top of page
Circle of Courage - with Writing.jpg

General Information

CDS serves children and adolescents, ages 8-22, who, because of significant special education and mental health needs, require an alternative school program that is both educational and therapeutic.  The Internship program at CDS offers experiences with individual, group, family therapy and crisis management with a diverse population of students with emotional and behavioral challenges. Interns at CDS also receive targeted training in and exposure to the areas of consultation, supervision, and psychoeducational assessment, including the administration and interpretation of psychological testing.  Because CDS provides a therapeutic milieu with a full array of related services, Interns also have the opportunity to receive experience in consultation and multi-disciplinary team collaboration with professionals from the following disciplines: Substance Abuse Treatment, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychiatry, and School Health (Nursing) Services.


For the approximately 90 students CDS has, there are 9 classrooms with 10 students in each classroom.   All classes are led by a Special Education Certified Teacher who is supported by a Program Assistant (1 to 5 staff-to-student ratio).  There is 1 elementary classroom, 2 middle school classrooms and 5 high school classrooms. Approximately 3% of students are ages 6-10, 29% of students are 11-13, and 69% of students are ages 14-22. Although this breakdown changes slightly over the course of the year, approximately 75% of the population are Day School Placement students and 25% are students in the Diagnostic Program.

Girl in Classroom
Teacher and Students in Science Class

Program Specifics:

  • Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm

  • One evening quarterly for parent/teacher progress reports

  • Individual, Group, Family & Milieu Therapy

  • Crisis Intervention & Risk Assessment

  • 2 hours of Individual Supervision, 4 hour of Group Supervision, and 1.5 hours of Didactic Training per week (all with on-site Supervisors)

  • Monthly Family Therapy Seminar and Family Therapy Supervision

  • Monthly Psychiatric Consultation

  • Opportunity to provide informal supervision

  • Interns conduct at least two assessments during the training year

  • Optional Animal-Assisted Therapy with our staff therapy dogs

  • Participation in multidisciplinary Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Meetings for the students on your caseload

  • Working as a valued member of a multidisciplinary team including: Special Education Teachers, Behavior Specialists, a Psychiatrist, Art Therapist, Substance Abuse Counselor, Speech & Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and other established Psychologists & Professionals in the Field

Contact Info:

Connections Day School (CDS)

31410 Hwy 45

Libertyville, IL 60048



Kristen Mittl Pollina, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Site Director

Clinical Director/Director of Training


Giovanna Vitullo, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Assistant Site Director

SEDOL Diagnostic Coordinator and IAES Program Coordinator


bottom of page