Special Education & Student Services » General Information

General Information


Special Education Services

Riverside District 96 offers a full continuum of special education services in the least restrictive environment (LRE) in accordance with the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).  The district provides free and appropriate (FAPE) for all individuals with identified disabilities.  A continuum of services is available to support the education of children with disabilities.

Special education services are based on individual needs.  Services to support students may include special education staff support, Early Childhood Education, speech and language, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and home/hospital tutoring.

Parents may access a copy of their rights regarding special education services on the district website, or by contacting the district Administrative Office.  Questions regarding special education may be directed to the Director of Special Education and Student Services.

If you have any questions regarding special education services or a child’s need for special education services, families should speak with their building administrator.


Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities will be provided an opportunity to participate in all school-sponsored services, programs, or activities. Individuals with disabilities should notify the superintendent or building principal if they have a disability that will require special assistance or services and, if so, what services are required.  This notification should occur as far in advance as possible of the school-sponsored function, program or meeting.


Education of Children with Disabilities

It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services.

The term “children with disabilities” means children between ages 3 and the day before their 22nd birthday for who it is determined that special education services are needed.  It is the intent of the school to ensure that student with disabilities are identified, evaluated, and provided with appropriate educational services.

Special education instruction and related services are available for children with special needs from three until they graduate eighth grade in district 96.  Special needs may be in the areas of : vision, hearing, health, behavior, or involve skills in; fine/gross motor, speech/language, cognitive or learning, social and emotional and adaptive or self-help.  



Procedural Safeguards:    

Procedural Safeguards

Procedural Safeguards (SPANISH)


ISBE Special Education Parents Rights Guide:


If your student has a qualifying disability, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or an Individualized Section 504 Plan will be developed and implemented to provide the needed supports so that your student can access his or her education as effectively as students without disabilities.


Individual Education Program

An IEP is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet the student’s needs and is developed by a team.  The IEP includes a detailed description of what will be done to give the student the extra help needed.  The IEP will change based on the student’s needs.  Participants in the IEP meetings include; parent(s) or legal guardians, student (14 y/o or older), general education teacher, special education teacher, school administrator, evaluation personnel, others with knowledge or expertise about the student.

Important IEP timelines are as follows:

  • The IEP meeting must occur within 60 school days from the date of referral
  • The IEP meeting must occur within 30 days after the team determines that the student is eligible to receive special and or related services
  • The IEP must be reviewed at least once a year; however an IEP meeting can be convened at any time to discuss changes or revisions.
  • Parents must be informed on their child’s progress on IEP goals at least as often as parents of non-disabled children.

504 Plan

An Individualized Section 504 refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal law that requires any person or agency receiving federal money to have policies in place that prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities.  If a student is covered by Section 504, a school district must provide the student a “504 Plan” that describes what the district will do to support the student’s disability and ensure that the student’s disability will not be a barrier to the student access to school programs (which can include things such as school assemblies, extracurricular activities, etc).  It is important to note that a 504 Plan is a much more general document than an IEP and will only contain a basic description of what kinds of support the district will provide to address the disability.  If a school district does not provide such support, a parent may file a complaint with the US Department of Education to have the complaint addressed.


Home and Hospital Instruction

A student who is absent from school, or whose physician anticipates that the student will be absent from school, because of a medical condition may be eligible for instruction in the student’s home or hospital.Appropriate educational services from qualified staff will begin no later than 5 school days after receiving the physician’s written statement.  Instructional or related services for a student receiving special education services will be determined by the student’s individualized education program (IEP).  Periodic conferences will be held between appropriate school personnel, parent(s)/guardian(s) and hospital staff to coordinate course work and facilitate a student’s return to school.


LaGrange Area Department of Special Education (LADSE) 


To meet the diverse educational needs of the students, Riverside School District 96 is a member of LaGrange Area Department of Special Education (LADSE).  LADSE is a cooperative comprised of elementary and high school districts.  LADSE offers a variety of educational programs developed to assist students with a wide range of needs.  Student services offered through LADSE include; assistive technology, district autism support, health and wellness, physical and occupational therapy, professional development opportunities, school psychology, speech and language pathology therapy services.  Member districts combine resources to provide appropriate services for students who meet eligibility and reside within the cooperative.  Riverside School District 96 is also a participating member of SASED – http://www.sased.org/ that provides services for children with low incidence disabilities which include; vision and hearing impairment.  


Timely and Meaningful Consultation

Each year, the principals of the private schools in Riverside School District 96 are invited to a meeting at the District Office in which information about plans for working with students with disabilities in the upcoming school year are discussed.  This meeting is called the Timely and Meaningful Consultation (TMC). At the TMC, information is shared pertaining to how students are suspected of having one or more disabilities may access the District programs to address the nature and scope of the disabilities.Parents of students attending a private or parochial school or students who are homeschooled and need further information regarding services for their child should contact the Assistant Superintendent of Learning, Pupil Services.  


Interpreter Services Notice 

Interpretation services are available at IEP meetings for parents whose native language is other than English, or who are deaf, to assist with participation in the meeting.  If you would like an interpreter at your child’s IEP meeting, please request an interpreter by completing a Request for Interpreter Form, by contacting your child’s Special Education Teacher / Case Manager.  You have the right to request that the interpreter serve no other role in the IEP meeting other than as an interpreter and the District will make reasonable efforts to fulfill this request.  Please contact Pamela Shaw, Director of Special Education and Student Services at 708-447-0706, ­ if you have any questions or complaints about interpretation services.