A Unique Education Opportunity

Orchard Academy is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education to serve students with a variety of disabilities. Students have completed four to five years of a high school special education program but have not yet accepted their high school diploma. Students are typically between the ages of 17 and 22 with a wide range of abilities and learning styles. The time spent at Orchard Academy can range from one to four years, depending on the individual goals and needs of the student and family.

Why Orchard Academy?

  • Program focused solely on post-secondary transition needs of young adults.
  • Curriculum is based on research studies and findings conducted by the National Transitional Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC), findings that also align with employers’ expectations for competitive employment.
  • A small student-to-staff ratio allows for individualization of curriculum, goals, vision, activities and a schedule.
  • School-to-work “geographic” orientation emphasizes vocational and employment opportunities within proximity of individual student’s residence.
  • Therapeutic supports: individual and group counseling, family resources and regular support, social skills training embedded in all areas of the curriculum, regular assessments, community linkages, quarterly transition planning meetings, behavior planning, crisis response and management.
  • A “least restrictive” learning environment, providing a setting for staff—in collaboration with parents and other adult service providers—to excel in teaching students how to become capable, valued and contributing members of their communities.
  • Affiliation with Orchard Village, a nonprofit organization that supports nearly 300 men, women and children with disabilities by providing residential, vocational, transitional and home based programs. This affiliation helps provide a smooth transition to adult services and supports.