On April 9, 1964, a small group of parents and several area professionals met to discuss the futures of their children with developmental disabilities. These parents wanted the same educational opportunities for their children as everyone else. However, at this time there was no place in the school system for children with disabilities. This is why they formed an alliance and stared their own school.
The first class had twenty-four students and was held in the basement of the Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Illinois. In October 1964, the name Pathway School was adopted for the day program services.
Over the years, Pathway has grown tremendously. The agency currently provides service to more than eight hundred developmentally disabled individuals annually, employs nearly two hundred and fifty staff and has an annual budget of over $10 million. Pathway is recognized as a leader in advocacy and provides services in five counties in west central Illinois.