I’ve gotten quite a bit of interest since announcing our trade school program.
Here’s a bit more info for parents and prospective students:
The school is the result of the shared vision of Tri County School staff and myself. They have been seeking ways to expand their services for at-risk teens, and I have been looking for ways to help autistic people find jobs. It seems like a perfect match.
We plan to open in September for the 2013-14 school year, subject to approval of this new campus by the state department of education. We expect to start by teaching basic auto mechanics, vehicle inspection, detailing and cleanup, and small engine repair. We hope to add landscape work later on.
The school will be staffed by legitimate, credentialed professionals but I will be there, lurking in the background, offering advice and chunks of fresh meat as needed. One of the best features of our school is that students will learn amongst real professionals practicing these same trades right next door. Our staff will visit for lectures and demonstrations and there will be apprenticeship opportunities galore. We want to create a real “learning from the old masters” environment, which is how the trades have been passed down for centuries. At the same time, we will accommodate the special needs of our at-risk student population.
Tri County is a long-established nonprofit private school. Students are referred there by local school districts, and tuition is generally paid by your local school district and other state agencies.
Kids in this program would alternate between Tri County’s Easthampton Campus and our new Trade Campus, in the Robison Service complex in Springfield, MA. For those of you who want to check us out by satellite image, the address is 343 Page Boulevard. It won’t be necessary to walk from school to school. We have buses. We’ve even got housing options, if you are far away but determined.