In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, students at the Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield Campus have the opportunity to explore careers associated with building trades. Through hands-on and community-based experiences, students learn about cabinet-making, decking, stair construction, lay-out designs, framing, door installations, building foundations, and interior and exterior home finishing.
The innovative program begins with the basics. After students demonstrate skills on an entry examination, they begin formal instruction in woodworking and building maintenance.
The skills taught within the academic curriculum and the Y.A.L.E. School’s social skills curriculum come together in the woodshop where students are required to work as a team. There they gain experience as planners of a project, suppliers or purchasers of materials, and then builders or manufacturers. “The skills gained from the classroom and applied in the woodshop will last a lifetime,” said Mike Palombi, the instructor for the program.
Once students demonstrate the ability to complete the rigorous training modules in school, instruction moves from the campus to the community. Just as high school graduates receive their diploma on graduation day, these exceptional students receive their very own tool belt with professional tools!
Eventually these students will complete special projects in the community. This transition from classroom to the real world will provide the valuable exposure leading to a one-of-a-kind learning experience.
Prior to completing their senior year, students chose from several post-high school placement options. Students may elect to enroll into a two-year community college program, a four-year institution, or qualify for a unique placement in a career-training program such as Carpentry, Masonry, HVAC, Iron Workers, Roofers, Pipe Trades, and Finishing Trades.
“The program not only gets students ready for the world of work, it is work. One of the wonderful aspects of these programs is that students are paid while they are trained in their respective field,” said Palombi.