SEAL provides a K-12 curriculum, which includes primary (grades 1-3), intermediate (grades 4-6), junior high (grades 7 & 8), high school (grades 9-12) and services as indicated until the age of 22. The primary, intermediate and junior high classes are self- contained offering a standard curriculum of Reading, Spelling, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education.


The High School Curriculum meets all state standards, including individual credits as indicated by the school districts.  A variety of classes are available to meet individual student needs including vocational services, transition services and graduation requirements.  All students have the opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as Art and Music.


These domains coupled with SEAL’s therapy approach, Expressive Therapy, provide additional opportunities for student personal, emotional, and social growth. This unique and supportive environment encourages positive risk taking and enhancing self-esteem while meeting specific areas of need as outlined by the student’s IEP.


Upon enrollment, the school staff will assess the student’s functioning in academic, personal and interpersonal skills and provide programming that is developmentally appropriate.

Our Founders

Managing partner Karen Larson set forth the leadership of two additional therapeutic schools.  She directed all aspects for a national child welfare agency of several hundred children.  Ms. Larson was able to restore the financial health of these programs.  She is experienced in programmatic and business management aspects in  therapeutic schools.

Managing partner Cindy Nudd also has extensive experience in public and private therapeutic schools.  She was the founding principal of a successful start-up school in DuPage County, which exceeded both financial and programmatic expectations.  Ms. Nudd is an active member of IAPSEC (Illinois Association of Private Special Education Centers).  She sits on several committees within the organization to assure a high standard of special education, care and treatment is available to all Illinois children with exceptional needs.

Managing partner Patty Hotz has extensive experience in both public and private therapeutic schools.  In addition, her expertise extends to the  psychiatric hospital setting.  Ms. Hotz pioneered the establishment of expressive therapy as a successful therapeutic approach for children and adolescents. As such, she has developed, implemented and overseen a continuum of clinical therapeutic programming. This expertise is the essence of SEAL’s therapeutic modality.

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