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The Department of Special Education 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.

Phasing PlanA Series of Transition EventsSpecial Olympics AwardLegal Update

PHASING PLAN UPDATE – AUGUST 12, 2020

As the 2020-2021 school year quickly approaches, Maine Township HSD 207’s Department of Special Education would like to communicate information regarding our phasing plan for students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) prioritized for in-person learning.  As previously shared at our Virtual Parent meeting held on August 5th, the Department of Special Education is working to ensure our continuum of services and support for both in-person and at-home instruction will be available to students with disabilities. 

This is an unprecedented time and we are committed to working with you to ensure that your child’s needs are met and a high level of safety precautions are maintained. In order to increase safety for both students and staff, we are slowly phasing students into the building based on their level of need and ability to access remote learning. Our plan is to first provide in-person learning to those students who require extensive special education instruction and related services. We will then continue to strategically phase students into the building, placing priority on those individuals with the greatest need and/or difficulty with accessing learning remotely. All students will continue to have the option to participate in at-home learning. 

Parents can expect to receive notification this week with information regarding their child’s projected start date for in-person learning. Those students included in our first group of phasing have been notified about their projected start date of August 20th. Students included in our second, third, and fourth phases will receive further information in the next couple of days regarding their child’s projected start date for in-person learning. Students included in our second phase are projected to start in-person learning September 15th and those in our third and fourth phases are projected to start and/or be reassessed by October 15th, when D207 will make further decisions regarding the schedule for in-person learning for all students. 

Special Education Schedule- 1st 3 Weeks

As always, we will collaborate with families and take into consideration if a student needs to be prioritized for in-person learning sooner than their projected start date. Should you have specific concerns regarding your child’s ability to access education remotely, please contact the building special education department chair and/or a member of your child’s IEP team. It is important to note that anticipated start dates are subject to change if there are local factors and/or changes to the Restore Illinois phasing.

Finally, as we navigate the guidance provided by the ISBE and our new e-Learning plan, please know that we are all working together as a school community to support your student’s learning needs. As always, if you have a question or concern about a specific class, please email the teacher and feel free to copy other members of your student’s IEP team so that we can problem-solve and collaborate.

We are here to assist you in whatever way we can during this difficult time. District 207, along with our students and families, are strong and we will get through this together!

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS 

  • Parent Letter SpEd COVID-19 [English & Spanish]
  • IEP Meetings-Parent Information During E-Learning COVID-19 A ‘how-to’ document to assist parents in joining an IEP and/or Eligibility meeting using remote communication via Google Meet
  • Counseling Virtual e-Learning Consent [English & Spanish] Notice of consent that was sent to all parents of children with IEPs.
  • Individual E-Learning Plans (IELP) IEP teams are making good faith efforts to provide students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in light of these exceptional circumstances of mandatory school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Services to students during this time will be different and parents must be informed of changes to services and offered the opportunity to provide input/feedback into the plan for supporting their students during e-Learning Days. To comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the IELP is designed to inform parents of changes conveyed to parents in the format of providing Prior Written Notice (PWR). 

Transition Resources Parent/Guardian Presentations – English

Transition Resources Parent/Guardian Presentations – Spanish

The Maine and Niles Special Education teams will host informational sessions to take place once a month beginning in October 2019.  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. Parents/Guardians, students, and staff are encouraged to attend.  Below is a calendar of events.

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: https://bit.ly/2KQ5v1C

Location and Time: Sessions will take place at the Morton Grove Public Library Located at 6140 Lincoln Ave, Morton Grove, IL 60053 unless otherwise indicated.  Light refreshments and time for families to mingle will begin at 6:00 pm.  Sessions will begin at 6:30 and will last between approximately 1 and 2 hours.

Calendar of Events: All of our events scheduled for 2nd semester have been canceled due to the school closure.  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.  Sign up for the mailing list to receive any updates.

Session 1
Progress Center | Local Center for Independent Living 

Tuesday, October 9, 2019

LOCATION: Morton Grove Public Library 6140 Lincoln Avenue Morton Grove, IL 60053-2989, 847-965-4220

TIME: 6:30 pm

PRESENTER: Courtney Harfmann, Youth Transition Advocate with the Progress Center for Independent Living 

DESCRIPTION: Progress Center is a non-profit organization that provides information and resources for people with disabilities.  The goal of Progress Center is to support people with disabilities so that they can live independently and navigate barriers to independence.  Presentation will focus on the services that can be offered to individuals now while in school and in the future. 

Progress Center is one of 22 Independent Living Centers in Illinois.  Each center has a similar mission and offers the same core services:

  • Information and Referral
  • Independent Living Services
  • Advocacy
  • Peer Support
  • Transition Services
  • Progress Center serves suburban Cook County

Additional Information: www.progresscil.org

 

Session 2
Choices Fair – Choices is a Post-secondary Planning Night for Students with Learning Differences who are College Bound
Wednesday, October 22, 2019  

LOCATION: Note that this event will take place at New Trier High School – NORTHFIELD CAMPUS, 7 Happ Road, Northfield, IL  60093

TIME: 6:00-8:30pm 

PRESENTER(S): Many!

DESCRIPTION:  Break Out Sessions between 6:00-7:40 “Successfully and Sanely Navigating College Admission Tests.”  College Fair from 7:00-8:30

Additional Information: Fair Schedule- https://postsecondarychoices.org/choices-fair-2019

Session 3
BEST Transition Fair
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

LOCATION: Note that this event will take place at Niles North High School (Enter through Door #2) 

TIME: 6:30-9:00 pm 

PRESENTER(S): Many!

DESCRIPTION:  Guest Speaker will present on a topic (TBD) at 6:30.  Directly after, professionals representing the following areas will be present for you to speak with: Apprenticeship and Trade Programs, Education Opportunities, Employment Services, Government Programs, Health Services, Legal Resources, Recreational Opportunities, Referral Resources and Information, Residential Options, Transportation Information, Vocational Programs

Additional Information: http://www.besttransition.org/best-fair-2019.html

 

Session 4
Know Your Options: Living and Service Options through the Medicaid Waiver for Adults with Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

LOCATION: Morton Grove Public Library 6140 Lincoln Avenue Morton Grove, IL 60053-2989, 847-965-4220

TIME: 6:30 pm

PRESENTER: Mary Dixon, Ligas Family Advocate Program, The Arc of Illinois

DESCRIPTION: Attendees will learn about: 

How self-direction of waiver funding works through the Home and Community Based Services Program

The 4 types of community-integrated living arrangements (CILA)

Creative ways to use waiver funding

Comparison of DRS vs. DDD waiver

Additional Information: www.thearcofil.org

In accordance with House Bill 3586 and Public Act 101-0515, which was recently signed by the Governor on Friday, August 23rd, Maine Township HSD 207 is providing notice to parents/guardians regarding their rights in relation to the provision of related services to students who are eligible for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Click links below to view notification sent out to parent(s)/guardians on Monday, September 9, 2019:

House Bill 3586 Update (October 2019)

Maine Township HSD 207 will be providing parent(s)/guardian(s) with ‘draft’ paperwork in advance of Eligibility and/or Annual Review IEP meetings via Email using School Messenger in order to secure the confidential documents being sent electronically. 

Why are we using School Messenger vs. traditional E-mail (Gmail) to send ‘Draft’ documents? 

When an email is sent through Gmail it is not guaranteed to be encrypted through the entirety of the process.  When you send through school messenger it is encrypted through the entire process.

Is there anything the parent needs to do in order to view and/or download the draft documents?

No, the email that will be sent will come from school messenger in a traditional email [[email protected]] with a subject titled either: Draft IEP ‘secure attachment’ or Draft Eligibility ‘secure attachment’.  The attachment will be contained in the body of the email with a link to either view, download, and/or print the draft documents prepared in advance of the meeting.

How does this amendment to the school code positively impact the IEP team?

We have seen first hand by sending out the draft paperwork with an agenda in advance has allowed the IEP meeting to run more efficiently with respect to staying on schedule and allowing for more meaningful conversation in the development of the student’s IEP.  We believe this will only improve the parent partnership and collaboration during IEP meetings.  

What email address will be used to send ‘draft’ documents?

The District will utilize the associated parents/guardian Email address on file with the school, which was provided through the registration process.  If a change needs to be made to the Email address on file with your child’s resident school, please contact the office of student services at your respective building in order to change and/or update.

What forms will be included in the ‘draft’ paperwork?
In addition to the ‘draft’ paperwork, the Eligibility Meeting Agenda and IEP Meeting Agenda will be linked to preview in advance of the upcoming meeting.

For Annual Review IEP meetings?

For Initials or Reevaluations?

Present Levels of Academic Achievement & Functional Performance

Secondary Transition Plan

Behavior Intervention Plan (if applicable)

Goals and Objectives

Educational Accommodations and Supports

Assessment

Autism Considerations (if applicable)

Documentation of Evaluation Results – ISBE FORM 34-54A

Documentation of Intervention/ Evaluation Results (SLD) – ISBE FORM 34-54C *only if SLD is being considered

Functional Behavioral Assessment – ISBE FORM 34-54J *only if evaluation data was collected

A blank copy of all eligibility criteria forms that may be considered in the team’s determination will be included in the email.  Note, only the appropriate eligibility criteria forms will be reviewed at the meeting.