Parent Resources


Some students need special accommodations or modifications to their educational programs to succeed in school.  An accommodation allows a student to complete the same assignment or test as other students, but with a variation in time, format, setting and/or presentation.  This adjustment to an assignment or test-taking situation does not change in the interpretation of the student’s score.  Examples of accommodations include a student who is blind taking a Braille version of a test or a student taking a test alone in a quiet room.

A modification is an adjustment to an assignment or a testing situation that changes the curricular standard for a particular student.  Examples of possible modifications include a student completing work on part of a standard assignment or a student completing an alternate assignment that is more easily achievable than the standard assignment.

Needed modifications and accommodations should be written into a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.  They should be chosen to fit the student’s learning style and substantiated by the IEP case study components.  The student should participate in the discussion of accommodations and modifications. 

Some examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Extended time on tests
  • One-on-one aide
  • Second set of books
  • Reader
  • Scribe/Dictation of answers
  • Calculator
  • Pre-recorded audio
  • Large print
  • Braille
  • Preferential seating in classroom
  • Taking tests in alternate setting
  • Administration of tests in small group or individually
  • No scantron
  • Assistive technology
  • Note taker in class
  • No penalty for in-class spelling
  • Multiple testing sessions
  • Provide on-task focusing prompts


The Special Education Manual may contain information which changes during the school year such as phone numbers and contact names for particular items.  Please refer to the main homepage directory for up-to-date contact information.


The following links are provided as resources for families. A listing does not constitute an endorsement by Oak Park and River Forest High School.

Special Education Rights Guide Update

The 2009 special education rights guide, Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois, is now available. This document is a major rewrite of the 2001 A Parents’ Guide: The Educational Rights of Students with Disabilities. The guide was collaboratively developed and reviewed by the Parent Task Force on Accessible Special Education Materials, parent leaders, special education administrators, parent and advocacy organizations, and the Illinois State Board of Education.

The 2009 edition has been designed to serve as a useful resource to both parents and school personnel. The guide includes a comprehensive narrative outlining the principal rights and procedures for special education. To maximize user-friendliness, the guide allows the reader to obtain a detailed overview of special education as a whole, or to research a specific topic.

Questions may be directed to Special Education Services staff at 217-782-5589 or via the agency toll-free number at 866-262-6663.

Other Resources

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

LD Online

Council for Exceptional Children