Special Education

Special Education Banner

District 102 offers a full continuum of Special Education services to those students who have undergone a case study evaluation and have been found eligible to receive additional educational support during their school day. Following state and federal laws that establish criteria for eligibility, schools are required to provide services to a child between the ages of 3 and 21 to address the adverse effect of a disability on his/her education.

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, or other special programming. Related services are support services that may be provided to assist a student in accessing his/her academic program. Related services include, but are not limited to, the following: occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological services, social work services, and speech and language services. The student’s individual education plan (IEP) will determine the services and amount of time needed to meet the student’s academic or behavioral needs.

Students with disabilities who do not qualify for an individualized education program under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, may qualify for services under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if the student (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment. Questions about the identification, assessment, and placement of students should be directed to
Traci Milledge, Director of Special Education at 708-215-7016.

Table of Contents

About Us

Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disability

Additional Resources

Related Links

Student Services

Our Department

Director of Special Education

Traci Milledge
Email: milledgetr@dist102.k12.il.us
Phone: (708) 215 - 7016

Assistant Director of Special Education

Emily Crohn
Email: crohnem@dist102.k12.il.us
Phone: (708) 215 - 7084

Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disability

Additional Resources

Parent Handbook

Contains information for parents interested in learning more about special education eligibility, processes, and procedures in La Grange District 102. Additional information is located throughout this website. 

Does my child need special education?

Special Education Staff Roles

Administration
The special education administrator plays a key and multi-faceted role in the education of our students. Special education administrators determine educational standards and goals for special education programs, ensure that those programs comply with federal, state, and local laws, set policies and procedures for special education teachers and staff who are implementing those programs, review and evaluate all programs, mediate disputes between parents and schools, and attend community meetings when critical special education issues are discussed.

Special Education Teachers
A special education teacher is assigned as a case manager for each eligible student. The teacher oversees the implementation of the child’s IEP and provides a contact point for the parents. If the student has an aide working with them, the special education teacher provides the supervision and training for the aide. Special education teachers also provide consultation to classroom teachers and may co-teach or provide small group instruction within the general education classroom. All buildings are staffed appropriately to meet the needs identified in students’ IEPs.

Early Childhood Teachers
The early childhood program, both special education and blended classrooms, are staffed by teachers certified in both early childhood education and special education. Early childhood teachers oversee the implementation of the child’s IEP and provide a contact point for the parents. If the student has an aide working with them, the special education teacher provides the supervision and training for the aide.

Nursing Staff
The school nurse is a liaison between school personnel, family, health care professionals, and the community. The school nurse ensures adequate communication and collaboration among the school staff, family, physician, and providers of community resources for children identified with health needs resulting in eligibility or as a related condition to a broader disability.

Social Workers
The school social worker is available to provide counseling for any student whose social, emotional or behavioral needs are impacting their educational performance. The social worker and classroom teachers work together to obtain a functional behavior assessment and to develop positive behavioral intervention plans. Social work services may be provided in the classroom or through pullout sessions with individual or small groups of students. Like all other services, social work services are identified within the students IEP; however, students may access social work through general education if the issue is unrelated to the eligibility category.

Psychologists
School psychologists serve a variety of roles in the District. These include being a data and problem-solving leader for each school's MTSS (Multi-tiered System of Support), serving as the Local Education Agent (LEA) at IEP meetings, overseeing requests for special education evaluations, conducting evaluations as appropriate, providing some direct services to students through counseling and mentoring, consulting with general and special educators, and serving as part of school data and crisis management teams. La Grange District 102 employs its own school psychologists, and there is one psychologist assigned to each building in the District. 

Speech/Language Pathologists
The Speech/Language Pathologist screens, evaluates, and provides therapy for those students having articulation or language needs that directly impact their educational performance. All kindergarten students are screened for speech/language delays within the first weeks of school, and parents are contacted if there is a need to do a more formal evaluation.  Speech services may be provided in the classroom or through pullout sessions with individual or small groups of students.

Occupational and Physical Therapists
For those students found eligible, Occupational or Physical Therapists provide individual or small-group, school-based therapy. These services address motor needs that impact a student’s access to the educational environment. School-based services do not take the place of any private therapy a child may need for rehabilitation.

Vision and Hearing Itinerants
Cooperative Association for Special Education (CASE) provides itinerant teacher support for those students having vision, hearing, or physical mobility needs that impacts their ability to participate in the school setting. The Student Support Team will refer a student to CASE for an assessment and determination of eligibility for the service.

Resources and Helpful Links



Notices, Additional Forms, and Other Helpful Information
Important Forms and Notices

Confidential Release of Information - Records Request

Procedure regarding classroom observations
Parents and guardians, or private providers, with parental or guardian permission, may observe individual students in classroom settings for the purpose of educational collaboration. The District has a guideline of one hour of observation per trimester per observer in order to minimize educational disruptions. At times, exceptions are made to this procedure, with agreement from the District. Any variations to the guideline must be granted by the Director of Special Education, Traci Milledge, at 708-215-7016 or milledgetr@dist102.k12.il.us.

If small group observations are requested, permission to observe the group must be granted by the parents or guardians of the other individual students in the group. Each observer is accompanied by a District professional of like-role or background. Parent or guardian observations are accompanied by an administrator. The guidelines and procedures around classroom observations ensure that meaningful parental participation takes place while also protecting the confidentiality of individual students. 

Procedure regarding homebound/hospital tutoring
Home/hospital services are provided to a student when a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches, a licensed physician assistant (PA), or a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) determines that the student will, or is anticipated to be, absent from school for a minimum of 10 days during the school year due to a medical condition. The goal of home/hospital instruction (HHI) is to afford the student experiences equivalent to those afforded to other students at the same grade level. It is designed to enable the student to return to the classroom without having fallen behind. Thus, the substance or content of the instruction, generally academic, is to enable the student to remain on pace with the other students in his or her class. Detailed information regarding eligibility is found in the memo below. If you believe that your child may be eligible for homebound tutoring, please contact your school nurse. 

Procedure regarding recording meetings or remote learning sessions
La Grange District 102 promotes and encourages the free and open exchange of information between parents and staff members during meetings in order to best serve students. For this reason, the use of audio, visual and other recording devices at IEP, Section 504 and other student meetings, as well as meetings between school personnel and parents/guardians, shall be prohibited. The prohibition on the recording of meetings also applies to remote meetings that may take place by video or phone through formats such as Zoom and/or Google Hangouts. During alternative learning days, where remote learning opportunities are provided, the recording of instructional, counseling, or therapy sessions provided by teachers and/or related service personnel is strictly prohibited. 

Exceptions regarding the recording of meetings may be made on a case-by-case basis when a parent/guardian, student or staff member is a qualified person with a disability and/or has a language barrier that prevents his/her access to or meaningful participation at a meeting. The decision regarding whether recording the meeting is a reasonable accommodation will be made in the sole discretion of a School District administrator.

Presentations & Handouts

Organizations and Cooperatives

Effective Dispute Resolution/Complaints

EARLY RESOLUTION
Early resolution is an informal means for districts and parents to resolve issues at the local level. It is not uncommon for disagreements to occur between parents and school districts regarding a child's special education services. Those disagreements can often be resolved at the local level with open communication between the parties. The process of resolving disagreements at the local level can be a quick alternative to using a state-sponsored dispute resolution system, and can have the added benefit of improving communication between both parties in the future.

If an individual believes that a school district has not complied with the law or that a child's educational rights has been violated, the individual should try to resolve the issues with the local school district, through the following steps:

  • Communicating directly with the school staff, principal, superintendent, or director of the special education cooperative. 

Beyond each school's principal, La Grange District 102 has two district-level administrators who serve as complaint managers: Traci Milledge, Director of Special Education milledgetr@dist102.k12.il.us , and David Holt, Director of Human Resources and Public Relations holtda@dist102.k12.il.us.

  • Requesting an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting to discuss the issues with the IEP team.

  • Utilizing the systems found here on the ISBE web page, including filing a due process or making a formal complaint.