Nurturing Individualized Learning Paths at The Cottage School

A private school based in Gladstone, New Jersey, The Cottage School develops a love of learning sustained by a spirit of discovery at a pace that accompanies each individual student. Students’ innate abilities and learning interests are nurtured in a non-competitive environment—free from tests, peer pressure, or academic competition. This helps The Cottage School maintain a strong sense of community where creativity and a joy for learning can thrive.


Each student is expected to do his or her best, within a student’s own abilities,—whether the activity is rhythmic writing, math, painting, singing, weaving, or sweeping. This helps each student cultivate a strong sense of integrity and confidence with each endeavor. Children are encouraged to concentrate on their own projects; there are no comparisons made between students or their works. Individualizing expectations allows each child to grow in an educational environment that encourages progress with creative and attainable challenges.

Cooperative skills are developed throughout daily routines—such as circle time and morning song—as well as through unique experiential projects that include gardeningfolk dancing, original script writing, and rehearsal for the annual school play. This balance of nurturing individualized expectations in a collaborative environment results in the development of a confident student body that works together in a caring and cohesive manner.