Students participate in Character Education groups as part of their daily schedule. Staff focus on Interpersonal/Social Skills training, such as following directions, communicating effectively, dealing with aggression, handling immaturity, improving manners, accepting “no” for an answer, accepting responsibility for one’s own misbehavior, dealing with anger and frustration, increasing self-control, and empathy. Age appropriate drug/alcohol and tobacco education is also provided for targeted students.
Chicago Area Alternative Education League (CAAEL )
CAAEL is a not-for-profit organization that provides academic and athletic programs for troubled youth attending Illinois’ Alternative Schools. Sports and recreation activities that are offered include basketball, flag football, volleyball, soccer, bowling, softball, chess, scholastic bowls, annual art fair and more. The goals of CAAEL are to:
Therapeutic support is grounded in having teachers, social workers, and intervention specialists who collaboratively deliver emotional growth services and social skills training to youth. Within the Naperville Bridge, the goal of therapy with adolescents is to help each student understand their behavior and its effects on others. Whether the youth presents with acting out, rebellious and will-full behavior or is introverted and non-social, each student receives the prescriptive treatment that allows them to examine their behavior and make positive changes.
The Naperville Bridge Program provides all related services required based on the youth’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Therapeutic services are provided by appropriately certified/licensed Social Workers (Type 73), Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselors (CADC), and Licensed Professional Counselors (LCP) employed by the school. Other related services, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy that may be needed, are contracted through the local school district or appropriately credentialed individual.
Social Work Services
Social Workers are available to provide consultation and/or direct intervention to the students and families of Naperville Bridge. Concerns regarding a student’s social or emotional health can be referred for social work services. It is a core belief that improved communication between family members and helping both the parent and their teen understand how conflict can be resolved often results in significant improvement in family relationships.
Art Therapy is provided by a Master Level Art Therapist and supervised by a Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist. This form of therapy allows students to communicate difficult thoughts and feelings through various artistic mediums. Art therapy is used to develop problem solving skills, increase self-esteem, build social skills, and serve as the vehicle to chart a student’s therapeutic journey.
The goal of the reading specialist at the Naperville Bridge is to improve the reading achievement of the students through the use of scientifically based instruction, as well as to serve as an academic coach to the content area teachers. The reading specialist strives to eliminate reading failure by improving the students’ skills and foundations in reading. Together with the content teachers, the Bridge reading specialist fosters a love of reading in students by building on their instructional backgrounds and interests.
To further instill the importance of “Community” in schools, we provide service learning opportunities through organized activities that are designed to meet the needs of the Naperville community. Students are given the opportunity to learn the importance of “Giving Back” to their community and its residents. This coordinated effort with community agencies, religious organizations, and civic groups facilitates a broad base of resources for the students and parents of Naperville School District 203 to access.