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Placement and Referral FAQ - School Programs


Have questions about PACTT school placement procedures?
Please read our Placement FAQ below, or contact Paula at 773-338-9102, x2.

  • Who attends PACTT?
  • Where do PACTT students live?
  • What are the admissions requirements for PACTT's school program?
  • Do you provide 1:1 staffing for students?
  • What are the requirements for admission to the Transition Program?
  • What therapies / programs are available at PACTT?
  • How much does it cost for a student to attend PACTT?
  • Can I pay for my child to attend PACTT?
  • How is school transportation coordinated?
  • What is the intake process like?
  • How do I schedule a visit?
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    Who attends PACTT?

    Each PACTT student has a primary diagnosis of autism. Students can range in age from 3-21, and represent more than 10 Chicago-area school districts.

    When a school district is unable to provide an appropriate educational setting for a student with autism, due to significant challenges in communication, social interaction, independent living skills, behaviors, or other circumstances, it is the district's responsibility to find a more appropriate placement.

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    Where do PACTT students live?

    Many PACTT students live at home with their families, in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Some students live in PACTT group homes, and some students live in residential programs run by other agencies.

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    What are the admissions requirements for PACTT's school program?

    Eligibility for PACTT's school program includes both mandatory criteria and additional considerations, as noted.

    Mandatory criteria include:

  • Eligibility for IEP-based special education services, including private (therapeutic) day placement listed in LRE.
  • Primary educational and psychological diagnosis of autism.
  • The student is at least 3 years old.
  • The student has not graduated or received his/her high school diploma.
  • The IEP team recommends placement into the program.
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    While the appropriateness of this program for each potential candidate is considered on an individual basis, the student's ability to meet some or all of the following additional guidelines is also considered when determining candidate eligibility.

    Additional considerations:

  • The school program has an appropriate classroom space available at the student's age and ability level.
  • The student is able to participate safely in the school and classroom environment, with staff support.
  • Requirements for the PACTT Transition Program (see below) differ slightly from the School Program.

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    Do you provide 1:1 staffing for students?

    PACTT's school program typically follows a 2:1 student:staff ratio. However, for students who require more intense staff intervention, we provide an intensive rate program. Eligibility requirements include all the above-mentioned school requirements and the following additional considerations:

  • The student is able to participate safely in the school and classroom environment, with one-on-one staff support as necessary.
  • The student's participation in the school environment does not impede significantly the safety or learning environment of other students.
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    What are the requirements for admission to the Transition Program?

    Mandatory criteria include:

  • Eligibility for IEP-based special education services, including therapeutic day placement listed in LRE, through age 21.
  • Primary educational and medical diagnosis of autism.
  • The student is at least 17 years old.
  • The student has not graduated or received his/her high school diploma.
  • The IEP team recommends placement into the program.
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    Some or all of the following additional criteria are also considered:

  • The student is able to engage safely in community experiences and job/volunteer activities with the supervision of no more than one staff member.
  • The student currently is working or volunteering in the community or the team believes he/she is able to work/volunteer in the community with the support of a job coach.
  • The student is able to engage in an independent leisure skill for 15-20 minutes.
  • The student is able to complete basic self-care tasks with minimal assistance (i.e. feeding, toileting).
  • The student is able to participate in small-group activities for a limited time with minimal redirection.
  • The student possesses some measure of economic self-sufficiency (i.e. sense that money has value, understanding exchange of payment for goods, ability to make a store purchase or use a vending machine, will carry a wallet, etc.)
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    What therapies / programs are available at PACTT?

    PACTT has a full-time speech/language pathologist and a part-time occupational therapist. The teaching team also provides behavioral support, community participation opportunities, and vocational training, in addition to functional academics.

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    How much does it cost for a student to attend PACTT?

    When a school district chooses to send a student to PACTT, the district assumes the responsibility for paying the tuition set by the Illinois State Board of Education.

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    Can I pay for my child to attend PACTT?

    All students must be enrolled in a public school district and placed at PACTT by that district. PACTT does not currently accept any private enrollment students.

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    How is school transportation coordinated?

    The school district is responsible for coordinating transportation for all students. Districts typically use buses or cab companies for special services transportation.

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    What is the intake process like?

    Typically, the process starts when we receive an information packet from a school district. If the student meets our general eligibility criteria, we schedule a time for parents to visit the school and talk with the administration. That gives us a chance to learn more about the student, and tell the family more about our program. If it seems like we might be a good fit for the student, we schedule a follow-up visit so the student can spend time in one or more of our classrooms during the school day (the visits typically last an hour or two). We may also request a visit to the student's home or current school site, to see him or her in a more natural environment.

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    How do I schedule a visit?

    To schedule a visit, contact Principal Paula Jablonski at 773-338-9102, or send her an email with your name, phone number, and the best time to reach you.

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