The way we work
Students spending time with the Chinese under 17 National Team at school.
Culmination of a successful butterfly study
Preparation for outdoor education in the Porcupine Mountains
Students enjoying lunch with state politicians during the political round table
Scottie Pippen getting to know one of our students
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Felicity School is designed to serve students who are eligible for special education services in the categories of Emotional Disability (ED), Learning Disability (LD), and Other Health Impaired (OHI). Regardless of the diagnosed eligibility category, students referred to Felicity School have behavioral overlays that negatively affect their ability to learn in their home school setting. We are approved to serve up to 60 students in grades 6 through 12 and are housed in a facility located in Deerfield, Illinois called “Joy of the Game”. Felicity School is a non-traditional, school environment with open and flexible spaces that ameliorates some of the negative feelings that students might associate with a more traditional school setting. Our student to staff ratio is a maximum of 10 students working with 2 staff members (one certified teacher and one paraprofessional). Related Services staff are available as directed by each student’s Individual Education Plan.
Felicity School’s philosophical foundation focuses on the development of the ‘Mind, Body and Spirit.’ Our teaching focuses on the following outcomes: developing problem solving skills, learning to live an ethical life, developing a healthy lifestyle, becoming a good employee, becoming a smart consumer, becoming an involved citizen, developing useful social skills, and developing an appreciation for the beauty found in nature and the beauty found in art and music.
Curriculum & Services
Our academic program includes the core curriculum delivered primarily through web-based programming, managed/facilitated by staff, where courses are designed to meet each referring district’s graduation requirements. Direct, teacher-taught courses focus on the areas highlighted in the introduction and will include instruction in critical thinking, the use of logical thinking in problem solving, ethical living, healthy lifestyles (physically fit & drug free), consumerism, fine arts, environmentalism, and citizenship. Educational simulations and case studies are primary teaching tools in these areas.
In courses taught through our web-based curriculum, the assessment protocols that are part of each course are used to measure learning of the material. All artifacts (written, pictorial, video) produced by a student that are a culmination of a unit of learning will be saved in a portfolio. As a non-standardized way to measure progress, each student’s portfolio will provide another, less traditional way to measure academic growth. The ‘portfolio’ assessment will be the primary way to measure improvements in writing/composing. Each month, every student will be given an individualized writing prompt. Felicity staff uses the ACT Writing Rubric to score each sample. In our teacher-taught courses, learning is measured through authentic assessments that will use ‘challenge’ scenarios found in life to measure a student’s application of knowledge. While standardized, multiple-choice, high stakes tests are the de rigueur measure of a student’s learning at this time, using authentic measures is a better way to assess a student’s ability to think critically. Students become better at taking standardized tests as a by-product of being logical, problem solvers who can apply their knowledge and learned thinking skills to every question.
Felicity School uses clinical interventions to strengthen the emotional stability and to change non-social behaviors into positive interactions with adults and peers. Our clinical approach is be based on the Life Skills Crisis Intervention (LSCI) model that infuses a supportive approach into the milieu of our school making it a basic tenet of our work with students. Many of the topics that are part of our academic program are reinforced through clinical involvement with staff especially in the areas of living a drug-free life, the development of social skills and the use of art and music to allow for different avenues for students to express themselves. Individual journaling is used to help each student record their progress and work toward leading an emotionally stable, fulfilling life. Each student’s Case Manager is responsible to give written and supportive feedback through a return comment to journal entries. Staff is all trained in LSCI. An ongoing professional development program aimed at supporting staff in consistently applying the LSCI approach is in place that will include periodic visits by our LSCI Trainer/Consultant.
At Felicity School, we believe that one of the primary goals of education is to lead students toward becoming productive contributors to our economic society. Through the teaching of “good-employee”skills, from the importance of being on-time to a job, to the necessity of being able to work with others in the job setting, we will be helping students move toward becoming contributing members of our economic society. Our efforts are reinforced through access to job sites with a myriad of private employers located within walking distance of our location. The businesses located in our area range from retail to recreational and investment to mechanical. Two partnerships have already been established with our congruent neighbors, a nationally franchised auto service shop and a nationally franchised bowling alley. There are vocational opportunities available within the building where we are located. These opportunities include tournament support jobs, food service jobs, customer service jobs, and sports marketing jobs. We will further teach to the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur in our society, offering our students the opportunity to investigate entrepreneurial options that might be open to them.
Using the outdoors as our classroom, during the summer programming months, as part of our Extended School Year experience, Felicity School will teach courses in one or more areas of science (Environmental Science, Meteorology, Geology, and/or Zoology) while hosting multiple-week excursions into wilderness settings. Physical Education credit will also be earned upon successful completion of this experience. Students will spend the second semester of the school year learning required outdoor living skills (cooking in an outdoor setting), planning for a comfortable, extended trip (menu and equipment preparation) and developing a level of fitness that is required for a successful outdoor experience. During this preparation phase, we will access the Cook County Forest Preserve lands located within a half mile of our school’s location. Backpacking, river/lake paddling and rock climbing will provide the backdrop for our classroom experiences. These excursions will serve the dual purpose of providing our students with exposure to the beauty of nature’s vastness while giving us an authentic way to assess our students’ fitness and to assess the development of social skills within our students as measured in a stressful setting. To get the maximum benefit from an experience like this, there will be a family connection that includes a pre-trip session and an extended post-trip session where the Felicity School staff will facilitate the integration of family members into the return process. In the fall of the following school year, we will provide outdoor experiences that will build on the lessons learned during the extended trips.
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All supports listed as “Related Services” on a student’s IEP can be delivered at Felicity School. Some “Related Services” will need to be provided by the home school/district (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language services…), but delivered on-site at Felicity School. These extraordinary services can be delivered either by district personnel or through a contractual arrangement with an agency that provides the needed, specific service. Felicity School will offer "Counseling” services documented as minutes per week/month in a student’s IEP. This related service is delivered by a licensed School Social Worker. While services in the area of drug/alcohol use may not be documented in a student’s IEP, we recognize that this type of a behavior negatively affects a student’s ability to learn. We have the ability to provide counseling supports to students in this area through a licensed drug and alcohol abuse counselor. Similarly, we offer support to the families of our students recognizing that the most effective approach to supporting the education of a student is through a holistic approach that involves the family.
Unmatched Educational Opportunities
Unmatched Vocational Opportunities
Only at Felicity do students have the opportunity to engage in authentic learning during the summer with an outdoor curriculum. Students will study science, learn about the environment and develop great interpersonal skills through outdoor education.
Felicity School has access to vocational training and job opportunities that are truly unique. With opportunities like part time jobs and on-site training, Felicity School sets the bar for vocational training. Opportunities are available throughout the week and weekend in a variety of industries.
Felicity School is designed to serve students who are eligible for special education services in the categories of Emotional Disability (ED), Learning Disability (LD), and Other Health Impaired (OHI).
Felicity School is a non-traditional, school environment with open and flexible spaces that ameliorates some of the negative feelings that students might associate with a more traditional school setting. Our student to staff ratio is a maximum of 10 students working with 2 staff members (one certified teacher and one paraprofessional). Related Services staff are available as directed by each student’s Individual Education Plan.
Stay in touch
158 S. Waukegan Rd.
Deerfield, IL 60015