Welcome To Banyan School

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Student Achievement

Banyan Elementary School

Specialized, prescriptive multi-sensory programs designed to meet the needs of students with significant language-based learning disabilities.

Banyan High School

Structured curriculum that focuses on academic and social needs, while preparing students for the next phase of their education and life.

LIFE Academy ( Learning Independence. Fostering Empowerment. )

Emphasizes life and work skills for l8-to-21-year old students in a supportive environment that builds confidence and success.

Banyan School

Strong Roots. Strong Minds.

Banyan School is a private, non-profit school for students who have different learning styles. Approved by the New Jersey Department of Education, Banyan School’s curriculum has been developed for elementary school, high school and 18-21-year-old students requiring a specialized, prescriptive program to address significant language-based learning disabilities.

Utilizing a multi-sensory approach, the primary focus of the Elementary School is the development and reinforcement of the reading, language and communication skills necessary for academic success. With small classes, individualized attention, integrated assistive technology and a highly specialized staff, Banyan Elementary School is committed to establishing the foundation that students need for learning while fostering social and interpersonal skills.

Banyan High School, which was established in 2006, provides a structured curriculum that focuses on academic and social needs. The 9th – 12th grade curriculum continues to reinforce reading, language and communication skills, while preparing students for the next phase of their education and life.  The LIFE (Learning Independence. Fostering Empowerment.) Academy for 18-to-21-year old students emphasizes life and work skills in a supportive environment that builds confidence and success.

About Banyan School

Banyan School was founded in 1993 by Vincent and Donna Rienzi, who were committed to providing a better educational alternative for their two sons, who had struggled academically in public and private school.  With the assistance of special education professionals and other dedicated parents, Banyan School opened in September 1993 with 8 students.  Since then, more than 500 students have benefited from Banyan School, which celebrated 25-years of student success in 2018.

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Our Mission

To educate students with learning disabilities by identifying individual strengths and abilities, continuously monitoring individual progress and adapting the curriculum to meet each student’s changing educational needs.

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Banyan School is a New Jersey Department of Education Approved Private School for Students with Disabilities (APSSD).  As a State-approved school, Banyan School adheres to the rigorous expectations of the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. 6A:14) as it pertains to curriculum, teacher certification, class size, implementation of Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs), and licensure of related services practitioners.  This oversight ensures the integrity and quality of programming.

During the 2018/2019 School Year, the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Special Education Policy and Dispute Resolution’s (SPDR) conducted onsite monitoring of Banyan School—Elementary and High School.

The monitoring activities were divided into two parts: Student Achievement and Regulatory Compliance and General Compliance. The General Compliance component of the monitoring focused on the required documentation submitted to the County Office of Education, along with the subsequent approval granted by the County Office.

The Student Achievement and Regulatory Compliance component of the monitoring activities focused on state and federal requirements related to:

  • Curriculum Development and Refinement;
  • Instruction and Student Engagement;
  • Assessment and Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Professional Development;
  • Individualized Education Program; and
  • Operations, Programs and Services.

Monitoring activities consisted of file review, classroom observation, interviews with school administration, child study team members, teachers, related service providers and support staff and a review of student level data.

Banyan School demonstrated compliance with all components related to student achievement and regulatory compliance and general compliance requirements.

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Banyan School students have learning challenges that require a small classroom setting and individualized therapeutic and academic support services to achieve their learning potential. Learning challenges can include one or more of the following:

  • Dyslexia, Reading, Decoding and Comprehension Deficits
  • Dyscalculia, Mathematics Challenges
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Speech & Language Disorders, including Apraxia
  • Mild/Moderate Cognitive Deficits
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders/Asperger’s syndrome
  • Visual/Spatial Processing Disorders
  • Auditory Processing Dysfunction
  • Short/Long-term Memory Weaknesses
  • Difficulty with Executive Functioning, Organizational and Study Skills
  • Fine/Gross Motor Incoordination
  • Social Skills Deficits
  • School-based Generalized Anxiety

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A Message From Our Director


“One of the most important lessons I have learned as an Administrator and Teacher in special education is that a supportive environment will foster both academic and social/emotional development. For more than 25 years, Banyan School has provided such an environment and the success of our students is an acknowledgement of the strength of our staff and program.”  – Mrs. Wendy McNeill, Director

 Since 2017, Mrs. Wendy McNeill has served as Director of Banyan School, responsible for the Elementary School, High School and LIFE Academy.  She joined Banyan School in 2014 as Principal of the Elementary School after a 38-year career in the Public School system.

Prior to joining Banyan School, Mrs. McNeill was the Director of Special Services in Little Falls for over 13 years.  In this capacity, she oversaw the academic needs of all students requiring special education, as well as the supervision and oversight of staff, operations, and budget.  Before becoming Director of Special Services, she was a Learning Disabilities-Teacher Consultant/Case Manager on the Child Study Team and a Special Education Teacher in Little Falls.

Mrs. McNeill is a past-President of the Passaic County Association of Special Services Administrators and she currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of Northern New Jersey.

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Elementary School

12 Hollywood Ave, Fairfield, NJ 07004

Monday-Friday : 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

High School & LIFE Academy

471 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424

Monday-Friday : 8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Phone & Email

Elementary School: (973) 439-1919
High School & LIFE Academy: (973) 785-1919

Elementary School at the Banyan School

Elementary School

Specialized, prescriptive multi-sensory programs designed to meet the needs of students with significant language-based learning disabilities.

High School at the Banyan School

High School

Structured curriculum that focuses on academic and social needs, while preparing students for the next phase of their education and life. 

LIFE Academy at the Banyan School

LIFE Academy

Emphasizes life and work skills for l8-to-21-year old students in a supportive environment that builds confidence and success.




What Parents are Saying!

"After struggling in our home district for 6 years, my son visited Banyan School and knew this was the school for him. The small class sizes and the dedicated teachers have made a world of difference. For a child with this type of disability, it has been critical to have teachers who are willing to talk to me and his private tutors to develop a coordinated approach to advance my son's learning. He reading skills have advanced 2-grade levels in a year. In addition to his academic growth, my son's confidence has improved. He loves to attend school!"

"I have struggled for many years to find the right school for my son, and Banyan was the only place that provided everything that I was looking for; an entire faculty who are more than willing to communicate with parents, a curriculum that suited my son, a fabulous PTO that includes family outings, and extra programs not found in other schools. My son is finally attending a school where he is accepted and understood."

"Banyan has a fantastic language program, using Wilson Learning to teach the children reading and language skills. Class sizes are very small (usually no more than 4 students) with personalized attention and extremely qualified and empathetic staff. They provide a great mixture of academic and social skills to help the students achieve their full potential. They also have a sister high school that goes beyond 12th grade and teaches life skills. Great program."

"Our Banyan experience has been wonderful; a structured environment highly focused on academics in a small group setting differentiating for each student. Exactly what our son who learns differently needed to learn to read. The dedicated staff makes learning fun, incorporates the social piece and communicate regularly with parents. We are most grateful for our time at Banyan."

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The Banyan Staff

"Our mission is to provide the students of Banyan School with a supportive environment that will foster both academic and social/emotional growth. We believe that all children can and will learn if given appropriate instruction. We strive to work to determine each student’s individual learning style, and to tailor a Banyan Program that will meet that child’s unique needs."

Mrs. Wendy McNeill – Director at Banyan School

Fundraising & Donate

Banyan programs are supported by tuition and donations made by parents, alumni, foundations, and corporations, as well as fundraising efforts like our Annual Golf Classic

Admissions Process

We invite parents, guardians, child study team members, attorneys, special needs advocates, and others to call the school and speak to our principals to disuss a student’s eligibility.

Information for Parents

Resources for parents and students, including: the student handbook, health and safety guidelines, parent release forms, medication forms and more.

Current Students

Years Established

Our HIB Specialists are: 

Nancy DiSalvo for the Elementary School

Angela Randion, LCSW for the High School & LIFE Academy

Get in Touch with Banyan

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