Special Education Overview

  • In order to meet the needs of all children within District 74, the special education department provides a variety of services for children beginning at the age of three. District 74 employs highly qualified Special Education Teachers, Speech/Language Pathologists, Social Workers and School Psychologists. We provide an extensive continuum of services for children with special needs in conjunction with Niles Township District for Special Education #807. Students are educated in the least restrictive environment. District 74 partners with families to develop plans to meet students’ academic, social, physical, and emotional needs. If you have questions regarding special education in District 74, please contact Jennifer Ruttkay, Director of Special Education at 847-675-8234.

    Free Developmental Preschool Screenings
    If you are concerned about your preschool-aged child's development, please make an appointment to attend one of the NTDSE Developmental Screenings offered on the following dates: 

    • September 19, 2022
    • October 17, 2022
    • November 21, 2022
    • December 12, 2022
    • January 23, 2023
    • February 13, 2023
    • March 20, 2023
    • April 10, 2023
    • May 1, 2023 

    Appointments can be made by contacting Melissa Hughes-Smith at 847-965-9040 x1104.


    Related Services & 504 Eligibility

    Related Service Log Notice: The District maintains related service logs that document the type and number of minutes of related service administered under a students individualized education plan (IEP).  These related service logs will be available to parents/guardians at a student's annual review IEP meeting. Parents/guardians may also request, at any time, a copy of any IEP related service log maintained for their child.  The school district will have 10 days to fulfill this request. Please direct any requests to Jennifer Ruttkay, Director of Special Education, at jruttkay@sd74.org or 847-675-8234.
    504 Eligibility: Students with disabilities who do not qualify for an individualized education plan (IEP) may qualify for services under Section 504 if the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment. If you have questions regarding 504 Eligibility, please contact Jennifer Ruttkay, Director of Special Education, at jruttkay@sd74.org or 847-675-8234.
    District RTO Plan
    In accordance with Public Act 102-0339, District 74 has created a Restraint and Time Out (RTO) Plan to reduce the number of restrictive interventions used to support students who present an imminent risk of harm to self or others. If you would like a copy of the RTO plan on file with the Illinois State Board of Education for District 74, please contact Jennifer Ruttkay, Director of Special Education at jruttkay@sd74.org or 847-675-8234.
  • JRuttkay

    Jennifer Ruttkay
    Director of Special Education
    Phone: 847-675-8234
    Email: jruttkay@sd74.org
    Degrees and Certifications:
    Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Master of Education in School Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
    Director of Special Education Endorsement



    Valerie Ripple
    Secretary to the Directors
    Phone: 847-675-8234
    Email: vripple@sd74.org