TAP (Therapeutic Academic Program)
About TAP | TAP Program Information
Clinical Director: Mary Ellen Miller, (815) 439-5521
The mission of the Therapeutic Education Program is to help students who are struggling with emotional and social challenges to achieve their potential academically and adaptively so they may become healthy, responsible and productive adults.
This is achieved in a highly structured and consistent environment in which expectations are taught and positively reinforced through-out the program day. By utilizing both verbal and visual feedback, the students take ownership of their progress and responsibility for their actions. Group and individual counseling serve to strengthen coping and problem-solving skills that are reinforced in the program. All of this is combined with a challenging curriculum ensuring growth in the academic, emotional and social domains.
TAP serves students who are unable to be successful in traditional school settings due to a deficit in emotional self-regulation. When these students experience overwhelming feelings they tend to cope in ways that are harmful to themselves. As a group they have more identifiable psychiatric disorders than the general student population and may have a history of psychiatric hospitalization and treatment. These students have been unsuccessful in district special education classes and need a smaller therapeutic setting that teaches coping skills and allows for frequent breaks and immediate processing with clinical staff.
Students receive direct social work services thru individual and group counseling weekly. Additionally, students are seen on a crisis basis at any time. Brief time out of the classroom for a cool down and reflection is encouraged when a student is angry or upset. If they are unable to deescalate, the student may be referred to their social worker and may utilize the quiet area in the social work office. At this point coping skills are taught and reviewed and students are encouraged to return to class when ready. A therapy dog is available as needed. Daily art class allows the students another avenue to safely express their feelings.
Most behaviors that would otherwise result in a referral in the traditional setting are handled as part of the program and are tracked on the student’s daily progress card. Daily progress in the program is measured by achieving the maximum points for each of a student’s four individualized goals and by the amount of time spent out of class for purposes of coping and calming. Suspension from the program is seldom used and only for safety reasons.
Students have the option of returning to their home school once they have demonstrated consistency in behavior and minimal need for time out of class to cool down.
TAP Hours are 8:24 am to 2:00pm
Students not arriving on special transportation must enter Door D on the north side of the building near the gym no later than 8:20am.
Access to the program after all bused TAP students have arrived will be through Door A on the south side of the building across from the bank.
Lunch orders are taken first thing in the morning. Lunches are $2.20 and extra milk is $.50. We do not make change but will keep track of any balances. Students may bring a non-perishable lunch. All drinks and water bottles must have original seal. Late arriving students are encouraged to bring a lunch.
Please call the front desk by 10:00am to report any unplanned absence. The number is 815-439-5521. Please use the Pre-arranged Absence form when appropriate. A copy of this form is in the orientation packet. Per the Illinois State Board of Education, family vacations will be recorded as un-excused absences.
Progress reports including current grades and progress on IEP goals are mailed home every six weeks. Final semester grades are posted at 18 weeks. Progress can be monitored from home on the Parent Web Module. (www.psd202.org/Academy/tap.htm - click on the Parents/Students drop down)
Social Work Services for the family
As a component of the TAP program, our Social Workers are available to provide parent coaching and consultation as well as brief solution-focused family therapy (6 sessions maximum per school year) as another way to support your student’s progress on academic and personal life goals. During these 45 minute sessions our Social Workers will work with you to provide counseling, information and resources. These six sessions are provided at no cost to you.
Please contact your student’s social worker for an appointment. Some late afternoon and early evening hours are available.
Mary Ellen Miller, LCSW
815-439-5521, ext. 80-5899
Amy Sartain, MSW, CADC
815-439-5521, ext. 80-5898
Last minute morning appointments are available if a family situation that involves your student occurred over the weekend or the night before or morning of a school day. We have found that your student will be more focused in school that day if there is a way to address the issue in-person with all parties immediately.
Academic Restitution is a consequence for students whose behavior and/or work refusal resulted in missed work from the previous school day. It may also be used in as a consequence for excessive inappropriate behavior(s) regardless of need for make-up work due to the behavior(s). Parents will be informed that they need to arrange transportation for student arrival at Door “A” by 7:40am the next morning. If the student refuses the Academic Restitution, they will remain out-of-school until a parent-student-staff re-entry conference is held. If the student does not utilize the Academic Restitution time appropriately, they will continue to make-up work during lunch and after school that day. In this case, parents will be notified that arrangements for an after-school pick-up will be needed. Any work not completed by 3:00pm will be entered as a zero.
We appreciate your cooperation!