Student Services & Special Education
Welcome to the Encinitas Union School District’s (EUSD) Student Services Department. Student Services supports all special education programming including Individualized Education Programs and 504 Plans. Special education can be complicated and confusing, and we are here to make it more clear. Our goal is to be collaborative partners in your child’s education.
Student Services also supports student health services, homeless and foster youth, social emotional programming, including our TRAC social emotional learning program, student attendance, and student discipline. We hope the resources included here will provide helpful information and address many of your student services related questions. Please reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns. We are here to assist!
Our core district office staff are listed below.
|Maria Waskin||Executive Director of Student Servicesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Elaine Reilly||Administrative Assistantemail@example.com|
|Ronnie Kraft||Program Specialistfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Erin Lain||Program Specialistemail@example.com|
|Kim Brown||Autism Behavior Specialistfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Chelsea Fessenden||Autism Behavior Specialistemail@example.com|
|Kristie Garcia||Behavior Specialistfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jennifer McIntee||Teacher on Special Assignment - Inclusionemail@example.com|
|Tami Wilson||Student Services Program Assistantfirstname.lastname@example.org|
- Learning Resource Centers, RISE and TIDE Programs - Special Education
- Early Intervention Program
- Special Education Frequently Asked Questions
- T.R.A.C. Program
- 504 Accommodation Plan
LEARNING RESOURCE CENTERS, R.I.S.E. & T.I.D.E. PROGRAMS
Our district offers a continuum of special education services to students from preschool through sixth grade who have been identified through the IEP (Individualized Education Program) process as eligible for special education. Our district promotes inclusion and works to support students at their home school site and in their general education classrooms to the maximum extent possible. All of our schools offer Learning Resource Centers (LRCs), which are designed to support a wide range of student needs. Our LRCs are staffed with one or more education specialists and several trained instructional assistants, who offer both push-in services (services provided in the general education setting) and pull-out services (services provided within the special education settings) based on each student’s individual needs. All school sites offer a full complement of related services as well, including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, adaptive physical education, counseling services, behavior intervention consultation, physical therapy, deaf and hard of hearing itinerant services, itinerant vision services, and more for students identified as requiring these services through the IEP process.
Additionally, the district offers a RISE (Reaching Independence through Supported Education) program at Mission Estancia and Olivenhain Pioneer, the TIDE (Teaching Independence through Differentiated Education) program at La Costa Heights and the PDL (Personal Development and Learning) program at Park Dale Lane. These programs support students with more intensive academic, developmental or social emotional needs. Our Early Childhood Program is offered on the Flora Vista campus and provided services to our students ages 3 – 5. Students have access to a variety of technology resources in the district through our 1:1 Digital Learning Program. Assistive technology specifically determined to meet unique student needs is also available via the IEP process.
EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM
If you are inquiring into the Early Intervention Program (EIP) in Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) for your child, if you haven’t done so already, please contact us at 760-944-4300 x 1145. The EIP serves preschool children ages 3-4, with disabilities and who require Special Education Services.
You are very important in the process that will determine eligibility and needs for your child. The process starts with your recent inquiry, then moves to an assessment of your child, a determination of his/her eligibility, the development of an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), and the provision of appropriate special educational services. Each step in this process is mandated by law, governed by timelines and designed to fully include you as parents.
Below is a link to our online registration packet. This was developed to assure the sharing of information critical to obtaining a clear understanding of your child and the difficulties he/she is presently experiencing.
The first step in this process is providing the district with the following documentation:
*Please note all of the following items must be completed, signed and returned to the Early Intervention Program before the EIP Team can proceed to the assessment phase:
- Preschool Registration for Assessment Forms – fillable PDF
- Copy of Birth Certificate or valid passport
- Copy of Immunization Records
EUSD welcomes you as an important and critical member of our Special Education team and is committed to a partnership that will ultimately result in greater success for your child. Please print and keep a copy of this packet for your records.
The team has carefully thought out this referral packet with a desire to answer your questions and move the process along in a timely manner. If there are areas of this packet that you do not understand, or if you require assistance in completing the forms, please call 760-944-4300 ext. 1145.
Please email, fax, mail or hand deliver all required forms and information to:
Mail: Encinitas Union School District
101 South Rancho Santa Fe
Encinitas, CA 92024
Attention: Student Services / EIP
SPECIAL EDUCATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What types of support does the district offer to students with special needs?
The district supports a full range of potential student needs, either through resources within the district or, when necessary, by accessing resources outside of the district. In all cases, we are committed to educating students in the least restrictive environment.
Like other districts within our SELPA, EUSD offers a full continuum of services to address student needs, from services that are “pushed in” (received within the student’s classroom) to “pull out” services (received in a specialized setting). In addition to services, the district also offers a continuum of placement options within the district, from Learning Resource Centers (LRC) available at each school site, to a variety of Special Day Classes designed to cater to specific student needs. We currently offer Special Day Classes (SDC) at Mission Estancia, Olivenhain Pioneer and La Costa Heights, designed to support students in grades K-6 with significant learning challenges. At Park Dale Lane we offer the Personal Development and Learning Program, designed to support students with behavioral and self-regulatory needs, rather than academic needs.
The district accesses programs throughout the SELPA when we are unable to support a student’s needs within district, for example SEAS (Social-Emotional Academic Skills) programs and, if needed, we are also able to access specialized programs outside of the SELPA. The district also operates an Early Intervention Program for students ages 3-5. This program is located on the campus of Flora Vista Elementary School.
What is the difference between the Special Day Classes (SDCs)and the Learning Resource Centers(LRCs)?
Students who receive support in the Learning Resource Centers typically spend the majority of their school day with their general education peers and receive specialized academic instruction from the LRC staff as needed.
Special day classes support needs of students who typically require more significant learning support and, as a result, may require a smaller more flexible environment with a higher teacher to student ratio. The SDC’s operate just like a classroom, and serve as the child’s primary learning environment. The students enrolled in SDC programs access the general education setting for inclusion.
Who is my child’s IEP case manager?
Once a student becomes eligible for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) a case manager will be assigned. Typically, this will be an Education Specialist, but it might also be a Speech Pathologist if speech and language is the only service the child receives.
How are special education programs supervised by the district administrative staff?
Administrative oversight for the SDC and LRC programs is provided by the individual school Principals and the Director of Pupil Personnel Services. Additionally, It is typical for a Program Specialist to serve as the administrator at the IEP meetings of SDC students, and to provide program support to SDC staff. For SDC classrooms, the Program Specialist serves as the initial point of administrative contact for parents. Parents are always welcome to contact the school principal or Director of Pupil Personnel Services as well.
The Early Intervention Program is supervised by the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in collaboration with the Principal of Flora Vista Elementary school. A School Psychologist generally serves as administrative representative at IEP meeting in the early intervention program.
What kind of training is offered for SPED staff?
Special education staff receive a wide range of ongoing professional development. The Educational Services department offers teacher trainings a minimum of 4 times a year, with customized sessions offered for special education staff. The Pupil Personnel Services department assists with developing the training for special education staff, and with developing trainings for general education staff that address special education topics. Additionally, Principals offer site-specific professional development regularly.
Special education staff work together in Professional Learning Communities, and meet regularly with the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to receive updates on best practices and legal issues, as well as for consultation. Monthly trainings are offered to our Instructional Assistants including topics such as behavior, academics, data collection, and social facilitation. Recent training topics included: technology use, social facilitation, curriculum modification, common core state standards, and more. Both special and general education staff benefit from attending NCCSE sponsored trainings offered on a variety of SPED topics throughout the year. All sites maintain a team of professionals trained in CPI (Crisis Prevention Intervention) strategies. These teams receive twelve hours of initial training and bi-annual refresher trainings.
Finally, our district is fortunate to collaborate in a variety of research with local universities, providing additional training opportunities to staff.
What is the district’s Quality Assurance process in special education programs?
The district reviews assessment data regularly to assure student growth. State testing is part of this review, as is the systematic review of progress on IEP goals. School Principals review student report cards to assure progress, as well. Special education teachers are evaluated by the school Principal with input from the Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
The IEP Process
Approximately how many students in the district have IEPs?
The national average is between 10-15% of the entire student population and EUSD falls within this average.
What can parents do to prepare for an IEP meeting? What resources are available via NCCSE and EUSD to prepare for IEP meetings?
NCCSE offers a useful resource for this topic. You can access it at: http://www.nccse.org/parents/parent-resources/guide-to-special-education
Who can a parent contact when they have questions about their child’s placement or special education services?
It is wise to start by contacting the child’s case manager. If, after speaking with the case manager, the parent has additional questions or concerns they should be directed to the school Principal, the Director or Pupil Personnel Services or, in the case of students enrolled in Special Day Classes, the Program Specialist.
What is assistive technology? How can I get help from the district in getting the right AT for my child?
Assistive technology refers to an “item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” It does not include a medical device. Assistive technology assets include a continuum of resources from low tech to very high tech. Your district IEP team staff have knowledge of AT resources and may make recommendations for supports for a student at an IEP meeting. The district also works with the AT Specialists at NCCSE, where professionals are available to provide consultation to IEP teams, conduct formal AT assessments and provide
equipment for student trials. For more information regarding assistive technology please go to http://www.assistivetechnologyguide.org.
What if I reach an impasse with my IEP team? What is the resolution process?
Reaching out to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services or the Program Specialist will result in collaborative effort to resolve any issues. For additional help, if needed, contact the Resolutions for Student Success (RSS) coordinator at 619 594-7383, or Lisa Houghtelin, NCCSE parent liaison at 760-761-5120. You can read about the RSS process at http://www.nccse.org/parents/resolving disagreements-rss.
How does inclusion work in the district?
Students in LRC programs are assigned to a general education classroom and receive specialized academic instruction from special education staff. All students in special day classes are assigned a general education class for inclusion opportunities. Students in SDC programs are considered full members of both classrooms. For example, they are included in class parties, field trips, and special events in both classrooms, to the extent appropriate. IEP teams discuss inclusion opportunities at the IEP meeting, and determine the best times and activities for the student to join in the general education setting and the accommodations or modifications the student will require in the general education setting. Students in the early intervention program are included with students in a general education YMCA program on site at Flora Vista.
What inclusion programs are offered at various school sites?
Inclusion is not a “program” it is a mindset. We believe that our students should be included and be full participating members of their school. Toward that end we offer special opportunities to maximize inclusion, such as the SOAR program (Sharing our Acceptance and Respect), Bunch of Friends, Lunch Bunch, and other peer-support programs in which a student with special needs is paired with one or more buddies for playground time and other events. We also offer Ability Awareness events at the school sites throughout the school year with the support of our Community Advisory Committee (CAC) representatives and parent liaisons.
Who is responsible for inclusion at my school site?
General education and special education teachers collaborate to promote best practices in inclusion at their school sites, under the supervision of the Principal.
If my child is assigned to an SDC class, how can I best communicate with the teacher in the general education classroom to which my child is assigned?
Reach out by phone or email, or set up a time to meet face to face!
How does inclusion happen during programs set up for the entire student population (eg Jog-a-thon, fall/spring festivals, yearbook, etc)?
The case manager collaborates with the general education teacher to coordinate student participation. Parents are encouraged to explore ways that they can help support these events at their school site
How can I get involved in supporting the development of a specific inclusion program?
Contact one of EUSD’s CAC parent representatives, or your school PTA’s Special Needs Parent Liaison.
What does the district’s Ability Awareness initiative entail? How can I get involved to promote better understanding between peers in special ed and general ed?
Each school site develops the ability awareness activities for their individual site. Contact your school’s PTA Special Needs Parent Liaison or speak with your child’s case manger to let them know you are interested in helping with ability awareness activities.
What is NCCSE and what events/workshops do they organize for free to families?
NCCSE stands for North County Consortium for Special Education, a special education local planning area (SELPA) made up of 14 school districts in North San Diego County from Del Mar to Oceanside and inland to Fallbrook and Rancho Santa Fe. NCCSE offers a variety of events and workshops available to families of student with special needs.
Please go to www.nccse.org for up to date information, including video recordings from past NCCSE monthly CAC meetings as well details on upcoming events.
How can a parent of a child on an IEP get involved in the PTA, to address special education topics/issues?
Attend a PTA meeting and let them know you are interested! Ask you school office how to contact your site’s PTA Special Needs Parent Liaison. If you site PTA has not yet filled this position, you may suggest to the PTA that they consider supporting this position.
What activities and events does the district organize for families? How can I volunteer?
Each year the district offers several parent events, collaboratively sponsored by the pupil personnel services office where special education programs are managed and our CAC representatives. The EUSD CAC team usually plans an annual family picnic and will organize a few other weekday evening events throughout the school year, where a presenter(s) discuss(es) a topic of interest and where parents can mingle. Child care is provided at these events.
Information about upcoming events is communicated via email, if you have provided an email address to your child’s case manager, or through flyers that come home in your child’s backpack. Information will also be posted on this website. If you would like to volunteer for an event, please contact a CAC parent or staff representative.
What extracurricular activities via the school are available to my child?
Community groups offer a variety of after school activities to students. Each school site offers slightly different options. Check at your school site to see what is available.
What parent-to-parent resources are available?
In addition to the annual family picnic and other events described above, the district has two CAC parent representatives that can address questions you may have. See our Contacts page for their contact information.
What summer educational programs are available to my child?
The district offers an extended school year (ESY) program for students who qualify for this service. It is a 4 week, half day program, typically offered in July. IEP teams determine student eligibility for this service, which is designed for students who have demonstrated significant loss of skills over extended breaks. All students lose skills over summer break, and ESY is for students who exhibit significantly greater regression that would require significantly greater time to restore in the new school year.
Where can I get a list of current after school activities in the wider community suited to my child?
NCCSE posts this information on their website at www.nccse.org. You might also contact the NCCSE Parent Liaison, Lisa Houghtelin. 760-761-5120.
Can I post information about a good extracurricular program that my child has participated in for the benefit of other families?
The district has a review process for any community resource flyers or promotional material. You can submit material to Maria.email@example.com. Flyers will be reviewed and posted if they meet district guidelines.
What summer recreational resources are available to my child?
NCCSE hosts an annual resource fair in the Spring, where vendors and community organizations provide parents resource material about the programs and services they offer. A wide variety of vendors and organizations participate including those that organize camps, individualized instruction such as swim lessons, etc. You might also contact Lisa Houghtelin, NCCSE Parent Liaison at 760-761-5120.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE 504 PLAN
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 504") is Congress’ directive to schools receiving any federal funding to eliminate discrimination based on disability from all aspects of school operation. It states, “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability…, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance….” Because the Encinitas Union School District is a recipient of federal funding, it is required to provide eligible disabled students with equal access (both physical and academic) to services, accommodations, programs, and activities offered by its schools.
Section 504 is a civil rights statute and not a special education statute. At each school, the responsibility for ensuring Section 504 compliance rests with the District, the school’s Section 504 Site Chairperson and the principal or assistant principal.
There are two main purposes to Section 504. The first purpose of Section 504 is to protect students from discrimination under federal law. Section 504 assures access to educational services and the learning process that is equal to that given to students who do not have disabilities. All students who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, have a record of such an impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment, are protected from discrimination under Section 504.
The second purpose of Section 504 is to provide a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) to those students who (1) actually have a physical or mental impairment, (2) that substantially limits, (3) one or more major life activities. The provision of FAPE is accomplished through the creation and implementation of Section 504 Accommodation Plan. Only those students who satisfy all three of these criteria are eligible for, and are provided, regular or special education and related aids and accommodations under Section 504 (in the form of a Section 504 Accommodation Plan).
The purpose of this Section 504 Plan Handbook is to provide guidance for students who may be, or are, eligible for FAPE in the form of a Section 504 Plan. For information regarding a student's right to be protected from discrimination, including grievance procedures, please see District Board Policy BP 6164.6.
- Inclusion in Action
- Community Advisory Committee & Special Education Parent Council
- Bullying, Hate and Discrimination
- Suicide Prevention
COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (CAC) & SPED PARENT COUNCIL
Parents are a vital part of our community and we welcome your active participation. We maintain a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) with parent and staff representation. We also have a Special Education Parent Council, made up of parent representatives from each school site, including the preschool site, along with staff representatives. The theme of our Parent Council is Inclusion in Action and we meet monthly to help plan social events and promote inclusive opportunities for children. Please visit this link www.eusdspedparentcouncil.com to access the Parent Council website with more information regarding upcoming events and ways you can get involved. You can also access the Parent Council website through our district app. Search for Encinitas Union School District to download the app, and look for our Parent Council icon. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!