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.