Special Education Referral Process

Wondering what to do if you think your son or daughter should be referred to the Special Education Department? Here is a quick list of easy steps to follow:

For early childhood cases or for students who attend a private/home school:

Step 1. Call the Director of Special Populations, Melissa Groot at (815) 942-0056
Step 2. Request a Screening or Evaluation be performed.
Step 3. Provide any medical/clinical information to the director that might help further understand the student and their educational needs.

For cases where the student already attends school in District 54 but does not already receive special education services:

Step 1. Call the Principal or the Director of Special Populations at (815) 942-0056.
Step 2. Request that a screening or evaluation be performed.
Step 3. Provide the reasons and the educational concerns that are prompting the request.
Step 4. Please provide any medical/clinical information that you feel does not compromise the privacy of your child to the service evaluator in order to assist the evaluator’s understanding of the student’s educational needs.

Once the request for the evaluations is given to the Director of Special Education:

  1. A referral meeting will be set up with parents and staff that have knowledge about your child and staff with knowledge about evaluations. This may include your child’s teacher, principal, social worker, nurse, school psychologist, speech therapist and director of special education. At this meeting the team will decide if an evaluation will be completed. If the team determines that an evaluation is necessary, the team will decide what evaluations will be appropriate and who will complete the evaluations. Parental consent is needed to complete the evaluations. The school district will consider the parent’s concerns, ideas and consult in making decisions regarding the evaluations.
  2. A date will be set to review the evaluation information. Based on the information from the evaluations, the child’s eligibility and needs for special education will be determined. Once again, the team will use parent information, concerns and consult in making this determination.
  3. If the child is found eligible for special education, an Individual Education Plan will be developed by the team. The plan will detail the child’s educational needs and goals that will be worked on. The IEP will specify the special education services that will be provided, where the services will be provided and how many minutes each service will be. The team will use parent input, ideas and consult in developing the IEP.
  4. The child’s eligibility for special education will be reviewed at least every three years. The child’s IEP will be reviewed at least every year.

For more information regarding the referral, evaluation, IEP process or for information regarding your rights as a parent, please visit the “Procedural Safeguards” link.