District 97 Accepting Waitlist Applications for Early Childhood Blended Preschool Program

Updated May 13, 2021

District 97 is currently accepting waitlist applications for the early childhood blended classrooms at Whittier Elementary School for the 2021-22 school year. In-person attendance will be required.

We are seeking students who:

  • Are non-IEP students who will be between the ages of 3 and 4 years by Sept. 1, 2021;
  • Demonstrate age-appropriate language and social skills;
  • Are Oak Park residents;
  • Are not enrolled in a preschool program. 

There will be a total of 15 students in the class who range in age from 3 to 4 years old. Of those 15 students, five of them will have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

While the classrooms will be housed at Whittier, this opportunity is available to all Oak Park families. Those who are selected to be part of these classrooms will be charged a one-time school fee of $29.00.

Enrollment is limited. Although the initial application period has ended, families can complete a brief form to be placed on the program's waitlist:

Early Childhood Blended Preschool Program Waitlist Application

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Michele Suedbeck at 708-524-3134 or at [email protected].

Background information about District 97’s blended classrooms

Our blended classrooms feature an inclusive environment where students with and without disabilities learn alongside each other. The students in these classrooms benefit from access to a variety of instructional practices that support their education, and exposure to researched-based curricula (e.g., Handwriting Without Tears, Creative Curriculum, and Second Step) that aid their learning, play and social-emotional development.

Blended classrooms are taught by a certified teacher who has an ELL (English Language Learner) endorsement and is licensed to teach both special and general education students. In addition to the teacher, the classrooms are staffed by two teaching assistants, and are supported by related service professionals (speech-language pathologist, social worker, and occupational therapist) who provide consultation and lead group lessons.

There will be a morning and afternoon section for each classroom, and the school day will be as follows:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m./Noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m./Noon to 2 p.m.