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Y.A.L.E. School: True Understanding

by Dr. Marijke Goossens for The Y.A.L.E. School Inc.; Photo credit and copyright: The Y.A.L.E. School Inc.

Y.A.L.E. School helps students achieve their personal best.

An innovator in special education since 1976, Y.A.L.E. School actively explores community settings and program models that help students with special needs achieve their personal best.

With nine campuses in central and southern New Jersey, Y.A.L.E.’s growth reflects the school’s commitment to developing resources that reflect a true understanding and expertise in educating individuals with special needs.

Responding to the demand for a specialized program for children with Asperger’s Disorder, Y.A.L.E. developed an innovative “private school within a public school” model twelve years ago. After a long-standing and amicable relationship with the Medford Lakes school district, Y.A.L.E.’s Medford campus elementary and middle school classrooms have relocated to nearby Medford Township. Now, three Y.A.L.E. middle school classrooms are housed in Memorial Middle school and one elementary classroom is located at Kirby’s Mill Elementary.

New Locations, New Opportunities
The move to the new locations has brought some exciting opportunities for students. The newer buildings are wired for WiFi and allow teachers to easily and quickly incorporate iPad technology into daily lessons. Y.A.L.E. students now have access to a large gym as well —adding variety to the physical education program. An impressive cafeteria welcomes them for lunch and socialization with their public school peers. This has introduced students to a number of valuable life skills as well, namely the use of pre-pay Café cards, which help develop budgeting skills when making food choices and payments.

The Medford public school teachers and students have welcomed Y.A.L.E. students into clubs and after school activities, such as the social Mix-It-Up-Club, the Intramural Cross Country Club, the Newspaper Club, and others. Students also access a spinning studio, using stationary bikes for cardio exercise, along with the adjoining all-purpose fitness room that also cultivates a healthy attitude toward wellness.

At Kirby’s Mill, elementary students have had access to the public school’s fully equipped art room for projects and lessons, and joined with their public school peers in the school-wide Halloween parade. Like all students in the building, our students’ birthdays are announced over the school intercom, and some of Y.A.L.E.’s young ambassadors have been invited to read morning announcements over the intercom.

The Y.A.L.E. School is excited to partner with Medford Township School District, and equally thrilled about the opportunities to expand social skill instruction, peer inclusion, and academic instruction. With the continued support and assistance of these public schools, Y.A.L.E. looks forward to a long and successful chapter at Memorial and Kirby’s Mill.

Y.A.L.E. School
(856) 795-4366 ext. 2

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 9 (November, 2011).
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