Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 mission is to empower every learner to achieve personal excellence. In keeping with our mission, the Student Services department strives to provide a full continuum of support services, supplementary aids, or specialized programming to students ages of 3 and 22 who are found to be eligible for special education due to a disability that adversely impacts educational functioning. In this process, the Student Services Department is responsible for conducting child find activities to identify students suspected of having a federally recognized disability. If a student is found eligible, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed in collaboration with parents, teachers, and special education personnel.
In addition, the Student Services Department manages provisions of Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The law ensures supports and services to students that have an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
If you have any questions about the services offered through the Student Services Department, please contact either your student’s school team or the Student Services Department at 847-540-7060.
- Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Information
- Social Emotional Wellness
- Suicide, Sexual Abuse, and Anti-Bullying Training Information
- IEP Eligibility & Development Process
- Support Services
- Parent Notices
- Family Resources
Empower all learners to achieve personal excellence.
Our staff intend to enact the District 95 mission statement within a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework by doing the following: leveraging strong and engaged leadership; implementing evidence-based instructional practices; using data to inform decision-making; utilizing a continuous problem-solving model; developing and implementing a layered system of supports; engaging students and families in the MTSS process.
Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) Overview
The Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a framework to support educators with implementing responsive and fluid academic and social emotional interventions and instructional enhancements to ensure the success of all learners. A key feature of an MTSS framework is a “tiered” or layered approach to providing students support. A summary of the different tiers is presented below:
- Tier 1 - Universal, ALL STUDENTS receive these supports
- Tier 2 - Targeted/Group, SOME STUDENTS receive these supports
- Tier 3 - Individualized, A FEW STUDENTS receive these supports
It is important to note that students in need of more support receive these interventions IN ADDITION TO Tier 1 supports; Tier 2/Tier 3 supports do not REPLACE universal instruction in any area (academic, behavioral, social-emotional). The picture below visually illustrates the layered nature of an MTSS framework.
What Families Can Expect
Families are involved in the MTSS system in a number of ways. At the universal level (all students and families), examples of involvement include (but are not limited to):
Regular communication regarding their student’s academic and behavioral functioning;
Report cards/conference opportunities to provide progress updates;
Ongoing assessment information (i.e., MAP, DESSA) shared regarding their student’s performance on standardized measures.
As students are identified for additional supports through the use of data within the MTSS framework, parents can expect communication regarding recommended interventions. For example, if a student is recommended to receive additional reading support or direct instruction in a social-emotional skill outside of the classroom setting - families would be notified of the identified need and the way in which additional supports would be provided.
Students who receive either targeted (Tier 2) or intensive individualized (Tier 3) supports within this framework additionally receive additional progress monitoring opportunities (data collection to determine how they are responding to interventions provided), and families may access this additional information as well.
Students who have been provided with ongoing layered supports, but who still struggle to make progress in one or more areas, may be considered for an additional layer of evaluation to determine whether a Section 504 Plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is appropriate. In these cases, parents/guardians are additionally informed and provide consent before any additional information is gathered. Please refer to the IEP Eligibility & Development section of the Student Services Department page for additional information in this area.
For additional information regarding your student’s needs within an MTSS framework, please contact your building Assistant Principal (LZHS - Assistant Principal for Student Services).
Click here to visit our Social Emotional Wellness webpage which contains information regarding key social-emotional learning concepts, as well as resources available to students and families in order to support various aspects of functioning.
Suicide Prevention - Ann Marie’s Law (Public Act 99-0443)
- Early Childhood
- Preschool Screening
- School Aged
- Extended School Year
- Transitional Services
- Related Services
- Assistive Technologies
- Private/Parochial Services
Community Unit District 95 offers a continuum of special education services to meet the unique educational needs of the three to five year old students with disabilities. A range of available services is designed in compliance with the federal and state guidelines supporting the least restrictive environment in which services can be provided.
Preschool Screening & Referrals
Community Unit School District 95 conducts developmental preschool screenings several times a year for children ages three through five. Children are screened in the developmental areas of Language Development, Fine and Gross Motor Development, Concept Development, and Vision and Hearing. For those children who are identified during the screening process as being at risk for learning and/or behavioral difficulties, a Domain Meeting may be scheduled for the IEP Team, including the parents/guardians, to meet together to discuss and determine how to best respond to the concerns observed during the screening process. Visit the Preschool Screening section on this page for more information.
At Risk Program
Children who do not qualify for Early Childhood Special Education Services, may be eligible for At-Risk Preschool Programming. The program is designed to provide a preschool experience for children ages 3-5 who are residents of Lake Zurich who qualify due to a variety of factors that may include (but are not limited to) economic need, low performance on the preschool screening, having a primary language other than English, and chronic illness/health concerns. The goal of the preschool is to provide students with a positive, nurturing environment that fosters social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth and development. Children must participate in an At-Risk Preschool Screening process to determine eligibility for the program. Visit the Preschool Screening section on this page for more information.
Children currently in Early Intervention Programs (birth-to-three years old)
A child may also be eligible to receive Early Childhood or other related special services as the child ages out of Child and Family Connections or another Early Intervention program. As the child enrolled in Child and Family Connections' Early Intervention program approaches the age of three, Child and Family Connections contacts District 95 and a transition plan is established among the early intervention agency, District 95 and the parents/guardians, in order to provide appropriate services without interruption when the child turns three.
Children transferring from another school district
The Early Childhood Education team reviews records and meets with the family of the preschool child who has participated in Early Childhood Education services in another district and is transferring to District 95. After the family establishes district residency, the existing IEP is reviewed and implemented as written by the previous district. Further assessment and changes may be recommended at the initial IEP meeting.
Because your child’s first 5 years of life are so important, we want to help you provide the best start for your child. Child Find screening is available for any children between the ages of 3 and 5 years who reside within the Lake Zurich CUSD 95 boundaries.
Lake Zurich CUSD 95 uses the Ages & Stages Questionnaires to screen students. These questionnaires are completed by parents and are available in both English and Spanish. The Ages & Stages Questionnaire – Third Edition (ASQ-3) includes questions about your child’s communication, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, problem solving and personal-social skills. The Ages & Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional – Second Edition (ASQ: SE-2) includes questions about your child’s social emotional development. Additionally, we will send home a sheet that addresses your child’s articulation (speech sound development).
If you are interested in having your child screened or have questions regarding the screening process, please contact the Screening Coordinator (contact information below). Please include the following information in your email:
- Your child’s name & date of birth
- Your address & phone number
Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 provides a continuum of services based on students individual needs. These services are provided through a variety of program options including consultative services, resource services and instructional level services at all age levels. We have Instructional Cross-Categorical classrooms that focus on students with academic needs, social-emotional needs, multiple needs, and needs that may fall on the Autism Spectrum. These services are available to students at all levels if needed. All service decisions are team driven.
Extended School Year (ESY) is defined as special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability beyond the normal school year of the public agency in accordance with the child’s IEP and at no cost to the parents of the child. Eligibility for ESY services is determined by the student’s IEP team members, which includes parents. Teams consider the severity of the student’s needs, evidence of past loss of skills during extended breaks from school, and patterns of recoupment of skills when returning from breaks.
For more information on ESY, please see the Communication on Extended School Year Services provided by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Transition Services as defined in the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (P.L. 101-476) is a "coordinated set of activities for a student designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post school activities, including post secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation."
Transition planning becomes formalized when the child reaches age 14½ and a Transition Planning document is added to the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The purpose of the Transition Plan is to initiate a process of assisting in the movement from school to an adult life style based on the individual's needs.
The transition program focuses on the development of those skills needed for the implementation of an individual's plan for adult life. This plan is identified in transition planning conferences and includes the student, parents, school and other service providers. Major components of the program include vocational training, life skills training, personal advocacy training, social and survival skills education and parent education.
Students eligible for special education services, may need specific services in order to meet their individual education needs. As determined by a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) the following related services may be provided.
Social Work Services
Assistive Technology (AT)
Adaptive Physical Education
What is Assistive Technology (AT)?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004, provides a legal definition of AT. The definition at 34 C.F.R. § 300.5 reads as follows:
"Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability…"(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1401 (1)).
What does this mean?
This basically means anything that you can purchase, modify or create that allows students to access the curriculum. There is assistive technology for all academic areas including: reading, math, organization, writing, communication, computer access, access to materials, and aids for daily living. It can be anything from a simple, low tech device such as a pencil grip, to a complex, high tech device, such as a dynamic display communication system.
Who Can Benefit from AT?
AT is considered at least annually for students who have IEP or 504 plans. However, any student can benefit from AT depending on their learning needs.
District 95 has AT tools that are available for all students to support reading and writing skills. Co:Writer Universal and Snap&Read Universal are programs that any student can access both at school and at home. Co:Writer Universal provides word prediction support, including topic dictionaries that provide vocabulary support on specific topics. This program is available on iPads, Chromebooks and laptops. Snap&Read Universal is a text reader and text leveler that enables students to listen to text on laptops and Chromebooks. Links to more information about these tools, as well as video tutorials, can be found under Resources on this page.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
In an effort to support the communication skills of our students in the Early Childhood and Social Communication classrooms, we have adopted a universal approach to AAC (augmentative and alternative communication). AAC includes all forms of communication other than verbal speech, including gesture, facial expression, pictures, symbols, and writing. For students with complex communication needs, use of communication boards/books or devices that produce voice output can be used to enhance communication.
Each classroom in the Early Childhood program and the Social Communication program has low tech core vocabulary boards accessible for all students. In addition, iPads are available with the TouchChat HD AAC with WordPower communication application. Teachers and staff use these iPads to provide language modeling for students. If teachers observe a positive change in communication from a student when AAC is being utilized, parents will be contacted, and an informed consent form will be sent home to parents to initiate a trial. An intervention planning form will be completed by the student's team, data will be gathered regarding response to aided language input provided with TouchChat, and results will be reviewed with parents and the team. If 1:1 AAC is indicated, the team will hold a domains, eligibility, and IEP meeting that incorporates the AAC trial results. AAC will then be implemented across school and home environments per the student's IEP.
If a student attends a private or parochial school or is home schooled within the boundaries of District 95, he or she is eligible for consideration for a special education evaluation and services in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). IDEA 2004-Section 612 requires each public school district to utilize a portion of its Federal Part B special education funds in order to provide students with disabilities, who attend private schools within the boundaries of the district, the opportunity to equitably participate in special education and services offered by the district. When there is reason to believe that a student may have a disability requiring special education and related services, the student can be referred for a special education evaluation.
Students who attend private schools receive an Individual Service Plan (ISP) if they are found eligible for special education services.
Timely and Meaningful Consultation
Each year, District 95 invites all recognized private/parochial school officials and known parents of homeschooled students to attend a meeting at the District Administrative Office in which information about plans for working with students with disabilities in the upcoming school year are discussed. This meeting is called the Timely and Meaningful Consultation (TMC).
Parents of students attending a private or parochial school or students who are home-schooled and need further information regarding evaluation and/or services should contact the Student Services Office at 847-540-7060 for any additional questions.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education. To be eligible for services within a Section 504 plan, a student must have a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life function. Currently enrolled students may be referred for an a Section 504 evaluation. The Section 504 evaluation will determine if the student is eligible under Section 504 .
If a student is found eligible, a team of individuals that have knowledge of the student develops a written plan that identifies the accommodations and services a student needs to access the general education.
For more information please contact your child’s school or review Illinois State Board of Education guidance.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that works to ensure educational stability for homeless youth. The McKinney-Vento act allows homeless students to enroll in school and receive transportation. The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.”
Please see the Illinois State Board of Education guidance.
If you have further questions regarding McKinney-Vento eligibility, please contact our District Homeless Liaison, Dr. Lauren McArdle at 847-540-7060.
Illinois School Code provides for a continuation of learning when a student will be absent due to a medical condition for more than two consecutive weeks, or on an intermittent basis throughout the school year for more than 10 days (with more than two consecutive absences at a time). Students may qualify to receive home or hospital based instruction from a licensed teacher. Prior to receiving services, the Medical Certification for Home/Hospital Services must be completed and signed by qualified medical staff member.
Please contact your child’s school for more information.
Notice of Procedural Safeguards
Related Services Logs
Notice Regarding Students with Disabilities
Family Seminar Series
Recently, the district hosted a virtual Family Seminar Series in response to family feedback asking for additional resources for supporting students at home. If you missed these informative sessions, please click here to access the recordings of these sessions and self-paced session content.