The Bridges program serves students with a primary eligibility of cognitive disability, physical disability, specific learning disability, health disability, developmental delay, autism, traumatic brain injury, or multiple disability.

It includes elementary, middle school, and early high school classrooms. A typical classroom has eight students, one ISBE-certified teacher, one classroom para-educator, and 1:1 para-educators according to the needs of each student. Students are placed in classrooms based on age and ability.


Each student has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) that focuses on preparing the student to live, work, and socialize within the community. Each plan is tailored to meet the specific needs of the student and is written in accordance with Illinois State Board of Education Requirements.

Students who attend the Bridges program are immersed in a curriculum that is devoted to the content areas that directly prepare our students to be able to function in real-world situations; independent living, self-determination, self-advocacy, self-management, vocational, recreation/leisure, and community integration. Students receive physical education and to enhance their educational experience, students receive art
instruction and swimming. Our curriculum includes skills embedded throughout all aspects of a student’s educational program and includes the following skills:

  • Development of functional communication & academic skills
  • Development of social skills & self-advocacy
  • Addressing sensory, gross and fine motor skills
  • Real-life settings for instruction wherever possible
  • Alternate input modes (device, switches)
  • Adapted materials & equipment
  • Use of specialized computer hardware & software
  • Alternative communication systems

We utilize an eclectic approach to provide educational services to all students. Structured Teaching allows students to feel comfortable in a predictable environment that fosters functional independence. Other methods used may include, but are not limited to, functional communication training, Partner Augmented Input (PAI), and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

Non-discrimination Policy:
It is the Standard of Elim Christian Services to admit children and adults to agency services regardless of race, color, national and ethnic origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to agency service recipients. Elim Christian Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered policies. Read Full Disclosure.