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JTC East and JTC West

All Kids can learn and be successful at JTC

Overview of Program for Both JTC East and JTC West

JTC Academy is a non-public special education therapeutic day program located in the Southern Region of Illinois.  JTC Academy has approval from both Illinois and Missouri to accept special education students from school districts in these states.

                                                 JTC Academy Classrooms                                                                

Disability Eligibility Categories and Age Range

Approved Eligibilities: LD, OHI, ID, ED and student diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Age Range: 5-21

150 Maximum Students, 75 at JTC East and 75 at JTC West

JTC East and JTC West Days in Session and Instructional Hours

Regular School Year Session

JTC Academy is in session 5 days per week from 8:00-2:45, 6 hours instructional, 30 minutes lunch/break and recess time and 15 minutes transitioning. 

A regular school year for JTC Academy, will consist of 186 days

ESY-Summer School (Students Qualifying for ESY per IEP)

In Session 5 days Per week for 25 days from 8:00-1:00, 125 total hours

Classroom Structure at JTC East and JTC West

Each classroom has an LBS-1 licensed teacher. Each teacher teaches students in grades that the teacher is licensed to teach. Classrooms are never larger than 10 students. The very minimum ratio is 10 students to one LBS-1 teacher and 1 Licensed Paraprofessional. Classrooms may at times also have 1-2 aides due to IEP 1:1 aide requirement or a programmatic need.

Students Accepted

Students with IEPs from school districts in Missouri and Illinois that show private day placement or through manifestation determination

Students with documented long-standing disturbances as a result of abuse, neglect, extreme violence, and abandonment in areas of family and/or surrogate family functioning.

Students having sexually problematic behaviors

Students having limited success in several less restrictive environments

Students that are a “Run Risk” (With high risk to harm self or others)

Our Schools

Why do we do it?

JTC Academy was developed out of an intense need for programming that combines academics with therapeutic programming for youth having mental and acute behavioral health challenges that have often manifested into unmanageable, destructive and highly inappropriate behaviors. As a result, these youth are often suspended or expelled, inappropriately placed, or placed in programs that only meet part of the youth’s needs. Research and statistics indicate that when youth experience these types of experiences eventually culminating a life of hopelessness, starting with drop out or falling through the cracks, and leading to a bleak future, a cycle of failure, homelessness and criminal behavior.


JTC Academy applies the PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) model with the understanding that school-wide behavioral expectations for all youth have to be in place and followed consistently. Our school-wide behavioral expectations are categorized under the umbrella of the 3Rs, Be Ready, Be Respectful and Be Responsible. All staff in the building contribute to positively reinforcing these behavioral expectations consistently in hallways, busses, classrooms and non-structured areas.  When walking through our hallways, it is very evident that our youth know both structure and routine. 

BE Ready

BE Respectful

BE Responsible

Post Secondary Transitioning

Transitioning our youth into post-secondary programs is paramount at JTC Academy. The clinical treatment team works with constructing individual transitioning plans for each youth at JTC Academy utilizing our 4 transitioning program components that include: Career/Job Programming, Housing, Social/Independent Living/Life Skills Training and Transportation. Each of these components will be addressed through curriculum, training and real-life experiences in order to maximize each youth’s potential and to set them on a path for independent success while minimizing their chances of being homeless, on drugs, in jail, having an unexpected pregnancy and other social problems that are due lack of appropriate post-secondary planning.

Evidenced Based Practices

JTC Academy’s therapeutic program utilizes evidenced based practices and approaches to planning for and addressing various behavioral and mental health issues. JTC Academy counselors utilize Cognitive Behavior Therapeutic (CBT) techniques to address thought distortions and maladaptive behaviors, depression and anxiety. According to CBT, when youth understand their thinking patterns, they can then learn and use coping strategies to overcome self-defeating thought processes. In addition to CBT, our counselors have all received training and now practice ART (Anger Replacement Therapy) in group sessions to address the overwhelming issue of anger seen in our youth today. ART uses role-playing and the teaching of coping skills to address anger and aggression. With a focus on prevention, JTC uses CPI which is a program with proven strategies for safely defusing anxious, hostile, or violent behavior at the earliest possible stage. The main premise of CPI is to use noninvasive methods for managing disruptive and assaultive behavior in a way that is compatible with staff's duty to provide the best possible care.