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Dr. Jeremiah Johnson
Director of Special Education
(708) 758 - 1610 ext. 116

Valencia Mathis

Valencia Mathis
Special Education Secretary, Transportation Secretary
(708) 758 - 1610 ext. 115

Special Education Policies and Procedures

Welcome to the Special Education Department at Community Consolidated Schools District 168. There is so much information to consider in regards to the entire special education department and procedures to obtain services. This process can appear or feel intimidating but together we can simplify the process and walk through the steps of how to best service our students together. School District 168 is committed to providing a quality education to all students. Our special education staff provides a caring and compassionate environment as well as a rigorous and challenging curriculum.

The law requires the district to identify and assess all students within the district from 3 to 21 years of age who may have disabilities, and then provide appropriate programs and/or related services to those eligible. Programs and services are provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was signed into law in 2004. You will hear many new words or acronyms. Ask if you don’t know what they mean. Here are some you will hear.

  • ISBE: Illinois State Board of Education.

  • FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education.

  • IEP: Individualized Education Program. The IEP is a written plan. It tells how the school will change the way they teach to fit your child’s needs.

  • IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is the federal special education law.

  • LEA: Local educational agency. Your LEA is usually your school district.

If your child has a disability, special education can help your child learn...

You will work as part of a team along with others from the school. The team will decide if your child qualifies for special education. If your child qualifies, the team will make a written plan for your child. The plan is called an Individualized Education Program or IEP. The team is called the IEP team.

The IEP is developed by the IEP team at a meeting. An IEP is good for one year. It can be changed anytime during the year in another IEP team meeting, or it may be changed anytime during the year without an IEP team meeting if you agree.

The IEP team has a very important job. You will want to go to all IEP team meetings. You will want to be part of all the decisions about your child.

You know your child best. The IEP team needs you!


  1. Referring your child for special education.

  2. Evaluating your child.

    • Does your child have an impairment?

    • Does your child need special education?

  3. Deciding what services are needed and writing the IEP. The school must have a meeting to write the IEP within 30 days of deciding your child is eligible for special education.

  4. Deciding where your child will receive services and sending you a placement notice.

  5. Reviewing the IEP and placement at least once each year.

  6. Reevaluating your child at least once every three years. You and the school can agree not to reevaluate your child.

A continuum of special education services is available to support the education of children with disabilities. Services are provided for children from 3 to 21 years of age who qualify under one or more of the following eligibility categories:

  • Developmental Delay (3-9)

  • Speech/Language Impairment

  • Specific Learning Disability

  • Other Health Impairment

  • Autism

  • Intellectual Disability

  • Emotional Disturbance

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Deafness

  • Orthopedic Impairment

  • Visual Impairment

  • Deafness-Blindness

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Multiple Disabilities

I would like to thank the Community Consolidated Schools District 168 family for the warm family based atmosphere, positive environment, and opportunity to serve as the Director of Special Education. Please feel free to contact me anytime and I look forward to us building success stories together.


Dr. Jeremiah Johnson
Director of Special Education
Community Consolidated Schools District 168