• Below is information, advice and guidance that the district’s student services department has provided for the families of our students with special needs.

    • The Illinois State Board of Education and U.S. Department of Education have provided information and updates about what special education services will look like and how they will be delivered in conjunction with e-learning. You can access a question and answer document about this important issue by visiting https://www.isbe.net/Documents/qa-covid-19-03-12-2020.pdf.

    • Below are some of the strategies we are currently using to support the learning of our students with special needs.

      • Online learning options and tools similar to the ones we have utilized on Flexible Learning Days.
      • Folders of instructional and practice materials.
      • Virtual services (e.g., teleconferencing, Google Hangout, Remind, etc.).

    • We have provided information about the resources that are available for students who are experiencing emotional distress or anxiety due to the disruption of routine. You can access those resources by visiting https://d86.hinsdale86.org/Page/1783. We also encourage any students who are experiencing overwhelming emotional distress to contact their social worker, school psychologist or counselor as soon as possible.

    • We are working with the schools that serve our out-of-district placements to ensure that the needs of these students continue to be met.

    • It is imperative that students check their email and Canvas accounts multiple times a day in order to make communication easier and more effective.

    • Families that are looking for other activities their students can do while our schools are closed should consider giving them tasks to do around the house that will help them build and strengthen their life skills. While our students have a wide range of experiences and opportunities when it comes to cleaning, organizing or even repairing things around the house, these can be important life lessons that help build confidence. If students already participate in these types of activities, parents/guardians should think of ways they can help initiate or problem-solve. Reading, listening to audiobooks and journaling are also great ways for students to sharpen their academic skills and stay relaxed.

    • While there have been some changes granted to IEP meeting timelines, mainly around evaluations, most of them remain the same. With this in mind, we will continue to use technology to connect with families about IEP meetings. We will also provide assistance or support if people experience technical issues.

    • If students are experiencing challenges that are academic in nature, please contact the teachers or case manager. If the issues are related to the way a student is feeling (anxious, depressed or frustrated), please contact the social worker or counselor. If you don’t know who the social worker or counselor is, the case manager can assist you. The directors of special education (Kristin Marks from Hinsdale South, Andrea Ellexson from Hinsdale Central and Tina Kinsey from the Transition Center) are also available to help in any way that they can.