"[Springboard] has changed our lives entirely. Our son is now six and attends a mainstream school where is thriving and very much enjoying his friends. We brought this little guy in this world but this phenomenal team brought him to life! We will never find the right words to express our abundance of gratitude.” - Alumni Parent

Alumni  Parent Testimonials Updated

Since 1978, our school has helped children and their families reach their full potential. Watch and read below to hear what they have to say about the impact that The Springboard School has made in their lives. 

The Springboard School (Formerly the Therapeutic Nursery at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades)



Alumni Profiles: Claire Santoro




Alumni Profiles: Spencer Schrager



“To say you saved my fabulous daughter, Claire, is only half the story. You also saved me.” - Alumni Parent

”During my time at [Springboard], I never felt there was anything I couldn’t accomplish…. I loved each and every one of my teachers, and my teachers loved me.”
- Alumnus

“Lois Mendelson guided us through every step of the way and and the staff could not have been more kind and compassionate. Fast forward 13 years and Chase is completing 10th grade. Chase is in all honors classes and is a straight A student on the highest honor roll. He has excelled in school and is very driven, focused and social.” - Alumni Parent

“[When we toured the program,] my daughter seemed to sense this was a ‘good place.’ While she wasn’t very verbal at that point, you could tell by her body language that she felt at home. We ended up moving to NJ to attend the program, convinced it was our best chance to make a difference in our child’s future. We were right.” - Alumni Parent

“Lois and her staff were unbelievable in their knowledge, skills and support. They empowered Connor, his siblings, and me to become advocates not only for him, but for others. I know one of the most powerful gifts we were given was that of hope.” - Alumni Parent

“We, as parents, would not be where we are today, and Eitan, as an individual would not have achieved as much, if we had not been lucky enough to attend the program. We will be forever grateful to Lois and her amazing team.” - Alumni Parent

“The program was life-changing for us and for our family—the teachers and therapists are passionate about what they do, are caring, and knowledgable—they saw his potential, worked on his strengths and believed in him. We often wonder what the outcome would have been had we not enrolled him. We will always be indebted to Lois and [the Springboard School] for the gift of giving our son the support he needed early on to build a productive and successful future.” - Alumni Parent

“Hi! I'm Spencer. I attended the Therapeutic Nursery when I was little, and boy did it help! If not for that, I wouldn't have been able to do half of what I've done! Currently, I'm a rising sophomore at the Bergen Academies, specifically, the Academy for Technology and Computer Science. I've always hoped of going there, and...well, now I am! As the Academy name would indicate, I've focused heavily on programming. This even carries over into my free time, where not only do I play a ton of video games, but program my own mods for them. Both at school and in the online gaming community I feel like I have found my tribe, so to speak. But the important thing is...if I hadn't gone to the Nursery, I likely wouldn't have been able to accomplish any of this.” - Alumnus

“Our son, Spencer, attended this program when it was in its former home [at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades]. Neither we, nor he, can ever have enough gratitude for all that it gave us. He had been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder and ADD. At three, we wondered whether he would ever be able to master the complexities of the world around him. By five, when he graduated the program, we had every reason to believe he would. He is now 15, and a largely happy soon-to-be sophomore at the Bergen Academies. He accepts his own quirks, and for the most part, so does everyone else. The foundation we all got from this program was irreplaceable—not only in teaching him skills and use strategies but in having a support system like none other I have seen or heard of.” - Alumni Parent

“The [Springboard] team gave my family consistency, honest feedback, practical advice, exceptional modeling, an opportunity to talk with others who get it, and a safe place where meltdowns were considered learning opportunities.” - Alumni Parent

“All the teachers taught me how to cope with situations and express my feelings so well, that by the time I graduated I was able to go into a preschool 1/2 day. In Kindergarten, I transitioned to a program for kids who were in elementary school but couldn’t go to an actual mainstream school. I was able to talk about my emotions with the counselor and express myself in a very mature way, (compared to the other kids my age, which shocked him) and that was amazing! Ever since then, I mainstreamed, and have been achieving tech dreams, and achieving what I want and what I like, such as: editor of my school newspaper, dancing on two competitive hip-hop teams, playing clarinet in my school band, singing with my school chorus and chamber choir, and earning a high red belt in Tae Kwon Do while being able to do it the safest and right way. But if it wasn’t for [Springboard], there is no way I would be who I am today. What I am today is because of these people. And I deserve to be proud to have graduated from the school and always will be.” - Alumnus

“We are so grateful for the scholarship money, without which none of this would have been possible. I don’t really want to think about what would have happened if he hadn’t been able to go there. This program saved his life.” - Alumni Parent

“Sol was [at the Springboard School] for two years. She began talking, smiling, engaging others, playing, answering questions appropriately, laughing out loud and sustaining eye contact…. She was accepted to every Kindergarten class we applied for. Now she is a confident, happy, well-adjusted young girl, who has made great friends in and outside of school.” - Alumni Parent

“Today, her out of control behaviors at home have been reduced, she participates in social activities with pleasure, and she speaks regularly in the classroom with peers and teachers. Her transformation has been beautiful, uplifting and inspirational." - Alumni Parent

“We would like to thank [the Springboard School] therapists, teachers, staff, and supporters for creating a space where our family is understood. We are inspired each day by the hours and tremendous effort dedicated to all the children and families who participate in this very special program.” - Alumni Parent

“The multi-disciplinary staff is not only caring and nurturing but exceptionally professional, knowledgable, and dedicated. There was never a problem they could not address, never a question they could not answer, never a moment they would not spare for us. The gave him the language and skills he needed to get through daily life. They gave us the tools we needed to raise him.” - Alumni Parent

"Our experience at The Springboard School has been extraordinary. Within the first week, we started to see Joey’s transformation from surviving everyday life, to enjoying, learning, and thriving. Every member of the highly skilled team is dedicated to each child’s growth and to supporting and empowering parents. Lois Mendelson, the director, is exceptional. She listened to every challenge big and small, compassionately guided us, and provided us with a wealth of tools that work. We are forever grateful to The Springboard School for understanding Joey, for helping him understand himself, for equipping him with critical foundational skills, and for inspiring confidence and hope." - Alumni Parent