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Maine EastMaine WestMaine South
Maine EastMaine WestMaine SouthAdmin

News & Announcements

The Department of Special Education, News, and Announcements are highlighted on this page. Click on the titles below to learn more about events, awards, legal updates, and other related information for our families and students.

A Series of Transition EventsSpecial Olympics AwardISBE Parent Survey

A Series of Transition Resource Presentations for Families 2021-2022 School Year


The Maine and Niles Special Education teams will host informational sessions to take place once a month beginning in September 2021.  Example topics include financial planning, living arrangement possibilities, employment opportunities and supports, community resources, etc. The information provided would be helpful for families of students with a disability of all ages as they plan for the future.  Parents/Guardians, students, and staff are encouraged to attend.  Below is a calendar of events.

These events will be presented virtually until further notice.  Links to participate in the presentation will be shared with those that RSVP’d ahead of the event.  Resources shared at the presentations will be linked online for future reference. 

Join the mailing list: If you would like to receive emails about these sessions including announcements about the topics covered, any changes to meeting dates, reminders for meetings, etc. please sign up here: Join the Mailing List

Calendar of Events: Please note that these dates are subject to change as needed.  Additional information may be provided as each event date approaches on the topic covered at the monthly session. Calendar of Events

Note about Presentations Materials: Please note that the views and opinions expressed by the presenter are their own and do not necessarily reflect that of District 207 or District 219.

Important Note about Recording of Presentations: All presentations will be recorded and, when possible, will be shared after for families to access in the future.  Please note that, if you choose to attend the live virtual event, you are consenting to be part of this recording. 

Archived Presentations and Resources: Over the past few school years the Maine and Niles Special Education teams have presented on similar topics. A list of prior events with handouts is available on the links below.

2020-2021 Transition Presentations    2019-2020 Transition Presentations


Session 1
Transportation – PACE Paratransit
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | 6:30 pm

LOCATION: Online via Zoom
TIME: 6:30 pm
PRESENTER: Candace Jones, Regional Transportation Authority
PRESENTATION HANDOUTS: RTA Maine_Niles Presentation Flyer 9-15-21
PRESENTATION LINK: JOIN VIA ZOOM Meeting ID: 891 7674 8627  |  Passcode: 278149

: RTA Group Transit Orientation Presentation will review- Accessible Metra, Pace, and CTA buses and trains are easy to use and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) would love to show you how! We welcome older adults and people with disabilities to join us to learn about accessible public transit options and traveling independently.

Document with Contact information and links
Handouts RTA Webinar- Pace Paratransit, Wednesday, September 15th, 6:30
RTA Ready to Ride Again_0
RTA Presentation Handouts 2021
How to Apply for Ride Free Permits
How to Apply for Reduced Fare Permits
RTA Maine_Niles Presentation Flyer 9-15-21



Session 2
Behavior – The ABCs of Behavior: Understanding the Basics to Effectively Manage Challenging Behavior
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 | 6:30 pm

TIME: 6:30 pm
PRESENTER: Amy Robinson, D207 Behavior Specialist & Melissa Elias, D219 Social Worker
(Note that the link to participate will be sent to those that RSVP’d ahead of the event).
PRESENTATION HANDOUTS: Behavior Strategies and Supports Maine 207 Website
DESCRIPTION: One of the biggest challenges parents face is managing difficult or challenging behavior.  Challenging behavior can also pose a barrier to accessing adult services.  Understanding the basics or ABCs of behavior can help to identify when and why a behavior is occurring.  Melissa Elias, LCSW, the social worker for District 219, and Amy Robinson, M.Ed., BCBA, behavior specialist for District 207, will review how to identify the antecedents and consequences associated with behavior and determine the function so that we can more effectively develop a plan for managing challenging behaviors.  They will also review the principle of reinforcement and some basic strategies that can be implemented at home.


Session 3
Planning for College –
Choices Fair
Wednesday, October 26, 2021 | 6:30 pm

LOCATION: The Choices Fair 2021 is hosted by Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Please note that this year’s fair will be in a virtual format.
TIME: 6:30 pm 
DESCRIPTION: Choices is a post-secondary planning night for students with learning differences who are college-bound.

Previous Choices Presentation


Session 4
Transition Focused Resource Fair | BEST Transition VIRTUAL Fair
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 6:30 pm

TIME: 6:30-9:00 pm 
DESCRIPTION: Agencies will share short videos, resource materials, and information on the services offered by their organization.  Participants will be able to access the materials virtually through the BEST website and they can be viewed at any time on and after November 4th.  



Session 5
Day Programming – Post High School
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 | 6:30 pm

TIME: 6:30 pm
PRESENTER: Michelle Schwartz, Transition Outreach Specialist, Clearbrook
(Note that the link to participate will be sent to those that RSVP’d ahead of the event).

DESCRIPTION: Part of planning for adulthood following High School Transition, may include attending Adult Community Day Services (CDS).  If you are interested in learning more about Community Day Services, and funding for these services, this presentation is designed to answer your questions and provide information and resources in planning for your young adult’s future.  Michelle Schwartz, Clearbrook’s Transition Outreach Specialist, has been providing Transition Outreach services for over 10 years.  She is well acquainted with Community Day Services in the area, the Home Based funding available through the Medicaid Waiver, and the preparation needed to access these services and plan successful transitions.

Session 6
Government Benefits – Social Security

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 | 6:30 pm

TIME: 6:30 pm
PRESENTER: Stacey J. Dembo, LLC 
(Note that the link to participate will be sent to those that RSVP’d ahead of the event).
DESCRIPTION: Attorney Stacey Dembo will present “What Parents of Transition Age (18-22) Students Need to Know about Social Security.”   The Social Security process can be intimidating for many families and Stacey will help demystify the process.  She will share information that parents need to know about the different Social Security benefit programs available to people with disabilities, the Social Security application and appeal processes, SSI financial eligibility requirements, and Disabled Adult Child eligibility.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Handouts will be shared at the presentation

Session 7
Independent Living – Adult Programming

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | 6:30 pm

TIME: 6:30 pm
PRESENTER: Courtney Harfmann, Youth Transition Advocate
(Note that the link to participate will be sent to those that RSVP’d ahead of the event).
DESCRIPTION: Progress Center for Independent Living is a non-profit organization that provides information and resources for people with disabilities in Suburban Cook County.  One of 22 Independent Living Centers in Illinois, Progress Center offers five core services, which include: Information and Referral, Independent Living Skills, Advocacy, Peer Support, and Transition. The goal of Progress Center is to support people with disabilities so that they can live independently and navigate barriers to independence.  The presentation by Courtney Harfmann will focus on the services that can be offered to individuals now while in school and in the future.  

Session 8
Thursday, March 10, 2022 | 6:30 pm

TIME: 6:30 pm
PRESENTER: Cheryl Lipton – Center for Disability & Elder Law
(Note that the link to participate will be sent to those that RSVP’d ahead of the event).
PRESENTATION LINK: Family  Guardianship Presentation Winter 2021
DESCRIPTION: Informational session about guardianship to families with young adults with disabilities who are transitioning to adulthood. This is appropriate for anyone that would like more general information about guardianship. If you already have guardianship, this session would most likely not be beneficial for you to attend.


2022 Special Olympics US Games in Orlando, FL

Two Maine South students were honored on Friday, September 10, 2021, to represent the Illinois Special Olympics Youth Leadership Experience at the 2022 Special Olympics US games in Orlando Florida next June. They are the only two students from Illinois selected for this honor. The two students will learn about national trends, gain insight on Unified Sports, learn marking and publication skills and participate in a legacy project. During the 2022-23 school year, the students will be Co-Chairs of the Youth Activities in Illinois. In addition, teacher Michelle Dwyer was selected during the ceremony as the Special Olympics Illinois US Games bowling coach for the Illinois Team.


Maine South recognized for student inclusion with national Special Olympics award

March 22, 2021

Each year, from March through June, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) surveys a representative sample of parents of students with disabilities to determine how well schools throughout the state are involving parents in their child’s education. The survey results are a required component of ISBE’s Annual Performance Report (APR) to the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Schools throughout the state are selected on a cycle and this year Maine Township HS District 207 is included in the survey sample.

We have been recently notified that some parents of students with disabilities in our district will receive a survey in the mail from Measurement Incorporated, the current contractor administering this survey. Parents may complete the paper survey and return it by mail or complete it online at We encourage parents who receive a survey to complete it. If you have any additional questions related to the survey or need to recover a missing Survey ID, which is necessary to complete,  you may contact Measurement Incorporated by email at [email protected], or call toll free (877) 249-1340, extension 310 or 320 for support in English and Spanish. 

ISBE Flyer

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this survey.