Student Services

District 123 – Where children come first

Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 is committed to providing a full continuum of specialized services to meet the individual educational needs and learning styles of each child. The district is also committed to supporting and creating a collaborative work culture that encourages student support staff, standard curriculum personnel, and parents to work together to provide the best education possible for all students.

Specialized Services Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC)

The Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) is a district-wide organization of parents, staff, administrators and community members. The SEPAC advises the school district regarding education and safety of students with disabilities, assists parents in advocating for children, and provides a network for parents to share information and improve educational opportunities. The SEPAC promotes communication and provides programs to encourage understanding, respect, acceptance and integration of children with disabilities within the school and larger community.

NOTICE OF PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Special Education Programs Grades K-8

School District 123 offers a wide spectrum of specialized programs for students ages three through 15 years. Special education instructional programs, resource programs, and related services shall range along a continuum based on the nature and degree of the intervention (23 Ill. Admin. Code 226.115). Special education is instruction and related services provided by special education personnel or by a general education program that has been modified through the use of special education support services, supplementary aids/interventions, or other special programming.

On a rare occasion, children have more severe and profound educational needs. The district relies on private placement options, for special education programming for children with severe and profound needs. There are certain complex disabilities that require high levels of instructional support. These external programs are for children who have these intense instructional needs.

  • Child Find/Screening
  • Early Childhood
  • Blended Early Learning
  • Multi-Needs EC Program
  • Speech Language
  • Learning Resource Program (K-8)
  • Prescriptive Transitional Program (K-5)
  • CORE II (Middle School)
  • CASE

Flexible Service Delivery System

A Flexible Service Delivery System focuses on the development of educational environments that are receptive and responsive to all students. It is a system that blends the expertise of all staff, as well as the resources and services available in the school, into one system to effectively meet student needs. School-based Problem Solving Teams (PST) use a detailed problem-solving process to develop interventions tailored to the individual needs of a specific student or group of students sharing common needs. Whenever a parent or a teacher has a concern about a child a referral is made directly to the building principal at school.

Problem Solving Team

This team of teachers, administrators, and teacher specialists, including the school psychologist, social worker, and speech-language pathologist, meets at school on a regular basis. The team may make recommendations to parents and classroom teachers, suggest some short-term interventions, or may even ask permission for further assessment.

Interventions may include: providing a student with instructional, behavioral, social, environmental and/or curriculum supports. Intervention effectiveness is monitored and evaluated.

Consultation Model (Grades K-8)

The Consultation Model is based on a collaborative process between the special education teacher, the parent, and the general education teachers on the child’s service plan team. The special education teacher consults with the general education teacher on curriculum modifications, educational accommodations, and learning strategies that will meet a student’s identified areas of need and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). The special education teacher is also available for consultation with the student’s parent/guardian. In general, the special education student is integrated into the general education program with his or her peers as much as possible, and accommodations and supplemental supports are provided within the student’s least restrictive environment (LRE). Consultation delivery services will include the following supports:

  • Staff consultation
  • Parent consultation
  • Assistance in the development of behavior intervention plans
  • Assistance in data gathering techniques
  • Assistance in the development of appropriate classroom accommodations
  • Assistance in the development of homework strategies
  • Development of the Individual Educational Plan
  • Participation in Individual Educational Plan meetings
  • Resource for teaching strategies and program implementations

Learning Resource Program (Grades K-8)

The Learning Resource Program is based on a collaborative process between the special education teacher, the parent, and the general education teachers. The special education teacher consults with the general education teacher on curriculum modifications, educational accommodations, and learning strategies that will meet a student’s identified areas of need and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). The students may participate in a Learning Resource class as indicated in the student’s IEP, in order to provide support for curriculum expectations and to increase skills in the context of the subject content. The decision for placement of a student in a Learning Resource class is determined through the IEP process. The Learning Resource Program will include the following supports:

  • Staff consultation
  • Parent consultation
  • Direct student learning resource services (individual/small group)
  • Assistance in the development of behavior intervention plans
  • Assistance in data gathering techniques
  • Assistance in the development of appropriate classroom accommodations
  • Assistance in the development of homework strategies
  • Development of the Individual Education Plan
  • Participation in Individual Education Plan meetings
  • Resource for teaching strategies and program implementations

Prescriptive Transitional Program (Grades K-5)

This Prescriptive Transitional Program (PTP) provides support for students who require specialized learning techniques, individualized instruction and small class placement as recommended by the IEP team. In these cases, the special education teacher works with a small group of students who need alternative direct instruction. In this environment, the special education teacher employs a variety of strategies and materials that often parallel general education curriculum for that grade level. Students’ IEP goals and objectives are the main focus in these smaller classrooms. The decision for placement of a student in a Prescriptive Transitional Program is determined through the IEP process.

Communication Academic Social Education Program (Grades K-8)

Communication, Academic, and Social Education (CASE) is a program on the continuum of special education services provided within District 123.  The CASE program services students who have significant communication and social needs that interfere with their academic achievement.  The classrooms offer a variety of communication supports provided to students as needed; this may include picture based communication books, augmentative communication devices, and/or sign language.  Classroom instruction is focused daily on communication, socialization, as well as functional living and community skills. The curriculum is aligned to the common core standards, however, the materials and assessments are both highly modified to accommodate the unique learning styles of the students as well as to determine the achievement of the standards.

Classroom environments are highly visual and structured.  Within the visual structured setting of the classroom students follow individual picture schedules throughout their entire school day.  CASE classrooms also have a higher staff to student ratio.  Classroom instruction is more one on one direct instruction than whole group.

The goal of the CASE classroom is to ensure that each student is provided the skills to become effective communicators, while acquiring the knowledge and social skills necessary to become active participants within their community.

Core II Instructional Program (Grades 6-8)

This Core II Instructional Program provides support for students who require specialized learning techniques, individualized instruction and small class placement as recommended by the IEP team. In these cases, the special education teacher works with a small group of students who need alternative direct instruction. In this environment, the special education teacher employs a variety of strategies and materials that often parallel general education curriculum for that grade level. Students’ IEP goals and objectives are the main focus in these smaller classrooms. The decision for placement of a student in a Core II is determined through the IEP process.

External Placements

Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 has a host of private and public options for providing special education programs when a District program does not meet a child’s special educational needs. There are certain complex disabilities that require high levels of instructional support. These external programs are for children who have these intense instructional needs.

Speech Language (Early Childhood – Grade 8)

Oak Lawn Hometown School District 123 will provide a comprehensive program in the area of speech and language that supports the student, communicates with families, and collaborates with staff and outside agencies. Speech Language services are provided to eligible students identified with a disability requiring speech language intervention. Intervention is provided through consultation Speech Language, home program support, as well as direct service in individual, small group and classroom settings. Speech language services will include the following supports:

  • Staff consultation
  • Parent consultation
  • Assistance in the development of appropriate classroom accommodations
  • Assistance in data gathering techniques
  • Development of a school-home program which supports the IEP
  • Development of the Individual Education Plan
  • Participation in Individual Education Plan meetings
  • Resource for teaching strategies and program implementations
  • Direct student speech language therapy (individual/small group)
  • Utilization of communication devices and materials which support the student’s IEP

Child Find

Each school district is responsible for actively locating, identifying and evaluating all children with disabilities who live within the district boundaries, are between the ages of birth and 21, and may be eligible for special education and related services. The local school district is not required to actually conduct the evaluations for children birth through 2 years of age, but must ensure that they are carried out at no cost to the parent. All school districts are required to have written procedures for child find activities for all school children, including those attending private, charter, and/or religiously affiliated schools. These procedures must describe activities for:

  • annual screening of children under the age of five to identify those who may need early
  • intervention or special education services to maintain satisfactory educational performance;
  • ongoing review of all children in regular education classes;
  • ongoing coordination with early intervention programs; and
  • coordination and consultation with nonpublic schools located within the district.

Screening

Screening is the process of reviewing all children in a given group with a set of criteria for the purpose of identifying certain individuals for evaluations who may be in need of special education. One purpose of screening is to locate children, birth through age 21, who may need special education services to maintain satisfactory educational performance. No child can be determined eligible to receive special education and related services based only on the results of a screening procedure.

Screening is different from evaluation. Screening means reviewing all children in a given group (all kindergartners, all students who are new to the school district, all 3-year-old children in the community, etc.). It is not specific to an individual child. All children in the group must be screened with the same assessment process. Screening does not involve administration of assessment instruments which would be used in an evaluation.

The district must inform the public of the process for conducting group screening through school handbooks, newsletters, child find activities, letters, or similar methods. Written parent/guardian permission is not required for this type of screening. Screening results should be shared with the parents/guardians. Screening is done only to determine those students in need of or not in need of an evaluation. When a student is identified through screening as needing to be referred for evaluation, the date of the decision to initiate an evaluation is the date that begins the 60-school-day process as described in the Evaluation section that follows.

*School districts are required by public health to conduct annual vision and hearing screening of all students, including those with disabilities.

Source: ISBE. 2001. A Parents’ Guide: The Educational Rights of Students with Disabilities

Private/Parochial School and Home-Schooled Participation: Responses to Requirements Concerning Students Enrolled In Private/Parochial and Home-Schooled Participation

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) requires that each local educational agency (LEA) conduct child find activities, determine the proportionate share of Federal Part B funds, and provide equitable services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities who attend private schools located in the LEA without regard to where the children reside.

Under IDEA 2004, parentally placed private school students with disabilities are entitled to receive special education and related services from the school district in which the private school is located, without regard to where the child resides. The regular IEP form and process will continue to be used to determine eligibility. The difference comes in the development of the student’s educational program. Each school district is required to devote a “proportionate share” of its Federal special education funds to the actual provision of services to students with disabilities enrolled in private schools (see chart).

As part of that overall obligation, the district will include parents of known home school students in the Timely and Meaningful Consultation (TMC) process. As stated in the supplemental guidance from April 2006, the district will provide the same written notice that is provided to private school parents to the known parents of home schoolers within the district. Also, in order to ensure the widest possible participation of such parents in the TMC process, the district will place an advertisement in the local publication of general circulation that provides notice to the public of the TMC meeting.

Oak Lawn Hometown School District 123 will allocate the proportionate share among all of the private/parochial schools within the district’s attendance zone. In the event the apportioned funds are depleted during the current fiscal year, School District 123 will subsidize the monies needed to service those students who are residents of Oak Lawn Hometown School District 123.

Child Find Activities

Oak Lawn Hometown School District 123 has specific procedures for actively identifying, locating and evaluating children who might need special education and related services. These procedures describe activities for:

  • Identifying, locating and evaluating children with known or suspected disabilities from birth through age 21;
  • Ongoing coordination with early intervention programs to identify children from birth through two years of age who have or are suspected of having disabilities, in order to ensure provision of services in accordance with applicable timelines;
  • Annual screening of children under age 5 in order to identify those who may need early intervention or special education and related services;
  • Hearing and vision screening at regular intervals during the child’s school career and annual hearing and vision screening of all special education students;
  • Ongoing review of each child’s performance and progress by teachers and other professional personnel, in order to refer those children who exhibit problems which interfere with their education progress and/or their adjustment to the educational setting, suggesting that they may be eligible for special education and related services; and
  • Coordination and consultation with non-public schools located within the district that results in child find activities comparable to those affecting students in the public schools

The new provisions in IDEA 2004, unlike prior revisions of the act, create an obligation for local school districts to conduct Child Find for each student attending private elementary and secondary schools within the district, regardless of the students’ residency within the district. This, of course, runs contrary to existing state provisions that premise such duties solely on the residency of the students. Therefore, in an effort to comply with the requirements of IDEA 2004 and our existing state provisions, we are recommending that Child Find be undertaken in the following manner:

  • In FY07, all aspects of Child Find became the responsibility of the serving district. Each local school district shall be expected to conduct those activities (Child Find) necessary to identify those students who may require an initial case study evaluation for all students who attend private school within the boundaries of the local school district.
  • When the serving district identifies a student who requires a referral for an initial case study evaluation, the student will be evaluated by the serving district. In the event the student is a resident of a district other than the serving district, the district of residence shall promptly contact the serving district. The district of residence shall be expected to forward any additional information, if known, on the student to the serving district.
  • The serving district shall be expected to conduct all required procedures associated with the initial case study evaluation. The serving district shall be expected to complete the evaluation with timelines prescribed by our current Illinois Administrative Code provisions pertaining to case study evaluations. Obtaining written parental consent for the evaluation shall be the primary responsibility of the district of residence.
  • Upon completion of the evaluation, the serving district shall be responsible for convening an eligibility conference to determine the student’s eligibility for special education and related services, including the provision of appropriate notification of the conference to the parents. When scheduling the conference, the evaluating district/serving district shall be expected to extend an invitation to officials of the district of residence and the private/parochial school.
  • In the event the consensus of the eligibility conference attendees is to declare the student eligible for special education and related services, the district in which the student currently attends school will be expected to develop a services plan, as appropriate, in accordance with the district’s overall plan or policy for ensuring equitable participation of private elementary and secondary school students.

Home Schooling

Home schooling or instruction that meets the requirements of Article 26 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/26-1 et seq.) for compulsory attendance purposes constitutes a private school under Illinois law. As the School Code and IDEA require that private school students are entitled to special education services, a student attending a home-based school would also be eligible in the same manner as other private school students. Therefore, all of the procedures and requirements regarding parentally placed private school children with disabilities apply to those children who are home-schooled. Appropriate representatives of a home-schooled child would be the child’s parent(s).

Please note that registration of home schoolers is voluntary in Illinois. Parents who choose to fill out the ISBE Home School Registration form will be providing information that public school districts may use in determining what percentage of their special education funding will be distributed to eligible area students attending private schools (which includes all students in home schools). The form asks for the parents’ name and address; the name, grade, and sex of the child or children; and information on the local public school/district. This information will be collected by the State Board of Education, not disseminated, and used to achieve as accurate a count as possible of non-public attendance in each district area.

Services Plan Program Descriptions

Individual Services Plan meetings will be conducted with resident district personnel, parents of private school students, and representatives of private schools. The purpose of the ISP meeting will be to review, develop and/or revise a student’s individual services plans (ISP). The resident school, in coordination with the serving district, will continue to perform child find activities. The serving district will conduct any evaluations of eligibility determinations for such students, which are due during the school year.

The district will continue to offer the special education services of Speech Language Therapy (Direct 15”- 30” per week and/or Consult 15”- 30” per week). The district will make available Learning Resource consultative services (15”-30” per week).

Consultation Learning Resource Delivery Model

The Consultation Model is based on a collaborative process between the special education teacher, the parent, and the general education teachers on the child’s service plan team. The special education teacher consults with the general education teacher on curriculum modifications, educational accommodations, and learning strategies that will meet a student’s identified areas of need and Individualized Services Plans (ISPs). The special education teacher is also available for consultation with the student’s parent(s). In general, the special education student is integrated into the general education program with his or her peers as much as possible, and accommodations and supplemental supports are provided within the student’s least restrictive environment (LRE). A certified special education teacher employed by the Local Educational Agency (LEA) will be responsible for delivering the consultation services (15”- 30” minutes per month). Consultation delivery services will include the following supports:

  • Staff consultation
  • Parent consultation
  • Assistance in the development of behavior intervention plans
  • Assistance in data gathering techniques
  • Assistance in the development of appropriate classroom accommodations
  • Assistance in the development of homework strategies
  • Development of the Individual Services Plan
  • Participation in Individual Services Plan meetings
  • Resource for teaching strategies and program implementations

SASED
School Association for Special Education in DuPage County
6 S 331 Cornwall Road
Naperville , Illinois 60540
Main Office: 630-548-7118
Office Fax: 630-778-0196

SASED operates specialized programs on a regional basis for students with severe hearing, vision disabilities. Private placement opportunities are also utilized, when appropriate.

Hearing Impaired Program – SASED operates in Westmont, Villa Park, and Lombard.

Vision Disabilities Program – SASED operates this program for students (preschool-high school) who are blind/visually impaired in Oak Brook Terrace, and Villa Park.

Itinerant Program – Itinerant teachers serve over 400 students with hearing, vision, and orthopedic impairments in all member districts .

Extended School Year (Summer Bridges)

Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 offers a Summer Bridges Program for special education students and English Language Learners in need of supplemental support services that extend beyond the normal school year. Depending on the individual needs of the student, these services will vary in type, intensity, location, inclusion of related services, and length of time. Students are referred for the Summer Bridges based on teacher recommendations and program criteria.

When to Discuss ESY:

  • The IEP team must discuss ESY services at an initial IEP meeting and at every annual IEP meeting.
  • ESY services may also be discussed through an addendum to the annual IEP if necessary.
  • The request to consider ESY services may be initiated by the parent, the student, the student’s teacher(s), related service providers, or administrators.

Factors to Consider:

  • Regression/Recoupment – The IEP team determines whether without these services, there is a likelihood of substantial regression of critical life skills caused by a school break and a failure to recover those lost skills in a reasonable time following the school break (e.g., six to eight weeks after summer break).
  • Degree of Progress – The IEP team reviews the student’s progress toward the IEP’s goals on critical life skills and determines whether, without these services, the student’s degree or rate of progress toward those goals or objectives will prevent the student from receiving benefit for his/her educational placement during the regular school year.
  • Interfering Behaviors – The IEP team determines whether without ESY services any interfering behavior(s) such as ritualistic, aggressive, or self-injurious behavior(s) targeted by the IEP goals have prevented the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the school year.
  • Nature and/or Severity of the Disability – The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, the nature and/or severity of the student’s disability is likely to prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the regular school year.
  • Special Circumstances or Other Factors – The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, there are any special circumstances that will prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her education program during the regular school year.