Special Education Course Offerings

  • Click here to see the Contiuum of Course Offerings for Students with Individualized Education Plans

    Course Descriptions

    Resource Seminar

    In Resource Seminar, case managers work with students to develop strategies related to goals and objectives identified in their Individualized Education Plans (IEP). The case manage provides academic and emotional support to students on his/her caseload in a supportive environment, oversees the IEP, and communicates with parents, general and special education teachers, as well as other service providers. Through skill development and relationship building, Resource Seminar is geared toward facilitating student independence in school, at work, in personal relationships, and within the community. Time spent with the case manager is determined based on student need and is structured in small groups to allow for individualization.

    Instructional Classes

    Instructional classes are offered in many of the subject areas and are designed to parallel the curriculum presented in general education classes while offering the highest degree of individualized instruction. For students with significant learning challenges, these classes offer a modified curriculum that may include instruction in prevocational and life skills. Special section instructional classes are offered based upon student need and may vary from year to year but may include English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Support Center/Learning Strategies. For the purposes of the transcript and grade point average, all special education courses are weighted at level 2.


    This course incorporates reading and writing remediation with systematic and explicit instruction. During freshman and sophomore years, students read and write about literature across genres and for a variety of purposes. Junior year, the students develop and build research and analytical skills through the completion of the junior theme research paper. Senior year builds upon previous skills with additional emphasis on post-high school essay writing and evaluation of contemporary sources of information. Across all four years, the curriculum parallels that of more traditional language arts instruction with significant practice in more advanced vocabulary building, literature analysis, the writing process, and public speaking.


    Courses offered in Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and College Algebra/Trigonometry are designed to parallel the general curriculum and teach essential concepts. These courses provide students with extra support and continuous review and repetition to foster confidence in their skills and to build a foundation for future math courses.

    Social Studies

    History courses are survey classes that trace the historic and social developments of societies around the world. Students enrolled in a special section social studies course will study key political, economic, geographical cultures, and interactions of civilizations around the world. Students will also develop an understanding of the value systems and interactions of the many ethnic groups found in America and the world. Students will be taught through small group instruction that is tailored to meet specific student needs. Through their studies, students will focus on developing their reading comprehension, organization, self-advocacy, writing, and research skills.

    Learning Strategies

    Learning Strategies, offered on both campuses at New Trier High School, is designed to serve special education students who require a smaller, more structured environment for learning due to emotional or behavioral concerns. The goal is to provide students with the academic and social emotional tools they need to be successful in general education classes as well as preparation for their post-secondary goals.

    Transition Seminar

    High School graduation is quickly approaching. Transition Seminar is available to students with an IEP and will focus on the four key components of the transition plan: employment, education, training, and independent living. Along with your advisor, case manager, transition coordinator and Post High School Counselor, this class will help you explore and plan for life after high school based on your interests, needs, and skills. In this class you will learn about different paths upon graduation including working, taking college classes, attending college, volunteering, and so much more. Transition Seminar also gives you information about several important life and social skills. Our goal is you feel confident about life after high school and beyond!

    New Trier Learning Center

    New Trier Learning Center, located at the Northfield Campus, provides a positive, therapeutic environment for students who have experienced difficulty in educational, social, and/or emotional development. The goal of the program is to guide students toward fulfillment of the academic requirements for a high school education and to develop the skills needed to become an independent, functioning adult. The New Trier curriculum forms the basis of the academic program. For most students, the aim is to help them gain the necessary skills to return to the general education program at New Trier. Students who graduate from the Learning Center graduate with a New Trier diploma.

    • Support classes are offered in the area of literacy and math skills depending upon student IEP needs. Classes vary from year to year.
    • Enrollment in special education courses is based upon the IEP team's recommendation.