Belvidere School District offers comprehensive programs for students with disabilities ranging from consultation and direct instruction within the core curriculum to specialized services within a small group environment designed to fit the unique learning needs of our students.
The Belvidere School District believes in educating students in their Least Restrictive Environments (LRE), but we also believe in having a wide Continuum of Service options for students who may require a more restrictive environment.
The District offers a Blended Preschool Program for students ages 3-5. The maximum number of students in this program is 20 and has a certified Early Childhood Teacher with a Special Education Endorsement as well as two paraprofessionals. This classroom is a mix of 30% special education students and 70% at risk, tuition, and speech only students. At risk students qualify through a screening process. This program is designed to prepare students for kindergarten and to provide an inclusive setting for our students with special needs. The High Scope Curriculum is used and the program is located at Caledonia, Lincoln, and Seth Whitman Elementary Schools as well as Washington Academy.
Early Childhood Special Education
This program is for students ages 3-5 who only have IEPs as recommended by the student IEP team. The maximum number of students is 10 and each classroom has one certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and two paraprofessionals. Students in this program will have more significant needs than the Blended Preschool Program. The High Scope Curriculum is used, and the program is located at Caledonia Elementary School and Washington Academy.
Students are in the general education setting but receive speech as a special education service. Services can be pull-out our push-in and the program is located in all buildings.
Students in the resource program are primarily taught in the general education setting with push-in and pull-out services. Students are supported by a special education teacher who collaborates with the general education teacher. Students in the resource program may take some classes at the instructional level. Students in the resource program are working in the general education curriculum, but may have accommodations or modifications to the curriculum or assessments in order to be successful in this setting. The resource program is located in all buildings.
Students in this setting are receiving instruction within a special education classroom in a smaller setting. Curriculum is either an alternative (i.e., Focus Math or SRA Reading) or parallel to the general education curriculum with less in depth and at a slower pace. Students require intensive instruction in order to close the gap with their general education peers. Some students may take reading in the general education setting and math in the instructional setting. Students participate in general education electives, encore, and PE classes unless otherwise stated in their IEP. The instructional program is located at Caledonia, Lincoln, Meehan, and Seth Whitman Elementary Schools as well as Washington Academy, both middle schools, and both high schools.
Modified Learning Program
The Modified Learning Program provides a structured setting for students with more significant academic and cognitive challenges. Students in this program work on academic, functional, and vocational skills. Students with communication and sensory needs are also in the Modified Learning Program. The UNIQUE Learning System is the curriculum used and students may attend classes in the instructional level or in the Life Skills program based on their level. Students participate with their general education peers during specials and PE when appropriate. Community outings are a frequent part of this program which is housed at Lincoln Elementary, Belvidere South Middle School, and Belvidere North High School.
Life Skills Program
The Life Skills Program provides a structured setting for students with more significant cognitive disabilities than students in the Modified Learning Program. Students in this program work on academic, functional, and vocational skills. Students with communication and sensory needs are also involved in this program. The UNIQUE Learning System is used, and students may attend classes in the Modified Learning Program based on their level. When appropriate, students participate with general education peers during specials and PE. Community outings are a frequent part of this program as they build skills in a public setting.
Students in this program have significant cognitive disabilities. The program focuses on functional life skills and vocational skills. Many students have medical as well as communication and physical needs. The UNIQUE Learning System curriculum is used in this program which is located at Meehan Elementary, Belvidere South Middle School, and Belvidere High School.
Adaptive, Behavioral, and Communications Program (ABC)
Students in the ABC program have needs in adaptive behavior, functional behavior, and communication along with sensory needs. Students work on academic, functional, and communication skills and receive speech therapy in individual and group settings as well as social work in a group setting. This setting is individualized to the student's academic needs. The TEACCH and UNIQUE curricula are used, and students work within the general education curriculum when appropriate. The ABC program is located at Seth Whitman elementary and Belvidere Central Middle Schools.
Emotional Disabilities Program
This program is for students who are academically on or near grade level but struggle with emotional and behavioral control. Students are included in the general education setting as much as is appropriate. They have classroom and individual behavior plans to help regulate their behavior and impulse control. The Emotional Disabilities Program is located in Washington Academy, Belvidere South and Belvidere Central Middle Schools.
This program is for students ages 18 to 21 years old who require more transition education and skill building. Some students attend a sheltered workshop at Growth Enterprises in the morning and attend Community Based Education in the afternoon. During Community Based Education students cook, learn jobs, and go shopping. Some students attend the RAISE program at Rock Valley College two times per week and then work or volunteer in the community three days per week. The Transition Program is located at Belvidere North High School.
The Belvidere School District contracts services with Northwestern Illinois Association for services in the areas of hearing, vision, and orthopedic impairments and related service therapies to include occupational therapy and physical therapy. The district also provides social work, school psychology, and speech/language therapy services as necessary. These services are offered in all district buildings, and eligibility is determined by the Individual Education Program Team process.
Parents/guardians who have concerns about their child or suspect their child may have a disability are encouraged to contact the building principal for further discussion regarding the special education process of eligibility and services.