At Park School we support students with disabilities in reaching their highest potential and achieving their goals by maximizing their abilities, empowering them to direct their learning, serving their needs, and providing meaningful opportunities to learn and grow.
Supporting Our Students
Park School is a public therapeutic day program committed to serving a wide range of students with disabilities, ages 3 through 22, who are identified within the “low incidence” population. Students found eligible for support and services at Park School typically have an identified disability in one or more of the following categories: moderate to significant Intellectual Disability, Autism, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Visual Impairment, and/or Multiple Disabilities. Park School offers a safe, highly structured environment with a wide range of services and program options to support every child and their specific needs.
Access to Evanston Community and Public Transportation
Park School located in the heart of the city of Evanston, students have a wide range of community-based experiences. Students are able to learn how to access handicapped accessible transportation and are provided instruction on how to safely use public transportation.
Accessible Playground Equipment
Park School is home to safe and handicapped accessible playground equipment that is open to students throughout the school year. Supervision is provided to ensure safety of all students and to ensure their individual needs are met.
Adapted Fine Arts (Art, Music, and Drama)
All students at Park School have the opportunity to participate in art, music, and drama classes each week. Classes are taught by a certified teacher who designs programming to meet the unique needs of each student.
Adaptive Equipment Indiviualized for Student Positioning and Ambulation
The staff at Park are highly experienced in evaluating varied types of adaptive equipment that would provide the best access to the student’s school and home environment. Staff have a wealth of knowledge regarding equipment and resources.
Afterschool Recreation and Summer Camp Programming
All Park students have the ability to participate in year-round programming provided by the Evanston Park District Special Recreation Department. This may include afterschool programs and summer camp programs that start immediately after the last day of the Park School Extended School Year program.
Extended School Year Program
Due to the significant educational needs of students who attend Park school, every student is invited and encouraged to participate in an extended school year program at no additional cost to families. Many members of the Park School team continue to teach and support students through the Extended School Year program.
Home-Living Space to Practice Daily Living Skills
Acquiring skills of daily living is an important component of the Park School program. The home-living space contains a kitchen and laundry facility and provides an authentic environment for students to practice skills at their level of independence.
Individual Student Health Care Plans
Park School has a qualified health services staff who receive ongoing to training to serve students throughout the school day. There is a Certified school nurse who works alongside families to create individualized healthcare plan for students who require continual medical attention.
Parent Teacher Association
Park School is fortunate to have an active, vibrant group of family members and staff who are committed to supporting Park School. The Park School PTA hosts special events for students and families and also raises funds to support school initiatives that enhance the quality of our students' lives.
Meal Program specific to individual dietary and motor needs
Park School serves breakfast and lunch while keeping students' individualized dietary and feeding needs in mind. Meals may be prepared based on requests from parents and/or a student's feeding plan.
Multi-Sensory and Motor Room
Park School has a state-of-the-art multi-sensory/motor room. The sensory room called “Katie’s Corner” is modeled after the researched-based 'snoezelen' rooms, originally developed in Holland. Students may access these spaces, as needed, throughout the school day.
Social Integration Activities
The staff at Park School are committed to providing interactions with typically developing peers whenever possible. Preschool students spend two mornings each month at local preschools. Students also participate in classroom activities in many of the general education schools in District 65. Students may participate in music, drama, library, and other activities. Peer mentors from the middle schools and high school provide daily opportunities for Park students to interact with their peers. In addition, Park School has partnered with Northwestern University to provide opportunities for enrichment and interaction between Park students and their same-age peers.
Specialized Feeding Team for At-Risk Students
Park School has a specialized feeding team comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals that supports at-risk students or students with significant nutritional needs. The team includes a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, nurse, and the district's health services coordinator. The team reviews swallow studies and medical diagnosis to create and implement an individualized school-based feeding plan.
Specialized Vocational Training Areas
Park School provides a number of unique vocational training opportunities that are tailored to meet the needs of every student. Younger students start their training in the Independent Skills Center. In this setting, students learn how to complete tasks through a “structured teaching” model. The tasks mirror the types of academic and readiness skills students are working on in their classrooms and at home. As students enter transition age, Park School provides vocational training both in-school and in settings throughout our community. The job training experiences are based on students' individual needs and level of skill. Students are assessed regularly on their skill acquisition and ability to transfer these skills into real-life situations. Students are also provided mobility training during their community-based programming.