520 S Plum Grove Rd, Palatine, IL 60067


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About Kirk School

Kirk School empowers all students to learn and be highly successful by creating an optimum learning environment and thoughtfully designed experiences to meet each student’s specialized needs. Through a multi-disciplinary team approach and use of research based curriculum and interventions, Kirk School’s program reflects a strong belief that each student possesses unique worth and has a right to strive for exponential growth. Kirk School believes that consistent, meaningful collaboration with families, students and the community is a key factor in maximizing each student’s strengths and potential and preparing each student for a successful adult life.


Brian Weems | bweems@nsseo.org

Assistant Principals

Maggie Cerniglia | mjohanson@nsseo.org

Kelley Rowlen | krowlen@nsseo.org

Kirk School provides an intensive, comprehensive educational program for students with significant needs. Needs may include significant cognitive disabilities, multiple disabilities, autism, hearing and visual impairments, physical/health impairments, communication disorders, sensory and/or behavioral impairments. Multi-sensory instruction is provided in a highly structured environment with intensive supports and resources to address individual student needs. Curricular programs reflect a rigorous academic focus adapted and/or modified based on individual student needs that incorporate Common Core Standards. Transition, vocational, and life skills instruction and services support students as they move from school to community living and work alternatives.

The certified/licensed staff is comprised of highly qualified special education teachers, speech/language pathologists, school psychologists, school nurses, social workers, physical/occupational therapists, autism coaches, as well as transition and vocational specialists. Teachers are all trained in research-based instructional and therapeutic approaches. Kirk staff is trained in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) with the addition of three staff members on site as certified trainers. Highly qualified paraprofessionals are an integral part of the program and work closely with the certified/licensed staff in providing assistance to students that supports programmatic and individual needs.

  • Access to general education curriculum through individualization and adaptation of core academic programs.
  • Research-based curriculum and instruction in literacy, math, science, and social studies.
  • Development and implementation of individualized transition plans with a focus on post-secondary goals and opportunities.
  • Life skills instruction in a variety of environments that focuses on daily living, social skills, vocational, and leisure/recreation skill development to prepare students for adulthood.
  • Intensive communication and language development instruction including the use of visual supports in the environment and augmentative communication systems.
  • Assistive and instructional technology to provide individualized access to learning, promoting greater independence.
  • Visual supports, social stories, scheduling and sensory integration to meet the individualized needs of students.
  • Fostering independence in home, school, and community environments through modeling and coaching.
  • Positive behavioral supports (PBIS) to develop appropriate social and behavioral skills, as well as providing intensive behavioral supports and individual student and school-wide crisis management.
  • Adapted physical education that provides instruction in the development of motor skills and health/fitness that promotes participation in sports and leisure activities.

Program Supports

  • Music therapy
  • Health services and staff training to manage individual student health care plans
  • A breakfast/lunch program specific to individual dietary and oral/motor needs
  • Heated therapy pool
  • Multi-sensory and motor rooms
  • An apartment setting that provides opportunities for daily living activities
  • Specialized vocational training areas
  • Accessible playground equipment
  • Adaptive equipment individualized for student positioning and ambulation
  • On-site clinics for families for wheelchair seating system
  • Interscholastic athletic program: competitive team sports in basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, and Special Olympics
  • Extracurricular activities: prom, cheerleading, dances
  • Social integration activities through partnerships with same-age peers
  • Participation at Sunrise Lake Outdoor Education Center
  • Parent Teacher Organization

Proactive Behavioral Supports

NSSEO is committed to providing high-quality care and supports in a respectful, safe environment through the ongoing training of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® (NVCI), developed by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI).  NVCI is embraced worldwide as a highly effective behavior management system and provides a solid foundation to structure prevention and intervention approaches based on a philosophy of providing the best possible Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security (SM) for students and staff.  NSSEO provides annual training using CPI’s enhanced content to staff with ongoing supports from certified trainers to ensure safe and quality care.  The strategies provide staff with an effective framework for decision making and problem solving to prevent, de-escalate, and safely respond to behavior.  Please visit CPI’s website for more information:


Upcoming Kirk Events

June 3rd - Last Day of School for Students

Jun 3, 2024

All Day Event

ESY - First Day for Staff

Jun 7, 2024

All Day Event

ESY - First Day of School for Students

Jun 10, 2024

All Day Event

Upcoming District Events

TR Scholarship Bags Tournament

Jun 1, 2024 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Last Day for Students

Jun 3, 2024

All Day Event

Last Day for Staff

Jun 4, 2024

All Day Event

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