Special Education Services Expand

ELS Transitions to Foundational
Posted on 01/30/2018
ELC Becomes FoundationalDistrict 28 is embarking on an exciting new program that will enhance staff collaboration and access to services for students with special needs.

There are five Educational and Life Skills (ELS) classrooms within District 28 schools that are currently staffed and operated by the North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED). These classes serve students who require a highly individualized educational plan. District 28 will fold these classes into our district program beginning in 2018-19.

Nora Geraghty, assistant student services director for ELS, was hired this year to assess the program and develop a plan to integrate the classes into the district educational program. Students who receive other services within a school will have greater access to services provided by the new special education teachers.

ELS classes will now be called Foundational classes, as part of the D28 special education continuum, which also includes Instructional and Resource. The Foundational classes will maintain the high level of services that students received under the NSSED program, and will offer more opportunities for students to experience a blended environment with their home school peers.

Ms. Geraghty and Director of Student Services, Rosanne Dwyer, Ed.D., have evaluated current services; studied programs within other districts that have integrated ELS programs; and evaluated effective programming. They are currently working on hiring staff for the new positions next year.

The transition should be seamless for students in this year’s NSSED program; they will continue to attend classes at the same school. This change affects three classrooms at Westmoor School, including one for early childhood that serves the entire district; one classroom at Meadowbrook School; and one classroom at Northbrook Junior High. 

“I am confident this change will allow for greater instructional impact for our students and also help build our school communities – for both staff and students,” Dr. Dwyer said.
The SAIL program, which serves students who require a highly structured learning environment, will continue to be staffed and operated by NSSED. There is one SAIL classroom at Meadowbrook School. 

Further, District 28 will continue to utilize NSSED for outplacement programs, resources, equipment, professional development, instructional coaching and transition services.