Student Services

  • The Department of Student Services provides a multidisciplinary team approach when evaluating students to determine need for specialized instruction and/or services. This team approach is sustained when providing special education services to children who meet eligibility requirements. Special education services are available to all students who may qualify from age three through the completion of eighth grade. Our goal is to provide an appropriate level of services and supports that will enable each student to demonstrate academic growth. We believe that a collaborative partnership between school and home will best serve all students who attend Winnetka Public Schools. We are committed to:

    • Identifying students who may need specialized instruction early and then developing appropriate interventions as warranted.
    • Creating and implementing Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for students who require special education services.
    • Providing a continuum of services within the least restrictive environment (LRE) where students who require special education services will have opportunity to receive instruction in general education classrooms to the greatest extent possible.


    Any student who is experiencing difficulties in school may be referred to the school student support team (SST) by a teacher, parent, or principal. The team will review the referral information and collaborate with the classroom teacher to 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 will participate in the process of determining what types of evaluation may be appropriate. This process will include 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 Multi-Tier System of Support (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 affect 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 attend a formal meeting where the assessment data is presented and reviewed, and special education eligibility is determined. If the student is eligible for special education services, an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) will be developed.

    Integrated Service Delivery Model

    This is a visual representation of the placements in which special education services can be provided. The glossary offers basic definitions of placements and other relevant services outlined in this visual representation. A team of individuals makes the determination of where special education services will be offered. This is based on student goal areas and the recommended minutes of services needed to meet these goals. Our goal is to provide services within an integrated service delivery model where students are educated with their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible.

    In addition to the visual continuum, here are special education service descriptors.

    If you have questions about the evaluation process and/or supports or services that may be available to your child, please contact your building principal or the Director of Student Services.


Contact Us

  • Denise Matthews
    Director of Student Services, Equity & Inclusion and Section 504 Coordinator

    Laura Hershner
    Administrative Assistant to the Director of Student Services, Equity & Inclusion


  • Students with disabilities may receive related services as part of their individual education programs (IEPs). The Winnetka Public Schools will maintain related service logs that record the type and number of minutes of the related service(s) administered to such students. Copies of any related service logs will be available to parents/guardians at their child’s annual review IEP meeting. Parents/guardians of students with disabilities may also request copies of their child’s related service logs at any time.