JTC Academy was founded in 2007, about 8 years after our residential center, Juvenile Transitional Center Inc., started its operations in 1999 at St. Mary’s Hospital. The residential facility started as a twelve bed facility for adolescent males ranging in age from 12-18 years while at St. Mary’s in 1999. Our residential treatment facility has evolved and grown since then and we currently operate a 48 bed residential program in Centreville, IL, still serving adolescent males in need of intensive and extensive behavioral and psychotherapy residential treatment while focusing on transitioning residents to less restrictive environments.
In order to provide academic programming, continuity of care and a streamlined process for providing services at the residential center, in 2007, planning for school operations began. In less than a year’s time, JTC Academy opened and was housed at the residential facility in the south wing of the building as an alternative educational placement for youth needing non-public special education services. JTC Academy serviced current residential youth but in a short period of time, the academy began receiving requests for placements by District 189 for non-residential special education youth. As JTC Academy began to accept non-residential students into the school program, the school program grew exponentially requiring a much larger off-site location to accommodate this increased population of youth.
The first off-site location for JTC Academy was the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center. The academy rented space and remained at this location for about 1 school year until renovations began at the center requiring JTC Academy to relocate. At this time, JTC Academy rented the Attucks School Building from District 189. After a couple years at Attucks, District 189 began placing some of their unused school buildings up for bid. JTC Academy immediately embraced this opportunity, bid on and purchased the Brown School at 4850 Market St. in Centreville, Illinois, which became and is now JTC Academy West. A few years later, JTC Academy acquired the Center for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) which is now JTC East.
Today, JTC Academy services several school districts within a 35-40 minute radius of JTC Academy. Youth having IEPs from over 10 school districts in the area needing non-public special education programming are accepted annually into the program. JTC Academy accommodates all courses and curriculum required by the Illinois State Board of Education for all youth in grades K-12 while offering that important therapeutic component concurrently.
The JTC Academy Therapeutic Team recognizes the importance and therapeutic value of providing a safe, non-judgmental, and confidential environment where unconditional regard, empathy, patience, and compassion are cornerstone. We employ a very student-centered, strength based approach with all youth. Therapy is intended to help youth assess their current situation, explore their innermost thoughts, feelings, and fears, develop effective coping strategies, identify obstacles and impediments, identify and define their life’s purpose, and find resolution to unresolved issues related to abuse, abandonment, grief, and loss. By providing ongoing individualized treatment to each of our youth, we are able to address the identified problem areas while simultaneously monitoring educational and interpersonal progress as well.