Special Education



We Exceeded our Goal!

Thank you to all who contributed to our Special Education Challenge which raised $21,545 for funding support that helps provide expanded opportunities for students with disabilities. These include Life Skills, Social Thinking, Yoga Therapy, PROMPT Therapy, Animal Assisted Therapy and Vocational Training.

As programming in special education at New Trier has grown and evolved, the need for assistive technology devices has increased significantly.  “Thanks to the Special Education Challenge, a full inventory of these devices has been purchased to assist students in a wide range of activities,” says Life Skills Faculty Sean E. Clemenz.  “We now have new equipment to assist in communication, iPad access, and the operation of small appliances in the new Life Skills kitchens. As a result, our students are participating more fully in a wide range of activities and striving toward greater independence,” Clemenz points out.

A video about the Foundation’s efforts to support students and faculty was recently shown at the Alumni Achievement Awards dinner. The video highlights New Trier’s Dog Therapy program, a recipient of the funds raised.

And, while this Challenge has been completed, the Foundation will continue to accept directed gifts for special education initiatives. Listed below are several of the special education programs the Foundation has supported over the years. For details about these programs, click here to download our Special Education Grant Summary. Your donation will help support these programs and other creative approaches to instruction for our special education students.



icons_background1Life Skills
Helps students with significant disabilities build self-confidence and independence

Social Thinking
Targeted programming for students to develop interpersonal communication skills

Yoga Therapy
Weekly practice using breathing and movement to improve physical, emotional and behavioral functioning

PROMPT Therapy
Holistic technique utilizing small-step programming to improve verbal communication skills

Animal Assisted Therapy
Therapeutic activities with animals to improve social, emotional, or cognitive functioning

Vocational Training
Employment-based curriculum providing students practical, real-world experience to help them become self-reliant

Special Education students signed a large Thank You card
that was presented to the Foundation by Life Skills Faculty Sean E. Clemenz.