Referral and Eligibility

A student who is experiencing difficulties in school may be referred to the school problem solving team by a teacher, parent, principal or other concerned person. The team reviews the referral information and collaborates with the classroom teacher to develop intervention strategies designed to facilitate student success within the general education classroom.

Based on reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), all public school systems are now required to implement a 'Response to Intervention' process for determining eligibility for special education services for students with Learning Disabilities by 2010-2011. This means that school districts can no longer solely utilize the discrepancy between a given student's intellectual ability and academic achievement to determine eligibility. Rather, eligibility decisions are based on a student's response to the scientifically-based interventions that have been implemented.

For students with disabilities who require specialized instructional services, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) controls the procedural eligibility requirements. Currently, ISBE identifies thirteen categories under IDEIA. The eligibility categories are as follows: