Y.A.L.E. School NJ Northfield Campus

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 old 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.

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

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

Vocational Preparation at Northfield Campus

Developing job and career awareness as well as the skills needed for competitive employment is a priority at the Northfield campus. Our well-rounded skills training and school-to-work program ensures that students have opportunities to transfer what they have learned to actual work settings. Work-based learning environments are designed to offer an increasing level of challenge and responsibility in a variety of school and community settings. Job coaching and mentoring is provided to monitor progress and provide feedback for continued improvement.

On Campus:

  • Green Vision – electronics dismantling
  • Industrial Arts – woodworking, design, assembly, and carpentry
  • Tiny House – pre-trade skills
  • Internal paid jobs in a variety of departments
  • Service learning opportunities for leadership development
  • Weekly interest-based clubs for exploring and developing skills, strengths and preferences

Off Campus:

  • Community internships through business partnerships
  • Paid jobs with local employers

Field training:

  • Older students in the Northfield Standard 9 program also participate in training at the Y.A.L.E. Co-op, a thriving entrepreneurial operation that affords them hands-on business experience and skill development using high-tech equipment like a state-of the-art laser printer, and professional direct-to-garment printing and embroidery.

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

The Northfield Standard 9 Transition Program 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.

Learn more about the program here.

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

Alvin Doyle, Jr., M.Ed. – Campus Director

Al has been with the Y.A.L.E. family of programs since 1982. 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

Kareem has been with the Y.A.L.E. family since 2014 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

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. A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, 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. She 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. – Structured Learning Experiences (SLE) Coordinator

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, cultivating and overseeing 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 schoolwide 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. – Structured Learning Experiences (SLE) Coordinator

Jacquie has been with Y.A.L.E. School Northfield 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 University. Jacquie holds a standard certification as teacher of supplemental mathematics and reading. She is also a certified SLE coordinator for Northfield, assessing student interests and abilities, and developing realistic goals targeting independent living, meaningful employment or volunteer activities. Jacquie works hand-in-hand with community agencies and partners to cultivate relationships and longstanding employment opportunities for 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 work 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.