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Student Services


Welcome to the Department of Special Services where we serve students with identified needs, as well as their families.  Our department evaluates, identifies eligibility and provides services and plans for students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade with unique needs.

Hawthorn School District believes that all students can learn, given appropriate supports and services.  Each child deserves the educational environment in which he or she can be most successful.  We are committed to providing a flexible, full continuum of services for our students with support, modifications and accommodations that best meet the student’s needs.

Student Services Team

Alicia Corrigan

Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, McKinney Vento Liaison, DCFS Case Manager

Debbie Dubin

Coordinator of Student Services

Megan Goldman

Social, Emotional, Behavior Coordinator

Shari Niemesz

Administrative Assistant to Student Services

Jennifer Scharfenberg

Coordinator of Student Services

What is Special Education?

Special Education means specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.  This may include special classes, programs, and/or services to help the child progress.  These services are provided to an eligible child at no cost to the parents/guardians.

In order to receive special education services, a student must have a physical or mental disability as identified in the Illinois State Criteria. These qualifying disabilities are:

In addition, a qualifying disability must adversely impact educational progress and require specially designed instruction. It is important to note that not all students with a disability will be eligible for special education services.

Special Education 101

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