Northwest Center for Autism Moving and Expanding
Camelot’s Northwest Center for Autism is moving to larger confines, and that means the school will be able to offer more programs and help more students.
NWCA has served children on the autism spectrum since 1999 from its location in DeKalb, IL, but now Camelot has decided to take advantage of a larger vacant school building being available, the former Davenport Elementary School, 14 miles away in Genoa.
“In early July, Camelot NWCA will begin making minor modifications and renovations to the building so that it meets our students’ needs,” said NWCA executive director Jennifer Johnson. “We are very excited about the move and will maintain all of our current programmings. We will also work towards enhancing our programming in the coming school year.”
Johnson said she hopes that all of NWCA’s students can make this move. She and her team will spend the next several weeks helping families with the transition.
“We do understand that change can be difficult for our students and are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for everyone,” she said.
NWCA has been in contact with the 35 school districts it serves in nine counties to ensure everyone has the essential information and that any questions or concerns are answered. In addition, Johnson said the school will be offering tours for families and school districts over the summer. That will all be followed by an open house in August before the school year starts.
A hallmark of Camelot schools in general and NWCA, in particular, is involved with the community. The Genoa community has been very welcoming to Camelot, and Johnson said she and her team are excited about exploring the opportunities the community has to offer students.
NWCA’s vocational students, ages 17-21, work with several local businesses in DeKalb and Sycamore, and with the upcoming move to Genoa, the school is already conducting outreach to businesses there to take advantage of students who want to learn.
Camelot forms partnerships with businesses so that students can gain job skills by working. Once a student has been placed in a position, the student is accompanied on-site by a member of the NWCA staff who acts as a job coach. NWCA students can do a variety of tasks, such as cleaning, rolling silverware, stuffing mailers, bringing in carts, bagging packages, building pizza boxes, and more.
Summer school is still being held at the DeKalb campus, with the 2018-2019 school year beginning in the renovated Genoa building.