Home 2021-06-18T11:09:24+00:00


Dates & Announcements


Holmstead Middle School beginning September 2021 and ESY Program for all grades summer 2022

Add a Holmstead and/or Realtime Shortcuts to your Smart Devices 

04-8256-NJ Holmstead Plan 8/31/20

Holmstead students have access to Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud to use online or install on the home computer. Go to Office365.com and adobe.com/creativecloud. Log in with user name (last name first initial) @holmstead.org. Enter password used to log into computers at school. Contact liza@holmstead.org if you need help.

Amazon donations

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Holmstead School. Select Kuniholm (Holmstead School) at smile.amazon.com to start shopping.

Upcoming Events

About Holmstead School

Holmstead School is a therapeutic high school in Ridgewood, changing adolescent lives for 50 years. Referrals accepted from Child Study Teams and clinicians. Educating grades 6-12, ages 11-18, from over 50 towns within 6 New Jersey counties.

  • Each student is classified as a result of a diagnostic profile prepared by the sending district Child Study Team.

  • The local Board of Education remains responsible for the student in his placement at Holmstead School.

  • Holmstead School provides an educational and therapeutic milieu, which emphasizes innovative and flexible education for bright adolescents who need to be challenged in order to change their motivation and performance.

Holmstead students between the ages of 11 and 18 possess high intellectual potential but have been unable to achieve successfully in traditional school settings.

Our Full Mission Statement

Typical Holmstead students are those with a history of:

School Phobia

Students who have had erratic attendance in the past, causing gaps in their academic and social progress require support. They are often “lost in the shuffle” in public schools and benefit greatly from the focus on the individual stressed by Holmstead. This small setting serves to minimize frustration in order to promote a positive self-image.

Learning Problems

In this low-pressure atmosphere provided by caring, insightful professionals, the emphasis is placed on the needs of the student, rather than on the demands of the curriculum. Individual help is available to all students in each course.

Behavioral Issues

These distractible, attention-seeking, students pose problems within the classroom, as their behavior can be unpredictable and their focus erratic. Small classes minimize disruption and threat to teacher control and inappropriate outbursts are either avoided or dealt with immediately and less emotionally.

 Problems With Authority

Students who characteristically question rules and regulations, can be hard to motivate, and have difficulty adjusting to traditional academic situations. Efforts are made in working with them to redirect their energies toward positive career-related goals in order to minimize their manipulative attitudes and encourage their social and academic progress.

Anti-bullying Policy

Holmstead School prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Holmstead School believes that all students are entitled to work and study in a school­-related environment that is free of harassment, intimidation and bullying. Our mission is based on a philosophy of deep respect for the inherent worth of each individual, regard for the environment, and belief in the capacity for personal change. We commit ourselves to forming relationships with people so that each person may experience a sense of belonging, dignity and hope. It is through relationships that students and staff grow in self-understanding and self-esteem. Each person has the right to self-determination. Therefore, a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for our students to fulfill this mission and to learn and achieve high academic standards. Harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and our ability to educate students in a safe environment, and therefore will not be tolerated.


Holmstead School is in session from 8:20 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. daily. College preparation skills, as well as career development experiences, are offered. Students are required to take six courses on a rotating schedule. This procedure minimizes anxiety about facing the same courses at the same time each day. Students are required to fulfill state-mandated course requirements but many electives are designed to provide a well-rounded curriculum. Students are encouraged to take an active part in the planning of their schedules, by selecting courses from the forty-five offered at Holmstead. These course selections are compiled by the Supervisor of Education in an effort to predict improvement, promote success, and increase motivation.

Incorporated into the school day is a one-hour required class called recreational arts, in which students fulfill physical education mandates and participate in organized activities. These include physical education, yearbook, art, music instruction, and the school newspaper. Field trips, which vary from educational to recreational, are offered periodically.

Holmstead School complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination by reason of race, color, creed, or national origin.

Psychological Services

Therapeutic intervention on the part of highly skilled psychologists, social workers, and a student assistance counselor enables Holmstead students to participate in individual psychotherapy and group counseling. The staff includes male and female clinicians who afford students the opportunity to work with the professional with whom he/she relates most comfortably and productively. Sessions uphold confidentiality in order to build trust.

A parent support group, facilitated by Holmstead therapists, addresses issues of concern regarding adolescent interaction with family, peers, school, and the community.


Course-related educational plans in the form of student contracts are evaluated weekly by the faculty. These contracts enable teachers to keep a daily accurate account of academic and behavioral performance of each student. Weekly summaries are shared with students and emailed to parents bi-weekly. Each student meets regularly with a teacher/advisor to promote consistent program progress.

Formal evaluative reports, which include grades in each class, an attendance record and anecdotal summaries from each teacher, are prepared quarterly and disseminated to the child study teams by the director.

State (NJSLA) testing, a requirement for graduation, is facilitated on site at Holmstead. PSAT, SAT, ACT testing, transition planning, and college counseling are also provided.

Student Services

  • Highly Skilled Clinicians
  • Individual & Group Therapy
  • Parent Support Group
  • Therapeutic Intervention
  • Zero Tolerance for Bullying
  • Crisis Management
  • Nurturing, Safe Environment
  • Daily Communication with Teachers
  • Consultation with Psychiatrists & Outside Therapists
  • Full-Time Nurse Health Instructor
  • Challenging Courses
  • Small Group Instruction
  • Supportive Personalized Setting
  • Sensitivity to Adolescent Issues
  • College Online Courses
  • Virtual Science Labs
  • Guidance and Transition
  • Innovative Teaching Methods
  • Bi-Weekly Feedback to Parents
  • PSAT, SAT, ACT, and NJSLA on site
FAQ 2018-09-26T20:06:40+00:00

How does the Holmstead placement process work?

  1. Student is classified by district Child Study Team (CST)
  2. District and parents release reports to Holmstead
  3. Director and clinical staff review referral
  4. If appropriate, an interview is arranged for parent(s)/guardian, student, and Child Study Team (CST) Case Manager.

How many students attend Holmstead?

Average of 70: Population is evenly divided between boys & girls from 52 towns in 5 counties.
Ages 13-18 years, grades 8-12.

What type of program is offered?

Therapeutic, college prep

What classifications are considered?

  • Emotional Disturbance (ED)
  • Other Health Impaired (OHI)
  • Multiply Handicapped (MD)
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

Who provides transportation?

Sending school districts

May students be placed privately?


Is there an after school sports program?

No. Students may participate in sports/clubs at the sending school district.

Is there a sports program during the day?

Yes, during recreational arts.

Are there field trips?

Yes, Broadway plays, museums, historical sites, cultural, art and sporting events.

Does Holmstead have a school nurse?

Yes, full-time.

Are there counseling services?

Yes, clinical staff provides individual and group counseling to students. Parent Support Group.

Do you issue diplomas?

No. Upon graduation, students receive a Holmstead certificate of completion. Diplomas are then issued by the sending district high school.

How many graduates go on to college?

More than 80%

Is there an Extended School Year Program?

No, there is no summer program.

Who attends interview?

Student, parent(s)/guardian, and CST (Case Manager)

Affiliations and Awards

We are a multi-disciplinary school committed to the success of our students!

Contact Us