This morning, students arrived at Cunningham's newest school - Circle Academy in Rossville - to find enthusiastic teachers and staff, colorfully decorated classrooms, and new opportunities to learn.
Cunningham Children's Home made a decision to open the private therapeutic day school last spring after talking with school officials in Vermilion County about a need to broaden the continuum of special education services for their students. Currently, 15 students from 3 school districts are attending CIRCLE Academy in Rossville.
While the program will be based on the model established in 1998 at Cunningham's CIRCLE Academy in Urbana, it will also be shaped by the needs of the students and districts in the county. Many of the same attributes will remain:
* Individualized Special Education Programming
* Small Class Sizes (on average, there are 2 Educational Professionals for every 7 students)
* Additional Professional Staff to Support Students and Families
* Individual and Group Therapeutic Counseling
* Therapeutic Behavior Intervention Programming
* Vocational Training Opportunities
At both CIRCLE campuses, administrators, teachers, social workers, and others employ strategies to help the students be successful in order to get them back to the public school setting.
The first day of classes went very well, according to Principal Linda Fox. During the school year, she is looking forward to working with students, families, CIRCLE staff, area school districts and Rossville community leaders. "Everyone has embraced our program and that's been tremendous," Principal Fox said. "We look forward to helping our students find hope and success at school."