South Campus CAAEL

Chicago Area Alternative Education League

Picture representing South Campus CAAELCAAEL is available to eligible middle school students every Wednesday and eligible high school students every Friday. South Campus has been participating in CAAEL since our school opened in 2001 and we have seen the tremendous impact it has had on our belonging, generosity, mastery and independence.  What a wonderful way to practice real-life coping strategies while focusing on sportsmanship and having fun with peers from different schools!

Research shows that students who participate in athletic or activity programs achieve higher grade point averages, miss fewer days of school, and are more self-confident.  Through wonderful organizations such as the IHSA, hundreds of thousands of Illinois students represent their schools in athletic and activity programs ranging from basketball to debate.  Each year, thousands of Illinois’ high-risk students - those excluded from the educational mainstream due to severe behavioral and emotional problems - are unable to participate in these positive, life-enhancing experiences.

Since 1976, the Chicago Area Alternative Education League (CAAEL) has successfully provided a full spectrum of interscholastic academic and athletic programs to over 100,000 of the Chicagoland area's most at-risk boys and girls ranging from ages 7-21. 

These students have been removed from their mainstream schools and placed in alternative schools for a broad range of behavioral and emotional issues.  Typically referred to as at-risk or high-risk, these kids may be aggressive or withdrawn, emotionally disturbed or learning disabled, behaviorally challenging or socially isolated, gang involved, drug dependent, depressed or truant. CAAEL has continued to successfully serve this wide-range of students with respect to age, disability, ability, race, and culture. 

Founded by alternative school educators FOR alternative school educators, CAAEL works in partnership with over 50 alternative schools from 79 public school districts, spanning 8 Illinois counties, including Chicago's North Shore, the inner city, and several rural communities.