HAMMITT JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.”
Students at Hammitt Junior-Senior High School (ages 12-21) are referred to the program by their local public school district based on their need for more intensive special education services to achieve success in school. Many students attending Hammitt Junior-Senior High School have a history of verbal or physical aggression which has resulted in suspension from the public school setting. Student profiles may also include conflicts in their relationships with home/family members, a history of police/juvenile probation involvement, psychiatric interventions including prescription medications and/or in-patient treatment, truancy, low self-esteem, below grade level in academic achievement, poor social skills, and a severe lack of anger control and coping skills.
Students with Autism who attend Hammitt Junior-Senior High School typically represent the more severe students on the Autism Spectrum, with complex sensory, communication, and behavioral needs that have significantly impacted their ability to function independently and make educational progress in less restrictive learning environments.
Hammitt Junior-Senior High School is committed to making school a positive learning experience for our students. Staff form partnerships with the referring public school district, parent/guardian, and other community based learning sites and services to provide our students with a challenging educational experience which will prepare them for adulthood. We encourage each student to develop positive relationships with others in their school, home, and community environments and to excel at communication, cooperation, and learning.
The key components of Hammitt Junior Senior High School include:
- A highly structured, positive learning environment to build self-esteem and encourage achievement.
- A flexible curriculum and personalized, interactive instruction.
- Small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio.
- Community based learning experiences focused on career development and independent living skills.
- Integrated computer technology to assist students with instruction and build basic computer competencies.
- Therapeutic support services including individual/group counseling and interventions for students in crisis
- Summer educational services as needed
Academic and Instructional Programming
Instructional services are provided to students based on their special education needs and learning objectives outlined as part of the student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP) developed with the student, parent, and referring school district. Academics are taught by special education certified staff, focusing on each student’s unique learning needs. Learning has been a source of frustration for many of our students, so Hammitt Junior-Senior High School provides additional staffing and technology supports to assist students with successful work completion and earning credits towards graduation. Speech/Language and School Nursing services are provided as specified in the IEP and on a consultant basis to classroom staff to enhance the provision of instructional classroom services. Community based learning sites, career exploration, and volunteer service opportunities, are included with traditional academic instruction as part of the overall learning experience. Daily Living Skills including budgeting, consumer economics, nutrition, and meal preparation are taught in our fully equipped kitchen lab. Life long health and wellness is emphasized as part of the physical education program. Life and leisure activities are utilized to bring awareness to students about the need for healthy life choices and the importance of physical fitness.
Vocational Education/Skill Development Services
After entering the program, students are assessed to determine their career interests, goals, and preparation for entering the world of work. Each student at Hammitt Junior-Senior High School is either involved in career exploration through hands-on involvement in community based learning sites, opportunities to experience work through on-campus work jobs, or paid employment through a formal work-study placement with a community employer or sheltered workshop.
As part of the Vocational curriculum, classrooms also volunteer as a group to help those less fortunate. Several classrooms help out at Midwest Food Bank to pack care packages for people that have become victims of natural disasters or assist at the Center of Hope Food Pantry to help those in need of food and basic items. We have also assisted at Home Sweet Home Ministries and the McLean County Humane Society. Through these experiences, students can practice social skills needed in a work environment and contribute volunteer service learning hours as part of their career exploration activities.
The Vocational Educational Program also partners with different community employers to assist students in developing vocational skills through hands-on learning at a job site. As part of this Skill Development Program, students go to work once a week with a job coach and experience the world of work at a community based employment setting.
If you are interested in becoming a Skill Development Partner with Hammitt Junior- Senior High School, call 309-452-1790 and ask for the Coordinator of Community Education or the Vocational Coordinator.
Our current employment partners in the community are:
Skill Development Sites: (Student is paid through Voc. Ed stipend)
Children's Discovery Museum
Little Jewels Learning Center (1,2)
Ropp Jersey Cheese Store
Tremont Kitchen Tops
Timber Pointe Outdoor Center
Walgreens (Fort Jesse, Oakland Ave.Veteran's Pkwy)
Competitive Work Opportunities: (student salary paid by business partner)
Sole' Salon & Spa
The Baby Fold (Residential cleaning and Maintenance)
Walgreens (Oakland, Veteran's Pkwy)
Community Based Education: (Non Paid Classroom. Group Experience)
East Bay Camp
Center for Hope Food Pantry
Humane Society of Central Illinois
McLean County Nursing Home
The Hammitt Junior-Senior High School clinical staff provides counseling, crisis intervention, and other therapeutic supports to the students and families served through the program. These staff members provide clinical consultation and crisis response to assist all staff at HJSHS in their interventions with students. Clinical staff members also provide assistance to teaching staff by collecting data, coordinating information regarding the student and family with other service providers, and implementing behavior intervention strategies consistent with the social learning model of the program. Throughout the day, they have the flexibility to pull students from class and provide that one-on-one encouragement that our students need for success in school. Counseling groups are also conducted once a week to help students with life and social skills needed to be successful in their homes and communities.
Hammitt Junior-Senior High administrators, instructional staff, related service personnel, and clinical staff work together as a therapeutic team; committed to assisting students in developing a wide range of skills that are necessary to succeed in all aspects of life. Students completing the Hammitt Junior-Senior High program show improved attendance rates, increased achievement of credits towards graduation, and are given an opportunity to return to their local public school for completion of high school as appropriate. Some students remain in the program through graduation from high school, with staff providing case management and support services to transition these students into post-secondary settings. The continual success of our HJSHS students, both in and out of the classroom, is a reflection of the dedication of this team and the partnership with students, families, and the referring school district.
Special Needs/Autism Program
Hammitt Junior-Senior High School offers a specialized classroom for students with severe Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. This classroom is designed to meet each individual student’s needs in preparation for vocational and social opportunities as they move from the traditional educational experience to adult life in the community. The core curriculum provides the students in the classroom with opportunities to learn and practice life skills that will assist them as they become more independent adults. In collaboration with several business partners, the students in the Autism Program are able to experience real life work experiences through job shadowing with a job coach in community based settings or by performing simulated job tasks on-campus. As the students develop more employability skills, some of them may have jobs in the community with job coaches helping to facilitate successful employment.
Programming for each student is individualized with accommodations that meet their unique needs. Accommodations may include visual supports such as picture schedules, picture sequences for teaching skills, social stories, choice boards, as well as augmentative communication devices. The Speech and Language Therapist works closely with classroom instructional and support staff in developing strategies that will facilitate and enhance learning and skill acquisition. Data is collected on a regular basis to determine program effectiveness and student progress. Our goal is for students to develop enhanced skills that will result in greater independence and self-sufficiency as they transition from school based to adult centered services.