History

Lake Drive was established in 1969, under the auspices of the Mountain Lakes Board of Education as an educational day school alternative to residential placement in the State School for the Deaf. It opened in rented quarters in The Community Church in Mountain Lakes, with one teacher, a teacher aide, a speech therapist, a part-time consultant audiologist, a part-time consultant speech therapist and seven students. Over the next three years the number of students increased to approximately 21. The faculty kept pace and by 1972, having outgrown the physical facility, the school moved to its present location at Lake Drive. For the first 10 years at Lake Drive, our program was housed within the Mountain Lakes fifth and sixth grade building. In 1978, the program became the sole occupant of the building at Lake Drive and Laura McKirdy, Ph.D. was appointed principal, a position she held until her retirement in 2004. Dr. McKirdy continues to serve as a consultant for Lake Drive. Currently, the Lake Drive Principal is Julie Lazeration.

Today, the school serves students, ages 3 through 21, from school districts in northern and central New Jersey. In addition to those in the Lake Drive School building, students are also currently educated at Wildwood Elementary School, Briarcliff Middle School and Mountain Lakes High School, all within the Mountain Lakes School District. The Lake Drive Program also operates a mainstream itinerant support program. Currently, four full-time teachers of the deaf as well as an educational audiologist travel throughout central and northern New Jersey to provide services to deaf and hard of hearing students in their home school districts. High School students have an opportunity to apply to Morris County Vocational School for a shared-time program in a specific area.

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