Our Vision: Empowering Students for Success – in school, at home and in the community.

Our CIRCLE Academy Education Programs in Urbana and Rossville offer a structured, caring environment with a focus on family involvement. Our students live at home in nearby communities and face unique behavioral and emotional challenges that hinder their success in public schools. Our therapeutic education model identifies each student’s individual needs and strengths, focusing on academic and behavioral growth and works to help students develop the Circle of Courage principles—Belonging, Independence, Generosity, and Mastery.

We offer our students:

  • Individualized Special Education Programming
  • Small class sizes (average 2:7 ratio)
  • Individual and Group Therapeutic Counseling
  • Therapeutic Behavior Intervention Programming
  • Vocational Training Opportunities


CIRCLE Academy Urbana services 70 students while CIRCLE Academy Rossville serves 55 students. To be considered for enrollment, students must be eligible to receive special education services in one of the disability categories for which CIRCLE Academy has been approved by the Illinois State Board of Education including:

  • Emotional Disability (ED)
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  • Intellectual Disability (ID)
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI)
  • Autism
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Developmental Delay (DD)

In most cases, the primary disability is Emotional Disability. The student may have other disabilities which are secondary.

From the start, our program involves students and families in planning the return to public school. We work on academic foundations and behavior, aiming for a strong partnership with families to facilitate a quicker return to the home school.

Specialized Programs

Autism Services: Provides special education services to students, ages 5 to 21, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Classroom placements are determined by grade, ability levels and communication needs. Our program utilizes Structured Teacch and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Bridge to Independence Program:  Serves students aged 18-21, offering personalized chances to earn graduation credits. Emphasizing practical life and social skills, students are expected to secure and keep employment. Vocational training is mandatory, and “Bridge Entrepreneurial Projects” offer extra opportunities.

K – 12 students:  Classrooms have a clear structure, using varied teaching methods and ongoing assessments. Students face stimulating materials and are motivated to showcase their knowledge and skills creatively and traditionally.

Vocational Services: Around 50-60% of students receive vocational services, covering career exploration, resume development, skills training, and hands-on work experiences. Funding comes from CIRCLE and is supplemented by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) grant.

Learn more


CIRCLE Academy Urbana: Linda Fox at (217) 367-6923

CIRCLE Academy Vermilion: Linda Fox at (217) 769-0030

Important information

CIRCLE Academy-Urbana 2023-2024 School Calendar

CIRCLE Academy-Vermilion 2023-2024 School Calendar

CIRCLE Academy Bullying Prevention Policy

Cunningham Children’s Home Wellness Policy

CIRCLE Academy has a diverse student body and has a non-discriminatory policy as to students. This educational program does not discriminate against students who are referred to CIRCLE Academy on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, ancestry, gender, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. CIRCLE accepts students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, ancestry, gender, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at CIRCLE. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, ancestry, gender, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation in administering its educational policies, admission policies, athletic and other school-administered programs.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.