Special Education Toolkit: A Resource for CPS Parents



*Looking for Special Education Parent Resources for Remote Learning and More (2020) - please go here. We will update the below Special Education Toolkit soon.*

Getting a proper individual education plan (IEP) in CPS and making sure it's implemented properly can be difficult.

Below is a list of resources if you're having problems including a tracking worksheet, a link to sample forms you can use, a list of advocates, who may be able to attend IEP meetings with you, and attorneys who may be able to help if you are unable to resolve the issue via going up the chain of command at CPS.

IEP tracking form

Download the IEP tracking form

This worksheet is an attempt to make tracking of lost minutes easy and specific. You should ask your child's teacher to confirm where and when your child's IEP minutes are being met, specific names of the staff members who are providing the service and the number of students for which the special education teacher or paraprofessional is responsible at any time they are assigned to meet the minutes set out in your child's IEP. A review of the IEP on your part can help bring clarity to the question of whether or not your child’s IEP minutes are being met.

Resources & Sample Forms from our Special Education Forum, November 16

Video of 11.16.2017 Forum can be found here.

Below are 2017-18 special education advocacy tips, sample forms for evaluation requests, document requests, confirmation of communication, request for IEP compliance and more. 

Special Ed Tip Sheet for Parents and Advocates 

Take Action to Support CPS Students with Special Needs

Attachment A: Request for Initial Evaluation Letter Template

Attachment B: Related Services - Meeting Info and Email Template

Attachment C: IEP Minutes Tracking Form for Parents 2017/2018 School Year

Attachment D: IEP Non-Compliance Email Template

Attachment E: Records Request Letter Template

Attachment F: Conversation Follow-up Email Template

UPDATE 12.1.18: The ISBE Inquiry Letter: Deciphered for Parents

Want to spread the word about this Toolkit to other parents of children with IEPs or 504s? Please use the below:

Special Ed Toolkit Flyer .pdf: Email or print & share with other parents who need these resources

Special Ed Toolkit Flyer .jpg: Share on social media or via text or email with other parents who need these resources

We also have two fact sheets on assessment, including standardized testing, of special education students created as part of our ongoing work on assessment with FairTest and the Chicago Teachers Union:


Non-profit organizations


Attorneys (some do low bono and sliding scale)

More (Updated 2.1.21)

 Stand Up For Each Other (SUFEO) Chicago is a group of law students that provides free information and services, under attorney supervision, to K-12 students in a variety of areas. We offer support and representation to students experiencing:
  • Inadequate special education services
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Suspension, expulsion, or other discipline
  • Barriers related to COVID-19 and remote learning

Email: [email protected]
Hotline: 773-800-0338
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For additional help in resource connection, please contact us at [email protected]