On the CASE

February 2018

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Evanston CASE provides advocacy, support and education to improve the lives of Evanston families impacted by disability.


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Hello CASE Community,

Our top story this month is about an amazing young man who is a student-athlete at ETHS.  Aaron Holzmueller is a member of the track, cross-country and swim teams and has excelled in these sports throughout his high school career.  He took part in the 2016 Paralympic Trials.  Aaron has cerebral palsy. This week, the 7th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals denied Aaron's request that IHSA create a para-ambulatory division for athletes at the Sectional and State track meet, thus denying him with an opportunity to participate at that level.  His case was originally tossed out by a Chicago federal judge in July, 2017.

Aaron's case, although not resolving this issue for him in time, opens the door for further litigation and, most importantly, increased inclusion for elite high school athletes with disabilities.

To read more about his case, click HERE and HERE

Thank you Aaron!

Cari Levin, LCSW
Executive Director
Evanston CASE
Don't Miss!
ETHS Special Education Department Presentation

ETHS Parents Engaged will be hosting a meeting with the Special Education Department staff on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Welcome Center (E-112).

Join ETHS Director of Special Education LanĂ©e Walls, and members of the administrative team, for an overview of special education at ETHS.  Topics will include referral and evaluation, the placement continuum, case management and the articulation process. This will NOT be a time to discuss individual student concerns.

Some topics you may want to ask about.  Keep your questions general.  
  • What services are available for students with emotional disabilities like anxiety/depression?
  • Are there co-taught classrooms and what is the criteria for receiving this level of support?
  • Do students with special needs receive accommodations and supports to participate in clubs, school activities and athletics?  What would they be?
  • What is the plan for the proposed Evanston-based therapeutic school?  What type of student is it for?  When will it open?  Will students placed in out of district therapeutic schools be required to attend this school instead?
You get the idea.  Call or email us if you have questions about the format for this meeting.  (847) 556-8676, mail@evanstoncase.org.

For more information about Special Education at ETHS, click  HERE

ETHS Student Well-Being Report

CASE has been advocating for the last two years for the ETHS Board to adopt a Wellness goal that goes beyond measuring attendance and behavior (which was their original intention). Last spring, we were successful in getting them to include more robust and meaningful measures like extracurricular participation and social-emotional wellness. While this goal applies to the student body as a whole, collecting and tracking data specifically for students with 504's and IEP's is especially important. In December, 2017 the Administration presented a Well-Being Report. There are some startling and concerning items that you may be interested in learning about. 

Collecting data is the first step toward creating plans and committing resources to address the problems identified. CASE continues to be engaged with the Board and Administration on this issue. 

Click HERE to read the report.

Park School Summer Camp

If anyone is interested in Park Camp (camp for kids with special needs held at Park School), it will be available this summer, although it is not in the City summer camp guide. You do not have to attend Park School to go. It is from July 2-27, Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm.  It's $520 for residents, $580 for non-residents. The park district is hoping families will sign up as soon as possible so they can get adequate staffing. 

They have beach days, field trips, arts & crafts and end-of-camp BBQ. Campers are divided into groups based on age and ability level. Registration begins online on Saturday, Feb. 10th from 8am-noon (or in person at the Levy Senior Center) and then again starting Monday, Feb. 12th at 10am.  The class # for registration is 825206A8.

City of Evanston Hiring for Summer Camp Inclusion Aides

"The inclusion program identifies opportunities for children with disabilities to fully participate in a variety of programs with appropriate supportive services. The Inclusion Aide is responsible for providing the supportive services to the participant with guidance and supervision provided by the Inclusion Coordinator and Site Director."

To learn more, click HERE
Special Needs Playdate
February 11th 

  Chicago Parent is hosting their second annual Special Needs Playdate for hundreds of families raising children with special needs. Join Chicago Parent at  DePaul Prep on February 11th.  This event is free!

For more information, click HERE

Parent Connections Support Group
Thursday, February 8th

Feeling isolated and overwhelmed?  Do you have special education related questions?  Want to meet other parents who "get it"?

Join us for our free Parent Connections Support Group.

Every second Thursday from September to May.  11:30 - 1:00 at the Evanston CASE offices, 1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A in Evanston.

Hope you can join us!

CASE Parent Partners Program

Would you be interested in supporting other parents in school meetings?  Do you feel you would have some experience to offer?

If so, CASE is currently developing a program for parents to support other parents.

School meetings are stressful and overwhelming.  No one should have to attend them alone!  Having another person on your side of the table is empowering. Volunteering to be a Parent Partner would be a great help to others.
Cari Levin will provide brief training on special education rights, understanding the IEP process and the IEP document, and basic advocacy strategy. You would be called upon when needed, based on your availability.
Please contact us if you are interested.  (847) 556-8676 or mail@evanstoncase.org.  Cari will be scheduling training sessions to prepare for spring IEP season.

Join us for Parent Connections Support Group
Thursday, January 11th
If you haven't had a chance to attend a Parent Connections Support Group yet, give it a try!  Meet with others who "get it" and share resources and advice.

From September to May, we will meet on the second Thursday of every month

What time: 11:30-1:00
Where:  1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A, Evanston

STAY TUNED!  We are currently looking at expanding this program to an additional day per month, as well as offering an online option.

For more information, call 847-566-8676 or email mail@evanstoncase.org.

Hope you can join us!