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Special Education Contact Info

Deven Wood

Deven Wood, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Director, Special Education

Maggie O'Grady
Student Information & Student Records
(831) 466-5784

Amy Rice
Administrative Secretary
(831) 466-5780

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Student & Personnel Services: Special Education

Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that disabled students between birth and twenty-two years of age, or until high school graduation, be provided with all "educational and related services" needed to receive a free appropriate education (FAPE). Disabled students requiring specialized settings or interventions beyond the scope of services offered by district general or special education programs, or public regional agencies are referred to Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Special Education Programs. The parents, district of residence, county office, and involved agencies collaborate to develop an IDEA compliant Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP) based upon student age, levels of functioning and needs.

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education's (SCCOE) Special Education Department is focused upon providing each student with highly effective individualized instruction and related support services so each student will achieve their full educational, social, emotional, and vocational potential. Continuing communication and collaboration with parents, school districts, involved agencies, and local businesses who provide student employment opportunities is essential to our programs.

SCCOE Special Education services are divided into several programs. These programs include: early child education (Early Start), developmental preschool, autism preschool (Chrysalis), students with severe challenges at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, students with significant emotional challenges at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and post secondary students at a high school campus and Cabrillo Community College.

The programs are operated in twenty individual classrooms at twelve different district school sites.

Highly trained specialists in the areas of teaching, speech/language, nursing, adapted physical education, psychology, vision, hearing, occupational therapy, orthopedics, and work experience serve students in our programs plus additional specific students in district-operated special education and general education programs.

Child Find
Child Find is about how referrals are made for children identified as needing special education services.
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Articles About Special Education

Special Education Post Senior Student Recognized at May Board Meeting
Art and Fashion at the Lighthouse School
The Chrysalis Center
Fabulous Fun Day for Special Education Students!

Yeltsin Rodriguez with bicycle Congratulations to Yeltsin! Special Education students went to the Wellness Fair on the Cabrillo College campus, and participated in a few activities. There was a raffle. Students had to complete the Wellness Survey to be eligible for the raffle drawing. Yeltsin Rodriguez, a post senior student at Cabrillo, won the grand prize, a brand new bike! He has never had a bike before! Then he went up to the Cabrillo Health Services and bought his helmet for only $10.

The SCCOE Special Education Department includes the following programs:

Early Start Program
The Early Start Program serves special needs infants and toddlers, ages birth to three years of age. These multidisciplinary services are provided to students and their families in cooperation with San Andreas Regional Center in home, community, and center-based environments.

Special Connections Family Resource Center (SCFRC)
Special Connections Family Resource Center assists families in identifying and meeting their child's unique strengths and needs. One of the services offered is prevention resource and referral services (PRRS). PRRS is a no-cost service to families with children birth to three (3) years of age that provides expanded access to information, resources and referrals for parents and caregivers who have a child that may be at-risk for special needs services.

Chrysalis Center Autism Program
The Chrysalis Program, a North Santa Cruz County SELPA Regional program, currently serves thirty pre-school through 5th grade students from the north county. The Center provides services in three distinct demographic specific classrooms. Chrysalis One serves children in preschool; Chrysalis Two Kindergarten through second grade; and Chrysalis Three third through fifth grades. Inclusion with regular education students at Live Oak District's Green Acres Elementary School and Tierra Pacifica is part of the K-5 program; preschool students gain inclusion experiences through the Campus Kids Connection preschool located within the Chrysalis Center. Find out more about the Chrysalis Center Autism Program.

Program for Students Challenged by Severe Handicaps:

Elementary: SH classrooms integrate basic skills, life skills, and communication for students challenged by severe handicaps (SH). All classrooms include medically fragile students and students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Middle: SH classroom provides students with exposure to functional curriculum, prevocational skills, and specialized training focused upon individual student needs.

Secondary: SH classrooms integrate functional skills curriculum and pre-vocational and vocational skill training programs. Students in SH classrooms at all levels have opportunities for inclusion in general education classes and activities.

Program for Post Secondary Students
This program provides the opportunity for students 18-22 years of age who did not graduate from high school to receive vocational skill training and job experiences in the community. A work experience specialist collaborates with community agencies and local employers in developing individualized programs for each student.

Lighthouse Program
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education Lighthouse program provides a safe comfortable learning environment for students who struggle in the comprehensive school setting. Students work to meet IEP goals and objectives that are aligned with the California Content Standards in order to access general education curriculum. The long term goal for students is to return to a least restrictive environment in a comprehensive school setting. Students receive special education and related services including school based counseling and behavioral support. Classroom activities focus on life skills, vocational skills, personal care and functional academics that allow students to reach maximum independence. A work experience specialist collaborates with community agencies and local employers in developing individualized programs for each student.

Program for Students Challenged by Emotional Disturbance
Highly Structured Therapeutic Environment with academic instruction coupled with counseling services. Programs provide individual, group, and parent counseling services along with daily support from counselors to prevent behaviors. The program serves students with counseling services on their IEP's. Behavioral and academic progress aligned to general education classroom expectations and curriculum is the focus. Students receive specific training in social skills, communication, and self-esteem. The SCCOE provides the Therapeutic SDC placement at the elementary and middle school level.

Designated Instructional Services (DIS):

Adaptive Physical Education Specialist
Case Managers/School Psychologists
Hearing Specialist
Speech/Language Specialists
Occupational Therapists
Orthopedic Specialists
Vision Specialists
Work Experience Specialist

View Special Education Links of Interest

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Santa Cruz County Office of Education  |  400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060  |  831.466.5600  |  Fax: 831.466.5607
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education provides quality educational programs and services to a diverse community.