special education

Spencer Tritt

Illinois schools are using distance and e-learning until students can return to the classroom. Parents and educators are trying to meet the challenge of teaching students with special needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

Corena Steinmeyer is the director of the Lee County Special Education Association. It serves just over 500 special ed students in Dixon as well as the Paw Paw School District.

Steinmeyer says one of the Association’s biggest jobs in the current situation has been communicating with parents and giving them options on how to meet their kids’ needs from home.

Spencer Tritt


Illinois is struggling to attract and hire new teachers. A new program hopes to borrow a few tricks from the medical field to address the issue.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Imagine an object that could help some students improve their attendance. Other students will learn leadership skills. Still others will discover how to become valuable employees some day. And everyone smells better.

That object? A basket of laundry. A humble chore is changing lives in one high school.

Beloit Memorial High School looks a lot like the old factories that sprawl across this city just north of  the Illinois/Wisconsin border. It’s huge.

Illinois is in the process of bolstering requirements for teacher evaluations. The changes come amid a national discussion about separating guidelines for evaluating special-education teachers.