The week in pictures

Week 3 of school was gray and rainy, but that didn't stop us! Our Friday afternoon clubs hit the ground running with art projects, group games, dance and recycling. And our community adventures included one very exciting birthday trip to Burger King!

HS: One tasty lesson!

Following basic recipes wraps language arts, math, science, and life skills into one very tasty lesson! This week, our high school students made some delicious pizza treats.

This week in pictures

Take a look at some of the awesome things spotted around our PACTT school programs this week - and if you want to stay in the loop, follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter (@PACTTChicago). 

We're learning about interpreting graphs and current events. We're making store purchases and following recipes to make snacks. We're learning to work more independently. And we're having fun! 

What PACTT means to us

Some students had the chance to meet with visitors this week and share what PACTT means to them - and their ideas for PACTT's future.

What a week!

Our first week of school is rolling to the finish line. We've had loads of smiles, fun, and some good hard work, too! 

Congratulations, Graduate!

Last week, we celebrated PACTT's newest graduate. Congratulations, Sam - we are all proud of you!! 

School's out!

The calendar doesn't lie - school is OUT for the summer! (Well, at least for the next two weeks ... and not before our annual family end-of-summer celebration!) Thanks to all the families who joined us to celebrate this year and all its accomplishment!

Exploring nature at Emily Oaks

Summer at PACTT is full of fun adventures! Some of our PACTT high school students explored Emily Oaks nature preserve:

Welcome, Golden Apple Scholars!

We are excited to welcome a team of Golden Apple Scholars to PACTT! These pre-service teachers are spending two weeks in our classrooms learning about PACTT students, autism, classroom management, nonpublic schools, and more. Here are some of our scholar visitors, alongside PACTT team members and students, working on an Independence Day craft activity:

A Teacher Week Fiesta!

Our school and voc north teams were treated to a FIESTA today, courtesy of our wonderful parents! Thank you to everyone who was a part of putting this feast together - we are feeling quite spoiled! 


Some of our HS students brought their Life Skills learning to LIFE today, as they got to follow a recipe, portion ingredients, and make chocolate chip cookie milkshakes. The best part? Getting to drink the shakes when they were finished!

PE in action!

Thanks to a generous grant, which included training from Exercise Connection, we've slowly been expanding our physical fitness equipment, activities, and options for our students. We're integrating stretches and games, basic yoga and dynamic activities with peers. Here's a peek at some of our first classes in action, and our newly re-purposed gross motor space.

Spring is here!

This month, the school building has been filled with springtime crafts, colored eggs, and more!

Visiting our Francis Parker friends

This week, some PACTT students had the chance to visit our Francis Parker High School buddies at *their* school. We played in the gym, hung out, shared a snack, and had a ton of fun!

We've got spirit, yes we do!

From our favorite sports teams and classroom colors to our craziest hats (and hair!), Spirit Week always brings smiles to our building in the middle of the gray days of March.

Focus on Professional Development: Video Modeling

Thanks to a generous grant from the Special Kids Foundation, our school team was able to participate in a fully-funded video modeling training this month. The training was led by Alissa York, educational consultant, who recently retired from the Naperville-area school districts, where she trained teachers and worked closely with students, to implement video modeling within their classrooms.

Why Video Modeling?

What is video modeling?

  • With a video model, students follow a video prompt to complete a task. Have you ever searched YouTube for a video on how to do something, because it's easier to do if you see someone else do it? Well, it's that same idea. The video can be of the student doing the task, of someone else doing the task, or completion of the task from a first-person perspective.

Why is this important?

  • With a video model, students will rely less on staff support for completion of tasks - especially activities of daily living and vocational tasks. The videos can be loaded onto their personal devices, for watching at job and volunteer sites - and at home!

But wait! PACTT classrooms don't have the technology to implement this kind of thing!

  • Ah, there's the bonus of the grant funding! Each of our classrooms will receive at least two (possibly more) brand new iPads, to support the initiative ... and to use for additional educational supports throughout the students' day.