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ATLAS Program

ATLAS Program

Alliance for Teaching Learning and Success

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About Us:

The ATLAS Program is a therapeutic program within the Ringwood Public Schools that integrates academic achievement with helping students maximize social, emotional, and behavioral growth. 


Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Growth:

The ATLAS program meets students’ needs through a small, highly-structured therapeutic setting with mainstream opportunities. The ATLAS program fosters behavioral and social emotional growth while also presenting an individualized and challenging academic curriculum. 

Social Skills development is crucial in helping students maximize growth.  As part of the ATLAS program students receive twice monthly group social skills from a School Psychologist and/or Social Worker that addresses the following areas: social skills development, communication skills, problem solving / conflict resolution, school avoidance, oppositional behavior, mood regulation, anger management, self-advocacy, self-esteem, and executive functioning skills.  These social skills are also integrated into the grade level curriculum and reviewed daily by the classroom teacher.  Individual and group counseling are available as per the student’s IEP and goals and objectives.

Students are supported via the research-based behavior modification strategy of positive reinforcement rather than focusing on maladaptive behaviors.  These research-based behavior modification strategies are overseen by a behaviorist who collaborates with teachers, staff, and students to reinforce appropriate behaviors.  Students benefit from the classroom behavior system and if needed may also have an individualized behavior intervention plan as specified by the IEP.



The ATLAS program follows the same curriculum as the Ringwood Public Schools which is aligned with the New Jersey Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the individualized modifications and goals and objectives mandated by each student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). 

A continuum of program options is available as it is our goal to make sure all students are placed in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).  Students can be mainstreamed with general education peers for physical education, music, art, media center / technology, lunch/recess, and other academic classes depending on the students IEP.  The IEP team individualizes each student’s program to meet his/her specific needs.

The ATLAS program educates students grades 6-8.  The ATLAS program is staffed by a special education teacher, trained paraprofessionals, and a behaviorist.  Students have access to the Ringwood Public Schools staff of School Psychologists, Social Workers, LDT-C, and School Counselors.  All staff members are trained in verbal de-escalation and crisis management/intervention.  Our classes are all equipped with state of the art SMARTBoard technology and maintain a low student to staff ratio.


Related Services:

School-based Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy services are provided as per each student’s IEP. 

Speech-Language Pathologists may address the following areas: articulation, expressive / receptive language, voice, fluency, conversational skills, and auditory processing skills. 

Occupational Therapists may address the following areas: fine motor skills, sensory motor integration, visual / perceptual deficits, and assistive technology. 

Physical Therapists may address the following areas: postural control, balance, strength and stability, motor control and coordination, endurance, functional mobility and accessibility within the educational environment, and gross motor skills.


Extended School Year (ESY):

The ATLAS program offers a 20-day Extended School Year program that runs during the month of July, which continues a challenging academic program to maximize student growth as well as enjoyable activities.  The Extended School Year program helps avoid summer regression and makes for a smoother transition to the new school year.  Enrollment in the ESY program is determined by each student’s IEP team.


Family Communication / Collaboration:

Communication with families is critical in meeting the needs of all students.  Teachers regularly keep in touch with families regarding both academic and social/emotional and behavioral progress.  Progress is formally shared three times a year via report cards and progress reports on how students are developing towards meeting their individualized goals and objectives.



If you are a Ringwood family and interested in having your child attend the ATLAS program please contact your case manager.  For non-Ringwood families, please contact local case manager and ask them to call the Ringwood Director of Special Services, Mr. Steven Fiedeldey, at (973) 962-7063 x32 and request that they forward the following:

(1) Your child’s current IEP

(2) Most recent child study team evaluations

(3) Current reports from teachers / therapists / specialists

These records can be emailed to Mr. Steven Fiedeldey, Director of Special Services at fiedeldeys@ringwoodschools.org or faxed to (973) 962-0362.

After your information is reviewed, your local case manager will be contacted to arrange an intake appointment.  Your local district case manager, the student, and his/her parents/guardians should all plan on attending the intake appointment.  This intake appointment allows the district case manager and family to visit our classrooms and our staff to meet with the student.  Please allow one hour for the intake appointment.



Question: Can non-Ringwood students attend the ATLAS Program?

Answer: Yes! The ATLAS program accepts tuition-in students from outside of Ringwood.  Please refer to the admissions section on how to enroll in the ATLAS program.


Question : Does my child need a specific classification to attend the ATLAS program?

Answer : Students with all different classifications and diagnoses are accepted into the ATLAS program including but not limited to: Other Health Impaired, Emotionally Disturbed, Specific Learning Disability, and Multiply Disabled.  Our placement decisions are based on student need, not classification.


Question : Can my child receive physical therapy as part of the ATLAS program?

Answer : Yes, all related services are determined by the IEP team and outlined in each student’s IEP.  For non-Ringwood students, your local district must contract directly with the Ringwood School’s physical therapist or another provider of your choice as physical therapy is not included in the cost of tuition.  These providers work seamlessly with the ATLAS staff to make sure your child’s needs are met.


Question :  My child’s IEP calls for a Reading Specialist as a related service, can this be offered as part of the ATLAS program?

Answer : Yes, all related services are determined by the IEP team and outlined in each student’s IEP.  For non-Ringwood students, Occupational and Speech and Language services are part of the standard contract, while a Reading Specialist can be included to the contract for an additional fee.  All related service providers work seamlessly with the ATLAS staff to make sure your child’s needs are met.