Special Education Procedures and Programs

DeKalb CUSD #428 provides special education programs and services to eligible students with disabilities between the ages of 3-21, inclusive, consistent with Federal and State laws. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Illinois School Code, school districts are required to identify students with suspected disabilities and, if eligible, to design an individualized education program (IEP) to support the student having an opportunity to receive a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE). To be eligible, the disability must interfere with the student's ability to receive an adequate educational benefit without additional supports and services. Parents and students also are afforded a variety of procedural safeguards, including notices of proposed actions, annual review of the IEP, periodic reevaluations and the right to file complaints. For more information regarding your rights under IDEA, please click the link below:

Notice of Procedural Safeguards for Parents/Guardians of Students with Disabilities

Identifying Students with Suspected Disabilities (Child Find)

The District identifies students with suspected disabilities through preschool screenings and individualized testing requested by parents, school employees or referrals from State agencies such as DCFS, the ISBE or community agencies and deemed to be appropriate by the District.

Students with suspected disabilities are evaluated by a team of qualified individuals in all areas of suspected disability, which could include the following domains: cognitive functioning, academic achievement, functional performance, communication status, motor abilities, health, hearing and vision and socio-emotional status. Parents are included in determining the scope of the evaluation as part of the team and must consent to the assessment prior to it taking place.

Preschool Screenings

The District offers community based screenings for preschool students twice a year and by appointment monthly at the District. These screenings include vision and hearing checks as well as speech and developmental screenings. The dates and locations vary from year to year but are advertised in advance in The Daily Chronicle and Midweek. Notice also is available on our website: preschool screening. For an appointment, contact the Early Learning & Development Center's Preschool Screening Team at 815-754-2361.

Requesting an Evaluation

If you are concerned about your child's learning ability, please contact your child's teacher, the principal or the Director of Student Services, Kyle Gerdes (815-754-2290).

Requests should be made in writing and identify the nature of your concerns and how it impacts your child in school and school related activities. Within 14 school days, the school team will arrange a meeting to discuss the need for further assessments.

A Variety of Special Education Programs Provide a Continuum of Services

  • Resource: Students receive core instruction within the general education classroom with a little extra support from special education.

  • Itinerant: Teachers and Related Service Professionals with special training in specific areas of need and/or disability provide direct and consultative services to students and their teachers.

  • Intensive: Students receive core instruction in both special and general education classrooms, depending on their needs, skills, and abilities.

  • Specialized Programs: Students receive targeted supports for their disability within both special and general education classrooms, depending on their needs, skills, and abilities. Specialized programs are offered for students with severe to profound Cognitive Disabilities, Emotional Disabilities, Visual Impairments, Hearing Impairments, and Autism.

  • Private Placements: Alternative Special Education Schools provide even more specialized programs for some students whose needs are greater that what can be provided within a public school setting.

  • Extended School Year (ESY): Special education summer school is offered to qualified students.

  • Home/Hospital Services: Students whose medical condition prevents them from attending school for a period of time or on an intermittent basis may be eligible for supports through home/hospital programming.

  • Transportation. Assistance is available to students whose disability requires accommodations during transportation such as special safety harnesses, wheelchair lifts or the accommodation of medical equipment necessary during the school day.

  • Related Services Support Students School Success

      • School Nurses

      • School Counselors

      • School Psychologists

      • School Social Workers

      • Speech-Language Pathologists

      • Adaptive Physical Education Specialists

      • Occupational & Physical Therapists

      • Autism Specialists

      • Visual Impairment Specialists

      • Hearing Impairment Specialists

      • Assistive Technology Consultants

      • Vocational Training & Coordination Specialists

Some Additional Links

Illinois State Board Of Education (ISBE): Information at ISBE related to Special Education and Support Services.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

RAMP: RAMP is a non-profit, non-residential Center for Independent Living (CIL) that emulates the Independent Living Philosophy with a mission that promotes an accessible society that allows and expects full participation by people with disabilities.

IDEAs That Work : Resource website - Preparing children and youth with disabilities for success.