The mission of the Department of Student Services is to ensure the ongoing growth and development of all District 303 students. The vision of the Department of Student Services is to support programming aligned to standards focused on equitable outcomes for all students. The Department of Student Services is an integral member of the Learning and Teaching Department. As such, the Department of Student Services works collaboratively with building administration and staff to reflect on instructional practices and delivery.

About Student Services

The Department of Student Services supports the schools and staff while they are working toward educational excellence for each student. This department is responsible for oversight and support in the areas of academic and social-emotional intervention, speech-language, health services, 504 Education Plans, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), crisis intervention and prevention, homeless education, hospitalized youth, and adjudicated youth.

We support students through formalized problem solving teams, 504 Plan teams, and IEP teams. These teams monitor the success of individual students and groups of students. The teams make recommendations around academic, social, emotional, and behavioral interventions or supports to increase a student’s access and success in the general education curriculum.

On August 23, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law HB 3586. This legislation ensures that a copy of your child’s related service log is provided to you at the Annual Review meeting or upon your request. Related service(s) may include: Social Work, Speech Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Orientation and Mobility and/or Health services as outlined in your child’s Individual Education Plan. The logs reflect services delivered within the school setting and will include the date, type of service (direct or consultative), and the amount of time the specific service was provided.

If you have any questions about the implementation of HB 3586 in District 303, please feel free to contact Laurel O'Brien, Executive Director of Student Services at 331-228-6848 or

Student Services

Social-Emotional Intervention/Support
The Department of Student Services maintains and nurtures the collaboration and support of students in conjunction with the building staff. We support students through special programs and by embedding staff trained in social and emotional interventions and support.

Special Education
Students entitled for Special Education Services are provided an array of supports through a continuum of services designed to increase the students' access to the District 303 curriculum. This access allows for rigorous instruction and specialized supports to meet the child's and family's desired outcomes. 

Speech Language Services
Speech Pathologists work with all students that have been identified to benefit from these services. These clinicians provide support to students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP's), students with mild speech and language needs, and students that need intermittent walk-in service

Transition Services
Students who qualify for transition services receive direct instruction and support to attain employment, education/training, and independent living outcomes. D303 offers a continuum of transition programming designed to prepare individuals for life as an independent adult. 

Nurse/Health Services
The nurses in District 303 serve all of the students in our 17 school buildings through direct services and through consultation with staff, family and administration. Nurses support all aspects of health and safety in the school community by providing emergency care, facilitating access to school health care, and identifying and managing health issues in the school that impede student learning. 

Academic Intervention and Supports

The Department of Student Services in collaboration with building staff provide opportunities for all students to receive additional enrichment, supports, and intervention. The process is implemented through a Response to Intervention (RTI) framework. This framework includes screening assessments to show growth, and specialized interventions that are determined by a school-based problem solving team.

In collaboration with the building staff, the Department of Student Services works to increase opportunities for students to thrive and progress academically. We support this process through school-based problem solving teams and embedding trained staff in each building skilled in the areas of academic intervention and evaluation.

School Counselors are available to support students’ academic and social pathway toward independence and well-being. They support the schools through academic guidance, social emotional counseling, liaison with classroom teachers, they support the teams with crisis response, and they are members of the school problem solving team.

School Psychologists provide academic and social emotional evaluation and intervention. They are members of the school's problem solving team and support the process of RTI, 504 Plans, and IEP evaluation.

McKinney-Vento: Education for Homeless Children

McKinney-Vento Information

Student Services Staff

LO Laurel O'Brien

Executive Director of Student Services

KP Karen Pratt

Assistant Director of Student Services

CR Cindy Ruesch

Director of Language Acquisition

AH Alexis Hanson

Director of Elementary Special Education

AS Aubree Schuett

Director of Secondary Special Education

JM Jennifer Mursu

Director of Early Childhood

JP Jennifer Phillips

Administrative Team- D303

KL Kristine Leonard

Admin. Assistant - Executive Director of Student Services

LH Laura Heroldt

Admin. Assistant - Department of Student Services

LA Lorraine Adelsdorf-Nudd

Admin. Assistant - Department of Student Services

DS Denise Schaeffer

Admin. Assistant - Department of Student Services