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Special EducationSpecial Education(es)

District 59 ensures that a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) is available to any student with a disability between the ages of three and fifteen who resides and is enrolled in the District, or attends a private school located within the boundaries of the District which awards elementary diplomas. These services are mandated by Article 14 of the School Code of Illinois and the federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004). The Educational Services Department provides District-wide support and technical assistance regarding the design and implementation of effective educational programs for students with special needs.

For evaluation of children from birth to three years of age who show delays in development, parents should contact Child and Family Connections at 847-296-0255 to obtain information about services for their infant or toddler.


Identifying Children with Disabilities

Each school in the District has teams which meet on a regular basis to review academic and behavioral concerns about individual students. The goal of the team is to develop interventions which assist the student to be successful in the educational environment.

The Student Services Team meets to make referrals and/or to consider referrals made by parents/guardians, or a public agency for an initial evaluation when a child is suspected of having a disability which adversely impacts his or her education and may require special education and related services. Requests for initial evaluations must be made in writing and directed to the principal of the school the child attends. Requests for children ages three and four can be made by contacting the Early Childhood Coordinator at 847-593-4335.

When making a request for an initial evaluation, one must provide the following information: child’s date of birth, gender, name(s) of parent/guardian, local public school, school child attends, grade child is enrolled in, address, phone number, language spoken in the home, reason for requesting the evaluation, person requesting the evaluation and their relationship to the child. District 59 will provide assistance that may be necessary to enable persons making requests to meet these requirements. All parents/legal guardians will be provided notice with respect to procedural safeguards by mail or in person by the school principal, if so requested.


Within fourteen days after receiving a request for an initial evaluation, the Student Services Team will determine whether an evaluation is warranted. If the District determines not to conduct an evaluation, it will provide written notice of the decision to the parent/guardian, and the person making the referral if not the parents/guardian. If the team determines that an evaluation is warranted, the child’s parents/guardian will be contacted to obtain their written informed consent before proceeding with the evaluation. The team will also advise the parents/guardian of their right to seek mediation or an impartial due process hearing to review the decision of the team.


Initial Evaluation

The purpose of conducting an initial evaluation is to gather educationally relevant information to permit the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team to determine whether the student is a student with has a disability for which special education and related services must be provided in order for that student to be guaranteed a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). State law requires that an IEP Team determine what data is needed to determine eligibility for special education services. The IEP Team will be made up of professionals qualified to assess and interpret evaluation data. Domains to be considered by the team may include: academic achievement, functional performance, cognitive functioning, communication status, health, hearing/vision, motor abilities, and social/emotional status. Results are reviewed at an IEP meeting. A parent/guardian who disagrees with the results of the evaluation may request an independent evaluation, mediation or a due process hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education. A copy of “Explanation of Procedural Safeguards Available to Parents of Students with Disabilities” can be obtained at every school or by calling the Educational Services Department at 847-593-4335.

The District may challenge the parent/guardian’s request for an independent evaluation when the District believes that the District evaluation was appropriate, through mediation or a due process hearing.


Eligibility/Placement/Services

District 59 provides a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment for students with the following disabilities:

  • autism
  • deaf-blindness
  • emotional disability
  • hearing impairment
  • multiple disabilities
  • orthopedic impairment
  • traumatic brain injury
  • specific learning disability
  • deafness
  • cognitive disability
  • speech or language impairment
  • other health impairment
  • visual impairment
  • developmental delay (children ages 3-9)

However, the special education programs and services provided by the District are based on the individual needs of each eligible child and not his or her category of disability. Once eligibility has been determined, the provision of a child’s special education programs, supports, and services will be based upon an Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed at a meeting by a team that includes the child’s parents/guardians. The IEP is reviewed annually, or upon request of the parents/guardians or school personnel.

The District provides a continuum of placement options to address the educational needs of students with disabilities. They include: instruction in general education classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. Social work, psychological services, speech and language therapy, and occupational and physical therapy are among the related services provided to address the adverse effect of a child’s disability on his or her education. In addition, services and programs are available through the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO).

If parents/guardians object to special education as it relates to their child, they have the right to request an IEP meeting to discuss their concerns. They may also address their concerns to the District’s Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services. Further, parents/guardian may request mediation, file a signed written complaint, or request an impartial due process hearing through the Illinois State Board of Education.

A parent/guardian may revoke consent for continued special education by submitting a written request to the District. A copy of “Explanation of Procedural Safeguards Available to Parents of Students with Disabilities” can be obtained at every school or by calling the Educational Services Department at 847-593-4335.


Behavioral Interventions for Students with Disabilities

The District 59 Board of Education has adopted policy and procedures related to the use of behavior interventions for students with disabilities as required by Public Acts 89-1103 and 98-0191. A fundamental principle of the policy is that positive behavioral interventions should be used to the maximum extent possible and are preferable to the use of aversive or restrictive interventions. The use of restrictive interventions should maintain respect for the individual student’s dignity and adhere to professionally accepted educational practices. All of the procedural safeguards available to students with disabilities and their parents/guardians under the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Education Act (IDEA), including notice and consent, opportunity for participation in meetings, and rights to appeal, must be observed when developing and/or implementing behavioral interventions.

For more information about the District’s Behavioral Interventions Policy/Procedures, contact the school principal or the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services.

Section 504
Students who reside within District 59 and have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities as defined in the federal Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (for example, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, working and the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive (bowel/bladder), neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions), may be determined eligible for accommodations to ensure that they receive a free and appropriate public education. No qualified individual with a disability under Section 504 shall be, on the basis of disability, excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination in any District program or activity.

A school-based Section 504 Team, consisting of a group of individuals who have knowledge about the child, will review relevant information to determine if the child has a disability under Section 504. The 504 Team will then develop an Accommodation Plan to enable the child to benefit from his or her educational program. Students eligible for accommodations under Section 504 shall, to the greatest extent possible, be afforded the opportunity to participate with individuals who are not disabled in academic and extracurricular activities when appropriate.

Questions regarding 504 eligibility and parent procedural safeguards should be addressed to the school psychologist or the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services.


For further information on special services for children please call:

Karen Starr, Asst. Superintendent for Educational Services  – (847) 593-4335

Sue Stein, Special Education Coordinator, Holmes Junior High Cluster – (847) 593-7482

Linda Buniak, Special Education Coordinator, Grove Junior High Cluster – (847) 593-4312

Natalie Amato-Zech, Special Education Coordinator, Friendship Junior High Cluster – (847) 593-3876

Melissa Ward, Early Childhood Coordinator, Early Learning Center –  (847) 593-4393

Denise Webster, Health Services Coordinator – (847) 593-4382

Director Social/Emotional Learning – (847) 593-4415

Return to Index

District 59 ensures that a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) is available to any student with a disability between the ages of three and fifteen who resides and is enrolled in the District, or attends a private school located within the boundaries of the District which awards elementary diplomas. These services are mandated by Article 14 of the School Code of Illinois and the federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004). The Educational Services Department provides District-wide support and technical assistance regarding the design and implementation of effective educational programs for students with special needs.

For evaluation of children from birth to three years of age who show delays in development, parents should contact Child and Family Connections at 847-296-0255 to obtain information about services for their infant or toddler.


Identifying Children with Disabilities

Each school in the District has teams which meet on a regular basis to review academic and behavioral concerns about individual students. The goal of the team is to develop interventions which assist the student to be successful in the educational environment.

The Student Services Team meets to make referrals and/or to consider referrals made by parents/guardians, or a public agency for an initial evaluation when a child is suspected of having a disability which adversely impacts his or her education and may require special education and related services. Requests for initial evaluations must be made in writing and directed to the principal of the school the child attends. Requests for children ages three and four can be made by contacting the Early Childhood Coordinator at 847-593-4335.

When making a request for an initial evaluation, one must provide the following information: child’s date of birth, gender, name(s) of parent/guardian, local public school, school child attends, grade child is enrolled in, address, phone number, language spoken in the home, reason for requesting the evaluation, person requesting the evaluation and their relationship to the child. District 59 will provide assistance that may be necessary to enable persons making requests to meet these requirements. All parents/legal guardians will be provided notice with respect to procedural safeguards by mail or in person by the school principal, if so requested.


Within fourteen days after receiving a request for an initial evaluation, the Student Services Team will determine whether an evaluation is warranted. If the District determines not to conduct an evaluation, it will provide written notice of the decision to the parent/guardian, and the person making the referral if not the parents/guardian. If the team determines that an evaluation is warranted, the child’s parents/guardian will be contacted to obtain their written informed consent before proceeding with the evaluation. The team will also advise the parents/guardian of their right to seek mediation or an impartial due process hearing to review the decision of the team.


Initial Evaluation

The purpose of conducting an initial evaluation is to gather educationally relevant information to permit the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team to determine whether the student is a student with has a disability for which special education and related services must be provided in order for that student to be guaranteed a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). State law requires that an IEP Team determine what data is needed to determine eligibility for special education services. The IEP Team will be made up of professionals qualified to assess and interpret evaluation data. Domains to be considered by the team may include: academic achievement, functional performance, cognitive functioning, communication status, health, hearing/vision, motor abilities, and social/emotional status. Results are reviewed at an IEP meeting. A parent/guardian who disagrees with the results of the evaluation may request an independent evaluation, mediation or a due process hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education. A copy of “Explanation of Procedural Safeguards Available to Parents of Students with Disabilities” can be obtained at every school or by calling the Educational Services Department at 847-593-4335.

The District may challenge the parent/guardian’s request for an independent evaluation when the District believes that the District evaluation was appropriate, through mediation or a due process hearing.


Eligibility/Placement/Services

District 59 provides a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment for students with the following disabilities:

  • autism
  • deaf-blindness
  • emotional disability
  • hearing impairment
  • multiple disabilities
  • orthopedic impairment
  • traumatic brain injury
  • specific learning disability
  • deafness
  • cognitive disability
  • speech or language impairment
  • other health impairment
  • visual impairment
  • developmental delay (children ages 3-9)

However, the special education programs and services provided by the District are based on the individual needs of each eligible child and not his or her category of disability. Once eligibility has been determined, the provision of a child’s special education programs, supports, and services will be based upon an Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed at a meeting by a team that includes the child’s parents/guardians. The IEP is reviewed annually, or upon request of the parents/guardians or school personnel.

The District provides a continuum of placement options to address the educational needs of students with disabilities. They include: instruction in general education classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. Social work, psychological services, speech and language therapy, and occupational and physical therapy are among the related services provided to address the adverse effect of a child’s disability on his or her education. In addition, services and programs are available through the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO).

If parents/guardians object to special education as it relates to their child, they have the right to request an IEP meeting to discuss their concerns. They may also address their concerns to the District’s Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services. Further, parents/guardian may request mediation, file a signed written complaint, or request an impartial due process hearing through the Illinois State Board of Education.

A parent/guardian may revoke consent for continued special education by submitting a written request to the District. A copy of “Explanation of Procedural Safeguards Available to Parents of Students with Disabilities” can be obtained at every school or by calling the Educational Services Department at 847-593-4335.


Behavioral Interventions for Students with Disabilities

The District 59 Board of Education has adopted policy and procedures related to the use of behavior interventions for students with disabilities as required by Public Acts 89-1103 and 98-0191. A fundamental principle of the policy is that positive behavioral interventions should be used to the maximum extent possible and are preferable to the use of aversive or restrictive interventions. The use of restrictive interventions should maintain respect for the individual student’s dignity and adhere to professionally accepted educational practices. All of the procedural safeguards available to students with disabilities and their parents/guardians under the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Education Act (IDEA), including notice and consent, opportunity for participation in meetings, and rights to appeal, must be observed when developing and/or implementing behavioral interventions.

For more information about the District’s Behavioral Interventions Policy/Procedures, contact the school principal or the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services.

Section 504
Students who reside within District 59 and have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities as defined in the federal Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (for example, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, working and the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive (bowel/bladder), neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions), may be determined eligible for accommodations to ensure that they receive a free and appropriate public education. No qualified individual with a disability under Section 504 shall be, on the basis of disability, excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination in any District program or activity.

A school-based Section 504 Team, consisting of a group of individuals who have knowledge about the child, will review relevant information to determine if the child has a disability under Section 504. The 504 Team will then develop an Accommodation Plan to enable the child to benefit from his or her educational program. Students eligible for accommodations under Section 504 shall, to the greatest extent possible, be afforded the opportunity to participate with individuals who are not disabled in academic and extracurricular activities when appropriate.

Questions regarding 504 eligibility and parent procedural safeguards should be addressed to the school psychologist or the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services.


For further information on special services for children please call:

Karen Starr, Asst. Superintendent for Educational Services  – (847) 593-4335

Sue Stein, Special Education Coordinator, Holmes Junior High Cluster – (847) 593-7482

Linda Buniak, Special Education Coordinator, Grove Junior High Cluster – (847) 593-4312

Natalie Amato-Zech, Special Education Coordinator, Friendship Junior High Cluster – (847) 593-3876

Melissa Ward, Early Childhood Coordinator, Early Learning Center –  (847) 593-4393

Denise Webster, Health Services Coordinator – (847) 593-4382

Director Social/Emotional Learning – (847) 593-4415

Return to Index

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