Evergreen ParkElementary School District 124


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Departments » Special Education

Special Education

At Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124,  we believe that every child is unique and deserves an inclusive and nurturing learning environment. Our Special Education Programs are dedicated to providing tailored support and resources to ensure the success of every student, fostering a sense of belonging and accomplishment.  We strive to empower all stakeholders, with the resources, skills, and mindset necessary to provide high-quality special education services to meet the needs of all students with disabilities in Evergreen Park. Our commitment to our stakeholders, including staff, students, and families is to collaborate and communicate effectively to ensure consistent implementation of special education services in the least restrictive environment throughout the district. We believe that diversity strengthens our community and that all students with disabilities can advocate for themselves and thrive academically and socially in all environments while making a positive impact on the community as a whole.

Child Identification and Child Find

In accordance with federal, state, and local regulations, District 124 annually conducts child find activities.  Child Find is the process of locating, evaluating, and identifying children who are suspected of having a disability or who may need special education and related services.
In addition to child find activities, a referral can be made to initiate a special education evaluation.  A referral is a process asking the school district to evaluate a student to decide if the student qualifies to receive special education services. A referral can be made either by the school district or by a parent or guardian. Not all referrals result in an evaluation.

Decision Regarding a Request for An Evaluation 

If the district determines a full case study is warranted, an Identification of Needs Assessment will be completed.   Written parental consent must be obtained before the evaluation can begin.  The date of consent will then trigger the 60-school-day timeline for completion of the evaluation and determination of eligibility.

Once a referral is received, the district is required to respond within 14 school days.   If the district determines that a referral for a full case study evaluation is not warranted, the parent will be notified in writing regarding all relevant factors in the decision. If the district determines a full case study is warranted, written parental consent must be obtained before the evaluation can begin.  The date of consent triggers the 60-school-day timeline for completion of the evaluation and determination of eligibility.


The needs assessment will determine which areas a student with a suspected disability is evaluated.  Information should be collected through a variety of approaches (observations, interviews, tests, curriculum based assessment, and so on) and from a variety of sources (parents, teachers, specialists, and the child).  The evaluation should yield information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally.


Eligibility for special education and related services is determined on the basis of the needs assessment data and supporting information collected by the team.  IDEA lists thirteen different disability categories under which children may be eligible for services. Students may qualify for services under one or more categories.  When determining eligibility for special education, the following three criterias must be considered: The student has an identified, disabling condition, the student’s identified disability has an adverse effect on his/her educational performance, the student requires specialized instruction or services outside the reach of general education to address the adverse effect.  If the team determines that the student does not meet eligibility requirements, the team will notify the parent in writing.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

If the team determines that a student meets the eligibility criteria, and is entitled to Free Appropriate Public Education  (FAPE), an IEP must be developed.  The components of the IEP include: present levels of educational performance, measurable annual goals including benchmarks or short-term objectives, a statement of specified special education and related services, supplementary aids, accommodations, and modifications,  a statement to which the child will not participate in regular education programs and activities with non disabled children, individual modifications in state or district wide assessments, projected date for initiation of special education and services including frequency, duration, and location, and a statement of how progress toward goals will be monitored.

Educational Placement

The decision about where the student should receive special education services is called educational placement. Special education is instruction and related services provided by special education personnel or by a general education program that has been modified through the use of special education support services, supplementary aids/interventions, or other special programming.  At District 124, we offer a wide spectrum of specialized programs for students ages three through 15 years. Special education instructional programs, resource programs, and related services shall range along a continuum based on the nature and degree of the intervention 

Section 504

Students with disabilities who do not qualify for an Individualized Education Program under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, may qualify for services under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Section 504 is a federal civil rights law that protects students from disability discrimination by public schools. Students of all ages who have a (i) has a physical or mental impairment (ii) have a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment can be covered by a 504 plan. A 504 plan ensures that students with disabilities have access to the same education as their non-disabled peers by providing accommodations enabling them to succeed in the general education classroom.


For more information on special education services and programs, please email of call your building School Psychologist:
Natalie Carberry
[email protected]
(708) 423-0950 ext. 2557
Cindy Roman
[email protected]
(708) 423-0950 ext. 2424
Central Middle School
Hannah Featherstone
[email protected]
(708) 423-0950 ext. 2243