Welcome New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to America’s first trade school! We are excited to have you join our community this fall, and look forward to seeing you grow and develop your skills during your time training with us.

Here you’ll find information about what we need to get you started, how to prepare for your first day, and what to expect in the first few weeks of school. Please bookmark this page and refer to it as needed as we approach the start date.

Please note that the first day of class is Wednesday, September 7, with a required orientation for new students that begins at 10:00 am on Tuesday, September 6.

New Student Orientations are designed to help you get familiar with the School. You’ll have the opportunity to meet NBSS staff, faculty, and your fellow students, remotely and then in-person. We will also be covering health and safety protocols. Please plan to attend both events.

  • Virtual Welcome: Learn more about NBSS, meet other students, and ask questions of our staff. Join the Virtual Welcome on Monday, August 8 from 10:00-10:45 am ET. Watch a recording of the full event, including the Q&A.
  • New Student Orientation: An in-person event that takes place the day before School officially starts. Join us on Tuesday, September 6 from 11:00 am–1:00 pm at our School facility, 150 North Street, Boston, MA 02109. 
  • Official first day: Your first day of training on Wednesday, September 7 will begin at different times according to your program hours, listed below. 
  • Local tours: We are offering optional guided, small group tours of our building and of the North End neighborhood before Orientation, on Tuesday, September 6 from 9:00-11:00 am.

Keeping our community healthy, safe, and productive is the work of everyone at our School. Here’s what we need from you as part of this effort:

  1. Required Vaccination: We require full vaccination against Covid-19 for all faculty, staff, and students. If you have not done so already, please complete this certification form by Monday, August 8, 2022.*
  2. Review Health & Safety Protocols: Our Covid-19 protocols have been extremely effective in mitigating the spread of illness at NBSS. Please familiarize yourself with these via our Health & Safety webpage. There are acknowledgement questions included in the Incoming Student Info form, which you should also fill out by August 8.

*Note: Exemption requests to the vaccine are considered on a case-by-case basis for those with a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief and practice. Medical exemptions may require a letter from a physician, religious exemptions require a letter from a member of clergy. Exemptions must be requested by Monday, August 8, which is one month before starting school. To request an exemption, please contact provost@nbss.edu.

Please fill out this Incoming Student Information Form by Monday, August 8, 2022. We must have this information from you before the start of school.

During your time at NBSS, we’ll communicate with you in a variety of ways, including emails and occasional texts, especially for weather-related cancellations or delays. You’re responsible for reading and understanding communications sent to you by NBSS. If your contact information changes (including email, mailing address, or cell phone number), please share it with us so you do not miss important notifications.

Students have the option of purchasing a semester-long (Sep–Dec) MBTA pass from the School at an 11% discount. The deadline to order your pass is Monday, August 1, 2022.
 
To sign up, first review this order form for your cost by zone. Then either complete the order form and return with a check made out to NBSS, or make a payment directly through our online payment portal. If you have any questions, please contact studentlife@nbss.edu.

Daily Transit Resources

Check out information on our website to help with your commute. Given how difficult to find and expensive parking is in the North End, we recommend using public transportation if possible. Here are some transit tips:

  • Use the MBTA Trip Planner to find your route options from home to school, including the type of Monthly Pass you’ll need.
  • Find MBTA Maps here, including subway, bus, and Commuter Rail.

Attendance

The building opens at 7:00 am on weekdays. This gives you time to get here and get settled in before class begins. We’ll use a proximity card reader at the front desk to take attendance once you’ve been issued a student ID card. Please be aware that your attendance is tracked and recorded on your transcript. We’re educating you for employment and, for future employers, your attendance record at NBSS translates to reliability during employment. Treat your time here as if it is your job, arriving on-time (or early), working hard, and communicating with us if you’re having trouble getting here.

Auxiliary Aids & Academic Adjustments

To better ensure that your training will be the best it can be, please contact provost@nbss.edu if there are any reasonable accommodations that you require (adaptations for your learning style, physical limitations, etc.) while you’re in school. In order to begin the process for possible accommodations your request must go through proper channels.

Student Support

Our School offers virtual career workshops, individual appointments, and other assistance to support you while attending NBSS. In addition to general resources, we provide the following:

  • Mental health counselors from North End Waterfront Health will be hosting virtual office hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30pm – 5:50pm in order to support student health and wellness. Stay tuned for more information about how to virtually access these services.
  • A food pantry provides students with access to healthy food. Located outside of the Admissions suite on floor 1N it provides a range of snacks, soups, and ingredients for larger meals. Please take only what you need.

Bicycles

For those planning to ride a bicycle to school, you are strongly encouraged to use a high quality lock (such as Kryptonite) when securing your bike. NBSS is not responsible for any bikes or bike equipment that may be stolen. Also, please note that bikes are not allowed in the building. There are two outdoor options: a vertical bike rack in the courtyard against the wall next to the ramp to the back entrance, and a rack on North Street, just across the street from the School’s front entrance.

Student IDs

All students are issued an identification card at the beginning of their program start date. ID cards may be used for student discounts and will be used to track attendance. If you have not already done so, please make sure that you include a photo when you submit the Incoming Student Information Form, as this photo will be used to create your student ID.

Daily Transit

Check out information on our website to help with your commute. Given how difficult to find and expensive parking is in the North End, we recommend using public transportation if possible. Here are some transit tips:

  • Use the MBTA Trip Planner to find your route options from home to school, including the type of Monthly Pass you’ll need.
  • Find MBTA Maps here, including subway, bus, and Commuter Rail.
  • Alert: The Orange Line will be shut down from August 19 to September 19 for repairs and upgrades. Check out the latest here.

Resources

Program-Specific Details + Tool Kits

Below are program-specific details that will help you prepare for your first day. Please contact admissions@nbss.edu for any general questions. For questions related to tool kits, please contact Kristen Odle in our store at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.

Class Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Bookbinding faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • We’ve put together a Bookbinding Starter Tool Kit which can be purchased through our online Store, to facilitate a smooth program entrance for first semester students. The kits are the easiest way to get tooled up with essentials. This list has been reviewed by your instructor and will provide you with a solid foundation as you begin. You should expect other purchases of materials and tools outside of this starter kit.
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • We recommend not purchasing any tools beyond the Starter Tool Kit before your program begins. If you already own tools and want to bring them with you, Jeff will help you reconcile them with the full Tool List.

On the first day you will only need a few things:

  1. Note taking materials
  2. Closed toed shoes (always in the bindery)
  3. Padlock for your locker

GBW Membership

We suggest that you join The Guild of Book Workers (GBW), which is an excellent organization with many educational and networking opportunities. Student memberships are very reasonable. As a member of the national organization you may also join any of the regional chapters for only $10 each. The New England Chapter is very active.

Books

For those that just can’t wait to get started on school work here are some fantastic August beach reads:

  • Middleton, Bernard. History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique. This is a very detailed book that you may find overwhelming at first but you will find yourself consulting this book many times over the course of your career.
  • Miller, Julia. Books Will Speak Plain: A Handbook for Identifying and Describing Historical Bindings. The first several chapters are an easy read for an overview of the history of bookbinding. Good foundation to start the program with some context.
  • Szirmai, J. A. The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Read chapters 1 through 4 and Chapter 10 to start. That will really help you within the first few weeks of school!

Class Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Cabinet & Furniture Making faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • We’ve put together a Cabinet & Furniture Making Starter Tool Kit List which can be purchased through our online store, to facilitate a smooth program entrance for first semester students. The kits are recommended as the easiest way to get tooled up with essentials. 
  • This list has been reviewed by your instructors and will provide you with the required tools for the first few weeks of instruction. You can expect additional purchases throughout the program.
  • Your instructor will be reviewing a full Tool List during the first few days of class. We recommend not purchasing any tools beyond the Starter Tool Kit before your program begins. 
  • Those of you who already own tools may bring them in on the first day of class so that we can review them with you, or you may wait until we’ve reviewed the tool list in class. You will receive fair warning when specific tools are necessary so that you will have time to purchase them and bring them to class.
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.

You will need to have the following items for the first day of class. Note: if you purchase the Starter Kit, items 4-8 are included in the kit.

  1. A loose leaf 3-ring binder for handouts
  2. Paper or a notebook for taking notes
  3. Pencil or pen for taking notes
  4. Drafting pencil or lead and holder in 4H hardness
  5. Eraser: Paper Mate® Pink Pearl and/or Mars® Plastic
  6. Erasing shield
  7. Drafting Triangles: 30/60/90 & 45 degree (standard size 10”-12”)
  8. Architect’s Drafting Scale: 12”
  9. Everyone will be assigned a locker; you need to provide the lock.

Class Hours

Monday – Thursday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Carpentry faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • One of the first things you need is your Carpentry Tool Kit which can be purchased through our online Store. It includes all tools required for your program, and this list has been reviewed by your instructor to provide you with a solid foundation for the program as well as your career.
  • You should expect to spend about $3,000 total on tools and books. You will spend another $900 on materials during the school year, billed as a monthly fee to your student account.
  • Everyone must have their tools for the first day of class. It is important that your kit is waiting for you at school on your first day and to ensure this, you must order no later than a week before school starts.
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • A tool belt is not included in your tool kit. You must purchase one that is comfortable for you. Take a look at this video for advice on what to look for in a tool belt.
  • You need to have sturdy work boots or sturdy trail-runner style shoes (at the shop and on worksites). Please wear them for the first day of class. 
  • During the first few days, we’ll talk about the year ahead and your upcoming projects while also diving into the safe and effective use of hand tools, starting with your tool kit. 
  • Everyone will be assigned a locker; you need to provide the lock.

Offsite Work

  • It is important to note that you’ll need to get to and from any project site we’re working at throughout the year. We do not provide transportation to project sites. 
  • For this academic year, you should anticipate traveling to areas outside of Metro Boston. You’ll get more information the first week of school.

Class Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Jewelry Making & Repair faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • We’ve put together a Jewelry Making & Repair Starter Tool Kit which can be purchased through our online store, to facilitate a smooth program entrance for first semester students. The kits are recommended as the easiest way to get tooled up with essentials.
  • This list has been reviewed by your instructor and will provide you with the essential requirements for the start of your program and your career. You can expect additional purchases throughout the program.
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • Your instructor will be reviewing a full Tool List during the first few days of class. We recommend not purchasing any tools beyond the Starter Tool Kit before your program begins. If you already own tools and want to bring them with you, your instructor will help you reconcile them with the full Tool List.
  • On Orientation day and beyond, bring a notebook or paper and a pen or pencil for taking notes. 
  • Please note that in the first couple of weeks of school, there will be a series of reading assignments, so plan on allowing for ample time to read them.
  • Everyone will be assigned a locker; you need to provide the lock.

Class Hours

Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 12:30 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Locksmithing & Security Technology faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • We’ve put together a Locksmithing & Security Technology Tool Kit which can be purchased through our online store. It details all tools required for your program. This list has been reviewed by your instructor and will provide you with a solid foundation for the program as well as your career. Please come prepared to pay around $1,900 for these tools.
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • The only items you need to bring on Orientation Day are a notebook or paper and pen or pencil for note taking.
  • Everyone will be assigned a locker; you need to provide the lock.

Class Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Piano Technology faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • Our faculty have put together a Basic Piano Technology Tool Kit List for purchase through our online store. These are not all the tools you will need as a practicing technician, but a good starter set that will get you through the school year. Note that this kit does not include your tuning hammer (more below). Please come prepared to pay around $1,450 for these tools.
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • If you already have a set of tools, please email piano@nbss.edu as soon as possible so we can have a conversation about what other tools you might need. 
  • We offer a variety of tuning hammers for you to try throughout the fall. Once you have found one that you like, you can then order your own. We expect everyone to have their own tuning hammer by the time they return to class after the Winter Break. Tuning hammers can cost anywhere from $75-$500+.
  • Hearing protection will be provided in the form of foam earplugs. If you desire or require different hearing protection, you will need to provide it for yourself. 
  • You will need a large three-ring binder with dividers. Laptops are ok for note taking, but there are a lot of three-hole punched handouts.
  • Everyone will be assigned a locker; you need to provide the lock.

Field Trips

  • There may be field trips to Steinway and Mason & Hamlin in the spring. You are expected to provide your own transportation and cover your own costs. Attendance at Boston Chapter PTG meetings is highly recommended.
  • There may be a regional Piano Technicians Guild conference in the Spring. Students receive a registration discount and some assistance from NBSS, but you will need money for hotel, food, and transportation; figure around $400. Plan for it now! We encourage all students to attend—there are lots of classes and it is a great opportunity to meet other technicians and browse the exhibit hall.

Class Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Piano Technology faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • Our Advanced Piano Technology Tool Kit is available for purchase through our online store. It details the tools that are required for your program and has been reviewed by your instructors. 
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • Be prepared to spend an additional $600 on tools and supplies over the course of the year. 
  • Hearing protection will be provided in the form of foam earplugs. If you desire or require different hearing protection, you will need to provide it for yourself. 
  • A camera is highly recommended, the camera on your phone or tablet is fine.
  • Everyone is assigned a locker; you must provide the lock.
  • We do not require textbooks—you will be expected to keep and organize your own notebook or binder. Laptops/tablets are ok for note taking. There will be hand-outs and reading assignments may be given throughout the year.

Field Trips

  • There may be field trips to Steinway and Mason & Hamlin in the spring. You are expected to provide your own transportation and cover your own costs. Attendance at Boston Chapter PTG meetings is highly recommended.
  • There may be a regional Piano Technicians Guild conference in the Spring. Students receive a registration discount and some assistance from NBSS, but you will need money for hotel, food, and transportation; figure around $400. Plan for it now! We encourage all students to attend—there are lots of classes and it is a great opportunity to meet other technicians and browse the exhibit hall.

Class Hours

Monday – Thursday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Preservation Carpentry faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • We’ve put together a Preservation Carpentry Starter Tool Kit which can be purchased through our online store. These Kits are recommended as they are the easiest way to get tooled up with essentials. The tool list has been reviewed by your instructor and will provide you with the required tools for the first few weeks of instruction. 
  • Your instructor will be reviewing a full Tool List during the first few days of class. We recommend not purchasing any tools beyond the Starter Tool Kit before your program begins. If you already own tools, bring them in on your first day of class so that your faculty can review them with you.
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • You can expect additional purchases as the program progresses.
  • Everyone will be assigned a locker; you need to provide the lock.

While we’ll discuss all of the safety gear you’ll need while at NBSS, you’ll need to have the following safety equipment for the first day of class:

  1. Safety glasses to be worn at all times in the shop or during site work
  2. Hearing protection
  3. Work gloves
  4. Sturdy work boots (at the shop and on site)

Offsite Work

  • During the first few days, we will talk about the year ahead and our upcoming projects. A few of these projects will be off-site and you’ll need to commute to these sites each day for what might be from a few days to a few weeks. 
  • Note that we do not provide transportation to project sites.

Class Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Instructors

Learn more about Violin Making & Repair faculty

Tools & Supplies

  • We’ve put together a Violin Making & Repair Starter Tool Kit which can be purchased through our online store. The Tool Kits facilitate a smooth program entrance for first semester students and are recommended as they are the easiest way to get tooled up with essentials. The tool list has been reviewed by your instructor and will provide you with the essential requirements for the start of your program as well as your career. 
  • If purchased by August 30, 2022, the Tool Kit will be at your bench on the first day of your program. For questions about purchasing kits, please contact Kristen Odle at 617-227-0155 x140 or store@nbss.edu.
  • If you already own tools, you may bring them in on your first full day of class, so that Roman can review them with you, or you may wait until your class has reviewed the tool list. 
  • Expect to spend up to $2,100 on tools right away, and a total of around $2,800 on tools over the three years. 
  • Everyone will be assigned a locker; you need to provide the lock.

Questions?

Admissions Office
C 617-513-5848
admissions@nbss.edu

Provost’s Office
T 617.227.0155 x200
provost@nbss.edu

Student Support & Career Services Office
T 617.227.0155 x112
studentlife@nbss.edu

Financial Aid Office
T 617-227-0155 x111
financialaid@nbss.edu