District 7 employs the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) (Renzulli 1977; Renzulli & Reis, 1985, 1997) to meet the needs of high-achieving, high-potential students. The SEM is widely implemented nation-wide as an enrichment program used with academically gifted and talented students and an enrichment approach for all schools interested in high-end learning and developing the strengths and talents of all students. The major goal of the SEM is the application of gifted education pedagogy to total school improvement. The SEM provides enriched learning experiences and higher learning standards for all children through three goals; developing talents in all children, providing a broad range of advanced-level enrichment experiences for all students, and providing advanced follow-up opportunities for young people based on their strengths and interests. The SEM focuses on enrichment for all students through high levels of engagement and the use of enjoyable and challenging learning experiences that are constructed around students’ interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression.
Research on the SEM suggests that the model is effective at serving high-ability students in a variety of educational settings and in schools serving diverse ethnic and socioeconomic populations. These studies also suggest that the pedagogy of the SEM can be applied to various content areas resulting in higher achievement when implemented in a wide variety of settings, and when used with diverse populations of students including high ability students with learning disabilities and underachievers.
District 7 provides services for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students with appropriate support in order for them to become proficient in English. It is the mission of the district for the English Language Learners to meet high academic standards in all content areas. If a language other than English is spoken in the home, students from preschool through grade eight are assessed using an English language screener. If the students qualify for English language support, parents/guardians are notified in writing. District 7 offers two different programs of instruction.
Transitional Bilingual Education
This program is offered to students when there are 20 or more limited English proficient students with a common native language enrolled in the same school. A certified teacher fluent in the targeted language provides native language support as needed. These teachers have bilingual language endorsements.
Transitional Program of Instruction
This program is provided to students when there are fewer than 20 students in a school with a common native language. Students receive English as a Second Language support from a certified teacher who has an ESL endorsement.
Response to Intervention (RtI) is a general education initiative that is designed to utilize instructional interventions to meet the specific needs of children, both academically and behaviorally. RtI consists of a 3-Tier system that increases in intensity to meet the needs of students.
The Illinois State Board of Education believes that increased student learning requires the consistent practice of providing high quality instruction matched to student needs.
The RtI Process:
1. The student need is identified.
2. The need is analyzed and appropriate interventions are developed and implemented.
3. Student progress is carefully monitored through data collection. This data includes standardized test results, teacher observations, student work samples and informal test results.
4. Data will guide the instructional plan for a student. If progress is made, the intervention is continued. If progress is minimal or lacking, needs are not being met. Further analysis will determine new interventions or movement to a new tier level of support.
District 7 provides individualized support for students ages 3-21 who meet specific eligibility requirements according to state and federal law. The first step in the process is taken by the school in setting up a Teacher Assistance Team Meeting, commonly known as a TAT. In the event that a student’s academic and/or behavioral needs require a higher degree of service than is available through Response to Intervention (RtI) and/or Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a Case Study Evaluation is initiated. At the Early Childhood level, screenings and other Child Find activities provide additional information regarding a child’s current readiness level to determine if an evaluation is needed. Most evaluations at this level are conducted after a child has been given opportunities to be successful in the school environment. A Case Study Evaluation is a process of collecting information about a student so that a team of specialists and the family can determine whether the student meets specific qualifications. This is reviewed at the Educational Determination portion of a meeting. If a student meets the requirements an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed.
Students in District 7 may be found eligible under a variety of classifications, including Autism, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disability, Intellectual Disability, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, and Speech and Language Impairment. The IEP is reviewed and developed each year that the student remains eligible for services. Support is provided to each student through the continuum of services available at each school building in Wood Dale School District #7, as well as in collaboration with Northeast DuPage Special Education Cooperative (NDSEC). The special education team works closely with the family and general education staff to ensure that the support determined by the IEP is effectively and consistently provided in the Least Restrictive Environment. District 7’s goal is to provide services, to the extent possible, in an inclusionary setting to ensure students are exposed to the general education curriculum and environment. In the event that the school district cannot provide for a student’s needs, appropriate programming and transportation would be provided to and from an out-of-district setting.
The Illinois State Board of Education has developed a Parent Guide for Understanding Special Education in Illinois, which can be found at http://www.isbe.net/spec-ed/html/parent_rights.htm. Questions about District 7’s Special Education program can be directed to the Special Education Coordinator, Ms. Constance Tadel, at 630-694-1174.
Kindergarten students who qualify for Early Intervention (EI) program and/or Bilingual/ESL program (ELL) may be scheduled to receive these support services before or after their half day of school. Providing the extended day program for pull-out services is designed to maximize students’ instruction and reduce the amount of time a student receives support out of the classroom.
Parents/Guardians of eligible student will receive notification of their child’s participation in the Alternative Kindergarten Program in the months of September, December or March. Parents/Guardians will also receive notification when a student has met his/her goals and no longer require EI and/or ELL support as part of the extended day program. The Alternative Kindergarten Program is scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week.
A Title I Program, taught by highly qualified staff, is provided for selected students experiencing reading difficulties. The program is offered through a referral process. Further information can be obtained from the building principal.