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Evanston, IL: 140 additional IEPs "after the start of the year"; district sees "increased demand"

Mar 27, 2023, Evanston (IL) Round Table: Percent of D65 students who need special services on the rise

While the number of District 65 students who are new to English and those who have disabilities remain steady, the percentage of those who need specialized services has risen, officials reported at board meeting Monday night.

Evaluations for students with disabilities who have individualized education programs (IEPs) rose by 2% this school year compared with last year, said Anna Marie Candelario, Director of Individualized Education Services. Most of that increase resulted from the pandemic disrupting the lives of students, she said.

The district also processed an additional 140 IEPs for students after the start of the year, she said. Superintendent Devon Horton admitted that it had been “a bumpy ride” trying to decide on staffing levels for special education teachers and paraprofessionals.

… “We had to add staff this year. We ended up with more kids than we planned for, so we’ve been adding staff as the year has gone on, and I’m hopeful we won’t be in that position next fall.”

Since 2020, while the district has seen an increased demand for special education services, inclusion for students with disabilities in general education settings has increased significantly, said DeCristofaro and Anna Marie Candelario, director of Individualized Education Services.

More than 70% of students with IEPs are spending at least 80% of their time in general education classes with other students who do not have an IEP. More and more principals and educators are buying into that model and regularly training educators to co-teach classes with a mix of students with and without IEPs, according to DeCristofaro....


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