Theodore Roosevelt School

Skip to main content
Mr. Ralph Ardito » Home


About The Teacher

Mr. Ardito graduated from Saint Peter’s University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and earned a Master of Arts degree in Special Education from New Jersey City University. He holds certifications in both Elementary Education and Special Education.

In 1981, Mr. Ardito was selected by an independent committee to implement the pilot special education program in the Weehawken School District. His successful endeavor resulted in the establishment of the District’s first class for children with disabilities. Mr. Ardito’s program was also one of the first of its kind to integrate special  education students with their chronological age peers in the regular classes. Among other innovations that Mr. Ardito was responsible for were: the selection of a basal reading series ideally suited to special needs children, the introduction of day-by-day lesson planning, and the design of the original special education report card. As a strong advocate of independent reading, Mr. Ardito introduced many of his students to the public library, and was the first and only teacher to schedule class visits on a regular weekly basis.

In 1998, Mr. Ardito was nominated for the Teacher of the Year award. The nomination by his principal was in recognition for the managerial, organizational, and instructional skills that he exemplified teaching special education at Daniel Webster School.

After 21 years of teaching a self-contained special education class, Mr. Ardito started the Resource Center program at Theodore Roosevelt School, and has been teaching in that position since 2002.

In addition to his position as the Resource Center teacher, Mr. Ardito also serves as an active member and case manager on the I & RS and 504 committees, whose responsibility it is to advise and assist parents, teachers, and their students when problems arise in the regular classroom.


Mission For The Class

Mr. Ardito strives to provide special needs children with personalized instruction in a comfortable, relaxed environment in which they can achieve academic progress, and experience success. As a special education teacher, he recognizes that normalcy is unique to each of his students. Mr. Ardito understands and accepts their individual levels of functioning, rates of progress, and learning styles. He plans a consistent and orderly sequence of activities for them, while modifying his instruction according to their needs and abilities.

Frequently Asked Questions 

This section contains answers to common questions of students and parents.

1.Why are some students assigned a Pass/Fail grade instead of regular one?

2.Why are your assignments different than those required in the regular class?

3.How were my child's educational needs determined?

4.Am I responsible for the mathematics assignments given in the regular class?

5.I couldn't do an assignment for my homeroom teacher. Will this affect my grade?

6.I have a child who needs special education. How can I help him?


Why are some students often assigned a Pass/Fail grade instead of a regular one?

A Pass/Fail grading system allows a student the opportunity to take subjects in the regular class without the anxiety or fear of receiving a poor grade. The student usually receives a grade that is based on effort, and not on his or her ability or performance in a particular area.

Why are your assignments different than those required in the regular class?

Resource Center is a pull-out program for special education students, not to be confused with Basic Skills. The materials, assignments, and instruction that your child receives in math, reading, and language are designed to meet his or her individualized educational need 

How were my child's educational needs determined?

An educational and psychological evaluation determined that your child qualified for special education. The result of that evaluation was his IEP. It contains data regarding your child's academic levels, strengths and weaknesses, and other confidential information that is pertinent to his education.

Am I responsible for the mathematics assignments given in the regular class?

No. As professionals, teachers respect the academic responsibilities, prerogatives, and expertise of their colleagues. As the Resource Center teacher, I am responsible for instruction in mathematics to the special education students who are placed in the mainstream. I wouldn't expect teachers in the regular class to be teaching my students mathematics anymore than they would expect me to be teaching subjects that are the responsibility of the homeroom teacher.


I couldn't do an assignment for my homeroom teacher. Will this affect my grade?

The answer depends on several things. If you are receiving instructionin either reading, language, or mathematics in a Resource Center, then you would not be expected to be doing the exact same work as the other students in the regular class. Such an assignment would not count towards your grade because I would be the only teacher grading you in those areas. However, if you received an assignment from the regular class teacher in a subject for which you are responsible to her, then it is possible that your grade in that area would be affected. If you did not seek help, and failed to make any effort to do the assignment, then you should not expect to receive a satisfactory grade.

I have a child who needs special education. How can I help him? 

Be understanding. Many parents mistakenly believe that their child could have done better if only he had tried harder, or applied himself more.  Even if that were to be true on occasion, a child’s lack of effort would not cause a disability of any kind.  Be supportive and offer encouragement. Years of frustration and failure often result in poor ego development. As a special education teacher, I strive to rebuild a child’s self-esteem by providing him with opportunities to achieve success. As a parent, you can do your part to reinforce that by offering encouragement for your child’s effort, and praising him for his work. It is important to remember that your son’s social and emotional well-being is just as important - if not more important - than his academic development.  Be consistent with school attendance. All children need consistency and continuity in their education. This is particularly true for special needs students for whom temporary changes in staff and routine can be very unsettling. I have often pointed out to other teachers, parents, and students that there are only 180 days of school. That is less than one-half a year.  I do my part to set an example for my students by being there every day for them. As a parent, you can do the same by avoiding unnecessary absence from school. All personal and social planning should be relegated to vacation periods. To do otherwise would be unfair to your child, and counter productive to his education.  Provide structure and routine for your child. All children need structure in their lives. We provide it the classroom, and encourage you to do so at home as well. You can do your part by setting aside a period of time each day during which your son is required to study and complete his homework assignments. Make certain that he observes his schedule, and understands that all other activities are secondary in importance.  Provide an environment that is conducive to work and study. When it comes to homework, your child should have an area that is free from auditory and visual distractions. There should be no toys, video games, or other objects of interest in his workspace. It should be quiet, comfortable, and well-lit.  As always, natural daylight is preferable to flourescent lighting.  Provide for your child’s physical well-being. Make certain that he follows a regular bedtime schedule on school nights, and gets at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Because breakfast is the most important meal of the school day, it is crucial that it include some form of protein.  Simple carbohydrates should be kept to a minimum because of their effect on blood sugar. If your child is required to take medication in the morning, be sure to avoid any form of citrus for at least one hour from the time the medication is taken. It is also important that your child gets at least a half-hour of physical exercise each day. This will have physiological effects that are beneficial, resulting in a reduction in stress and anxiety, increased alertness, and improvements in your child’s mood and ability to focus.  Finally, support your child’s teacher. Professionals such as myself, have had many years of experience teaching children of all ages, grade levels, and disabilities. We chose this vocation to help children such as yours, but cannot be totally effective without your support.




There is a significant amount of diversity in the levels of academic ability and achievement that come from each grade. In fact, it is not unusual for several students from the same class to have different assignments. Because of this, all assignments are individualized whenever necessary.  My students know their obligation:  All assignments begun in class must be completed for homework and submitted the next school day.



My students are required to practice their reading assignments every night. It is helpful if a parent or older sibling is available to follow along and listen to the child as he or she reads from the text. As always,  independent practice is encouraged. In addition, the children reading on higher levels have specialized vocabulary sheets that they are required to study for almost every story that they read.



Language assignments vary, depending on the material and current activities that we doing in class.  At times, my students will have an assignment sheet to do.  It may be either one that I have written specifically for them, a page that has been reproduced from their Practice Workbook, or other material that I have extracted from a wide variety of texts and sources that I use. In addition,  throughout the year, the children are given study sheets that I write myself.  They are intended to reinforce what is being taught in class, and should be reviewed every night.

In addition to the above-mentioned assignments, my students are required to practice their spelling words four times each on a nightly basis.  Each of their lists is individualized with the addition of nonphonetic 'red words' that require rote memorization.



Students who receive in-class support from me in the area of mathematics are mainstreamed in a regular education class for that subject.  However, they are still responsible for the same assignments that are given to the regular education students.  These assignments, while given by the regular math teacher in that class, are modified at my discretion.  In addition to doing the written homework assignments required by their homeroom teacher, the students are also expected to review their math notebooks on a nightly basis. Students who receive math instruction in a resource room setting are expected to study their basic number facts nightly.  The third graders, for example, should be concerned with knowing their addition and subtraction facts; the fourth graders should be learning their multiplication facts up to 9 X 9.  In addition to independent study, all resource room students who haven't finished their classwork assignment should do so for homework.

Finally, it is important to remember that regardless of where a student is being served, a certain amount of independent study on the part of each child is required in order to learn and master the material being covered in class.




Any student who is having difficulty, or in need of extra help, is welcome to come in after school. I am usually available to my students Monday through Friday, from 3:00PM to 4:30PM. In the event that I am already scheduled for a tutorial on a day that a child stops by, I will make arrangements to see that student the following day. I am also available in the morning from 7:35AM until 8:05AM. There may be occasions when I deem it particularly urgent that a child receive special help. In such instances, I will require the student to see me during the second half of their lunch period, so that he or she can beassured of receiving the extra help that is needed.


 Class Schedule




8:40 - 9:25

Reading (Resource)

5th  209  Monday-Friday

9:25 - 10:10

Language (Resource)

5th  209  Monday-Friday

10:10 - 10:55




Social Studies/Science (ICS)

5th  206  Monday-Friday 


Social Studies/Science (ICS)

5th  207  Monday-Friday



1:10 - 1:55

Mathematics (Resource)

5th  206

1:55 - 2:40

Classroom Consultation

5th  204

Note:  Math and Classroom Consultation periods have been switched on Wed, Thur, and  Fri due to issues with the schedule.




 PBS Kids


Fun Brain


Surfing the Net with Kids


National Geographic for Kids




Ask Jeeves for Kids


Enchanted Learning




Discovery Kids


Time for Kids


Cool Math 4 Kids