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.
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.
April Spanicciati, M.A.
April Spanicciati is the provisional principal at Y.A.L.E. School’s Northfield Campus, where she assists with curriculum development, lesson planning, classroom activities, and oversees transition planning. Deeply committed to excellence, April works with teachers and staff to ensure program fidelity and to increase student achievement.
April holds a master’s degree in school leadership from Wilmington University and a bachelor’s degree in childhood education and special education from the College of Saint Rose. She is certified in New Jersey as a teacher of the handicapped (K-12) and holds a provisional principal certification. In addition, she is certified in New York as a teacher in early childhood and special education.
With more than a decade of experience, April is known for her strong commitment to the development of students and staff, and for providing a stimulating, safe, and motivating learning environment. She understands the importance of using evidence-based strategies and the need to involve families and community organizations to foster student learning and development. She has led teacher trainings to improve academic instruction and student learning, and facilitated the implementation of a School-Wide Positive Behavioral Support Program.
As the school’s transition coordinator, April supervises the 21st Century Life and Careers instruction and works closely with teachers, students, and families to develop exit plans for graduating students.
“I am very proud of last spring’s graduating class. In our 2015-2016 school year, all seniors graduated and are currently enrolled in two and four year colleges,” April noted.
Before taking on a supervisory role at Y.A.L.E., April was the high school science teacher, where she provided instruction in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Anatomy and Physiology.
Her work has been recognized by others. In 2013, The Council of Private Schools for Children with Special Needs presented her with the Ruth K. Newman Award for Excellence in recognition of her outstanding contribution and dedication to providing educational services to children with special needs.
Prior to joining Y.A.L.E. in 2010, April was a special education teacher in Ewing, NJ and was a youth habilitation specialist in Syracuse, NY where she served adolescents with mental and developmental disabilities.
April’s current career aspirations are to become a school principal. She is currently completing coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through Temple University, and plans to pursue her doctorate in education leadership.
The Northfield campus offers:
- Low student-to-staff ratio
- Small classes limited to 8-10 students per class
- Highly-qualified teachers
- 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
- Trips and activities in the community
- 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