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Functional Program

The District 118 Functional Program serves students grades K-5 with significant academic, social, and functional needs who require a more structured environment to make progress in the curriculum. The functional program offers a small class size and staff to student ratio.

Students are provided instruction focusing on communication, language, social and self-management skills, self-help skills, and prevocational skills.A unique combination of modified core curriculum and alternative programs are created based on the needs of the individual learner.Instruction is provided across multiple contexts, staff members, and settings, which include whole group, small group, one-on-one centers, and structured independent work stations to facilitate generalization of skills.The functional classroom staff strive to help facilitate positive interactions and friendships with our students’ non-disabled peers. The classroom develops partnerships with general education classrooms to plan inclusive activities. In addition to activities within the general education environment, peer buddies join the functional class to participate and assist the students in classroom activities. Read more below or download the District 118 Functional Program brochure HERE.


Structured Teaching:

  • Highly Structured Environment
  • Work System
  • Visual Supports

Verbal Behavior:

  • Builds on students' motivation to teach meaningful and fucntional language and communication to the student

Natural Environment Teaching:

  • Hands on experiences
  • In-the-moment teaching
  • Social emotional learning
  • Opportunities in natural, occurring situations

Additional Opportunities

  • General education peer buddies
  • Community outings
  • Participation in and exposure to school-wide activities and assemblies

Related Services
All students within the functional program receive related services in the areas of speech and language, social work, occupational therapy, and adaptive physical education. In addition, individual students may receive additional therapies based on the student’s IEP. Service delivery for therapy is integrated in the classroom, as well as during one-on-one centers, small group, and whole group.

Locations for Services
Grades K-3: Palos West Elementary

Grades 4-5: Palos East Elementary


Supply List

Functional Classroom Photos