Chicago Heights Elementary School District No. 170 provides a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment with necessary related services to all students 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 "students with disabilities", as used in this policy, means students between ages 3 and 15 for whom it is determined that special education services are needed.
It is the intent of the District to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated, and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be disabled within the meaning of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act even though they do not require services pursuant to IDEA.
For students eligible for services under IDEA, the District shall follow procedures for identification, evaluation, placement, and delivery of services to students with disabilities. For those students who are not eligible for services under IDEA, but because of a disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, need or are believed to need special safeguards. The safeguards shall cover the student's identification, evaluation, and educational placement. This system shall include notice and opportunity for the student's parent(s)/guardian(s), and representation by counsel, and a review procedure.
The District provides a wide variety of programs and services for students ranging from the least restrictive environment to a more restrictive environment (i.e., itinerant, resource, inclusion, co-teaching, and self-contained). Birth to three and early childhood services are provided for students who qualify as per State guidelines.
All programs are staffed with certified teachers and instructional aides. Other support personnel include school psychologists, speech/language pathologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, occupational therapists/assistants, physical therapists/assistants, and administrators. Students eligible for special education services have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which outlines his/her individual needs, goals and objectives.