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Regional Office of Education - Leslie Schermerhorn, Regional Superintendent of Schools

Regional Safe Schools Program

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Evergreen Academy is a Regional Safe Schools Program as defined by the Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 10-22.6; designed to serve students in grades 6-12, ages 11-18.  Students are typically referred to Evergreen Academy by member school districts for violations of school codes or repetitive offenses of school rules.  Evergreen Academy provides a smaller environment that allows staff members to focus on individual student’s needs.  Evergreen Academy has been consistently successful in providing interventions that have helped students achieve positive re-entries to their home school and graduate.


Evergreen Academy has certified instructors who utilize Common Core State Standards to deliver quality instruction.  In addition to traditional teaching methods, students receive on-line coursework for electives, including the opportunity for credit recovery.  Currently, Evergreen students are benefitting from a partnership with Marengo Community High School. Students transport daily to MCHS to participate in 3-D Tech, Robotics, and Graphic Design courses.  All Evergreen students receive Life-Skills and social emotional supports focused on goal setting and establishing a vision for life. Evergreen Academy provides a “Culture of Care” that has transformed lives in a positive and influential way!

Contact Person

Evergreen Academy Principal/Director-Edgar Pereda
6506 National Street
Union, IL 60180
Phone: (815) 923-2789
Fax: (815) 923-4450


Legislation authorizing the creation of a system of Regional Safe Schools has presented a unique opportunity to the McHenry County community  in the form of a regional program to preserve a safe learning environment for the county’s 50,000 students.


The Evergreen Academy Program is designed to:

  • supplement existing comprehensive programs and services, not duplicate them;
  • include a challenging academic program that has the flexibility address individual needs for academic remediation;
  • address the therapeutic needs of the student client within a family context; and
  • provide an opportunity for early intervention and re-entry to the home district.

Student Population 

The student population to be served shall meet one or more of the following established criteria and be deemed appropriate for enrollment by local school officials in consultation with the RSSP Director and the Regional Superintendent:

  • suspended at lease twice for a period of 4-10 days for gross misconduct as defined by the Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 10-22.6;
  • recommended for expulsion by member school district administration to local school board; or
  • involved in misconduct which demonstrates a long term, pattern which is severe, repetitive and/or cumulative and for which the district has exhausted its resources in unsuccessful remediation attempts.
Adjudicated youth may also be eligible for enrollment under the following conditions:
  • upon return from correctional custody;
  • following an arrest for criminal acts directly related to school activities;
  • as recommended for students remanded to the juvenile or criminal courts for acts directly related to school activities.
Adjudicated youth must also meet one or more of the criteria noted above. 

Desired Outcomes 

The desired outcomes of the RSSP include but are not limited to:

  • an increase in the level of safety for the student body in the school from which the RSSP student is administratively transferred;
  • a decrease in the incidence of classroom and general disruption in the school from which the student is administratively transferred;
  • attainment of individual self-management goals as outlined in the IAEP and compliance with the RSSP Disciplinary Policy;
  • attainment of therapeutic goals as set within the IAEP; and
  • attainment of passing grades in all mandated curricular areas as noted in the IAEP.

Clinical Services 

Based on identified student therapeutic needs, services will be provided in the following areas:

  1. Social Skills
  2. Anger management
  3. Conflict Resolution
  4. Alcohol/Substance Abuse Avoidance
  5. Self-esteem

Identified student needs will be addressed in a family context. Once a month the student’s school day will include two hours of required community service and a parent/family activity to follow.


An articulated curriculum plan will be integrated with each student's IAEP in consultation with personnel from the home school to ensure successful home school reentry.  The RSSP curriculum is characterized by:
  1. Open entry and open exit flexibility.
  2. Presence of all mandated curricular areas.
  3. High interest materials.
  4. Computer assisted delivery of K-12 software developed by the Computer Curriculum Consortium.

Referral Procedures 

The purpose of the referral process is to gather information on the student’s needs and eligibility for the Regional Safe School Program. Below are the steps necessary to complete that process:

  1. Contact the Director of the RSSP.
  2. Request a Referral Packet.
  3. Complete and return the Referral Packet to the Director of the RSSP,
  4. The Referral Packet will be reviewed to determine student eligibility for enrollment in the RSSP,
  5. The district representative will be contacted to arrange an intake meeting.

The RSSP retains the right to deny enrollment to any students deemed inappropriate for this program.

Intake Meeting 

The intake meeting is designed to confirm the student's eligibility and willingness to participate in the RSSP. This meeting must include the student, parents, and district representative. Other members of this meeting may include school administrators, teachers and clinicians, as deemed appropriate.