GPA’s Compass Program

A unique school re-entry program for students with brain injury with the supports they need to succeed

After a brain injury, everything changes. It is vital that students have access to the academic, cognitive, behavioral, psychological and social support they need – and a school that understands them.

The Compass is a unique school re-entry program for students with brain injury offering:

  • Educational Day School
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • Transition Services
  • School Consultation & Support

Garfield Park Academy offers two unique programs for students ages 5-21 with brain injury:

  • The Compass is an individualized school reentry program designed to provide a supportive link between hospitalization or rehabilitation and a return to school. We offer a short-term, highly structured program individually designed to meet the needs of each student.
  • Garfield Park Academy is a state-approved special education program that offers a stable, longer-term placement option for students with brain injury who continue to need supports and services not available in a public school setting.

Our Team

Our highly qualified staff have specific expertise in working with students with brain injury. Our team includes neuropsychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, speech and occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, learning consultants and special education teachers. All of our direct care staff are nationally certified brain injury specialists (CBIS).

Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health (CNNH) logoThe Compass Program was developed and is operated In conjunction with the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health (CNNH). Our affiliation with the Center brings significant added benefits. Their Brain Injury and Concussion Center, with internationally recognized doctors and treatment professionals, provides comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to children, adolescents and young adults immediately after brain injury and for years post-injury.

The Compass Program team works to optimize each student’s potential and prepare him or her for maximum independence:

Brain Injury Program Integrated Services Graphic - Garfield Park Academy Compass Program

Brain Retraining

Our “Mindfulness Brain Retraining” program offers students a wide range of tools including:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Stress Reduction
  • Self-Regulation
  • NeuroLearning Strategies

Our qualified staff may offer additional supports, including cognitive behavioral techniques, biofeedback, and neurofeedback. The goal is for students to learn specific strategies to improve attention and memory, reduce impulsivity, improve overall mood, and better organize their thoughts and actions.

Our Approach:

Our transdisciplinary approach engages students, families, rehabilitation professionals and education professionals as collaborative team members. We develop a custom sequence of logical steps from entry into our program through transition, either back to the local school district, or to prepare for life after high school.

We offer a context-sensitive therapeutic environment that includes:

  • Small, structured classes
  • Low student/staff ratio
  • Trained teaching assistants
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Social Workers in the classroom
  • Individual and group counseling
  • “Mindfulness Brain Retraining” strategies

All of Garfield Park Academy’s programs are based on the Teaching-Family Model – an evidence-based intervention with more than 40 years of research to support its use. It is deeply anchored in the belief that children need to feel safe, secure, emotionally understood and cognitively stimulated in order to recover and learn.

Supports for Families, School Districts and Rehabilitation Centers

Garfield Park Academy offers a wide range of supports and services:

Assessment Services– We provide neuropsychological, neurological, psychiatric, occupational, and speech assessments. Our neurofunctional evaluations can be used to inform personalized treatment plans. Our ongoing relationship with CNNH allows us to access local rehabilitation centers for supplemental services.

In-District Transition Supports – When a student is ready to return to a public school setting, Garfield Park Academy can provide on-going support services to local educators and treatment professionals. We can provide consultation and recommendations related to behavioral supports, cognitive retraining, social and emotional needs, and family support.

Life Transition, Assessment and Training – Whether preparing for college, trade school or employment, students with brain injury often need a unique array of transition support services. Garfield Park Academy offers services to consumers, parents, school districts, employers and vocational organizations through training, consultation and assessment services.

Students with Brain Injury…

Regardless of the cause of the injury, students with brain injury may show impairments in: Language, memory, attention, reasoning, cognition and abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, perceptual and motor abilities, physical skills, information processing, and speech. They may also show changes in behavior, mood and personality.

Recovering from brain injury is challenging. We can help.

Garfield Park Academy is a New Jersey state-approved, not-for-profit school that provides effective, evidence-based special education services for students in grades K-12 who have a history of learning, social, emotional and behavioral challenges and/or traumatic brain injury. The Academy’s comprehensive services and programs are designed to ‘wrap around’ each student and his or her family to ensure success, not just in school or work, but also in life.

The Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health (CNNH) provides comprehensive brain injury and concussion diagnostic and treatment services to children, adolescents and young adults. We serve individuals immediately after brain injury and throughout all periods of recovery, including those who are years post-injury. Our team of experts will identify immediate needs and problem areas, and provide ongoing rehabilitation, education and case management services and support to patients and their families.