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The ECHO Joint Agreement is a special education cooperative of 17 school districts (15 elementary and 2 high school districts) providing services to approximately 1000 students with disabilities in south Cook County, Illinois. Communities serviced include East Hazel Crest, Burnham, Dixmoor, Harvey, Lynwood, Phoenix, Riverdale, Dolton, South Holland, Thornton, Lansing, and Calumet City. ECHO also provides services to non-member districts in the communities of Homewood, Flossmoor, Matteson, Park Forest, Glenwood, Sauk Village, Ford Heights, Chicago Heights, Steger, and Olympia Fields.
Between the home school district and the ECHO cooperative, a continuum of services is provided to all students with disabilities ages birth-21. While school districts provide special education and related services to the majority of students with disabilities, ECHO serves as an extension to each school district, providing programs and services for students with moderate and severe disabilities, and for students whose behavior requires additional supports and interventions. ECHO also operates specialized programs for students with severe hearing, vision and orthopedic/physical disabilities.
The philosophy of the Cooperative is to serve as a partner with districts, parents, and the community, in providing equal educational opportunities to all students regardless of their needs. ECHO promotes that to the greatest extent possible, students are educated in their home districts or as close to the students’ homes as possible.
ECHO has an administrative office located in South Holland, IL