Communications & Foundations
Windsor is proud to be home to two District-wide instructional special education programs, Communications & Foundations. The Communications program serves students in K-5 who have communications-related disabilities including, but not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Foundations program serves students in K-5 (the 2016-17 Kindergarten class is at Greenbrier School this year) who are typically two to three years behind grade level and/or who need smaller, more targeted instruction. Please see the FAQ list below for additional information.
Please contact Ginny Hiltz, Windsor Assistant Principal and Student Services Coordinator, with any questions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-398.4297
There are currently 3 Foundations classrooms and 3 Communications classrooms at Windsor. Due to space limitations at Windsor, there is also a Kindergarten Foundations classroom at Greenbrier.
K/1st Communications--Ms. Palmer
2nd Communications--Ms. Angelus
3rd-5th Communications--Mrs. Stodola
1st Foundations--Mrs. McCune
2nd/3rd Foundations--Mrs. Rabinowitz
4th/5th Foundations--Ms. Hartfield
All students in the Communications & Foundations programs have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and their IEP teams have determined that placement in one of these programs would be the best fit for the child's unique needs. Approaches in the instructional programs' classrooms are highly individualized. No two students are the same so the approach to teaching them differs as well.
Windsor has a large and talented staff. Many of our staff members are dedicated to supporting students in our Communications & Foundations programs. In our Communications classroom, the staff to student ratio is typically 1:2. In Foundations, it's 1:3 or 1:4. Some students have 1:1 Teaching Assistants based on safety or health needs. Teaching Assistants accompany students to all integration opportunities as needed (Art, Music, PE, time in the buddy classroom, etc.).
Students in the instructional programs are also supported by a variety of staff including Occupational Therapists, a Physical Therapist, Speech Language Pathologists, Social Workers, a Psychologist, an Adaptive PE Teacher, a Certified School Nurse, and others as needed. Windsor staff also collaborate with the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO) to support students.
Students in our Communications & Foundations classrooms also have an assigned general education buddy class at their grade level. Students join their buddy classes for specials (Art, Music, PE, LMC), for special events happening in the classrom, field trips, and for content classes such as Science and Social Studies or other academic areas as appropriate. They also eat lunch with and attend recess with same-aged peers.
Students in the instructional programs also participate in weekly Structured Recess (K/1st) facilitated by a Social Worker and twice-monthly Community Builders (2nd-5th) facilitied by a team of teachers. These programs provided guided opportunities for students to play and interact with one another.
We also provide reverse integration opportunities, where students in the instructional programs invite general education buddies into their classrooms for activities such as cooking.
The Windsor community is thrilled to be the home for the Communications & Foundations programs for a variety of reasons. The students in these programs add a rich diversity to the community that benefits all students. General education students at Windsor become accustomed to working with all different types of people and learn the importance of patience, kindness, and equality. General education classrooms also benefit from the expertise that the special education team brings to the building (e.g., approaches for children who might struggle in an area).
Students in the instructional classrooms benefit from receiving instruction at their appropriate level and via appropriate strategies while also participating in a general education school. They have access to peer models and all of the traditional school experiences that a typically-developing student has.
Windsor teachers will share that having "buddies" in their general education classroom is one of the most rewarding experiences in their careers. Windsor parents share that their typically-developing children are comfortable approaching people with disabilities in the community and have learned that everyone has value and unique abilities regardless of the way they look, sound, or communicate.