A photo of an empty classroom inside the Nathan Education Center. An overhead drone photo of the outside of the Nathan Education Center. A photo of an empty classroom with kitchen appliances.

The Nathan Education Center (NEC) is Marklund’s newest facility located at 1210 Hunter Dr., in Elgin. It is situated just three-tenths of a mile west of our Marklund Wasmond Center residential/therapeutic site. NEC will be home to two programs: Marklund Day School as well as Marklund’s Bridge Builder CDS Program.

NEC’s Day School area features 5 Life Skills classrooms that will allow us to extend our day school services to an additional 36 students. The classrooms are structured very similar to those at Marklund’s other schools in Geneva and Bloomingdale.

Our LifeSkills program is specifically designed for students on the autism spectrum. We take students who have cognitive impairments, deficits in expressive communication, and some also have medical needs, and so we develop our programming based on their needs, really focusing those skill deficits and getting them to where they need to be. Every day is very structured, each student has individualized instruction and goals. MDS is similar to a regular school in that we provide a curriculum but we teach our students at their level.

We kept many of the design features similar to those at the Foglia Education Center in Geneva – for example, each of the classrooms are specifically designed to have a self-regulation area where the lighting is different, which allows the students to take breaks during the school day as needed, We also have swing adapted areas for students who need different sensory inputs throughout the day. All of the classrooms are designed with observation rooms that consist of one-way glass so staff/parents/school district representatives can observe real-time very transparently without disturbing the educational environment which is important to the continued success of our students.

NEC also has an amazing playground at NEC, to give our students the opportunity to enjoy everyday life.

Our ultimate goal is transitioning them back to their home school districts, either in their cooperative programs or to their home schools.

Marklund Day School provides an environment conducive to learning through specialized curriculum, positive behavioral interventions, and individualized student support.

Marklund’s highly sensory-driven program features physical and occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, art and music therapy, sensory room, computer adapted technology, community opportunities, recreational therapy, and more.

Marklund Day School uses a holistic approach to enhance physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Teachers and therapists learn about students’ individual strengths through assessment, direct observation, and communication with families.

Provides a highly specialized education experience for students ages 3-21 with mild to severe disabilities, as well as students with behavioral and medical needs.

Provides a 1:3 student-staff ratio, with 6-10 students per classroom.

Maintains a focus on each student transitioning to the least-restrictive learning environment.

Offers an extended school year: Four-hour-a-day summer program allows students to learn year-round.

Establishes relationships and partnerships throughout community, which provide ongoing opportunities for students to interact with the public and experience new activities.

Has a dedicated, caring and compassionate staff.

Serving Students ages 3-21 from Early Childhood to Transition

Students with mild to severe disabilities, including:
• Intellectual Disabilities
• Developmental Delay
• Autism
• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
• Multiple Disabilities
• Other Health Impairments


Students with complex medical needs, including:
• Seizures
• Cerebral Palsy
• Diabetes
• Temperature Regulation Issues
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
• Tracheostomy


Related Services Provided:
• Social Work
• Nursing Care
• Occupational Therapy
• Physical Therapy
• Speech Therapy


Program Services Provided:
• Behavior Analyst And Registered Behavior Technicians (BCBA and RBTS)
• Music Therapy
• Recreational Therapy

Bloomingdale, Elgin and Geneva locations

The Life Skills Program at Marklund Day School provides an enriching education experience for students ages 3-21 with autism and other disabilities, as well as behavioral and medical needs.

Marklund achieves this in a variety of ways:

Comprehensive approach: Through a collaborative team of teachers, therapists, BCBA, RBT, Behavior Specialists, parents/guardians, and school district representatives, Marklund focuses on building and developing academic, cognitive, communication, social, gross-motor and fine-motor-skills.

Nursing staff: Marklund Day School can accommodate students with medical needs by integrating highly qualified nursing staff into the program.

Highly structured classrooms: Marklund Day School utilizes methodologies such as – PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) techniques.

Individualized curriculum: Students follow a complete and individualized curriculum tied to Illinois Learning Standards, Common Core Essential Elements and IEP (Individualized Education Plan) goals. Courses offered to our students are aligned to the general education course offerings. Functional life skills and vocational training are integrated into the students’ daily lessons.

Technology: Classrooms use computers equipped with accessible switches and adapted programs; PROwise and SMART technology, iPads with accessible communication apps and modified programing.

Sensory-integrated program: Each classroom incorporates a sensory diet for students including frequent movement breaks on a trampoline and platform swing. Marklund Day School also has Sensory rooms that offer sensory experiences and enhanced learning.

Community outings: As students participate in outings to the park, local stores and community service events, they have the opportunity to apply generalized skills and interact with individuals outside of the school setting.

Our Mission… 

Make progress possible for students with medical and behavioral challenges
by fitting our environment, approach, instruction, and care
to help them discover their special abilities and potential.