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FAQs

These are some questions that The Cove School is frequently asked.  If your question is not addressed below, please contact us.  We welcome your inquiry.

Where is Cove located?
The Cove School is located at 350 Lee Road, in Northbrook, Illinois. To contact Cove, phone the main office at (847) 562-2100.

Who attends The Cove School?
Cove attracts a diverse student population from communities throughout the greater Chicago area.

How many students are in each class?
To facilitate the continual assessment and individualized instruction essential to the Cove experience, classes are kept small, with no more than eight to ten students per class. For more intensive remediation, groups may be as small as two or three students. Classes and groups are designed to be as cohesive as possible, with special consideration paid to the age, social and language needs of the students involved. Overall, Cove maintains a student/teacher ratio of four to one.

What is the relationship between Cove and public schools? Cove works in tandem with local public schools to provide the best possible educational experience for students with learning disabilities. We provide a vital service to all public schools challenged with finding the appropriate educational setting for students to meet their complex learning needs. This collaboration is a top priority at Cove, helping to facilitate the students’ transitions back to their local schools and broader communities. Students come to Cove from nearly 50 school districts throughout the greater Chicago metropolitan area. But the vital work of The Cove School extends far beyond our doors. We also serve as a training site for local teachers and professionals in the community, maintaining a close working relationship with local universities, private specialists, and others involved with childhood learning and development.

How does Cove help students socially?
Many people do not realize that social skills, like academic skills, can be taught. Because certain learning disabilities make it difficult for students to acquire and maintain friendships, we offer specific classes to help students develop and refine these vital social skills. Many children with learning disabilities feel that they have failed because they do not learn as quickly or as easily as their peers. As a result, their sense of self-worth often suffers. At Cove, students' experience of academic success reinforces their self-confidence and developing social skills, reducing those feelings of failure and encouraging personal growth.

Can my child enter Cove mid year?
Yes. Cove accepts new students at any point during the school year, space permitting. Therefore, it is not unusual for students to begin at The Cove School mid-year. 

How would you describe a typical Cove student?
Each student at Cove is unique.  It is common for students to first come to Cove in 5th and 6th grade.  Most are frustrated in their previous schools and are seeking a change.  

What is the profile of students who come to Cove?
Students who come to Cove primarily have learning disabilities and related disorders to learning disabilities.  Cove is approved by the State Board of Education to serve students who have one or more than one of the following diagnoses on their IEPs:  LD, SP/L, OHI, ED, TBI.  Most of the students who come to Cove have a combination of disabilities that present a complex profile, impacting all or most of their entire day.

What are the reasons that students come to Cove? 
There are many reasons that families consider Cove as an option.  The most common are:
  • Unique student needs
  • Programmatic challenges at the existing school
  • Lack of appropriate peer group or negative peer group interactions
  • Parents with different expectations than what the school system can provide
  • Environmental factors
  • Student is working with many private providers and there’s a need to consolidate/collaborate
  • Option to home-schooling
  •  Moving toward LRE from a more restricted environment
  •  District/parent dispute  
What is involved in the admissions process? 
A family or a district can initiate the process.  An application and file is sent to the Executive Director that includes the student’s latest evaluations and current IEP.  The parents of the prospective student meet with the Executive Director to discuss their child’s unique needs.  Cove usually takes about a week to review the information.  If there is a shared belief that Cove is an appropriate academic and social setting for the student, the student will be invited to do a half or full day visit.

How long do the students stay at Cove?
Although appropriate placement must be discussed every year, most students at Cove stay for two or more years.  Transition back to the home school is dependent upon the availability of the next environment to meet the students’ needs.  Some students stay at Cove for their entire education.

What do the students do after they graduate?
Many high school students slowly transition back to their home schools during their high school years and are thus tracked by those systems.  Of the students who stay at Cove until their senior year, most are continuing with their education by either going straight to a college or a post-secondary type program with support.  Some, who need more time to fully develop and mature, are going into a transition-type program to build more independence and are more mature or emotionally ready to transition. 

How is Cove different than other non-public special education centers?
Most nonpublic special education centers have a mission to serve students with emotional disabilities.  Cove’s mission is focused on academics.   Additionally, schools for students with emotional disabilities may include students who have significant behaviors in which their safety and the safety of others is a concern.

How do families fund a Cove education? 
Students who come to Cove are either funded privately or they are funded by their school districts.  Most of the families who are seeking funding by their school districts are working with attorneys to better understand the process. Some limited financial assistance is available each year; interested parties should contact our Director of Finance, Stacy Post.  


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