Photo of WELS North students

Work Experience Life Skills (WELS) North serves students ages 18-21 who have emotional behavioral disorders (EBD), autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and developmental cognitive disabilities (DCD).

WELS North prepares students to progress toward graduation at an individual pace. Our students experience intensive special education services so they can participate as fully and independently as possible in school, at home and in the community.

Vision: WELS-N is a supportive and respectful transitional community; inspiring student ownership and achievement through individualized instruction. 

We succeed by:

  • Modeling and teaching prosocial behaviors in all interactions.

  • Providing engaging  instruction linked to transition standards. 

  • Guiding students to create realistic and achievable goals instilling ownership in their future.

  • Recognizing and celebrating accomplishments as a community.

  • Creating a safe, consistent and predictable environment.

Our approach

Staff work in close partnership with the young adults, their families and community providers so students can to achieve a smooth and meaningful transition to adult life. Our students:

  • Develop daily living, work, and recreational skills to prepare them for graduation and beyond

  • Enjoy a calm learning environment with tools for effective communication, social-emotional skills and self-regulation

  • Make clear connections between what they learn in school and what they need to succeed

  • Experience individualized instruction based on their unique strengths, interests and learning styles

  • Are treated with respect, dignity and compassion by teachers and staff

Additional services and benefits

  • Small class sizes

  • Highly structured classroom settings

  • Partnerships with families and community providers

  • Work experience opportunities

  • Speech, occupational, and physical therapy

  • Social workers and mental health support

  • Nursing

  • The latest in educational and assistive technology

  • Customized graduation plans and individualized educational plans (IEPs)

  • Optional coursework at the Career & Tech Center
WELS North logo

Work Experience Life Skills (WELS) North
3500 Willow Lake Blvd #500
Vadnais Heights, MN 55110 (map)

(p): 651-415-6280
(f): 651-415-6299
(e): [email protected]

Staff directory

School hours:

Monday - Friday
7:50 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

School leaders

Kristin Salava
[email protected]

Mary Moore 
Assistant Manager
[email protected]

Jennifer Drummond
Assistant Manager
[email protected]

Kelly Meir
Assistant Manager
[email protected]