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 Education Center offers alternative programming which provides therapeutic and educational services for students through a supportive, yet consistent environment.
The Mackay Education Center staff and its curriculum emphasize communication and teamwork, to maintain a consistent and supportive approach in dealing with each student. Intervention methods include behavior modification with positive reinforcement, caring consequences for negative behaviors, and a modeling of positive attitudes. The goal of the programming is to help instill within the students a positive self-image, a good work ethic, and an internal desire to follow rules and accept responsibilities for their actions. High emphasis is placed on self-control, making good choices, having a positive attitude, and mastering academic skills.
There are three options of programming available at the Mackay Education Center. A description of each program follows:

CARE - Choices, Attitude, Responsibility, Excellence


The CARE program is a self-contained program option that provides academic and social/emotional supports to students. This program provides instruction by highly qualified special education teachers with the support of its own full-time social worker.  This classroom is designed to support students who may have difficulty with transitions or who need a higher level of therapeutic support.  Students will be mostly self-contained throughout the day with exceptions for P.E., electives (if applicable), and lunch, unless the IEP determines other opportunities are appropriate.


BRIDGE - Building Responsible Individuals Driven by Goals in Education


The BRIDGE program is the traditional Mackay program option that provides academic and social/emotional supports to students at a lesser restrictive level than the CARE program.  This program provides instruction by highly qualified special education teachers with the support of two social workers and a guidance counselor. In this program, the students transition from class to class on a bell schedule that mimics that of the high school. Students may attend classes within the regular high school building for a portion of their day based on maintenance of academic and behavioral standards set by Mackay staff and with the recommendation of the IEP team.


PACT - Personalized Academics, Counseling, and Transition(Click for details)


The PACT program is a program designed for seniors 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.  Guidance counseling support is provided to these 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 his or her highest academic and emotional potential for successful reintegration into regular education programming and/or work environment, and to become positively contributing members of society.



Program Design:

The program is designed to address the diverse emotional, academic, and vocational needs of our students. The program establishes a supportive learning environment necessary to develop a healthy self-image and develop positive social behaviors so that students become positive contributing members of society.

The methods through which change or growth in students is anticipated includes:

  • 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 therapy
  • Affective Education/Community Classroom Model
  • Individual Behavior Intervention Plans
  • Parent Support
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 (Algebra, Geometry)
  • Science (Biology, Earth, Physical)
  • United States History / World History
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Physical Education
  • Health
  • Music
Therapeutic Component:

The emotional issues presented by the students are understood to represent their response to personal and interpersonal stresses. Inappropriate behavior and inappropriate affective expressions, with adverse affect on academic performance, are seen as symptoms of their emotional issues.

Students participate in the following therapeutic techniques to remediate these issues:

  • Therapy (group & individual) that focus on specific behavioral issues, traditional adolescent problems, substance abuse, family problems, personal problem-solving, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Community classroom model, which focuses on the skills necessary to function in a group, with friends, with family, at school and at work. Skills developed are relationship development, effective communication, moral development, and problem-solving.
  • Level/Point System. Positive behavioral component in which students earn points for demonstrating appropriate social and school behavior.
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