percent of our graduates go on to college and have been accepted into well-respected schools. We follow the State of New Jersey’s core curriculum standards and work closely with Child Study Team members to follow a student’s IEP. Our teachers help students develop the skills and strategies necessary to prepare for the SAT exam. Additionally, during junior and senior year we offer a College Process Course to assist students in developing an individualized plan for college selection.
I don’t want my child to “miss out” on any of the experiences he/she would have back in district. Does Sage have prom or a traditional graduation?
Senior year rites of passage are by far our most favorite and rewarding time. Sage Day offers a wonderful prom night for juniors and seniors aboard the World Yacht dinner cruise. Each year, students come back with very special memories of a night that they never would have been a part of back in their school district.
A Sage Day commencement ceremony is unlike any other you have witnessed. It is a tradition that our graduates get up and speak about their experience at Sage Day, as well as to say goodbye to all people who made this day happen. Be sure to bring tissues, because there is never a dry eye in the gym.
What is the class size?
Classes are small with a student to staff ratio not to exceed 6:1. This enables our students to feel safe and lowers teen anxiety. Once this happens they begin to feel better about themselves and blossom. The results are transformational. It’s not unusual for a teacher to read a poem that one of our students wrote and say, “Aren’t you the one who told me you can’t write?” Other students who previously said they could NEVER, EVER, paint or draw, showcase beautiful and moving artwork. And there have been incidents of students who began a semester failing math, and finished the year with a 95 on the math final.
Will my child develop friendships?
It is very common for our students to form friendships. Promoting relationships is an important goal for our staff. The obstacles that occur in developing and maintaining peer relations are addressed in therapy and in our school activities and curriculum.
Will you be in communication with the therapist and/or psychiatrist working with my child?
Yes. We want to offer support and input to any professional currently working with your discouraged child and family.
How soon can my son or daughter start at Sage Day?
Once our Clinical Director reviews the paperwork to determine if Sage Day could be an appropriate placement for your discouraged child, we will contact your case manager and set up an intake appointment. Our interview process is meaningful and at the end of the interview, if the Clinical Director and the family agree that Sage Day would be a good match, we will invite your son or daughter to spend a day with us.
It is a great time for him/her to get to meet our students, ask questions and really see what the expectations are at Sage Day. By the end of the day, the student typically will know if this is the school they wish to attend.
Are the kids nice?
Well we think they are but come over and see for yourself. A lot of kids find friends here and some like to get together after school when they can.
Are the teachers nice?
Yes they are. They do expect students to work hard, but they aren’t mean or loud about it.
Is the work hard?
It is fair. Let’s face it, the stuff that was hard for you in your other school will still be hard for you here, but we have fewer kids in each class and the teachers spend more time with you.
Is there homework?
Yes, there is homework. For those of you who like homework, we are glad to make you happy. For those of you who can’t stand homework, hey, what did you expect? One thing to know though is that we offer lots of help and, if you choose to, some chances to do homework during the school day so you have less to do later on.
How many kids are in each class?
At the most there would be 12 students with two teachers.
Do you go on field trips?
You bet we do: a bunch of them each year. Last year we went on: Martin Guitar Factory, Museum of Natural History, Broadway, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Television and Radio, NJ Supreme Court and a walking tour of Philadelphia.
Can I wear what I want?
We do have some basic rules about what not to wear in our Handbook.
Think about it this way: if you are looking in the mirror in the morning and wondering if what you are wearing is okay or not, it probably isn’t, so just wear something else or ask your folks.
Can I use my electronics to play games and listen to music?
Yes, before classes start, during morning break and the last 15 minutes of lunch. Oh, and on the buses to and from school or field trips.