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Contact

NADENE DERMODY

Director of Student Services

ndermody@santaritaschools.org 

831-443-7200 x 1210

 

AMY LÓPEZ (GALVÁN)
Bilingual Administrative Assistant

amlopez@santaritaschools.org

831.443.7200 x 1209

Student Support Services

Special Education

The Santa Rita Union School District Student Services Department is committed to providing students with open access to comprehensive programs in a nurturing environment, empowering them to fully participate in their education. We are student centered and believe in the dignity, uniqueness and growth of the individual and the fundamental right of each person to realize his or her fullest potential.
 
Student Services believes in providing friendly, trustworthy, easily accessible, and efficient services in an environment that is both caring and confidential. We believe in a professional environment that nurtures respect, responsibility, integrity, and caring while assisting students in achieving academic excellence.

Services & Resources

Programs & Descriptions

The Santa Rita Union School District (SRUSD) strives to ensure that all students with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The district realizes that the quality of special education programs for such children is achieved by having high expectations and access to the general education curriculum to the maximum extent possible. The District offers the following in-house programs for students with mild to moderate disabilities:

Resource Specialist Program (RSP)

The resource specialist program is designed primarily to serve students with mild disabilities whose IEP teams have determined that they can successfully access and participate in the general education program for a majority of the school day but who require curriculum accommodations and specialized instruction for a portion of the day. This may be provided to the student through consultation with the student, parent, and general education staff; direct instructional services to the student within the general education classroom; and/or, direct instruction to the student using a "pull-out" approach. The primary goal is to return the student to full-time enrollment in the general education program without any special education support. Students graduating high school while receiving support through a resource specialist program typically graduate with a diploma. Resource specialists must possess the appropriate credential or added authorization for this program and the enrolled students. Most resource specialists are assigned one instructional assistant. Caseloads generally include 24 to 28 students. Related services are available for students as identified on each IEP. Most districts operate resource specialist programs for their own students. A few programs in smaller, remote districts may be operated by one district on behalf of several districts within a geographical zone.

Special Education Class (SDC)

These classes are primarily designed for students with mild to moderate disabilities whose IEP teams have determined that they require specialized instruction for a majority of the school day and are able to benefit from instruction in a modified general education curriculum using alternative instructional strategies. The primary goal is to return the students a less restrictive educational setting. Students graduating high school while enrolled in this type of special class may graduate either with a diploma or a certificate as identified on the student’s IEP. A teacher possessing the appropriate credential and/or added authorization for this program as well as for the age range and disabilities of the enrolled students and, typically, one instructional assistant are assigned to each class. Additional instructional assistants are provided as determined necessary to implement developed IEPs and maintain the safety of students and staff. The recommended caseload is 10-12 students at the preschool level, 12 students at the elementary and middle school level, and 12-15 students at the high school level. Related services are available for students as identified on each IEP. Each district typically operates these classes for its own students. Some classes may be operated by one district on behalf of several districts within a geographical zone.

Speech and Language Specialist Program (SLP)

For students with speech, language, or hearing disabilities, specialized support and/or instruction is sometimes a necessary component of their regular or special education curriculum. This may be provided through consultation with the student, parent, and school staff; direct instructional services to the student within the regular or special class; and/or, direct instruction to the student using a “pull-out” approach. The primary goal is to maximize the student's ability to be a successful communicator within their current and future school, home, and work environments. Each specialist has a credential authorizing provision of therapeutic intervention for students with speech, language, and communication needs.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Students with varying disabilities leading to difficulty in the areas of fine and gross motor skills, visual-motor integration and organization, sensory integration, and visual perception may require specialized support and/or instruction in order to benefit from their educational program. This may be provided through consultation with the teacher and parent, monitoring of the student’s progress, or direct service to the student. Each student may receive each type of service over time depending on his or her current level of need. The primary goal is to maximize the student’s ability to access and benefit from their educational program. Each occupational therapist is licensed. The recommended caseload for an occupational therapist is approximately 20-35 Students.

California Children's Services (CCS) provides occupational and physical therapy to special education students who are medically eligible. Qualification is determined through a referral and assessment process. These services should not be listed on the service section of the IEP but the team may elect to indicate that the student is receiving the services on the notes page of the IEP.

School Based Counseling

The school-based counseling program provides at-risk, behavioral, and emotionally troubled youth with general education counseling services, including: 

  • Individual and/or group counseling
  • Consultation with teachers/school staff 
  • Consultation with parents
  • Information and referral 
  • Classroom/playground observation 

Students learn new skills, such as how to identify feelings and how to deal with them appropriately. The program aims to identify and address troubling issues and teach coping skills in order to build self-esteem in each child to improve their ability to learn and participate in positive relationships. 

The school-based counseling program surrounds students and their families with support and services. Counseling services are provided on school sites during school hours. Parents may request services, school personnel and/or administrators can make referrals, and students can self-refer. 

For further information regarding the school-based counseling program, please contact your school site principal or child’s teacher. 

School Psychologist

School Psychologists are often the first contact for parents, teachers, and others who are concerned about a student’s progress. They are involved in a variety of activities related to supporting students who have been identified as “at risk”. Examples of the many duties they are responsible for are: coordination of the assessment team; conducting psychoeducational assessments; participating in IEP meetings; providing individual and group counseling; facilitation of referrals to outside agencies for significant emotional/social/behavioral problems; and consultation with students, parents, and staff in the areas of cognitive development, learning style, emotional/social/behavioral development, and instructional strategies.

Early Childhood Assessment Team

Early Childhood Assessment Team (ECAT) supports students age 3 to kindergarten. This team evaluates preschool- aged children to determine if they qualify for special education services.

School Nursing Services

School Nurses are available to assist students, parents, and staff when a student is in need of specialized health care. They also conduct follow-up with physicians, perform health screenings, and monitor immunization schedules. School nurses provide information, consultation, training, and liaison services with outside agencies.