The Thompson Instructional Center is an alternative school that is a public-private partnership between Joliet Public Schools District 86 and The Menta Group. The Thompson Center offers academic instruction to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The center focuses on the development of essential social, emotional, and critical thinking skills. This is accomplished through the use of an integrated model, in which clinicians team with educators to provide a therapeutic educational environment that effectively meets the individual clinical needs of students throughout the entire school day. The Thompson Center offers services in a Supportive program designed to deal with students whose behavior is characterized by poor peer relationships, poor social skills, poor stress coping skills, or symptoms of depression or anxiety. Services are also provided in a Directed program for students characterized by verbal or physical aggression, intimidation, bullying, defiance, and noncompliance. The Thompson Instructional Center uses a highly structured token economy system with appropriate therapeutic intervention and a myriad of sound educational and behavioral strategies to enable the students to benefit from their placement and make progress towards returning to a regular educational setting.
Finally the Thompson Center offers a program for general education students at an alternative attendance center. Students are placed at the Thompson Center when their behavioral and emotional needs can no longer be met in a regular educational setting. The Center offers a small class size with a facilitator and several supportive services (i.e. behavior modification, conflict resolution, anger management, and student-assisted programs). The goal is to help students develop appropriate school behaviors so they may return to their home school settings.