Dr. Sally L. SoverChanging Lives. Building Futures.

A Message from Dr. Sally L. Sover, Executive Director

The Cove school 70 YearsFor 70 years, Cove has served as a vital stepping-stone in our community, helping children with learning disabilities develop the skills and self-confidence required to successfully transition to community schools or post-secondary education. We provide a comprehensive, individualized approach to learning. At Cove, we recognize the complex learning needs of students with learning disabilities, and we provide the integrated specialized services that contribute greatly to their success.

Cove parents, teachers and specialists work hand-in-hand to ensure the best possible educational plans for our students. When students arrive at Cove, they immediately feel the difference that comes from a nurturing, supportive environment. They feel safe, yet challenged, to reach their fullest potential, and they often make new friends, establishing the social relationships that are so important in life.

Fall of 2006 marked the completion of a major building expansion and the beginning of a new era at Cove. With renovations complete, students received the room they need to achieve new growth — academically, socially and physically.

If you know a child who could benefit from an enhanced learning environment, we invite you to explore our website and visit our school for an in-depth personal tour. We look forward to sharing our vision for a world where every child finds the tools they need to adapt, to learn, and to grow.

Dr. Sally L. Sover

Executive Director

Located in Northbrook, Illinois, The Cove School is close to Chicago as well as many outlying suburbs. All elementary, junior high and high school grades meet in the school’s facility on Lee Road, which underwent a major expansion and renovation in 2006 providing many facility enhancements. Our campus includes:

1. The Media Center

The Cove multi-media center is the nexus of school life — an exciting place where the possibilities for learning are endless. Here, the library is integrated into the computer lab to create a fully equipped, state-of-the-art learning center that’s specially designed for Cove students. Computers and assistive-technology give Cove students the edge they require to develop skills for learning and skills for life.

2. Activity Complex

  • Gym, lunchroom and presentation stage area. These spaces provide a multi-purpose area where students can socialize and freely express themselves. The activities that take place here create a unique opportunity for students to develop strong communication and social skills, establish vital friendships and increase their level of self-confidence. The stage area also provides spectator seating during sporting events in the gym.
  • Athletic Field and Running Track. The athletic field directly behind the Cove School building includes a rubberized running track, half-sized soccer field, and a small indoor pavilion.
  • Exercise Center. A state-of-the-art fitness room includes accessible exercise equipment, a fitness instructor and a health education professional. As students develop, the Center allows those with sensory needs to transition from the Occupational Therapy room into more socially and developmentally appropriate activity, such as cardiovascular exercise and resistance training using weights and other tools.

3. Separate High School Area with Elective Classrooms

It’s vital for high school students to have a separate space that reflects their accomplishments and provides a distinct identity. High school is a time for students to explore a variety of specific subjects that they may one day decide to pursue in depth.

4. Social Work Suite

With the increased privacy of our expanded social work offices, staff are able help children work through persistent barriers, helping them become more receptive to the learning process. This suite includes individual counseling offices, as well as a larger group meeting room used for social skill development groups.

5. Speech and Language Suite

Here, students receive individualized speech and language therapy in a more stimulating and appropriate setting. This new space enables small-group sessions as well as important one-on-one remediation.

6. Occupational Therapy Suite

Our expanded onsite occupational therapy suite helps students learn how to function independently in new ways. The indoor/outdoor therapy area is specifically designed to maximize their sensory experience. Located adjacent to the playground, children learn real-life skills that will help them master techniques needed to use the playground equipment in their own neighborhoods with other children their age.

7. Art Studio

Our new art studio exposes Cove students to all aspects of the visual arts, while its proximity to the computer center allows the integration of digital photography and other multi-media projects throughout the curriculum.

Our History

Making Waves

Dr. Laura Lehtinen RoganThe Cove School was the nation’s first school founded exclusively for the education of children with learning disabilities. To this day, it remains the premier school in the field.

The school was founded in 1947 by Dr. Alfred A. Strauss, a child psychiatrist-neurologist, and his research assistant, Dr. Laura Lehtinen Rogan, a teacher and educational psychologist. Together, they opened a residential facility for children between the ages of six and twelve. The school’s name comes from its original location on the sleepy cove of Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin, on property owned by the DeKoven Foundation, an Episcopalian religious group.

In 1950, while Dr. Strauss and his wife Marie maintained the Racine facility,

Dr. Lehtinen Rogan opened the first Cove day school in Evanston, Illinois. After a couple of local moves, the school’s Board of Trustees purchased an historic mansion at 1100 Forest Avenue using funds donated by parents and benefactors. In 1973, after extensive remodeling, the mansion became the new home of The Cove School in Illinois.

Both the residential and the day schools remained operational until the residential facility in Racine was closed permanently in 1968. Eventually, as enrollment grew, a high school program was added and by the early 1980s, it became clear that the school required more space. In July of 1986, The Cove School moved to the historic Skokie School building, a former public school at 520 Glendale Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois, where it remained for the next 10 years. Finally, on July 15, 1996, The Cove School moved to its current location at 350 Lee Road, Northbrook, Illinois, completing a major property renovation in the fall of 2006.