PACTT School: December News

Tidbits, info, & other goings-on from PACTT Learning Center

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Warm holiday wishes from our school to yours!

Greetings, district representatives,

Since you share your students with us, I thought it only fair that we share them back - with something more than a progress report or report card. So, once you get through the frenzy of this last week of school, I hope you can sit back with a cup of cocoa and enjoy this first installment ...

- Paula

Paula Jablonski


School & Transition Programs

PACTT Learning Center

Ask the Transition Specialist

Transition Planning can be overwhelming, at best. So, in order to give our parents one more way to get the information they need, PACTT's transition specialist, Lauren Mucha, and I hosted an online "Ask the Transition Specialist" chat last month. We were excited at the participation we had and the thoughful questions asked, and are looking forward to future information-sharing opportunities.

  • The transcript from the chat is on our Principal's Desk blog, HERE.
  • Learn more about PACTT's Transition Program, and check out our online transition resources at:

Interning at PACTT: A one-of-a-kind learning experience

We had the honor of hosting 10 interns at PACTT this semester, from five different local colleges & universities, and across four educational areas. PACTT offers university interns a unique opportunity to experience the therapeutic day environment, to interact with a range of students on the autism spectrum, and to learn from a diverse team of professionals.

Interns joined us from ...

  • Art Institute of Chicago - Art Therapy
  • Loyola University Chicago - Psychology
  • University of Illinois at Chicago - Education
  • Wright College - Occupational Therapy
  • Rush University - Occupational Therapy

Jalena Sidler, one of our Occupational Therapy interns wrote an insightful reflection on her experience after this semester in our classrooms:

"I know that as an occupational therapy assistant, I will set limits for many of my future students, clients, or patients and I now understand that I can either set limits that I think they can meet or I can push them past limits that they thought they would never meet. I can take what I have learned from every wonderful person on staff at PACTT and truly dedicate myself to helping that one person be better, hold them to high standards and never think 'wow, this person can’t possibly do this.'"

Read the rest of Jalena's reflection on the Principal's Desk blog HERE.

Community Exploration

Part of PACTT's mission is to help our students connect to the community. Our school and transition students spend time each week outside the school doors, where they are able to generalize skills to new environments, explore their surroundings, navigate familiar areas, and learn to use public transportation. This semester alone, PACTT classrooms have enjoyed visiting more than 25 different community locations, from the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Skokie Sculpture Park, to local restaurants and stores, to Millennium Park. Next semester, months of new adventure await!

Turkey and Fixin's -- PACTT's annual Thanksgiving Family Feast

Each year, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, our PACTT family gathers together for a pre-Thanksgiving celebration. Each classroom makes a piece of the meal - some get creative with the stuffing, others work their muscles on the mashed potatoes. Then, before we head off to our long Thanksgiving weekend, we enjoy an afternoon of gratitude (and tasty food!) with parents, siblings, staff and friends.

Thanks for reading!

Thank you for sharing your students with us. We are grateful for the opportunity to teach -- and to learn from -- these incredible young men and women each day.

We do have some openings in our school program for the spring semester, so if you have a student who would benefit from joining us, contact me at the phone or email below.

Until then, I hope you are all able take some time to enjoy a much-deserved holiday break!

-- Paula