Special Education/Section 504 Services

River Forest District 90 offers a continuum of services for students who qualify for services under Section 504 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Under either provision, District 90 supports the intent of the federal and state mandates to meet student needs in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for children aged three through 8th grade who meet eligibility requirements. River Forest District 90 utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach when evaluating students for special education eligibility and providing specialized instruction and/or services. We believe that a collaborative partnership between school and home will best serve all students attending River Forest District 90.

Special Education Team

Referral Process

Any current student experiencing difficulties in school may be referred to the school student support team (SST) by a teacher, parent, or principal. Upon receipt of a referral, the student support team, led by the school psychologist, will review the referral information and collaborate with the classroom teacher to review current interventions or develop appropriate classroom interventions and strategies. The problem-solving team will also determine when the need for evaluation is warranted. When evaluation for special education eligibility is considered, parents will be notified and participate in determining what types of evaluation may be appropriate. This process will include the acquisition of written parental consent before any evaluation is initiated.

If you have any concerns about your child’s performance, please contact the classroom teacher. Our teachers participate in regular data meetings to review student progress and are able to speak with you about your concerns. If you have a child between the ages of 2 years and 10 months to 5 years old who is not yet enrolled in District 90, information about the screening process can be found here.


In order for a student to be considered for special education services, the student support team will meet with the parents to discuss what type of evaluation may be appropriate. This process will include the acquisition of written parental consent before any evaluation is initiated. Eligibility for special education services is determined via a school-based team assessment process that may include data collected from the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS), formal and informal evaluation measures, classroom observations, and student record reviews. Information from independent evaluations will also be considered during the eligibility process. Eligibility for special education services is based upon the student’s educational needs, the adverse effect any disability may have on academic performance, and whether students meet eligibility criteria as established by state and federal guidelines. When the evaluation process has been completed, parents will be invited to participate in a formal meeting where the assessment data is presented and reviewed, and special education eligibility is determined. District 90 provides families with drafts of all reports at least 3 days in advance of this meeting. The eligibility team includes the parents, a general education teacher, a special education teacher, the school psychologist, related service providers who participated in the evaluation, and an administrator.

If the student is eligible for special education services, an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) will be developed.

The IEP Process

River Forest District 90 follows the federal and state laws when making decisions about eligibility for special education services. The federal government recognizes 14 categories under which children may qualify for special education. These disabilities include autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, developmental delay, emotional disorder, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment. Information about the eligibility criteria for each disability can be found on the ISBE website. If the evaluation team determines that the student is eligible for special education services, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be developed. The IEP includes goals, accommodations, related services, and placement. More detailed information about the IEP can be found here.          

Additional information about Parental Rights in the IEP process can be found here.

Section 504

Students who are not eligible for services under IDEA may qualify for services under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if the child (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment. Parents who feel that their child may qualify under Section 504 should contact the school psychologist in their child’s building. 


Qualified interpreters are available at IEP meetings upon request for parents/guardians whose native language is other than English. If a qualified interpreter is not available, District 90 may use outside vendors, including telephonic interpreters. Parents and guardians, including those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, may request an interpreter at IEP meetings by contacting the Director of Student Services. Requests for an interpreter at IEP meetings should be made at least 7 days before such meetings whenever possible.

Parents/guardians have the right to request that the bilingual interpreter provided at an IEP meeting serve no other role in the IEP meeting than as the interpreter. District 90 will make reasonable efforts to fulfill this request. Parents/guardians may contact Debbie Lubeck at [email protected] or 708-435-8287.

Student Services Staff

Inclusion Preschool 

The District 90 Inclusion Preschool provides students with a positive, nurturing environment that fosters social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth and development. This program allows preschool students to access an environment, materials, and curriculum that help prepare them for Kindergarten. The classroom is composed of 3, 4, and 5-year-old students who work and play with students of all abilities. The students’ diverse learning needs are met by having a low student-to-teacher ratio, which provides individual and small group attention opportunities. The District conducts developmental screenings for children in order to provide targeted interventions and resources to address areas of identified developmental need. If you have a child between the ages of 2 years 10 months to 5 years old who is not yet enrolled in District 90, information about the screening process can be found here

At this time, we are no longer accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year. Applications for the 2025-26 Inclusion Preschool will open in the fall.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, or MTSS, is a federal and state initiative to provide students with the help they need to be successful as early as possible.

MTSS uses a problem-solving model to focus on improving student performance. Staff members work together to identify whether a problem exists, analyze why the problem is occurring, develop and implement research-based interventions, and evaluate whether the interventions were successful.

Students are identified for MTSS through a variety of formal and informal means, including Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing; grade-level, research-based assessments; teacher observations and team concerns; and parent concerns.

MTSS is organized as a three-tiered model that uses increasingly intense interventions for each tier; staff members use data to monitor a student's progress and evaluate whether an intervention has been successful. The three tiers of MTSS are as follows:

Tier I: The first tier of intervention begins with good differentiation—the academic and behavioral strategies that teachers use in the regular classroom at the first sign a student is having difficulty.

Tier II: A student moves to tier II when progress monitoring shows that a student has made insufficient progress in a specific area of the curriculum, despite differentiation. The intervention is research-based and occurs within the academic setting, implemented by the classroom teacher and/or other resource personnel, for instance, the reading specialist.

Tier III: If further data shows that the student continues to lack progress, a more intense approach may be recommended for the identified need, for instance, increased academic or social support, a new intervention, or increased time. Tier III may include services available under the special education model.

Helpful Resources


The Special Education Department provides links to other websites only as a convenience for persons who visit our website. Our agency does not guarantee the accuracy or propriety of any information, offered services, or products contained in any website linked directly or indirectly to ours. Therefore, reasonable efforts should be made to verify information and services or product offerings contained in any website.

Homebound Tutoring

Home/Hospital services are provided to a student when a licensed medical physician determines that the student will or is anticipated to, due to a medical condition, be out of school for a minimum of two consecutive weeks of school (10 days) on an ongoing intermittent basis. 
  • An "ongoing intermittent basis" means the student's medical condition is of such nature or severity that it is anticipated that the student will be absent from school due to the medical condition at least two consecutive days multiple times during the school year, totaling at least 10 days of absences.
Please have your physician complete the Medical Certification for Home/Hospital Instruction (Homebound Instruction Form), which must include the following: 
  • Student's name and date of birth
  • Physician's name and contact information
  • Be completed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches
  • Specify the student's current medical condition
  • Describe the impact of the student's medical condition on his/her ability to participate in education (including the physical and mental level of tolerance for school)
  • State anticipated duration or nature of the student's absence from school
  • State whether there is any reason the student cannot receive five or more hours of home instruction per week, and if so, why
  • Physician's signature and date

Please contact Debbie Lubeck at [email protected] or call 708-771-8282 for more information regarding Homebound Tutoring.

Private, Parochial, & Home-Schooled Students

In accordance with the requirements of the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (“IDEA 2004”), public school districts are required to spend a portion of their Federal Part B special education funds to provide identified students with disabilities who attend private schools with the opportunity to participate in special education services offered by their district equitably. As part of that process, we must conduct a public meeting to discuss our plans to fulfill that responsibility for the upcoming school year. In addition, we wish to hear your feedback and views to ensure that your voices are heard during this process. Finally, we also want to share information about how students with suspected disabilities can access the process offered by our district to screen and evaluate those suspected disabling conditions.

More information about the Timely & Meaningful Consultation can be shared by emailing Debbie Lubeck at L[email protected]g or call 708-771-8282.

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