A client of ours considering a move to the Metro East recently asked us for information on Special Education resources in the areas of Belleville, O'Fallon, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Waterloo, Columbia and the outlying areas... This is what we found out from helpful parents, area school districts and the Special Olympics of Southwestern Illinois...
Saint Clair and Monroe County Special Education Departments have a centralized office where people can learn about programs offered in their region. Madison County Special Education does not have a centeralized office. According to one Madison County Special Ed director, contacting each district's Special Ed Department individually to learn more about their specific programs is important since programs vary slightly dependant on student needs.
- Saint Clair County ~ Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative (BASSC). http://www.bassc-sped.org/vecms/content.php?q=mainpage 618-355-4700 They are part of the public school system and oversee all Special Education in Saint Clair County.
- Saint Clair County ~ Belleville/OFallon/Freeburg/Smithton/Mascoutah information in attached PDF
- Monroe County ~ Perando Special Education District (Covers Monroe County (Waterloo & Columbia)- director 282-6251 http://perandoe.org
- Monroe County School Districts http://www.misd.k12.mi.us/buildings/specialed/
- Madison County ~ Edwardsville High School http://www.ecusd7.org/departments/curriculum/indexnew.asp
- Madison County ~ Collinsville High School http://www.kahoks.org/departments/special-education.html
- Madison County ~ Triad (Troy) Special Education Department: Talk to Linda Kowalski (Director) 667-5400 x 1213 cell: 618-304-2847
- Madison County ~ Highland Special Education District Pam Tyler (Director) 618-654-2106
- Special Education district profiles from the State of Illinois Department of Education: http://webprod1.isbe.net/LEAProfile/
Parents are a good resource to learn more about schools and other social groups that may be available. One venue for finding other parents to talk to is through the Special Olympics groups. PTOEC offers social activities including Special Olympics Group for much of the Saint Clair County area. The Special Olympics groups in Monroe and Madison Counties are routinely offered through the schools Special Education Departments. Special Olympics Coordinators may be able to connect you with parents to obtain a more personal assessment and perspective of the schools they belong to or have heard about.
- PTOEC: Parents and Teachers Organization for Exceptional Children includes a Special Olympics program for Saint Clair County (Serves 50 mile radius of Belleville) http://bellevilleptoec.org/index.htm
- Collinsville, Maryville, Troy YMCA Special Olympics group. The number is 346-5600
- Southwestern Illinois Regional Special Olympics Office 618-654-6680 http://www.soill.org/area/index.php?area=12
Metro East Organizations offer a good starting point to find out more about area wide programs offered within the different school districts and and other helpful services...
- Illinois Center for Autism 618-398-7500 http://www.illinoiscenterforautism.org/
- Developmental Disability Services of Metro East: 618-236-7957 http://www.ddsme.org/
Two other tips offered by parents of special needs children in the area:
- After researching the different districts offerings, visit the schools and take a tour since each school will have it's own feel and social climate.
- Consider and inquire about long term or adult programs offered in each area before making a final decision.
With so many great resources including Special Education Departments and Special Olympics programs, a family looking for the right School District for a child with special needs is easy in the Metro East Area. When it's time to find a home in that school district, please consider calling us to help. We promise to be considerate of your needs and help make your move as smooth as possible.
What I learned is the Metro East area around Scott Air Force Base seems to have highly rated Special Education programs and a ton of great people involved in them who are eager to help. I hope this serves as a good resource or starting point in finding a good fit for incoming special needs children and their families.
We Welcome You to the Metro East! Feel free to contact us at any time or comment on our blog with additional resources, corrections or comments.