The Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf has over 100 years of experience educating New Jersey’s Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children. It is difficult to imagine when one visits Katzenbach in the twenty-first century that it was opened in 1883. The Katzenbach of today serves children birth to age twenty-one and recognizes that Deaf children can do anything Hearing children can do.
Katzenbach provides students from Pre-K to age 21 with an atmosphere rich in Deaf culture, an environment of direct communication, and a curriculum that meets New Jersey Student Learning Standards. The goal of the educational programs is to facilitate the highest level of achievement among the students. All instruction is provided by appropriately certified teachers.
Related services including audiological services, speech therapy, counseling, adaptive physical education, and substance abuse prevention/education are available for all students.
Katzenbach offers a Residential Program for students who live too far away for a daily commute. The Residential Program also offers students the opportunity to participate in recreational activities with their peers, the same opportunity that is afforded to students in regular education environments. Day students can participate in after school recreational activities through the sending school district’s provision of a late bus or residential placement for the duration of the activity.
Superintendent: Joan Krasnisky
Early Childhood Program Principal : Krista Bruehl
Elementary and Middle School Principal: Jody Caseiro
High School Principals: Krista Bruehl and Wayne Jacobsen
Director of Residential Services: Brian Marion
Anti-Bullying Specialist: Lauren Boose and Kathryn Schreiber
Our children in the Early Childhood Program learn in a warm and caring atmosphere that is both nurturing and goal-oriented. Our Teachers of the Deaf staffing this program are also certified in Early Childhood Education . The program serves children from ages three to five, focusing on the development of the whole child.
The curriculum includes pre-academic and reading readiness skills, math, social studies, science, social skills, and practical life (self-help) skills. The students also are exposed to the arts, literature, and music.
During the preschool years, children engage in the learning process in different ways. Each child develops their own unique learning style. Our program enables each child to develop and acquire the pre-academic skills necessary for success.
Our bilingual philosophy, utilizing both English and American Sign Language in instruction, provides our students access to all aspects of learning through both the visual and auditory learning channels. Our Speech and Language program includes: auditory training, speech reading, speech production, articulation, and communication skills. Speech therapy is provided in both individual and group settings.
A key component for language and communication skill development in the young child is the additional exposure to language modeling by our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing staff members. The children leave our program with the skills that will enable them to be successful learners and ready for the challenges of the Elementary School Program.
Krista Bruehl Principal 609-530-3185
Michele DeMatteo Secretary 609-530-3185
The Elementary School program serves children in Kindergarten through Fourth grade. Our curriculum is aligned with the New Jersey Learning Standards. Modifications and accommodations are made to meet the learning and communication needs of our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children at the annual review meeting to develop their Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Classes are self-contained and include the traditional academic offerings of Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Health, with multiple periods of English & Language Arts daily. Students attend special classes in ASL Literacy, Technology, and Visual and Performing Arts. Additional services include adaptive physical education, speech & language, counseling, and audiological testing. Our bilingual philosophy of English and American Sign Language in instruction enables our students to access all aspects of learning through both the visual and auditory learning channels.
Special programming is available for students with additional disabilities. Al classes are taught by appropriately certified instructors who have special training in working with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students with multiple disabilities. This program meets the distinct needs of students by providing individualized instruction through direct communication with a low student to adult ratio.
Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities such as the Educational Resource Center, Girl Scouts, storytelling, assemblies, and field trips provide our students with additional learning opportunities.
All students participate in the state required assessments of student achievement through the New Jersey Learning Assessments or Dynamic Learning Maps. At the end of fourth grade our students are ready and eager for the challenges of the Middle School Program.
Jody Caseiro Principal 609-530-3120
Rachele Miller Secretary 609-530-3120
The Middle School serves children in grades five through eight. The Middle School curriculum is aligned with the New Jersey Learning Standards and all students, regardless of abilities, are instructed and engaged with the Standards.
The goal of the Middle School is to provide the students with a challenging curriculum in an environment that meets their social, emotional, and cultural needs while preparing them for their high school experience.
Students receive the traditional academic offerings of Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Health, with multiple periods of English & Writing. Students also attend classes in ASL Literacy, Technology, Practical Living Skills and Visual and Performing Arts. Our bilingual philosophy of English and American SIgn Language in instruction exposes our students to all aspects of learning through both the visual and auditory learning channels.
Special programming is available to students with multiple disabilities. All classes are taught by certified instructors who have special training in working with Deaf students and multiple disabilities. This program meets the distinctive needs of students by providing individualized instruction through direct communication and a low student to adult ratio.
Speech and Language therapy, audiological services, and adaptive physical education are offered as related services. A Behavior Management Consultant is available for consultation to students and parents.
The transition from elementary to middle school can be stressful for students. Meeting the social and emotional needs of the young adolescent is a core component of our Middle School philosophy. Students have the opportunity to meet regularly with a counselor, individually or in a small group. These sessions focus on the development of interpersonal relationships and appropriate social skills.
The provision of a late bus by school districts allows our day students an opportunity to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The Educational Resource Center, sports, Student Government, Girl Scouts, storytelling, assemblies and field trips provide students with additional learning opportunities.
Jody Caseiro Principal 609-530-3120
Rachele Miller Secretary 609-530-3120
High School is the bridge that takes young adolescent into the beginning of their adult life. Our program offers students an educational experience, through our Day or Residential Program, which fosters independence, and prepares them to be responsible and productive citizens. Day students can participate in our after school activities through the provision of a late bus or a residential placement.
Traditional academic classes, career and technical education, computer technology, self-advocacy training, Deaf Culture and Deaf Studies, driver education, and the visual, fine and practical arts are all pieces of our students’ experiences. Specialized programming is available for students with multiple disabilities. All classes are taught by appropriately certified instructors who have special training in working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students with multiple disabilities. The high school program includes a transition component that prepares students to navigate the world beyond high school. Katzenbach has partnered with Mercer County Technical School to offer the students a greater variety of career and technical education courses. Interscholastic sports, enrichment and co-curricular activities, field trips, Robotics, and various clubs are all a vital part of the program.
Counselors assist our students and families in creating educational and career plans. Related services include speech and language therapy, audiology services, and adaptive physical education. Substance abuse prevention is an integral part of the curriculum. Consultation with the Behavior Consultant is available to students and parents when appropriate.
All classes and training programs comply with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and are staffed by appropriately certified personnel. Students receive a state endorsed diploma by meeting the graduation requirements determined by the New Jersey Department of Education. Students participate in all state-mandated testing with appropriate accommodations.
Students who plan to attend a college are required to take the American College Test (ACT) for admission. We provide additional reading and math activities and offer an ACT Prep Course to assist our students to prepare for the test. Katzenbach provides the opportunity for students to take the ACT on campus during the school day with accommodations that are stated in each students’ IEP.
Individualized scheduling allows students to take appropriate courses regardless of their assigned grade level placement. Students have the right to stay in school through the age of twenty-one, therefore, a wide variety of options are available for what may be more than four years in high school.
Wayne Jacobsen Principal 609-530-3130
Krista Bruehl Principal 609-530-3130
Mariane Caseiro Secretary 609-530-3130
Residential / Extended Day Program.
Katzenbach is the only residential school for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in New Jersey that provides overnight programming Monday through Thursday in a linguistically rich environment using direct communication. Independent living skills, group discussions on current issues and time management are part of the everyday experiences of our students in the residential program. Day students can participate in the residential program’s activities through the Extended Day Program by the provision of a late bus, or residential placement for the length of the activity. These arrangements are made by the parent or guardian with the student’s case manager through the IEP process.
An essential component of the residential program is the Educational Resource Center (ERC). Certified Teachers of the Deaf and the Residential Staff provide tutoring and guided study time every day. ERC services provided to our students are an integral part of our students’ success. Encouraging a strong connection between ERC staff and teachers, there is constant communication to ensure that all students are prepared with the tools to be successful learners.
The Educational Resource Center is located in the Colts Library Educational Resource Center (CLERC) building. The staff provides services to Katzenbach’s students Monday through Thursday, 3PM to 9:30PM.