Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Chicago Public Schools

Specialized Services

125 South Clark Street, 8th Floor

Chicago, IL  60603

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the 3rd largest school district in the country.  There are 675 schools, servicing 409,279 students.  Of the 675 schools, there are 482 elementary-middle schools, 71 Charter schools and 122 High Schools.  From the elementary-middle schools group, there are 8 special education schools.  From the High School group, there are 5 special education schools.

CPS Ethnic Statistics are as follows:

African-American  45.00%
Latino 41.00%
White 9.00%
Asian/Pacific Islander 3.60%
Native American 0.20%
Misc 1.20%


There are approximately 57,000 students in CPS with special needs.  The office of Specialized Services provides support for these students.  If they are found eligible for services, the student can receive support in the following areas:

Specialized Instruction  

Health Education and Services

Social/Emotional Services

Professional Development and Training


CPS also has an agreement with various private specialized school providers.  The providers can assist students by offering the following services:

Educational/Age Appropriate Programs

Develop customized IEP’s for each student

Provide educational programs and services that fulfill requirements for each student’s IEP

Administer appropriate tests

Maintain student progress reports/attendance records

Comply with service and performance obligations specified in their agreement


The following is a list of CPS personnel who can assist parents with questions or concerns regarding their child’s IEP:

Teacher, Social Worker, Speech Pathologist, etc….

School Case Manager

School Principal

Area Management Support Director (MSD)

Specialized Services Administrator (SSA)

Central Office/Office of Specialized Services


Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

Illinois State Board of Education Parent Guide -

Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois

Table of Contents:

Cover, Acknowledgements and Forward  

Introduction: How to Use This Guide

Chapter 1: Child Find

Chapter 2: Response to Intervention

Chapter 3: Referral and Evaluation

Chapter 4: Eligibility

Chapter 5: Specific Learning Disabilities

Chapter 6: Individualized Education Programs (IEP)

Chapter 7: Least Restrictive Environment

Chapter 8: Secondary Transition

Chapter 9: Behavior Intervention Plans

Chapter 10: Student Discipline

Chapter 11: Conflict Resolution

Chapter 12: Private Schools

Chapter 13: Student Records

Chapter 14: Early Childhood

Chapter 15: Section 504

Chapter 16: Illinois States Advisory Council (ISAC)

Appendix A: Sample Letters

Appendix B: Quick Reference Charts

Appendix C: Glossary

Appendix D: Sample Forms 

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