Special Education Department

Phone: 831-784-2211

Fax: 831-753-4974


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Our Special Education Department will work collaboratively as a team of professionals to support all special education students to reach their true potential as learners.  To support student success, we will focus on ensuring our students achieve proficient reading skills to access the general education curriculum in preparation for middle school and high school success. Inclusive practices will include access to common core and inclusion to general education programs to the greatest extent possible.  We are committed to do whatever it takes to support our students to become contributing members of society. 


The SCESD's Special Education Department partners with the district schools to serve students with disabilities from birth to sixth grade. We provide a variety of services for children and students with severe or low-incidence disabilities through instructional programs divided into Early Education (birth to age 3), preschool and elementary.

We operate classes on public school campuses to serve children with special needs, and we align all classroom curriculum goals with the California Common Core Standards and the Preschool Learning Foundations. Our students receive instruction in the regular core curriculum in the state content areas and participate in state testing programs.

SPED Programs


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.


Co-Teaching is the practice of pairing a General Education teacher and a Special Education teacher together in a classroom to instruct all students with or without an IEP.  The primary goal is for students to continue in a least restrictive educational setting.  Related services are available for students as identified on each IEP.


These classes are primarily designed for students with mild to moderate disabilities whose IEP teams have determined that they require specialized instruction and are able to benefit from instruction in a modified general education curriculum using alternative instructional strategies. The primary goal is to provide the students with the least restrictive educational setting. 


These classes are designed primarily for students with moderate to severe disabilities whose IEP teams have determined that they require specialized instruction using an alternative curriculum that focuses on applied or functional academics.  The curricular focus is basic academics as they apply to daily living.

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ASSESSMENT: Based on the concerns expressed on the SST referral, an assessment plan will be designed and explained to the student’s parent/guardian for approval.

MEETING TO REVIEW ASSESSMENT RESULTS: The parent, principal (or designee), the child’s teacher and those who performed assessments will meet to review findings and determine appropriate services. Keep in mind that the goal is to serve students in settings that offer the most normal school experience as is appropriate.

ANNUAL REVIEWS: At least every twelve months, the IEP team (principal, teacher, special education providers, and parent/guardian) meets to discuss the student’s progress, and to set goals for the upcoming twelve-month period.

THREE-YEAR REVIEWS: Every third year, an extensive review is conducted and reported to the IEP team. Assessments may duplicate the thoroughness of the initial assessment.

Parents have the right to call an IEP meeting at any time they feel it is necessary.

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Katherine Venza-Balesteri

Director, Special Education

Judy Magaña

Special Education Program Specialist

Brendan Bloom-Sweeney

Special Education Program Specialist

Bianca Cornejo

Staff Secretary

Maira Pio

Typist Clerk

Michelle Aceves

Typist Clerk