Student Services

Special Education – Overview

Sycamore Community School District #427 offers a continuum of services consistent with the requirements set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA); our programs range from Early Childhood through Life School (ages 3 through 21) for students with special needs.

Our mission is to assist our students in …

  • recognizing and utilizing their strengths,
  • improving areas of growth,
  • becoming academically successful
  • preparation for college and/or a career.

Students may be referred for a case study by faculty or parents. Students receiving special education services must have an annually developed Individual Education Program (IEP) designed to meet their specific educational needs.

Sycamore Community School District #427 believes …

  • All students can learn.
  • Respect and dignity are essential in the learning process.
  • Special education is not a place, but a designated array of supports and services.
  • Communication and collaboration between parents and educators is a vital component of each student’s educational program.

For questions regarding the Sycamore Community School District #427 Special Education program, please feel free to contact Lynn Reilley, Director of Special Education at 815.899.8117.


Early Childhood Special Education

Sycamore School District’s Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program serves students ages 3-5 with identified disabilities as specified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).  Typically developing peers are also included in this program as
Our ECSE program focuses on …

  • developmentally appropriate curriculum with an emphasis on language,
  • socialization,
  •  motor skills, and
  • pre-academic skill development.

Referrals for evaluation to determine eligibility for this program are made through Early Intervention (EI) or through the Child Find process which is typically through parent referrals.  Screenings are held monthly during the school year.

The 2016-2017 Screening dates are:

  • September 23, 2016 | 9:00 AM-2:45 PM
  • November 11, 2016 | 9:00 AM-2:45 PM
  • January 20, 2017 | 9:00 AM-2:45 PM
  • February 24, 2017 | 9:00 AM-2:45 PM

The program operates morning and afternoon sessions Monday through Thursday following the Sycamore Community School District #427 calendar.  Morning sessions run from 9:00 am – 11:30 am and afternoon sessions run from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm.  The program is held at South Prairie Elementary School, 820 Borden Avenue, Sycamore, IL, 815.899.8299 and is staffed with certified teachers and paraeducators.


Special Education – Life School

Life School is Sycamore School District’s transition program for students who have an IEP, completed four (4) years of high school, and are at least 18 years old. The goal is to provide students with a variety of possible post school outcomes in a real-life community based program. Life School has two (2) different programs, the Transition Program and the Developmental Training Program.

  • The Transition Program focuses on functional life skills with functional academic skills embedded into daily activities. The Transition Program of Life School emphasizes five domains:
    • Work
    • Home
    • Community
    • Recreation and Leisure
    • Social-Interpersonal Skills
  • The Developmental Training Program serves young adults with greater limitations due to their developmental and intellectual disabilities. This program also emphasizes five domains:
    • Social/Communication
    • Home
    • Community
    • Recreation and Leisure
    • Functional Skills

In order for a student to attend Life School, the high school’s IEP team must determine that the placement is appropriate according to the student’s needs and their IEP goals. Students going on to Life School will receive a Certificate of Attendance at their high school’s graduation ceremony. Once the student has completed the Life School program, or they “age out” of the program, they will be issued a diploma.


McKinney Vento/Homeless Education

For information on McKinney Vento/Homeless Education, please contact our Homeless Liaison, Lynn Reilley, or our Homeless Liaison Assistant, Neilly Berger, at 815.899.8117.

Illinois State Board of Education Homeless Resources


English Language Learners (ELL)

School Contact information (Spanish)
If you need to communicate with any person in the Sycamore schools in Spanish, Please contact:
Rachel Vidales – Telephone: (815) 899-8199

Sycamore ELL Staff

  • District Coordinator – Ryan Janisch
  • Sycamore High School and Sycamore Middle School Facilitator – Claribel Robles
  • North Grove Elementary School Facilitator – Molly Harto
  • South Prairie, Southeast, and West Elementary School Facilitator – Rene Hoeve
  • Assistant Facilitator, West Elementary School – Nancy Copple

English Language Learners, or ELL, is a program designed to meet the needs of students whose first language is not English. Students are assessed when they register, if parents indicate that another language is spoken in their home. There is a continuum of services provided to students, depending on how well they are able to speak, read, write and listen in English.

  • Students at the elementary level who require ELL support will work with a certified teacher ELL teacher who is also fluent in Spanish with support from a paraprofessional providing instruction to support them as they learn English. Some Spanish may be used to support them, too.
  • Students at the middle school who require ELL Support will have one to two class periods taught by a certified ELL teacher, who is also fluent in Spanish.
  • Students at the high school who require ELL Support will have one class period taught by a certified ELL teacher, who is also fluent in Spanish.

In all ELL classes, emphasis is on learning English vocabulary, reading, and writing in English. In addition, pre-teaching of concepts is done to help students develop academic vocabulary and understanding.

Aprendizaje del Idioma Ingles o ELL,es un programa designado para satisfacer las necesidades de los estudiantes los cuales su primer idioma no es Ingles. Los estudiantes son evaluados cuando se registran, si los padres indican que otro idioma se habla en su casa. Hay un continuo de servicios que se les provee a los estudiantes, dependiendo, en que tan bien hablan, leen, escriben y escuchan en Ingles.

  •  Los estudiantes en el nivel elemental que requierenapoyo de ELLtrabajaran con un maestro/a certificado el maestro/a de ELL quien tambien tiene fluidez en español y con el apoyo de un asistente de maestro instrucción proporcionada es de apoyarlos a como van aprendiendo Ingles, Algo de Español puede usarse para apoyarlos, también.
  • Los estudiantes enmiddle schoolque requieren Apoyo ELLtendran de uno a dos periodos de clase enseñadas por un maestro/a certificado de ELL, quien tambien tiene fluidez en español.
  • Los estudiantes enhigh schoolque requierenapoyoELL tendran un periodo de clase enseñada por un maestro/a certificado de ELL, quien tambien tiene Fluidez en español.
  • En todas las clases deELL, el enfoque es en aprender Ingles en vocabulario, lectura, y escrritura en Ingles. En adicion, el concepto de pre-enseñanza se hace para ayudar a los estudiantes a desenvolverse en vocabulario y entendimiento académico.

Si necesita comunicarse con cualquier persona de las escuelas de Sycamore en español, por favor de contactar:

Rachel Vidales – e-mail: RVidales@syc427.org Telephone: 815.899.8199