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The Special Services Department receives referrals for special education evaluation from a variety of sources.  A referral can be initiated by any staff person, parent, or agency.  For preschool-aged children, Child and Family Connections, other 0-5 year-old agencies and parents may make a referral.  Pre-K screenings may also result in a referral for evaluation.  For students of school age, concerns should be brought to the Response to Intervention, Child Study Team.  All referrals for special education evaluation should be given to the Principal of the home school of the student.

Assessments are completed as needed for determining eligibility for special education services.

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are developed for students requiring specially designed instruction.  Special Transportation is provided for students who require this to access the educational curriculum. Transition planning and supports are provided for students 14.5 years old and older.

Department Vision Statement:

To be a team of professionals that are knowledgeable of special education law and best practices in order to reach and support the goal of providing the best and most appropriate services for all students in a creative and safe environment that allows for individual success.

Department Mission Statement:  

To meet the educational needs of all students through equitable services and individualized instruction in the Least Restrictive Environment in order to prepare our students for college, the workforce and citizenship in the 21st century.

  • We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that the educational rights of students and families are communicated and respected.
  • We believe in an inclusive philosophy of collaboration among stakeholders that will guide decision-making toward meeting student needs.
  • We value the Least Restrictive Environment opportunities for all students.
  • We value providing educational supports to teachers so that they can provide appropriate instruction, utilize technology, and have access to educational resources that enhance academic growth.
  • We value the unique needs and abilities of students and commit to enhancing instruction to meet the needs of their educational experience.

Special Education Disability Areas in Illinois:

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

Department Staff:

  • Audiologist
  • Auxiliary (class) Aides
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teachers
  • Occupational Therapist and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Orientation and Mobility Specialist
  • Personal Care Aides
  • Physical Therapist and Physical Therapy Assistant
  • School Psychologists
  • School Social Workers
  • Special Education Supervisors
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Teacher of the Visually Impaired

Parent Information

Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS)

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) maintains a statewide database known as the PUNS database (Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services) that records information about individuals with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities who are potentially in need of services.

IDHS uses the data on PUNS to select individuals for services as funding becomes available, to develop proposals and materials for budgeting, and to plan for future needs. The PUNS database is available for children with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities with unmet service needs.

Registration to be included on the PUNS database is the first step toward receiving developmental disabilities services in this State. A child who is not on the PUNS database will not be in the queue for State developmental disabilities services.

For more information and to sign up for PUNS, see the Illinois Department of Human Services PUNS information page at

You may also contact the following District employee for assistance:

Kimberly Hopkins, Director of Special Education Services


Board of Education Building (1005 State Street in East St. Louis)

Department Resource Links:

Special Education Parent Rights and Responsibilities

US Department of Education: Building a Legacy, IDEA 2004

Resources for Parents of Students with Disabilities

Procedural Safeguards for Parents/Guardians of Students with Disabilities (English)

Procedural Safeguards for Parents/Guardians of Students with Disabilities (Spanish)

Contact Us:

Kimberly D. Hopkins, Director of Special Education
Phone:  618-646-3053

Kristy Hughes, Assistant Director of Special Education
Phone: 618-646-3000, ext. 2934

Roosevelt Mitchell, Special Services Supervisor
Phone:  618-646-3000, ext. 2907

Lisa Johnson, Special Services Supervisor

Phone: 618-646-3110

Michele Spencer, Special Services Supervisor
Phone:  618-646-3000, ext. 2968

Destyne Belk-Hill, Special Services Supervisor
Phone:  618-646-3049

Rosena Stallings, Special Education Coordinator
Phone:  618-646-3000, ext. 2945

Jameshia Shaw, Special Education Coordinator

Phone:  618-646-3000, ext. 2933