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760 Red Oak Lane
Highland Park, Illinois 60035-3899
Call Us: 1.847.831.5100 | Fax Us: 1.847.868.9580
Email Us: info@nssed.org

Educational and Life Skills Program


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Educational and Life Skills:  Classrooms  |  Staff Directory  |  Division of Rehabilitation Services

Click Here to visit our new Parent Support Site!

Contribute to the ELS Activity Fund

The ELS Parent Advisory Board would like to recognize the Teaching Assistants across the program at the end of the school year.  We are hoping to provide them with a small gift card, or other expression of our gratitude.   If you are interested in supporting this program wide initiative, please make a donation of your choice using the PayPal link provided here.

Please select an amount to contribute and click the Buy Now button:

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"Not a one size fits all program. There are program components that we customize to meet the needs of each student. We want to identify what the vision is for a child in their post school years  – and we build a roadmap for how to get them there.  So if you don’t see your child riding a Pace bus – we won’t be teaching them how to ride a Pace bus. If you see your child auditing a class at Trinity – we will work to have them acquire the skills necessary to do that."
~Danielle Carter

The NSSED Educational and Life Skills Program provides educational services to students ages 6 – 21 with developmental delays, cognitive disabilities, autism, and multiple disabilities. The ELS classrooms are integrated into our member district’s general education school buildings to foster and support age appropriate, peer-oriented social connections. The program design is individualized outcome-based programming built on a core curriculum for instruction in academic, community, and vocational skill acquisition.

Students in the ELS Program are taught and supported within a trans-disciplinary service model where the teacher, speech and language pathologist, occupational and physical therapists, adapted PE instructor, nurse, intervention specialists (social workers and school psychologists), vocational coordinators, transition specialists, assistive-technology consultant  and teaching assistants all work in tandem to maximize each child’s learning across all areas of  development. Instructional services are planned and implemented by the team to support the student’s daily educational program and achievement of individualized goals.

The basic tenets of the NSSED Educational and Life Skills Program are:


To the highest degree possible, students within the NSSED ELS Program are provided opportunity to learn and socialize with their same age peers through participation in academic or non-academic classes, or through peer programs facilitated by the program or school.  Additionally, the ELS Program has a strong community-based instructional component that facilitates the generalization of academic and social skills into a natural community environment.

Self Determination

From the development of the daily educational program, to establishing long-term transition goals, the ELS team works with each student to develop a sense of self-determination in making current and future life choices.

Students are encouraged to participate in whatever manner possible in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings to ensure that all planning for post graduation life is student driven.

Transition Support and Sustainable Long Term Outcomes

Experienced transition specialists work with students and their families to develop realistic transition goals for post graduation life and students work with their team to develop their personal transition plan based on those goals. In addition to planning support, transition staff provide direct connections to appropriate adult service and support agencies for students and their families and introduce a wide variety of options in determining what will best meet each student’s post graduation needs.

If you any questions about the program or if it is a right fit for your child, please contact your district special education administrator or Danielle Carter at dcarter@nssed.org or (847) 831-5100 x 2416.

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