South Campus is a private therapeutic day school that was founded in 2001 to serve students in Southern Lake and Northern Cook Counties who are in need of an alternative school program, which is supportive, therapeutic and educational. The program serves students between the ages of 6 and 21 years. SC utilizes educational, therapeutic, family and community connections to promote academic achievement and personal/emotional growth. The staff at SC is fully committed to helping each student make academic progress and develop the skills and behaviors necessary to succeed back in their home school or in a less-restrictive environment. The staff has found that the development of supportive, nurturing relationships with all students is integral to this process.
Ms. Betty Lindquist and Dr. John Schuler, and Mr. Tom Dempsey, founders of the program, chose to base the mission of SC on philosophical principles similar to those held at Counseling Connection’s multi-disciplinary group practice, specializing in the therapeutic needs of children, adolescents and adults. The professionals at Counseling Connection (founded by Ms. Lindquist and Dr. Schuler) have been serving the community since 1981, and have worked closely with the schools, courts and social service agencies of Lake and Northern Cook Counties.
With regard to treatment philosophies, the clinical staff of SC uses a cognitive-behavioral/problem-solving approach as well as narrative principles to help students overcome problems at hand, practice more successful behavioral alternatives and explore ways to “re-write” their frequently negative life stories. Our goal is to work with students to build on their strengths and gifts, and fight with them against their weaknesses and obstacles. The environment is based in a positive nurturing model where “natural consequences” for behaviors are frequently utilized. SC avoids using restrictive and punitive methods of behavioral management and does not have a time-out room. Physical management/restraint is only employed as a last resort, when the child is determined to be a danger to her/himself or others.