Hammitt Elementary School serves students in grades kindergarten through 5th/6th grades. Hammitt Elementary is committed to making school a positive learning experience for our students. We do this by developing positive relationships, using therapeutic interventions, having small class sizes based on age and functioning level, and lots of loving patience. The goal of our services is to empower students by helping them to build the skills they need to improve their emotional regulation and behavior, increase academic achievement, and return to public school.
The key components of Hammitt Elementary School include:
- A highly structured, positive learning environment to build self-esteem and encourage achievement
- A flexible curriculum based on each child’s individual learning style and unique emotional needs
- Small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio
- Specialized services provided to the families of students to create a supportive home-school partnership
- Strong link to public school districts to develop a smooth and supportive transition when students return to their home schools
- Summer educational services as needed
- Monthly Treatment Advisory Committee meetings to monitor the treatment and behavior management techniques at Hammitt Elementary in order to protect the rights and ensure the quality of services to children
Instructional services are provided to students based on their special education needs and learning objectives outlined as part of the student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP) developed with the student, parents/guardians, and referring school district. Academics are taught by special education certified staff, focusing on each student’s unique learning needs.
Hammitt Elementary School is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education as a non-public special education school. Hammitt Elementary is accredited by AdvancED.
Mission, Vision, and Beliefs
We foster a safe learning environment for students and families to feel loved, respected, and to develop their fullest potential through trauma-informed practices.
We believe passionately in the power of a school family that creates a safe, inclusive learning environment.
- Connection matters. School families create a welcoming, supportive environment where students and staff know they are safe.
- Family matters. Family involvement, insight, and communication contribute to the success of the student.
- Teamwork matters. Students have various needs and therefore need a variety of support. Families, related service providers, support staff, and school districts work together to provide the interventions and environment required for student success.
- Achievement matters. We believe that by implementing evidence based practices and setting high expectations our students will do well.
- Community matters. Stakeholders play a vital role in supporting our families and inspiring students' success.
Hammitt School’s Challenges Program began in 1993 with one classroom. We now have multiple classrooms at Hammitt Elementary and Hammitt Junior-Senior High. Challenges is a program designed for students with autism and/or communication disorders. Each student in the Challenges Program is unique and comes to us with a variety of skills and areas of interest. Our classroom programming is designed specifically for each child, with students working in small groups or in a one-on-one setting with a teacher. We focus on language and communication skills, which in turn help students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs. Each classroom and student-specific program is built on positive behavior interventions and sensory supports, promoting social and emotional growth as well as functional independence. Our teaching teams believe that it is very important to have positive relationships with both our students and their families. It is our goal to work with families to help students develop emotional regulation and functional communication, allowing students to be successful in a variety of community settings.
The Connections Program is considered our middle ground between our Challenges Program and Traditional Program. Connections is a program that requires a great deal of flexibility and an extensive array of resources that are implemented in order to make a positive change within a student’s learning experience. The Connections Program focuses on each child as a whole; daily instruction is provided for academic content areas, social skills, emotional regulation, daily living, and pre-vocational skills. This program has an emphasis on the accommodations which are working to help the students. To best program for each student, the Connections team looks to integrate students in the Traditional and Challenges programs as appropriate.
The referral process begins in your child’s home school through their IEP team. If the IEP team believes that a therapeutic placement may be appropriate for a student, a representative from Hammitt Elementary may be invited to observe the student in their home school. Once an IEP team from the student’s home school district recommends Hammitt Elementary, the potential student and his/her parents will be invited for a tour and visit. If the placement is determined by the IEP team to be an appropriate fit, an intake meeting will be scheduled at Hammitt. The new student’s start date, transportation, and other details will be determined at the child’s in-take meeting.
All students are required to register at their home school, as they remain legal students of their local district. Parents will need to register their child before the beginning of each school year through their home school district. In general, the registration should include the following steps, but parents will need to contact their home school district for specific registration requirements:
- Proof of compliance with state health requirements
- Proof of residency and citizenship
- Completion of emergency cards
- Payment of school fees
Once properly registered, students will be enrolled in the Hammitt Elementary School program designated on their IEP. Parents will be provided with additional paperwork required by Hammitt Elementary at the intake meeting. The registration and paperwork requirements must be completed prior to the student’s first attendance day. Your home district will provide:
- Current or most recent IEP
- Current transcript (if appropriate)
Your child’s team at Hammitt Elementary will consist of many trained individuals who are responsible for the development of treatment goals on the student’s individualized education plan. In addition to your child’s classroom teachers, your child’s team may include their Family Advocate, School Psychologist, Speech and Language Pathologist, Social Worker, or Occupational Therapist, among others. Staff provides consultation and therapeutic interventions to your child during their school day, as well as crisis management as needed.
Family Advocate Services:
Parental involvement is a key aspect of student success in school. There are many ways that Hammitt Elementary staff help parents stay connected with their child’s school team. Our Family Advocates provide many services to children, families, and teachers and they serve as a bridge between home and school.
A Family Advocate will be assigned to work with your family during your child’s intake staffing meeting. Your Family Advocate will typically meet with you twice a month. During these meetings, you and your Family Advocate will talk about the progress your child is making both at school and at home, as well as any areas of concern. They will answer any questions or address concerns you may have, and act as a liaison between home and school. Your Family Advocate will also be able to help you with crisis situations, finding community resources, and can provide ideas to help your child succeed at both school and home. When the time comes for your child to leave Hammitt Elementary, your Family Advocate will assist with planning for this transition.
Your child will see their Family Advocate frequently and will work on building a positive relationship with your child. This may be done through a friendly greeting when getting off the bus, congratulating or rewarding your child for good behavior or reaching a goal, or helping your child work through a tough time. Your Family Advocate will also work with your child on teaching social skills and providing crisis intervention when necessary.
If you have a change in your phone number or address, be sure to let your Family Advocate know.
If you have any questions about the Family Advocate Program, please contact Kris Baber, Supervisor of Family Advocates, at (309) 451-7222 or by emailing
Transportation to and from Hammitt Elementary School will be the responsibility of the home school district, parent, or guardian. Any questions, concerns, or problems with transportation should be directed to your home school district and the Hammitt Principal at (309) 451-7231
If the school must be closed or starts late due to severe weather or any other unforeseen circumstances, local radio stations (AM 1230/ FM 101.5) will announce our closings under the name “Hammitt Elementary School” or “The Baby Fold.” Parents or guardians will also be able to check the local radio station websites for cancellations or arrival delays. School will only close after students have arrived under extreme conditions.
In the event that your child lives outside of Bloomington-Normal, and your town is experiencing severe weather conditions, the home district may choose not to transport students via bus or van.
There are ongoing needs to help support the programs and services of The Baby Fold. The document below contains specific needs for Hammitt Elementary School.