Illinois Elevating Special Educators Network

Illinois Elevating Special Educators (IESE)

The IESE project is a statewide initiative funded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part D State Personnel Development Grant. The primary objectives of the ESE project are:

  1. To enhance the effectiveness of staff who support students with disabilities through research-based professional development.
  2. To deliver mentoring to increase the retention of early career special education teachers to address the Illinois special education teacher shortage.
  3. To increase the engagement of families as partners in the educational process and decision making.
  4. To deliver professional learning and technical assistance to build seamless and sustainable delivery systems for specialized populations of learners.

Connect, Build and Improve Regional Office Partnerships

In order to meet these objectives, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is partnering with five ROEs throughout the state (9, 11, 21, and 54) to design and implement professional learning activities including training, technical assistance, mentoring, and coaching. Collaboration with the Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents, Institutes of Higher Education, Illinois New Teacher Collaborative, and Parent Training and Information Centers will further the reach and impact of the project.

ISBE and partnering ROEs will use the first half of 2021 to build the IESE Network, including the development of a three-tiered support system. In the first tier, all districts in Illinois will have the opportunity to engage in professional learning through face-to-face, virtual, or online learning opportunities. At Tier 2 (Intermediary) and Tier 3 (Intensive), districts will receive increased frequency and duration of coaching, mentoring visits, and technical assistance at the district and building levels, in addition to all support offered in the first tier.

IESE Circle Graphic