Specialized Services

Vision Statement

Oak Park School District is committed to providing all students the opportunity to learn regardless of abilities or disabilities.  Our students will receive a quality rigorous curriculum in the least restrictive environment.  We hold high expectations, and we value diverse learners.  We will ensure that students are presented with quality differentiated instruction and the appropriate support needed for their success.

Project Find

Project Find looks for Oak Park Children and youth from birth to 26 years of age who have physical, speech/language, social emotion or cognitive issues that affect their educational performance.  These conditions may make them eligible for educational services provided by the Oak Park School District.  Project Find provides information about special education programs and services and helps to arrange free educational evaluations through the Oak Park School District to assist in determining needs, special education eligibility and appropriate programming.  Project Find exists to make sure children and youth with special needs receive the best possible education.

If you have concerns about your child contact: Sandra Russ, Project Find Coordinator, at 248-336-7690, or sandra.russ@opsk12.org

Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act are federal laws intended to ensure equal access to publicly funded agencies and organizations including public schools, public academies and charter schools.

What is an SLD?

A Specific Leaning Disability is “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. A SLD does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.” (34CFR 300.8 (c )(10).

The model used by the Oak Park School District for the identification of Specific learning Disabilities (SLD) emphasizes the full and individual evaluation as a process of data collection that includes multiple methods of assessing student performance with input from parents, teachers, instructional specialists and staff such as school psychologists. The purpose of the evaluation is to surround the student of concern with the best and most comprehensive information possible to make valid and appropriate recommendations as to the student’s eligibility for special education and , more importantly, educationally relevant recommendations for instructional strategies, supports, and services.

The Oak Park School District will utilize an underachievement plus Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses model for the determination of a Specific Learning Disability for all buildings and all grades in the district and includes the following:

  1. The student does not achieve adequately for the student’s age or to meet State-approved grade level standards in one or more of the areas identified at 34 CFR 300.309(a)(1)(i) when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s age or State-approved grade level standards; and
  2. The student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) to be relevant to the identification of a SLD, using appropriate assessments, consistent with the IDEA Evaluation Procedures and Additional Requirements for Evaluations and Reevaluations.

In making a determination as to whether a student has or continues to have a specific learning disability, the Oak Park School District will also comply with all applicable federal regulations and State rules, including those addressing comprehensive evaluations, determination of the existence of a specific learning disability, observation of academic performance and behavior in the area(s) of difficulty, specific documentation of SLD eligibility determination, and reevaluation requirements.

Specialized Student Services Director