A photo of Debra Ryan

Debra Ryan

Special Education Director
707-837-7704

A photo of CINDY FLACK.

Cindy Flack

Secretary IV

707-837-7704

Gillian Hornbostel, Special Education Secretary

Gillian Hornbostel

Secretary III

707-837-7733

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS:

Ashley Hansen

Mary Burkhardt

Irene Chang

Alexandra Cowen

Bethany Deniz

Linda Beth Ginsberg

Court Hickman

Annalise Puentes

Angela Somawang

SPECIAL EDUCATION

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Special Education Department is to identify and provide appropriate education to students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment and to enable each student to reach their academic potential while acquiring life skills for the 21st century.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL ED SERVICES?

Special education services are based upon the individual needs of the student through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This plan is developed by a team, including the student, parents, school district professionals, and outside agencies when applicable. Services are delivered in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and are dependent upon the student's individual needs. Each school offers a continuum of supports and services to ensure that every student's needs are met.

To see how IEP services are determined and monitored, click here.

The categories of eligibility for persons newborn through 22 years of age are:

  • Autism

  • Deaf-blindness

  • Deafness

  • Emotional disturbance

  • Hard of hearing

  • Intellectual disabilities

  • Multiple disabilities

  • Orthopedic impairment

  • Other health impairment

  • Specific learning disability

  • Speech or language impairment

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Visual impairment

CHILD FIND

Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), that requires Public Education Agencies to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities aged birth through 21, located within their geographic boundaries who are in need of early intervention or special education services.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations require that all children with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services, regardless of the severity of their disability, are identified, located, and evaluated. [20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(3); 34 C.F.R. § 300.111(a)]
*Child Find applies to children who are:

  • Suspected of having a disability even though they are advancing from grade to grade

  • Highly mobile, such as migrant and homeless families

  • Wards of the State

  • Private school students

  • Home school students

The regulations that implement the IDEA require each State to have policies and procedures to ensure that “all children with disabilities . . . including children with disabilities who are homeless children or are wards of the State, and children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located and evaluated.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.111(a)(i)].  Each public education agency must have written procedures for the identification and referral of all children with disabilities within its boundaries of responsibility, including children with disabilities attending private schools and those who are homeschooled.

To see a chart of how the Child Find service works, click here.

* Note- Charter schools identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities within their populations served who are in need of special education and related services.

Related Services

Psychological Services

School psychologists are trained in both psychology and education. Their training emphasizes preparation in both mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, and assessment. School psychologists help children meet challenges through their specialized training in psychology and education. They assist educators, parents, and other professionals to ensure that children learn in a safe, healthy and supportive setting. School psychologists understand childhood development, elements of successful learning and the school systems. Although the role of the school psychologist may vary according to the needs of the student population, all of the psychologists engage in the following core services: Consultation, Evaluation, Intervention, Collaboration, Prevention and System-wide Efforts.

Speech

Speech and Language Pathologists work as part of the Individual Education Program (IEP) team. These credentialed and licensed professionals conduct assessments of students and provide interventions using evidence-based practices, as well as, utilizing a continuum of service delivery models in the student's least restrictive environment. These services are provided to develop, implement and achieve communication goals, which will directly impact the success of the  student in the attainment of their educational goals.

Communication Areas Include:

  • Articulation

  • Language

  • Voice

  • Fluency

  • Hearing Loss

WHAT DOES LEARNING LOOK LIKE?

The Resource Specialist Program provides support in the general education curriculum. Students require specific accommodations in reading, written language and/or mathematics. The program offers:

  • Support services in the specific content/core areas through the collaborative or consultation models

  • Training in understanding personal learning style

  • Skills training in academics

  • Training in self-advocacy

The Small Group Instruction (Special Day Class) program provides special education core classes that parallel the general education curriculum. Students require modifications in reading, written language and/or mathematics. The program offers:

  • Core classes taught by credentialed special education teachers

  • Training in understanding personal learning style

  • Support services in elective classes through the collaborative model

  • Training in self-advocacy

Windsor Unified School District is part of the Sonoma County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), a collaborative of 40 school districts and local agencies in Sonoma County. Through the District, the local SELPA and our NCC program, we offer a continuum of services for students with special needs. Selpa