Summer Work & Learning

North River Collaborative’s Summer Work and Learning Program continues to be an innovative summer program offering a broad range of transitional, academic and vocational services for students between the ages of 14-21 with intellectual impairments, developmental disabilities, behavioral challenges and autism.

Academic tutoring is provided to prevent a substantial regression of skills.

Students are referred to the program through the Special Education Director from the student’s local school district.

Female Student in Class
Boy at Work SUmmer

Program Description 

The program is designed for students to attend one or more summers and is differentiated for students ages 14-17 and 18-21. The program is located at Abington High School and at nearby job sites. A broad range of transitional services are integrated with academic support and remediation through hands-on instruction. There is strong focus on health and fitness for life in and out of the classroom. Varied opportunities for work experiences in retail, horticultural, building maintenance, shipping and receiving, office practices and food service are available for all students. Students begin each day in small groups. Daily goals are identified to support success in the classroom, at job sites or acquiring independent living skills.

    Focus of Program

    The focus throughout the program will be the development of essential transition skills and vocational readiness skills including:

    • Attention to task
    • Ability to ask for help when needed
    • Judgment and problem solving skills
    • Initiative
    • Stamina and endurance for work
    • Ability to follow simple and multi-step directions
    • Ability to adapt to changes in the routine
    • Ability to sequence tasks
    • Ability to handle constructive feedback
    • Appropriate social interaction with peers and supervisors
    • Personal hygiene and dress appropriate to the work place
    • Safety awareness and practices

    Academic tutoring will focus on specific student needs and foundational skills in the Massachusetts Work-based Learning Plans, as appropriate.

    Daily Schedule

    Students ages 14-17 will participate each day in a variety of pre-vocational activities such as woodworking, food services, office practices, building maintenance and functional academic activities. Instruction in life skills for independent living include:

    • Daily Living Skills (managing money; use of common household tools/appliances; time manage-ment; health and safety; basic meal preparation; leisure/recreation activities; community experiences)
    • Social Thinking Skills
    • Health and Fitness Skills
    • Job Exploration Skills (exploring opportunities and job placement; developing and maintaining appropriate work skills and behavior)


    • Job site opportunities will be offered based on skills and site availability.
    • Academic tutoring will ensure instructional support to prevent substantial regression of skills.

    Students ages 18-21 will report to job sites (based on interest and site availability) to explore career interests, gain vocational skills and apply academic skills to real world settings. Other days will include career training opportunities, travel training and participation in leisure/recreational activities which address health and fitness topics. Academic tutoring will focus on MA Curriculum Frameworks learning gaps in order to address substantial regression of skills.


    Abington High School
    201 Gliniewicz Way,
    Abington, MA 02351

    Other Local Job sites


    Nancy Verseckes
    Program Coordinator
    Phone: 781-878-6056 ext. 107

    Phil Buckley