Special Education

Department Phone: (630) 628-3366

Addison Trail Special Education Department


Special Education in District 88

The Special Education Departments in DuPage High School District 88 are committed to providing a comprehensive education to all identified students in accordance with their handicapping condition. It is believed that with appropriate curriculum and support services, all students can become life-long learners. Special Education has a critical responsibility to provide a structure that allows equal opportunities for all students, tailored to their individual needs. A major focus of each of the programs is to assist the students in developing needed skills including academics, self-advocacy, vocational and life skills to allow for a successful transition from school to adult life.

In compliance with IDEA and the "Rules and Regulations to Govern the Administration and Operation of Special Education," mandated by the Illinois State Board of Education, DuPage High School District 88 offers special education classes and services designed to meet the unique needs of students with the following handicapping conditions:

  • Visual impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Hearing impairment
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorder
  • Physical impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Speech/language impairment
  • Autism
  • Other Health Impairment

The DuPage High School District 88 staff strives to provide an appropriate special education program in the least restrictive environment. Working to comply with the State Board of Education inclusion initiative (including transitional programming), materials are selected according to the student's functional ability and vary depending on the program and year in school. Specific programs may be offered within District 88 or at other appropriate, approved sites. Special Education placement options in District 88 include the following:

  1. Placement in the General Education environment without support.
  2. Placement in the General Education environment with support 
  3. Placement in a Special Education setting. District 88 has self-contained programming on each campus for students with severe academic, behavioral, and cognitive needs. District 88 also offers the LIFE program for students needing transition services from ages 17 through the end of the school year after the student turns 22.
  4. Placement in an “off campus” facility. District 88 partners with more than 50 different public and private facilities to ensure that the unique needs of District 88 students can be met.

As required by law, program placement is determined by the IEP team based on each student’s individual needs. Students can be placed full time or part time into any of the above programs without barriers to enrollment.

Official Notice: Under Illinois law, students with disabilities who do not qualify for an IEP may qualify for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, if the child meets one of the following criteria:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities

  • has a record of a physical or mental impairment

  • is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment.

Appropriate District 88 staff participates on the Behavior Interventions Committee. This committee develops policies and procedures for students with disabilities who require behavioral interventions. This is in accordance with P.L. 89-191 and the guidelines set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education.

All students are expected to comply with the rules and regulations as stated in the Parent Student Handbook, which outlines the District 88 discipline policy. In specific circumstances where general policies are not sufficient /effective, an individual behavioral intervention plan may be developed.

Each year a copy of the procedural safeguards and rights for students with disabilities are furnished to all parents and/or guardians of students with disabilities receiving special education and related services. Additionally, all students and parents are notified concerning the District 88 policy on "Behavioral Interventions for Students with Disabilities."

Parents or students interested in knowing about the programs and specific classes available in District 88, should contact the Special Education Department Chair at the individual schools.

Addison Trail High School
Mrs. Julie Johnson, Department Chair
(630) 628-3366


Parent Preparation for IEP Meeting


The purpose of your student's IEP meeting is to review assessment information and to evaluate progress.  Input from all members of the IEP team is essential in creating a successful working plan/document. Speak with your student about these topics prior to the meeting and develop questions or information you would like to share and have staff consider during the meeting.

  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Goals for your student after high school (life and career)
  • Habits/responsibilities at home
  • Academic levels in reading, math, and writing skills
  • Extra-curricular involvement options
  • Elective opportunities in high school tied to a student's career path
  • Work-related job skill opportunities in high school
  • Path/requirements necessary to realize life after high school goals
  • Inquire about additional school-sponsored evenings related to special topics in more in-depth

During the meeting, consider the suggestions below:

  • Ask for additional time to consider important decisions if you’re uncomfortable making them on the spot at the meeting or want to get additional input.  
  • Saying, “I don’t know what you mean,” is a demonstration of confidence and competence.  The staff is more than willing to explain in a different manner.  It’s our job to make sure that you leave having all of the information you desire.
  • Work with staff to engage your student in participating in their meeting. At the high school level, students need to take an active role in their IEP meetings and be part of the problem-solving process.



Transfer/Withdraw Process

1.  Steps to take when needing to withdraw your special education student from Addison Trail

   Notify the Special Education Department at 630-628-3364 so we can get your student’s IEP documents ready to take with you to your student’s new school.  The new school will need these to appropriately place your student and meet their specific needs.  Take these documents with you when you first go to the new school to register your student.  They will need to know as early as possible that your student has special needs that need to be taken into consideration when creating their schedule. 

  Go to the Addison Trail Guidance Department (you do not need an appointment) and tell them you need to withdraw your special education student.  You will need to fill out a withdrawal form and sign a release of records giving Addison Trail permission to share their school records with your student’s new school. 

2.  Steps to take when needing to enroll your special education student at Addison Trail

   Go to the Addison Trail Guidance Department and tell them you need to enroll your student.
(you do not need an appointment)  Please bring a copy of your student’s latest IEP and last three-year re-evaluation paperwork.  You can get a copy from their last school.  We suggest you get this copy to cut down on the time it may take for the old school to send the paperwork.  Addison Trail special education staff will need to review this paperwork to properly place your student and create their schedule.  At this time, you will also schedule an appointment for your students to take the appropriate entrance exams. 

  At the Guidance Department, you will fill out several pieces of paperwork with demographic information.  Additionally, please bring the documents listed below to prove residency within D88 and Addison Trail’s boundaries.

                1.  Bill of sale for the home you own or a current leasing agreement

                2.  TWO current utility bills in the parent/guardian’s name at the address seeking residency

Request for Special Education Case Study Evaluation

 Illinois State law governs the process by which schools consider a student eligible to need a Special Education evaluation.  The full explanation for this eligibility is individualized by student need, disability, and demonstrated progress in school.  If you would like to request a Special Education Evaluation, please put your request in writing and send it to Julie Johnson, Special Education Department Chair at jjohnson@dupage88.net or send it to Addison Trail at 213 N. Lombard Road Addison, IL 60101 c/o Julie Johnson.  Mrs. Johnson will get back to you on the individualized process for your student. 

Request for Special Education Records

Special Education records are considered a “temporary” record for a student.  Law requires that schools keep a student’s temporary record for five years after their graduation and then shred the documents.  We do house a student’s special education records for five years; however, if you are requiring some type of documentation prior to that year we are not able to supply that information.  We are able to provide basic information for people on a case-by-case basis.  Only previous students themselves or the legal guardian for a person over the age of 18 are able to request records.  Please contact Judy Garcia, Special Education Department Secretary, at 630-628-3364 to request the information.  She will consult with Julie Johnson, Special Education Department Chair, to see what information is appropriate to provide.   We will need a first and last name at the time of graduation, year of graduation, date of birth, and a phone number to return the call. 


Observation Hour Requests

At Addison Trail, we field a large number of requests for college students requiring observation hours within our programs.  As a result, we create an observation schedule for students to follow when they come into the building.  This schedule provides an experience in a wide variety of settings where an observer can obtain a perspective on working with a wide variety of students.   If you would like to schedule dates to come in and follow this schedule, please call Judy Garcia, Special Education Department Secretary, at 630-628-3364 or email at  jgarcia@dupage88.net.   If your course requires something specific, please include the specifics in the correspondence with Judy Garcia. 

Practicum/Student Teaching Requests

If your college or university would like to request a placement at Addison Trail for a Practicum or Student Teaching placement, please send the information to Assistant Principal, Michael Warren at mwarren@dupage88.net or 630-628-3306.  Mr. Warren’s office screens candidates and then will forward potential student teachers to the Department Chair. 

Extra-Curricular Activities

There are a variety of extra-curricular activities offered including a variety of sports and clubs.  The participation of students with disabilities in these activities is encouraged.  If your student is interested in pursuing involvement in any of these activities, please either discuss it at their next IEP meeting or contact the Special Education Department Chair.  Specifics on each of these activities are also available in the Main office by contacting Sonia Hernandez, 630-628-3306, shernandez@dupage88.net.  Participation in a specific activity is discussed on a case-by-case basis.  Below are a few activities that have been designed specifically to encourage same-aged peer social and recreational opportunities.

Special Olympics Basketball:

Best Buddies:

Special Education Programs and Services

All Special Education students receive direct case management services from a certified special educator each day during their ATR in their schedule after third period.  This designated 35 minutes daily is for your student’s case manager to progress monitor their progress and demonstrated skills in all of their classes.  The case manager is your and your student’s “go-to” adult in the building.  The case manager will also be at your student’s annual review each year and provide you with nine-week goal updates throughout the year.  Each year the case manager will contact you to introduce themselves and provide you with their contact information.  The programs below illustrate the level of service within the classes your student will receive which are determined at their annual review.

Regular Education with Co-taught/Consult:

This program provides special education and reading support to students in the general education curriculum.  These students receive additional case management support through their ATR period to manage their classes including their specific accommodations and modifications.   Additionally, a variety of instructional strategies and technology are used to teach concepts and vocabulary.  See available courses below:

 Reading 3

English 9 -12





Algebra II

Human Geography

US History


The Achieve Program is a highly structured environment for special education and non-special education students that require intensive academic and behavioral support that offers skill development in educational, social-emotional, and transitional skills. Several of the courses offered are co-taught or supported with regular education and special education staff to meet the needs of all students regardless of eligibility.

A primary focus of the program is helping each student accept responsibility for his/her own academic progress and behavioral choices in the school setting. This will be accomplished in the context of a highly structured classroom environment that offers clear expectations, consistency and a supportive therapeutic component. Each student’s choices will be reinforced through direct and immediate feedback throughout the day, as well as group and or individual counseling as needed. By fostering a supportive relationship with each student, we will work together with that student to achieve the following goals: 1) development of appropriate problem-solving skills, 2) development of appropriate interpersonal skills, 3) increased school success, 4) development of a vocational plan, including goals to be accomplished in the high school program, as well as long-range goals for work and/or education and ultimately, 5) high school graduation.


This program serves students with a variety of disabilities that are currently functioning academically significantly below grade level in the areas of reading, math, and written expression.  The Bridge Program adapts core curriculum and standards to meet the individual learning needs of the student.  The program offers a low student-to-teacher ratio including a paraprofessional to provide individualized instruction to no more than 13 students in each period. Consistent research-based assessment is provided to monitor student growth and achievement frequently.

English 9 -12





Algebra II 

Consumer Math 


Human Geography

US History


School to Work

Strategies 4 Success

Drivers Education 

LINK 1 and 2

The LINK I and II programs are designed to provide a tiered Life Skills focus and functional academics to integrate a student’s skills in the following areas of their complete life experience:

  • Community
  • Vocational
  • Functional Academics
  • Social Awareness
  • Self – Reliance



Self Reliance

Pre-Occupational Skills


Students will participate in a variety of transition/life experiences that include but are not limited to:

  • Cooking Experiences: Menu Planning and Budgeting, Ordering at a restaurant
  • Field trips: Grocery Store, Robert Crown Center, Volunteering
  • Safety/Transportation skills: Metra, Pace, Police/fire departments
  • Teamwork: Fundraising, Problem-Solving real life situations, Cooperative creation of products, peer mediation, Special Olympics day as well as basketball  and cheerleading
  • Money skills: Identification of money, Budgeting, bank accounts
  • Vocational: STEP program to work on job skills within the buildings


This is a District 88 program that is housed at Willowbrook for students with multiple disabilities focusing on Life Skills and functional community experiences.  Students in this program are supervised during all transitions and lunch, as well as on and off transportation.

Extended School Year (ESY)

Extended school year is a program for students who may show a regression of skills without schooling during the summer months.  Eligibility for this program will be decided upon at your student’s Annual Review IEP meeting.

District 88 LIFE Transition Program

The LIFE program is located at our District 88 Office building.  This program is designed for students ages 18-22 who need additional assistance preparing for their adult lives.  The focus of this program is vocational and life skills.  For more specifics, please see the Transition Program website here.   

Related Services

Related services are provided on an as-needed basis determined at your student’s IEP meeting.  They are services to supplement their academic curriculum that support their overall success in school.  Examples of these services are listed below.

Social Work (group or individual)

Speech-Language Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

Assistive Technology


Technology Center of DuPage (TCD)

TCD provides a hands-on educational environment that supports and encourages individual learning styles, develops occupational skills, and fosters professionalism.  Staff at TCD keep their education up to date and on the cutting edge of what is current in the workplace to provide an accurate picture of the working world for students to experience.  As part of their high school day, students would attend TCD and earn high school credit.  See Powerpoint for additional information.

Important notice

Students with disabilities may receive related services as part of their individual education programs (IEPs). DuPage High School District 88 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.