Student Services » Special Education

Special Education


The guiding philosophy of the Forest Ridge School District 142 Special Education Team is to maintain high expectations for ourselves as educators, using data and the problem-solving process to continue to improve our program and ensure positive outcomes for all of our students.


Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois is a document, developed by the Illinois State Board of Education for parents and others to learn about the educational rights of children who have disabilities and receive special education services.

All children with disabilities have the right to a free and appropriate public education as provided under Illinois and federal law. It is the obligation of the school district to properly identify, evaluate and place such disabled children. Children, aged 3-21, may be eligible for special education services if the student meets criteria established under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Disability identification is limited to the following categories, autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, visual impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, emotional disability, hearing impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech language impairment, traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability, and for students under nine years old, developmental delay. All categories have specific criteria. Additionally, IDEA requires that the identified disability has an adverse educational impact, requires specialized service, and that the disability is markedly different than same-aged peers, to qualify.

Important Information for Parents/Guardians
  1. Parents/guardians have the right to inspect and/or obtain a copy of their child’s school student records prior to any IEP meeting. Written requests to inspect and/or copy the student records should be submitted to Dr. Lori Leppert at [email protected] or 5800 151st Street, Oak Forest, IL 60452.

  2. Qualified interpreters are available at IEP team meetings upon request for parents/guardians whose native language is other than English. If a qualified interpreter is not available, the district may use outside vendors, including telephonic interpreters.

  3. Parents/guardians, including parents/guardians who are deaf, may request an interpreter at IEP team meetings by contacting Dr. Lori Leppert at [email protected] or at (708) 687-3334. Parent/Guardian requests for an interpreter at IEP meetings should be made as soon as possible.

  4. Parents/guardians have the right to request that the bilingual interpreter provided at an IEP meeting by the district serve no other role in the IEP meeting than as an interpreter, and the district will make reasonable efforts to fulfill this request.

  5. Parents/guardians may contact Dr. Lori Leppert at [email protected] or at (708) 687-3334 with any questions or complaints about interpretation services.

Procedural Safeguards
The Procedural Safeguards Notice describes the rights of a parent of a child with a disability and the procedures that safeguard those rights under state and federal special education law, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, commonly referred to as "IDEA".