Home  |  Translate
DuPage High School District 88 is committed to providing an accessible website and ensuring content on this site is available to all stakeholders and the general public. If you experience difficulty with the accessibility of any material on this website and its associated pages, please CLICK HERE or go to www.dupage88.net/Accessibility.
district88 logo

Mission Statement: District 88 mission: To work for the continuous improvement of student achievement. Through that mission, District 88 schools have been named as Top Schools in America by Newsweek and the Washington Post.


Learning Services Department

Department Head: Nick Hildreth

Phone: (630) 530-3431

Special Education Menu

Willowbrook Learning Services Department

Website is currently being updated


Special Education in District 88

The Special Education Departments in DuPage High School District 88 are committed to providing a comprehensive education to all identified students in accordance with their handicapping condition. It is believed that with appropriate curriculum and support services, all students can become life-long learners. Special Education has a critical responsibility to provide a structure that allows equal opportunities for all students, tailored to their individual needs. A major focus of each of the programs is to assist the students in developing needed skills including academics, self-advocacy, vocational and life skills to allow for a successful transition from school to adult life.

In compliance with IDEA and the "Rules and Regulations to Govern the Administration and Operation of Special Education," mandated by the Illinois State Board of Education, DuPage High School District 88 offers special education classes and services designed to meet the unique needs of students with the following handicapping conditions:

The DuPage High School District 88 staff strives to provide an appropriate special education program in the least restrictive environment. Working to comply with State Board of Education inclusion initiative (including transitional programming), materials are selected according to the student's functional ability and vary depending on program and year in school. Specific programs may be offered within District 88 or at other appropriate, approved sites. Special Education placement options in District 88 include the following:

  1. Placement in the General Education environment without supports.
  2. Placement in the General Education environment with supports (The District has drastically expanded Co-Teaching models across the curriculum.)
  3. Placement in a Special Education setting. District 88 has self contained programming on each campus for students with severe academic, behavioral, and cognitive needs. District 88 also offers the LIFE program for students needing transition services ages 17-21.
  4. Placement in an “off campus” facility. District 88 partners with more than 50 different public and private facilities to ensure that the unique needs of District 88 students can be met.

As required by law, program placement is determined by the IEP team based on each student’s individual needs. Students can be placed full time or part time into any of the above programs without barriers to enrollment.

Appropriate District 88 staff participates on the Behavior Interventions Committee. This committee develops policies and procedures for students with disabilities who require behavioral interventions. This is in accordance with P.L. 89-191 and the guidelines set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education.

All students are expected to comply with the rules and regulations as stated in the Parent Student Handbook, which outlines the District 88 discipline policy. In specific circumstances where general policies are not sufficient /effective, an individual behavioral intervention plan may be developed.

Each year a copy of the procedural safeguards and rights for students with disabilities are furnished to all parents and/or guardians of students with disabilities receiving special education and related services. Additionally, all students and parents are notified concerning the District 88 policy on "Behavioral Interventions for Students with Disabilities."

Parents or students interested in knowing about the programs and specific classes available in District 88, should contact the Special Education Department Chair at the individual schools.

Willowbrook High School
Mr. Nick Hildreth Department Chair
(630) 530-3682

 Parent Preparation for IEP Meeting

The purpose of your students IEP meeting is to review assessment information and to evaluate progress. Input from all members of the IEP team is essential in creating a successful working plan/document. Speak with your student about these topics prior to the meeting and develop questions or information you would like to share and have staff consider during the meeting.

Strengths and weaknessesGoals for your student after high school (life and career)Habits/responsibilities at homeAcademic levels in reading, math and writing skillsExtra-curricular involvement optionsElective opportunities in high school tied to student career pathWork related job skill opportunities in high schoolPath/requirements necessary to realize life after high school goalsInquire about additional school sponsored evenings related to special topics more in depth

During the meeting, consider the suggestions below:

Ask for additional time to consider important decisions if you’re uncomfortable making them on the spot at the meeting or want to get additional input. Saying, “I don’t know what you mean,” is a demonstration of confidence and competence. Staff are more than willing to explain in a different manner. It’s our job to make sure that you leave having all of the information you desire.Work with staff to engage your student in participating in their meeting. At the high school level, students need to take an active role in their IEP meeting and be part of the problem solving process.

Finally, please consider joining our Special Education parent advisory, the WIN organization.  This group of parents of children with a disability meets one night a month.  The meeting format typically involves a presentation, speaker, or workshop, as well as an opportunity to network with other families.

Transfer/Withdraw Process

1. Steps to take when needing to withdraw your special education student from Willowbrook High School

- Notify the Special Education Department at 630-530-3431 so we can get your student’s IEP documents ready to take with you to your student’s new school. The new school will need these to appropriately place your student and meet their specific needs. Take these documents with you when you first go to the new school to register your student. They will need to know as early as possible that your student has special needs that need to be taken into consideration when creating their schedule.

- Go to the Willowbrook Guidance Department (you do not need an appointment) and tell them you need to withdraw your special education student. You will need to fill out a withdraw form and sign a release of records giving Willowbrook permission to share their school records with your student’s new school.

2. Steps to take when needing to enroll your special education student at Willowbrook

- Go to the Willowbrook Guidance Department and tell them you need to enroll your student.
(you do not need an appointment) Please bring a copy of your student’s latest IEP and last three year re-evaluation paperwork. You can get a copy from their last school. We suggest you get this copy to cut down on the time it may take for the old school to send the paperwork. Willowbrook special education staff will need to review this paperwork to properly place your student and create their schedule. At this time, you will also schedule an appointment for your students to take the appropriate entrance exams.

- At the Guidance Department you will fill out several pieces of paperwork with demographic information. Additionally, please bring the documents listed below to prove residency within D88 and Willowbrook boundaries.

1. Bill of sale for the home you own or a current leasing agreement

2. TWO current utility bills in the parent/guardian’s name at the address seeking residency

Request for Special Education Case Study Evaluation

Illinois State law governs the process by which schools consider a student eligible to need a Special Education evaluation. The full explanation for this eligibility is individualized by student need, disability and demonstrated progress in school. If you would like to request a Special Education Evaluation, please put your request in writing and send to Nick Hildreth, Special Education Department Chair at nhildreth@dupage88.net or send to Willowbrook at 1250 S. Ardmore Avenue, Villa Park IL 60181 c/o Nick Hildreth. Mr. Hildreth will get back to you on the individualized process for your student.

Request for Special Education Records

Special Education records are considered a “temporary” record for a student. Law requires that schools keep a student’s temporary record for five years after their graduation and then shred the documents. We do house a student’s special education records for five years; however, if you are requiring some type of documentation prior to that year we are not able to supply that information. We are able to provide basic information for people on a case by case basis. Only previous students themselves or the legal guardian for a person over the age of 18 is able to request records. Please contact Shelley Kanara, Special Education Department Secretary, at 630-530-3431 to request the information. She will consult with Nick Hildreth, Special Education Department Chair, to see what information is appropriate to provide. We will need a first and last name at the time of graduation, year of graduation, date of birth and a phone number to return the call.

Observation Hour Requests

At Willowbrook High School we field a large number of requests for college students requiring observation hours within our programs. As a result, we create an observation schedule for students to follow when they come into the building. This schedule provides an experience in a wide variety of settings where an observer can obtain a perspective in working with a wide variety of students. If you would like to schedule dates to come in and follow this schedule, please call Nick Hildreth, Special Education Department Chair, at 630-530-3682 or email at nhildreth@dupage88.net.

Practicum/Student Teaching Requests

If your college or university would like to request a placement at Willowbrook for a Practicum or Student Teaching placement, please send the information to Assistant Principal, Jamie Gourley at jgourley@dupage88.net or 630-530-3442. Ms. Gourley’s office screens candidates and then will forward potential student teachers to the Department Chair.  All student teaching applicants must apply to open vacancies online through our Human Resources department.  Closing dates for fall and spring semester and listed there.

Extra-Curricular Activities

There are a variety of extra-curricular activities offered included a variety of sports and clubs. The participation of students with disabilities in these activities is encouraged. If your student is interested in pursuing involvement in any of these activities, please either discuss at their next IEP meeting or contact the Special Education Department Chair. Specifics on each of these activities are also available in the main office by contacting Assistant Principal Bob Daly or Athletic Director Brandon Murphy. Participation in a specific activity is discussed on a case by case basis. Below are a few activities that have been designed specifically to encourage same aged peer social and recreational opportunities.

Special Olympics Volleyball: The Willowbrook Special Olympics team competes with other volleyball teams from surrounding schools.  The volleyball team practices in the fall season, and is coached by Ms. Tiffany Lamberty.  She may be reached at tlamberty@dupage88.net.

Special Olympics Basketball: The Willowbrook Special Olympics team competes with local basketball teams. The team practices on Saturdays November through March. The Special Olympics basketball coaches are Tara Murphy and Tiffany Lamberty. They can be reached at tmurphy@dupage88.net, or tlamberty@dupage88.net.

Special Olympics Track and Field:  The track and field team competes in the spring season, and is coached by Ms. Tiffany Lamberty. She may be reached at tlamberty@dupage88.net.

Best Buddies: Best Buddies pairs students with special needs with non-disabled peers. The goal of the program is to provide increased opportunities for socialization and school involvement. Best Buddies meets once a month. The sponsor of the Best Buddies program is Tiffany Lamberty. She can be reached at tlamberty@dupage88.net.

Social Network: The goal of this club is to provide a framework for students on the autism spectrum, or with social integration needs, to practice targeted social skills within the natural environment. Activities have included attending football games, plays/musicals etc… on campus with same aged peer models.  The sponsors of the Social Network are Susan Moran and Erik Engel.  They can be reached at smoran@dupage88.net, or eengel@dupage88.net.

Special Education Programs and Services

All Special Education students receive direct case management services from a certified special educator Tuesday to Friday during their Warrior Time in their schedule after third period. This designated 35 minutes daily is for your student’s case manager to progress monitor their progress and demonstrated skill in all of their classes. The case manager is your and your student’s “go to” adult in the building. The case manager will also be at your student’s annual review each year and provide you with nine week goal updates throughout the year. Each year the case manager will contact you to introduce themselves and provide you with their contact information. The programs below illustrate the level of service within the classes your student will receive which are determined at their annual review.

Regular Education with Co-taught/Consult:

Many students with an IEP are included in the general education curriculum. These students receive additional support through their Warrior Time or monitoring by a Special Education case manager. This program provides special education and reading support to all students within the regular education setting. Students will receive services such as instruction or assessment accommodations according to their individualized learning needs. Additionally, a variety of instructional strategies and technology are used to teach concepts and vocabulary. See available courses below:


The Achieve Program is a highly structured environment for special education and non-special education students that require intensive academic and behavioral support that offers skill development in educational, social-emotional and transitional skills. Several of the courses offered are co-taught or supported with regular education and special education staff to meet the needs of all students regardless of eligibility.

A primary focus of the program is helping each student accept responsibility for his/her own academic progress and behavioral choices in the school setting. This will be accomplished in the context of a highly structured classroom environment which offers clear expectations, consistency and supportive therapeutic component. Each student’s choices will be reinforced through direct and immediate feedback throughout the day, as well as group and or individual counseling as needed. By fostering a supportive relationship with each student, we will work together with that student to achieve the following goals: 1) development of appropriate problem-solving skills, 2) development of appropriate interpersonal skills, 3) increased school success, 4) development of a vocational plan, including goals to be accomplished in the high school program, as well as long-range goals for work and/or education and ultimately, 5) high school graduation.


This program serves students with a variety of disabilities that are currently functioning academically significantly below grade level in the areas of reading, math and written expression. The Bridge Program adapts core curriculum and standards to meet the individual learning needs of the student. The program offers a low student to teacher ratio including a paraprofessional to provide individualized instruction to no more than 13 students in each period. Consistent research based assessment is provided to monitor student growth and achievement frequently.

LINK 1 and 2

The LINK I and II programs are designed to provide a tiered Life Skills focus and functional academics to integrate a student’s skills in the following areas of their complete life experience:

Students will participate in a variety of transition/life experiences that include but are not limited to:

 Cooking Experiences: Menu planning and budgeting; ordering at a restaurant

 Field trips: Shopping experiences; volunteer opportunities; vocational field trips

 Safety/Transportation skills: Metra; Pace; police and fire departments

 Team work: Fundraising; problem solving real life situations; cooperative creation of products; peer mediation; Special Olympics

 Money skills: Identification of money; budgeting; bank accounts

 Vocational: STEP program to work on job skills within the buildings


This is a District 88 program that is housed at Willowbrook for students with multiple disabilities focusing on Life Skills and functional community experiences. Students in this program are supervised during all transitions and lunch, as well as on and off transportation.

Extended School Year (ESY)

Extended school year is a program for students who may show a regression of skills without schooling during the summer months. Eligibility for this program will be decided upon at your student’s Annual Review IEP meeting.

District 88 LIFE Transition Program

The LIFE program is located at our District 88 Office building. This program is designed for students ages 18-22 who need additional assistance preparing for their adult lives. The focus of this program is vocational and life skills. For more specifics, please see the Transition Program website here.

Related Services

Related services are provided on an as needed basis determined at your student’s IEP meeting. They are services to supplement their academic curriculum that support their overall success in school. Examples of these services are listed below.

Technology Center of DuPage (TCD)

TCD provides a hands on educational environment that supports and encourages individual learning styles, develops occupational skills and fosters professionalism. Staff at TCD keep their education up to date and on the cutting edge of what is current in the workplace to provide an accurate picture of the working world for students to experience. As part of their high school day, students would attend TCD and earn high school credit. See Powerpoint for additional information.

For any questions related to Special Education programming, please contact Mr. Nick Hildreth at numbers listed above.


Important notice

Students with disabilities may receive related services as part of their individual education programs (IEPs). DuPage High School District 88 will maintain related service logs that record the type and number of minutes of the related service(s) administered to such students. Copies of any related service logs will be available to parents/guardians at their child’s annual review IEP meeting. Parents/guardians of students with disabilities may also request copies of their child’s related service logs at any time.




Name Phone Schedule Contact
Jim Bolsinger
(630) 782-3100
Matt Cochran
(630) 782-3105
Brandon Collings
(630) 782-2859
Mary Doro
MacKensye Guza
(630) 782-3053
Nick Hildreth
Special Education Department Head
(630) 530-3682
Gabrielle Horabik
Shelley Kanara
(630) 530-3431
Tiffany Linwood
(630) 782-2858
Michael Marotta
(630) 530-3431
Katherine Milling
Susan Moran
(630) 530-3680
Rachel Morris
IEP Coordinator
(630) 782-3105
Bernie Nash
(630) 782-3106
Anthony Pennella
(630) 782-3103
Amy Peschke
(630) 530-3431
Michael Phillips
(630) 782-3684
Maggie Porter
(630) 782-2847
Elizabeth Stady
(630) 530-3685
Gary Walker
(630) 782-3118
Hannah Walsh
Willowbrook High School
1250 S. Ardmore Avenue Villa Park, IL 60181
Phone: 630-530-3400 Fax: 630-530-3401
Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy