Mrs. Sara Marino 

Mrs. Marino is excited to be a part of the Franklin Lakes School District! She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from William Paterson University in 2014 as the K-6 Distinguished Student Teacher. In 2018 Mrs. Marino earned her Masters in Inclusive (special education) from Montclair State University. Mrs. Marino is currently taking additional post-masters courses at Montclair State University for a supervisor certification. 

Mrs. Marino started her career in education in 2014 at a private school located in Nutley, NJ as a third grade general education teacher. During her time as a general education teacher she realized she wanted to go back to school for special education to learn how to better assist her students with special needs. In 2016 Mrs. Marino switched schools and roles and worked at Paterson Public Schools as a Special Education/Resource teacher. In 2016 Mrs. Marino worked with resource students in second and third grade. In 2017-2018 Mrs. Marino was switched to the upper grades and worked with students in grades five and six. Since the 2018 school year Mrs. Marino has taught resource to students in kindergarten and first grade. She started teaching in Franklin Lakes during the 2022-2023 school year, and perviously went by her maiden name "Ms. Smarth."

Mrs. Marino has training in Orton-Gillingham that she enjoys using daily in the classroom! Mrs. Marino loves acts of kindness and has had a "kindness corner" in every classroom she's had! She encourages students to "tootle" (positive tattles) about acts of kindness they see. Mrs. Marino prides herself on providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for learning!

Philosophy of Education 

Philosophy of the Special Education Program in the Franklin Lakes School District

“If he cannot learn the way we teach, we had better teach the way he can learn"

                                                                                                                               - Robert Buck

The special Education teachers of Franklin Lakes Public Schools believe in success for all children.  We are dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment in which each child has the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential.  Learning is an individual process in which each child will have the optimum opportunity to develop academically, socially, and emotionally.  We strive to foster individual strengths while developing areas in need of more support.  We support students through a variety of specialized instructional strategies, techniques and materials.

The teachers in the Franklin Lakes Special Education Program focus on student achievement through the implementation of scientifically research-based curriculum that reflects best practices in special education.  Comprehensive assessments are also used in order to establish data-driven goals and objectives to guide individual student success.  The IEP is the cornerstone of the student’s program.  We implement the IEP to meet the specific needs of each student in our programs.  We are consistently mindful of the specific accommodations and modifications that will help our students reach success in both special and general education programs.

As a group, we philosophically believe in the movement to give special needs students’ greater access to general education classes.  Our goal is to strengthen our relationship with our general education colleagues through the in-class support model.  The establishment of this partnership, while maintaining our identity as special educators, will create greater opportunities for student success now and in the future.  We are committed to excellence and making a significant difference in the lives of students challenged by the classroom setting.

The Resource Program is a replacement program for Reading, Language Arts, and Math. We work with small groups of students in grade levels K-5. The teachers use the IEP, Individualized Educational Plan, to meet and accommodate the needs of all students in these subject areas. Along with individualized instruction, the regular classroom curriculum is used. Daily communication with classroom teachers reinforces and develops a team effort to ensure a successful learning experience for each student.

Resource teachers are also involved in collaborative classes at various grade levels and content areas. They work with the classroom teachers to design and implement lessons that are suited to different ability levels and learning styles. The role of the co-teacher is to provide accommodations and modifications as needed to assist students with IEPs to be successful in their mainstream academic studies.  Having two certified professionals in the collaborative classroom is a great benefit to all students involved in this educational model.