WSD3 provides a variety of professional resources for children and their families through the Office of Special Education. Our mission is to ensure the best possible free, appropriate public education for children with disabilities.
Members of our professional staff include:
- Occupational and Physical Therapists
- Adaptive Physical Education Teacher
- Social Workers
- Teachers for Vision and Hearing
- Speech-Language Pathologists
Services are provided in accordance with state and federal law (IDEA) governing the education of children with disabilities. Before any child is eligible to receive services, concerns about the child's educational progress must first be reviewed at a referral conference, and a referral must be made for an evaluation. Each child must receive a comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation by special services staff and by specialists and teachers in their home school.
Additionally, their educational needs must be determined, and they must be declared to possess a disability under rules for the administration of IDEA. An "Individual Educational Plan" (IEP) must be written in a due process meeting (called a "staffing") which includes parents, school administrators, specialists and also the child (when the child is fourteen years old or older). Professionals from the Office of Special Education participate in the evaluation and staffing process in addition to becoming involved in follow-up services for many children.
- CHILD FIND SERVICES
- NURSING SERVICES
- PHYSICAL MOVEMENT
- PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES
- SENSORY & AUGMENTATIVE SERVICES
- SOCIAL WORK SERVICES
- TRANSITION LINK SERVICES
- TRANSITION RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
- WEBSITE RESOURCES
CHILD FIND SERVICES
Federal regulations provide that child find requirements apply to highly mobile children (e.g., migrant and homeless children), and to children who are suspected of having a disability, even though they are advancing from grade to grade. Child Find is also charged with the responsibility of identifying preschool-aged children who are suspected of having a disability. The Child Find office in Widefield assists parents and others within the community by facilitating and coordinating the process of identifying suspected children and insuring that these children receive evaluations to determine if they are eligible for services under IDEA. The Widefield Child Find Coordinator may be reached by telephone, below, or through the email address provided above.
CHILD FIND COORDINATOR
Ten full-time Registered Nurses and two Certified Nurses Assistants make up the special services nursing staff. Registered nurses gather health and social histories as part of the evaluation process of all special needs children. They participate in district Child Find screenings and also perform health assessments and screenings as part of the special services evaluation process. Nurses administer the district's medication policy, monitor all medical procedures performed upon children within district schools and provide consultive assistance to district staff on the health-related concerns of individual children. Nurses are responsible for making medical referrals and vision referrals for children who require medical assistance. Registered Nurses are responsible for monitoring the district's immunization requirements. Widefield nurses may be reached individually by their telephone listings below or through the email address provided below.
Lisa DeFouw (719) 391-3057 firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan Nellis (719) 391-3082 email@example.com
Katelyn Watson (719) 391-3382 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tina Vigil (719) 391-3067 email@example.com
Danielle Sheffield (719) 391-3068 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cydney Kiger (719) 391-3076 email@example.com
Kendra Waits (719) 391-3076 firstname.lastname@example.org
Physical Movement Services are provided by an Adapted Physical Education Teacher and assistant, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists. Services are available to children who have been evaluated as possessing physical disabilities or orthopedic problems which impair their ability to make progress in the general school environment. Improved access to the school environment and to the use of learning tools is the mission of Motor Services. Members of the Motor Services Department provide both evaluation of children's needs and direct service in adapted physical education and in physical therapy and occupational therapy. Widefield motor therapists and teachers may be reached individually by their telephone listings below or through the email address provided below.
Adaptive Physical Education
Eight full-time and two part-time school psychologists currently make up the special services psychological staff. All psychologists serve as designees for the Executive Director of Special Education at staffings to determine eligibility and placement for children with suspected disabilities.
Psychologists use ability tests to determine how children process information, and they also provide formal and informal evaluations of how children's emotions and behaviors might affect their school performance. Psychologists evaluate child development and adaptive behavior. They conduct behavioral assessments and assist in the development of behavior plans for children with behavior problems. They provide consultative assistance to other professional staff, parents and school administration.
Widefield school psychologist's participate in group counseling with children who have been placed in many of the district's special programs, and they provide short-term individual counseling, crisis counseling and intervention when needed.
Psychologists may be reached individually through the email address provided below:
SENSORY & AUGMENTATIVE SERVICES
The Sensory and Augmentative Services department is staffed by teachers of children with vision and hearing handicaps, and by a specialist in augmented and adapted communication systems. In order to receive assistance from vision and hearing handicapped teachers, children must possess vision or hearing sensory impairments which prevent them from making adequate progress in school. The augmentative communication specialist collaborates with members of a team of professionals in the development of augmented and adapted communication systems. These communication systems help children with sensory and motor handicaps to communicate with others within the school environment and within their homes. Members of the Sensory and Augmentative Services department may be by reaching out to your child's IEP Team.
SOCIAL WORK SERVICES
The Office of Special Education employs four full-time social workers. Through their facilitation of group counseling, community and outdoor experiences, and classroom activities, social work staff members provide direct service to children who have been placed in district self-contained programs for emotional problems. They also provide consultative assistance to other professional staff, parents and school administration. Social workers network with outside agencies on behalf of children with disabilities. They facilitate placement in day treatment and in hospitalization when required. They also provide short-term individual counseling, crisis counseling and intervention when needed. Social workers provide backup coverage to the special services teams in each building, assisting with parent contacts and family assistance when requested. Widefield social workers may be reached individually by their telephone listings below or through the email address provided below.
TRANSITION LINK SERVICES
Transition Link Services are provided for 18-21 year old students with remaining needs in any or all of the postsecondary goal areas. Needed services are determined by the staffing team at annual, triennial, or special request IEP reviews. The goal of TLS is to provide a link between public school based and community based services and supports. TLS direct and indirect services are provided in the following areas:
Determining appropriate post-secondary educational opportunities.
Providing work experience opportunities in competitive, supported, or sheltered settings.
Providing community classes and activities promoting community participation and independent living.
Providing assistance in establishing linkages with community resources providing long-term residential and/or vocational support.
Transition Services are defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promote movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.
The coordinated set of activities must be based on individual student’s needs taking into account the student’s preferences and interests and shall include:
Development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives
Acquisition of daily living skills (when appropriate)
Functional vocational evaluation (when appropriate)
There are a variety of agencies, community resources, and services that are available through WSD3 Transition Link Services. Please see below for descriptions of these types of services.
TRANSITION LINK SERVICES
S.A. Wilson Center
930 Leta Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80911
StableStrides (Formerly Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center)
School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP)
Information from CDE
Contact Elizabeth Connell for more information
Special Olympics Colorado Springs
If your child may be interested in participating as an athlete in the Special Olympics, you can go to their website!
UPCOMING JOB FAIRS
Department Staff Secretary