Special Education Department

  • The special education department is committed to providing high quality education in a supportive environment to students with special education needs.  We provide a continuum of programs and services to meet the needs of our students.  If you have any questions, please contact our staff.

    Evaluation Process/Child Find information:

    District 124 has systems in place to identify students who have disabilities that impact their academic progress significantly.  A student can be referred to the student services team by a parent, staff member, or the student themselves.  The student services team may implement interventions to address student needs.  If those interventions meet student needs, additional supports will likely not be required.  If more support is needed, an evaluation for special education may be considered.

    Case Study Evaluation:

    If it is determined that an evaluation for special education is needed, a case study evaluation will be conducted.  The educational team, along with parent and student will determine the components of the case study evaluation.  The school then has 60 school days to complete the evaluation once written parent/guardian consent is received.   Once the evaluation is completed, a meeting is held to review the results and determine eligibility for special education services.

    Parents may bring a private evaluation to the district’s attention.  All private evaluations will be reviewed by the educational team.  Within 14 days of receiving a private evaluation or request for an evaluation, the educational team will determine if additional assessments or steps are warranted.


    In order for a student to be eligible for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), they must qualify under one of the following eligibility categories:

    • Autism
    • Deaf/Blindness
    • Deafness
    • Emotional Disability
    • Hearing Impairment
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Multiple Disabilities
    • Orthopedic Impairment
    • Other Health Impairment
    • Specific Learning Disability
    • Speech/Language Impairment
    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Visual Impairment

    If a student is eligible for an IEP, it is developed and reviewed annually.  Eligibility for special education services is reviewed every 3 years.  Parents can request an IEP meeting more frequently than once each year.

    Students with disabilities who do not qualify for an individualized education program under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, may qualify for services under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if the student (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (3) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment. To inquire about the identification, assessment and placement of students, contact Tina Sonders, Director of Special Education at 847-973-3405 or tsonders@grantbulldogs.org.

    Year                   # of Students with IEP                 #of Students with 504 Plan
    2022-2023                            282                                                   119
    2023-2024                            279                                                    110

  • Director of Special Education
    Tina Sonders

    (847) 973-3405

    Special Education Administrative Assistant
    Alex Cogswell

    (847) 973-3420

    Special Education - 504 Coordinator
    Andrea Kosmicki

    (847) 973-3743

  • Department Teachers

    Jordan Alexander

    (847) 973-3139

    Kristen Arndt

    (847) 973-3182

    Joshua Christian

    (847) 973-3744

    Diane DeFrancesco

    (847) 973-3122

    Peggy Gigliotti

    (847) 973-3480

    Amy Gunsaullus

    (847) 973-3797

    Mark Jolcover

    (847) 973-3135

    Michael Kennedy

    (847) 973-3499

    Andrea Kosmicki

    (847) 973-3743

    Jessica Mitchell

    (847) 973-3767

    Joree Morris

    (847) 973-3758

    Daniel Nitz

    (847) 973-3489

    Ryan Reynolds

    (847) 973-3465

    Cassi Reid

    (847) 973-3167

    Michelle Vendegna

    (847) 973-3778

    Laura Widenhoefer

    (847) 973-3715

    Marta Yang

    (847) 973-3796