Special Education Services

The staff and administration of District 401 are committed to providing every special education student the appropriate instruction according to his or her individualized education plan (IEP) in the least restrictive setting.

The District uses a continuum-of-service model in which students receive a level of services that is directly related to the severity of their identified disability. Our tiers of service are resource level, instructional level and center-based classrooms.

All students with an IEP have a special education teacher who is their case manager. The case manager is the main point of contact between home and school.

Purpose and Scope

As required under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), special education shall be provided for students who are physically, mentally, emotionally or perceptually handicapped to a degree that makes it impractical or impossible for them to benefit from or to participate in the normal classroom programs.

Whenever possible, resource services shall be provided to the student so that he or she will be able to participate in as much of the regular school program as possible.

If such an arrangement does not sufficiently meet the student's needs, he or she may be placed in a special education class on a full-time basis.

LASEC Services

District 401 is a member of the Leyden Area Special Education Cooperative (LASEC), an association of school districts that offers special class placement and other services for various types of handicaps.

Operating under the provisions of the Illinois School Code (Section 14) and the regulations of the Illinois State Board of Education, LASEC program costs are shared by the local districts and the state.

The programs, including transportation, are provided without charge to parents/guardians, and parental consent is a requirement for placement.

District 401's Policy on Special Education

Procedures and practices in this area are governed by District 401's policy on children with disabilities, which can be found in Section 6:120 of the Board of Education's District Policy Manual. The policy includes the following provisions:

The School District shall provide a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and necessary related services to all children with disabilities enrolled in the District, as required by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and implementing provisions of the School Code, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans With Disabilities Act. The term "children with disabilities," as used in this policy, means children between ages 3 and 15 (inclusive) for whom it is determined, through definitions and procedures described in the Illinois State Board of Education's Special Education rules, that special education services are needed. […]

For students eligible for services under IDEA, the District shall follow procedures for identification, evaluation, placement and delivery of services to children with disabilities provided in the Illinois State Board of Education's Special Education rules. For those students who are not eligible for services under IDEA, but, because of disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, need or are believed to need special instruction or related services, the District shall establish and implement a system of procedural safeguards. […]

The District may maintain membership in one or more cooperative associations of school districts that shall assist the District in fulfilling its obligations to the District's disabled students.

If necessary, students may also be placed in nonpublic special education programs or education facilities.

A searchable online version of the Board of Education's Policy Manual can be found here.