Our Parlin campus — like all New Road Schools — operates as its own Micro-community, here called New Road Square, complete with a town center and classrooms fashioned as storefronts and businesses that provide real services to our campus community, parents and in some cases the general public. Under the supervision of staff, each is run and staffed entirely by students.
Here students participate in learning on campus experiences focusing on office skills, retail sales, culinary arts, bakery, beauty salon with an awareness of cosmetology services, floral design, introduction to graphics, horticulture, a fulfillment center for packaging, production and finally computer sessions include coding, data entry, development of the newsletter and activity flyers. In New Road Square’s production area, commercial grade equipment such as engravers, embroidery and mug machines, heat presses and embossers along a with a 3-D printer are used in conjunction with graphic design to create and produce products for promotion and sales.
The New Road Square career/transition program identifies goals to accomplish for each grade level and each area experience. These career sampling goals focus on high school, however, our 7th and 8th grade students are introduced to these career areas through a mentoring opportunity. The career sampling/transition program allows students to obtain knowledge and an awareness of each career through a semester rotation schedule. Yearly, and as students progress through high school, career and transition goals change, increasing in intensity and the amount of time students spend weekly in the program. All career classes for the high school students are one hour in length.
Our Shop Rite Program enables all of the students the opportunity to gain a strong awareness of a real store on a small scale. Our oldest students run this business, and they have the unique opportunity to acquire skills in stocking, fronting/facing materials, placing orders, setting up shelves, applying price tickets, operating the register, and troubleshooting problems. The students maintain the ShopRite on a rotating basis, all students are introduced to all positions of the store. The students engage with customers (staff, students and parents) within the building, encouraging appropriate conversational and social skills.
Horticulture extends students’ science class learning to the operation of our full greenhouse, located in our Parlin school building. Students maintain all greenhouse plants, as well as several raised beds and large garden containers on a weekly basis.
The Florist thrives on the Square, with weekly sessions that help students develop appropriate floral skills used in commercial shops. Students are introduced to storage, ordering, proper floral care, and preparation of flower arrangements of various sizes for orders.
The New Road Bank, located in the Square also involves our oldest students within the building that are maintaining the bank. Our community bank, Provident, assisted in the development and organization of this new venture. The students coordinate with the Shop Rite schedule, the teachers input the students earnings for the week and the students enter the bank to receive vouchers to purchase various items at the Square. The bank also introduces money management and math literacy.
Culinary Arts is a full-featured food lab, introducing students to basic kitchen safety, food safety, microwave cooking, menu planning for the school, and simple meal preparation which will eventually lead to independent cooking. The students are also developing skills in placing orders, checking in stock, assembling lunches and appropriate kitchen management.
The Bakery is operational on a modified schedule and the students eagerly await the chance to bake. They acquire skills that are also relating to measurement, following a recipe, and focusing on time management. Of course the end result, tasting the sweets, is enjoyed by all.
Our Office Skills class provides copying services for the entire school building. Students gain knowledge in the operation of and maintenance of the copy machines, replacing paper, adding toner cartridges and identifying and resolving errors. This class also offers opportunities to learn different computer programs that support our vinyl cutter and color banner-poster machine. Students acquire skills in binding booklets, shredding and printing and delivery of all materials.
In our Production Area, skills taught in the classroom are used in real-life applications. Measurement, keyboarding, completing order forms, task completion, and workspace neatness are taught. An array of merchandising items are produced — from mugs to t-shirts — using heat press, embroidery and embossing machines. The computer-operated machines allow students to learn basic graphic design using Photoshop, develop their own original designs, and practice measurement and placement skills on the machines.
One of our busiest areas is our community partnership with the Pop-in Café in the East Brunswick Square Mall. Our student are excited about this real business relationship. They are all involved in producing labels for the Cafe’s cans and bags, and repackaging and delivering the product.
New Road Square includes a Fulfillment Center to help students develop time on task skills. Students complete orders supplied to us from outside businesses, acquiring essential skills needed to gain successful employment in the future.
New Road Square also introduces the students to Salon Services, where they may acquire skills in simple nail and hair care. Initially the students learn one-on-one with a certified beautician, and later move on to assisting other students with their nail and hair care.