Martin P. Mackay Education Center (New Lenox)

Martin P. Mackay Education Center

Martin P. Mackay Education Center
High School
516 South Cedar Road
New Lenox, IL 60451

Phone: 815-463-8068
Fax: 815-463-8072

Principal: Marie Goulet

Program Descriptions

The Mackay Center offers alternative programming which provides therapeutic and educational services for students through a supportive yet consistent environment.

The Mackay Education Center staff and the curriculum we utilize emphasize communication and teamwork in order to maintain a consistent and supportive approach in working with each student. Intervention methods used by staff include but are not limited to behavior modification techniques that rely on positive reinforcement, caring natural consequences for negative behaviors, modeling of positive behaviors, and a community based model which utilizes the foundations of restorative justice practice.

There are three program options available to students as the Mackay Education Center. A description of each program follows:

CARE - Choices, Attitude, Responsibility, Excellence

The CARE program is an option for that provides intensive academic and social-emotional supports to students. This program provides instruction by highly qualified special education teachers with the support of social workers. This program is designed to support students who may have difficulty with transitions or who need a higher level of therapeutic support. Traditionally, students in the CARE program do not attend classes at their home school.


BRIDGE - Building Responsible Individuals Driven by Goals in Education

The BRIDGE program provides academic and social-emotional supports to students at a less intensive level of support that the CARE program. This program also provides instruction by highly qualified special education teachers with the support of social workers. Students in this program typically do not require as high levels of instructional and/or social-emotional support as their peers in the CARE program. Students in the BRIDGE program may also be eligible (if they desire) to attend classes at their home school as based on academic, attendance, and behavioral eligibility as determined by the IEP team.

PACT - Personalized Academics, Counseling, and Transition

The PACT program is designed for students who find themselves lacking the required credits for high school graduation. This program utilizes an independent, self-directed learning environment and uses a computer based curriculum for both instructional delivery and student management. Social work support is provided to PACT students, as well as a transition component to enhance job skill development. The purpose of this program is to assist students in successfully achieving the necessary credits to receive their high school diploma while preparing them for their post-secondary transition.

The ultimate goal of the Mackay Education Center programs is to assist each student in reaching their highest social-emotional and academic potential for the successful reintegration into the general education program setting (high school and/or post secondary) and/or work environment while becoming positively contributing members of their communities.

Program Design:

The overall Mackay Education Center program is designed to address the diverse social-emotional, academic, and vocational needs of our students. Our program establishes a supportive learning environment necessary to develop a healthy self-image as well as assisting our students in the development of positive pro-social behaviors on their path to becoming positive contributing members to their communities.

The methods through which change and growth in students is anticipated includes but is not limited to:

  • Classroom instruction meeting the requirements of the referring district
  • Post graduation transition planning to teach basic employability skills, career awareness, and life skills
  • Individual and group school based therapy
  • Affective education in a community classroom model
  • Individual Behavior Intervention Plans
  • Parent and family support
  • Positive Behavior Intervention and Support
  • Restorative Justice and community based model
Academic Component:

The Academic curriculum reflects the coursework necessary for graduation from each district that sends students. Each student is given an opportunity to function at the appropriate academic grade level and curriculum.

Students take course work in the following areas:

  • Language Arts / Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • United States History
  • Western Civilization
  • Civics & Consumer Economics
  • Physical Education
  • Health
  • Electives (Art, Food & Nutrition, Publications, Computer Applications, Etc.)
Therapeutic Component:

The social-emotional issues presented by our students are understood to represent their response to personal and interpersonal stresses. Inappropriate behavior and inappropriate affective expressions, with adverse affect on academic performance, and functioning in social situations, are seen as symptoms of studentís emotional disability.

Students participate in the following therapeutic techniques to assist in remediation of these concerns::

  • Therapeutic interventions (group and individual therapy with social workers) that focus on specific behavioral issues, traditional adolescent problems, substance abuse, family problems, personal problem-solving, and interpersonal relationships (to name a few).
  • Community classroom and restorative justice model- focuses on the skills necessary to function in a group, with friends, with family, at school, and at work. Skills developed include relationship development, effective communication, moral and character development, problem solving, frustration tolerance, and community building.
  • PBIS model- positive behavioral supports and interventions allow students to operate on a token economy system earning points for expected behaviors and utilize points earned for tangible goods.
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