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Referral & Eligibility

Students who experience academic, social/emotional, behavioral and/or medical difficulties in the general education classroom are referred to the Grade Level or Problem Solving Team for discussion and review. The Team works collaboratively with the classroom teachers to develop intervention strategies to assist these students within the general classroom setting. Adaptations and/or modifications to the general curriculum may be made or supplemental services may be provided by Joseph Sears faculty. Depending upon the student’s response to the intervention, the student may be found eligible for special education services. If necessary, a complete individual evaluation may be conducted to determine a student’s eligibility for specific Student Services support.

According to the Illinois School Code, students qualifying for special education services under the “specific learning disability” category must have the RtI process as part of the evaluation procedure. Other disabilities (e.g., autism, emotional disability, speech/language, hearing impaired, cognitive disability, etc.) might not require the RtI process as part of the full individual evaluation. The results of the full evaluation are reviewed at a multidisciplinary conference. In this process, an Individual Education Program (IEP) is written that identifies a student’s individual needs, goals and objectives for instruction, as well as the services required to meet the student’s needs.

Students who are eligible for Student Services support receive assistance through a variety of service delivery methods. Support may be given within the general classroom setting or within the student services classroom setting based on the identified needs of each student. The primary, intermediate, and junior high support teachers work collaboratively with classroom teachers within the general classroom setting, work one-on-one with students, and work with smaller groups outside of the general classroom setting.


Students with disabilities who do not qualify for an Individualized Education Program ("IEP") may qualify for supports under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, if the student: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (3) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment.

If you believe your student may be a student with a disability and requires reasonable accommodations in the school setting, you may contact the Director of Student Services, Dr. Carrie De La Cruz, at or 847-853-3807 for more information regarding the identification, assessment, and placement of your student.