Y.A.L.E. School Northfield Campus

Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield campus (also known as the East campus) is located in Atlantic County, just west of Atlantic City. The program serves students 5 to 21 years of age with one or a combination of emotional, behavioral, social, or learning disabilities.

The Y.A.L.E. School Northfield Peace Labyrinth

Y.A.L.E. School Northfield just unveiled their Peace Labyrinth! The labyrinth is designed to allow students and community members a time of reflection, contemplation, and peace as they walk along its path.

Campus Description

Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield campus is located in Atlantic County, just west of Atlantic City. The program serves students 5 to 21 years of age with one or a combination of emotional, behavioral, social, or learning disabilities. Some students may have a clinical diagnosis of anxiety disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.), mood, personality, obsessive-compulsive, or oppositional defiant disorders, and/or specific learning disabilities. Most struggle with effective relationships with peers and adults.

The Northfield campus offers academic instruction that stresses applied behavior analysis (ABA). Activities focus on coordination of community–based mental health services and supports for both students and families.

Classrooms feature state-of-the art educational technology, including computers and specialized software for each student. Transition planning and transition services—including mentoring, job skills training, and practical experience in real world situations— are offered to older students as they prepare for life after graduation.

Standard 9 Transition Program at Linwood: 21st Century Work Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills (S9)

The Northfield Standard 9 Transition Program at Linwood meets the transition special education needs of continuing high school students ages 18 to 21 with employment or college aspirations. Participants have met all graduation requirements, but have not yet demonstrated transition readiness in one or more domains. With the guidance of a highly trained transition team and through a multi-tiered approach, students make systematic progress toward transition outcomes identified in their individual transition plan.

Work Readiness

The community-based emphasis of the Linwood S9 program provides job and career exposure and expands employment experience with workplace supports like job coaching or worksite mentoring to help students remedy deficit skill areas and gain confidence in their ability to succeed.

  • Internal paid jobs, like those in Green Vision, an on-site electronics recycling center, develop soft skills and assesses weaknesses that are subsequently addressed through instruction and practice.   
  • Field training at the Y.A.L.E. Co-op introduce students to a thriving entrepreneurial operation that affords them hands-on experiences and skill development using hi-tech equipment like a state-of the-art laser printer and professional direct-to-garment system accounts.
  • Through remote collaboration consistent with today’s business models, the Linwood S9 team also learns and contributes to Co-op departments with teams from other Y.A.L.E. S9 programs, including product development, graphic design using professional software, sales and marketing, order fulfillment, customer service, and basic accounting skills. 
  • Service learning shapes leaders and utilizes the skill set used across all transition domains, including work and college environments. As students gain experience setting goals, managing timelines, overcoming obstacles and working as a team, they develop an awareness of the community and their own ability to be change-makers, impacting others in a positive way. 
  • Strong community business partnerships in a variety of career clusters help S9 participants integrate into the working world, test their preparedness and solidify their skills through internships and paid jobs.

College Readiness

Students with college aspirations who have completed their high school requirements, but do not yet have the prerequisite skills to meet the demands of higher education, continue to prepare for college in the Northfield Standard 9 Transition Program.

  • Accuplacer scores are required to determine entry level into the program and develop a readiness plan.
  • Activities and strategies include systematic exposure to college expectations, procedures and resources through regular field experiences on the campus of area community colleges.
  • Participants refine career goals that require a two or four-year degree or certificate completion through exploration and exposure.
  • A peer-mentoring program with students at college level with demonstrated success in college studies provides support and guidance through in-person and remote check-ins, with frequency based on readiness factors determined by transition staff.
  • Students investigate scholarships, NJDVRS eligibility, student loan options and/or construct a part-time employment plan to prepare for the financial realities of a college education
  • The program cultivates college readiness through direct experience in a college setting, including making pre-college, remedial or college-level courses available to students as part of the program based on Accuplacer scores.
  • With college approval, Y.A.L.E. staff attends some classes gathering data on student acclimation to college classroom protocols and expectations. 
  • Participants prepare for disability disclosure by reviewing documentation needed for college accommodations and practicing self-advocacy to effectively communicate their needs in a college environment.
  • Students follow college procedures to obtain accommodations prior to entering a course and learn protocols for obtaining accommodations in subsequent semesters. 
  • S9 college readiness includes an emphasis on executive function skills for goal-setting, time-management, organization and planning, group presentation skills, as well as oral and written communication.

Transition Curriculum

All students in the program receive transition instruction, planning, and preparation across transition domains: employment, independent living, community participation, and future education and training as indicated in the student’s IEP. The flexible curriculum integrates ongoing transition assessments such as interest inventories with feedback on results to help the student make informed choices and develop self-awareness. The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) to monitor mastery and identify missing skills that the student most needs for success in various domains related to their personal goals and present levels of performance in program areas:

  

  • English – Students practice reading and writing skills for employment and/or independent living, including how to create resumes and cover letters, how to draft and critically review emails, and how to effectively communicate in any setting or conversation.
  • Financial Literacy – Students learn the mathematics skills needed both at work and in their independent lives, including money management, banking, payroll, and multi-step budgeting.
  •  Digital and Global Citizenship – In their journey to become responsible and active citizens, students become aware of their digital footprint and learn to expand their worldview.
  • 21st Century Life and Careers – Students explore different career paths and the training required to pursue gainful employment, as well as receive instruction for independent living. Disability awareness and self-advocacy tools across all domains prepare participants with skills and strategies to access supports and negotiate adult roles and responsibilities with a knowledge of the resources available to assist them.
  • Social Skills – Weekly skill development sessions are led by a clinician and focus on key skills such as stress reduction, conflict resolution, problem-solving, interpersonal communication, personal relationships and self-determination.
  • Health and Wellness – While meeting NJ DOE Requirements for health and physical education, activities and instruction focus on lifelong positive habits that promote independent responsibility for personal care, health maintenance and active lifestyles. 

Throughout the Standard 9 experience, Y.A.L.E. School provides a series of workshops and planning meetings to help families prepare for their young adult’s transition to independence. Before a student exits the S9 program, students, staff and parents/guardians work as a team to ensure that cross-agency connections are in place to maintain momentum and fortify positive outcomes. 

Interested in learning more about our transitional training program?

For more information about Linwood Standard 9, please call Lauren Kaminsky at (609) 677-9960 or email lkaminsky@yaleschoolnj.com.

For more information about the specific transition services offered at any of our campuses, please contact an admissions coordinator.

Y.A.L.E. School Northfield Team Leaders:

Alvin Doyle, Jr., M.Ed. – Campus Director at Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield Campus.

Al has been with the Y.A.L.E. family of programs for nearly 35 years.

He earned his master’s degree in education from Lehigh University and holds a principal certification in New Jersey, along with a teacher of the handicapped certification in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

A veteran educator, he is a strong advocate for at-risk children and youth. Al is deeply committed to building a community of support and works to build positive relationships with parents, law enforcement, and child advocacy organizations.

Kareem Spence, M. Ed. – School Counselor at Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield Campus

Kareem has been with the Y.A.L.E. family for five years and makes student success his main priority. He continues to build and support student skills, such as confidence and motivation, as a strong foundation.  He also values relationships and collaboration with other professionals as a means to help students succeed in all aspects of their school and life experiences.  His youth advocacy efforts not only include students at Y.A.L.E., but also young people in the surrounding community, where Kareem is a mentor and coach.

He earned his master’s degree in school counseling from Wilmington University.

Katharine Gutshall, MA, BCBA – Behavior Analyst at Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield Campus

Kate joined the Y.A.L.E. Northfield team in 2019.  She earned her master’s degree in human services psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In addition,  Kate is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Throughout her professional career, Kate has gained experience working in diverse environments developing and using strategies to allow youth to learn appropriate means of expressing their needs and desires.

Kate fully utilizes and contributes to the multi-disciplinary team approach that is highly valued at the Northfield campus. Because of this team, students can confidently rely on a strong network of adults who are invested in their success.

Noah McKay, M. Ed. – SLE Coordinator at Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield Campus

Noah has been with Y.A.L.E. School since 2006. He earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Bethany College and a master’s degree in school leadership from Wilmington University. Additionally, Noah holds a supervisor’s certification and is a certified SLE Coordinator, who cultivates and oversees structured learning experiences for students with business partners in the community

Noah was instrumental in establishing the Green Vision recycling program, a work-study program at Y.A.L.E.  He has delivered workshops in the areas of school wide positive behavior support, effective communication with parents, and building community relationships. As a school leader, Noah manages and organizes the operations of a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment, and also collaborates with families, district representatives, and the community to meet the individual needs of each student, especially as when preparing for jobs and careers.

Jacqueline Freund, B.A. – SLE Coordinator at Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield Campus

Jacquie has been with the Northfield Team since 2015. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Stockton University and is currently pursuing her master’s in education and learning disabilities as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant at Rutgers’s University. Jacquie holds a standard certification as teacher of supplemental mathematics and reading. She is also a certified SLE coordinator for the Northfield Campus. As an SLE Coordinator, Jacquie assesses student interests and abilities, and develops realistic goals targeting independent living, meaningful employment or volunteer activities, aimed at preparing students for post high school transition. Jacquie works hand-in-hand with community agencies and partnerships to cultivate relationships and longstanding employment opportunities for our students. She also supervises and supports Job Coaches by providing staff development opportunities, on-site training, behavioral support, and advocacy for student interns with a variety of community employers.

Jacquie has focused her teaching pedagogy on the importance of reaching students where they are, and ensuring their lives and backgrounds are reflected in the curriculum and in classroom conversations. She sees her classroom as a platform for empowering students to not only survive, but to thrive.

The Northfield campus offers:

  • Low student-to-staff ratio
  • Small classes limited to 8-10 students per class
  • All staff certified by NJDOE
  • Full time BCBA
  • Small group instruction
  • ABA-based instruction
  • Counseling services for students and families
  • A strong therapeutic focus
  • Data-based instruction and intervention
  • Social skills instruction
  • Ongoing program review
  • Curriculum that stresses academics, independence, social and communication skills
  • Community-based instruction
  • Extensive parent training and support
  • Opportunities to participate on athletic teams
  • Individualized transition planning and post-graduation placement
  • Frequent communication between school, home, and the referring district
  • An extended school year program
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • Job coaching, job placement and transition to higher education
  • School-wide positive behavior supports
  • Full time reading specialists
  • Wilson Certified Reading instructors
  • Telepsychiatry

Testimonials about Y.A.L.E. School Northfield

Mary Ann G.

Parent

“As a family, we feel blessed to have our 9-year-old attend Y.A.L.E. School. It has been such a pleasure. He is much calmer when “homework” time comes—the difference is beyond words. We never truly knew the role that special education could play in his success. Your finely-tailored program addresses his needs and then some. At times, he still needs redirection and those behaviors are met by the Y.A.L.E. School staff with encouragement and positive support. Also, your website offers tons of helpful suggestions for parents’ at-home use. Thank you for being a part of our lives.”

Tina C.

Parent

“My 14-year-old started struggling in school in fifth grade when he was put on many different medicines. He has had a roller coaster of moods and issues since. His old school was not understanding or helpful. Then he started Y.A.L.E. in eighth grade and it has been great! The staff is wonderful and go above and beyond to help my son stay in school and be successful. They keep me informed of how he is doing at all times and are very patient and understanding. He really likes everyone there and will continue at Y.A.L.E. through high school.”

Maria N.

Guardian

“My grandson has flourished at Y.A.L.E.! There are times when he gets upset but I feel especially this last year that his emotional needs have been met. He is growing into a positive young man and besides the home upbringing, rules and respect that he is expected to live up to, I truly feel the staff at Y.A.L.E. are definitely under appreciated for what they do for and with our children to help mold them into responsible citizens. Kudos to the Y.A.L.E. staff, all of whom are important — some who shine a little brighter for the extra effort. Thank you for allowing your kindness and teaching skills to touch not only my son’s life but our family’s as well.”

Latest Y.A.L.E. School Northfield news

Our Compass Transition Series is approaching, and you won’t want to miss it! Be sure to register for the upcoming events by using the Eventbrite button below.

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