High School & Vocational Education

Students are admitted to the school at 8:30 a.m. On Mondays and Fridays, school programming ends at 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.

Students are required to bring pens, pencils, and paper to school. Other materials will be provided as needed.


Daily attendance within the Innovations Academy High School and Vocational Education program is very important. A significant number of unexcused absences will jeopardize your placement as well as your progress towards successful on and off-campus vocational opportunities. If a student is going to be absent from school, a parent or legal guardian should call the school before the school day begins to inform the school of their son or daughter’s absence. Absent students who are not reported before the school day begins will be recorded as unexcused. The school office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The office phone number is (630) 540-3900. Messages may be left on voice mail when the school is closed.

Excused Absences or Tardiness

  • Court dates
  • Death in the family
  • Doctor’s appointment
  • Hospitalization
  • Illness (If absent 3 days you must have a doctor’s note stating the nature of the illness, and the date on which the student may return to school)
  • Vacation (Only if a student vacation request form has been submitted and approved prior to the vacation)
  • Criminal Detention (depending on the school district policy)

Unexcused Absences or Tardiness

  • Missed bus
  • No phone call from parent or guardian before 8:30 a.m.
  • Overslept
  • School refusal

An unexcused absence can only be changed if a physician’s note is brought to school.

Academic Program

All classrooms are subject-based and are taught with a specialized schedule to meet the needs of individual students. The curriculum is focused on practical applications to academic subjects, and utilizes frequent community trips to apply knowledge learned in class. In addition, the academic program of each student is implemented in coordination with the academic requirements of each student’s home district.

Vocational Education Program

A significant component of our 9th through 12th grade program will be focused on vocational and transitional skill building and development. Students will participate in semester-long Vocational Education training blocks within an extended school day that will increase awareness of successful job and social skills for future on and off-campus employment and integration into one’s community. Curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Learning standards in each area of focus and include supporting resources such as the Kuder Career Assessment and Curriculum®.   The five Vocational Education blocks and specific categories of training are:

  • Hospitality
    • Culinary Skills
    • Lunch Service
    • Catering
    • Housekeeping
    • Basic Maintenance (Janitorial Services)
  • The Arts
    • Fine Arts
    • Crafting
    • Gift Shop
    • Landscaping
    • Horticultural Arts
  • Clerical
    • Basic Computer
    • Reception
    • Phone Skills
    • Filing, Organizing, Basic Office
  • Home Economics
    • Simple Meal preparation
    • Knitting and Sewing
    • Craft Making for the home
  • Employability Skills
    • Communication in the workplace
    • Managing Information
    • Using Numbers
    • Problem Solving
    • Personal Management Skills
    • Interviewing Skills and Resume writing

Therapeutic Program

Therapists work collaboratively with teachers to address a wide variety of emotional and behavioral issues. Therapeutic services are provided with the goal to help each student find hope for healing and achieve greater personal growth and wholeness.

Each student receives 60 minutes of individual, group and crisis therapy within the Innovations Academy as part of the therapeutic program.

Therapy services are provided to students in two equal components at Innovations. In the first component, each student is given a base of 30 minutes, in-office time with their assigned therapist. During this time, the therapist focuses on working with the student to develop rapport and a positive working relationship. As this relationship is developed, the therapist is beginning to assess what the individual student’s needs and strengths are, as well as what modalities might be most appropriate.

A variety of treatment methods including: behavioral and cognitive therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and psycho-dynamic interventions are used. In-office therapy time is used as a safe and comfortable place for the student to identify, express and better understand their unique functioning. As the therapy progresses, the student will be challenged to identify current coping skills and work on replacing or re-framing current beliefs and coping skills that may no longer be useful, to an improved and more effective skill set. Guardians are an important part of this process and there is frequent communication with the student’s home. These interactions help educate the therapist on how the student is doing in the home and community environment, parental concerns/goals, etc.

The second part of this process involves the student taking their newly developed coping skills and practicing these skills in the classroom. At Innovations, this is referred to as the “push-in” process. The therapist becomes a part of the classroom where the student is and observes and coaches the student to work on incorporating newly developed skills into their daily behaviors within the classroom. The therapist also works with the teaching staff to create opportunities for the student to use newly acquired skills and give helpful feedback.

Students may request extra therapy time. Often this request is a positive choice the student is making, in order to gain support for a stressor being experienced, (either in the classroom or a life circumstance outside of school). The therapist will often work with the student and teaching staff to accommodate these requests in a way that does not interfere with important academic time. These requests can also be a time for the therapist to work with the student in helping them to access their coping skills and utilize these while remaining in the classroom.

Dress Code

Enrolled students are required to dress appropriately for school each day and students in the High School and Vocational Education program must be aware of successful attire for the workplace and their specific area of vocational focus. Innovations Academy staff will make the final decision on the appropriateness of any article of clothing or footwear.

  • All students are to refrain from wearing any clothing, jewelry, buttons, or any other items with words, phrases, symbols, drawings, or pictures pertaining to drugs, alcohol, street gangs, sexual activity, or profanity. Gang-related colors, attire, and paraphernalia are also not allowed. All students are to refrain from wearing hats, bandannas, (tied in the front), do-rags, hoodies, sunglasses, or any other head coverings while in the building unless it is required for programmatic safety.
  • Students are permitted to wear jewelry to school, but the school is not responsible for injury or damage resulting from the wearing of jewelry.
  • All footwear must be appropriate, comfortable and protective. Spiked high heels are not allowed. Snow boots may be worn to school during bad weather conditions; however, they must be placed in the classroom closet or school storage room upon arrival and replaced with appropriate footwear for the school day. Shoes worn to school must be appropriate for physical education, or the student will receive a failing grade for that day.
  • Shirts must have sleeves and cover the student’s entire torso and midriff. Tank-tops and “muscle shirts” are not allowed See-through, fishnet clothing or tight-fitting garments are not allowed.
  • Pants must be worn at the waist. Students are encouraged to wear a belt to ensure this occurs, if needed. All shorts must be no more than 5 inches above the knee when standing. Students will be allowed to change to shorts for physical education if they desire.
  • Clothing must be in good repair: no significant rips or tears, no safety pins.
  • Any clothing that exposes parts of a student’s body, undergarments, or in any other way is deemed inappropriate will not be allowed.
  • Students who arrive wearing inappropriate clothing will be asked to remove it, turn the inappropriate attire inside-out, or wear a plain tee-shirt over their clothing, whichever is most appropriate. Alternatively, parents may bring the student a change of clothing. If a student refuses to comply, the student maybe removed from the milieu and parents contacted to achieve a satisfactory solution.