“Exceptional Student Services”
926 S. Hinman Dr. | Prescott AZ 86305 | 928-717-3236
Philosophy and Objectives
Prescott Unified School District seeks to provide free appropriate public education for students of all abilities. To implement this philosophy, the Special Education Program has the following major objectives:
To educate all students to the extent appropriate within the regular education environment.
To identify, assess, and diagnose the individual needs of children with disabilities.
To provide adaptations and interventions to children with disabilities in order to attain optimum learning.
To help children receiving special education services learn the social, pre-vocational, and vocational skills necessary to live as independently and successfully as possible.
Request for Assistance
Every school has a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Team (MTSS) that meets to assist classroom teachers in responding to students who are experiencing difficulties at school.
A request for this assistance may come from school staff, a family member, or the student. The MTSS Team develops, implements, and evaluates interventions designed to remedy the problem(s).
If a student continues to experience difficulties, the MTSS Team may request that a more in-depth evaluation be conducted by additional school personnel. One of the purposes for this evaluation is to determine possible eligibility for special education services. Referral for special education evaluation generally occurs after alternatives have been tried and have been determined unsuccessful in the regular classroom.
Full and Individual Evaluation
Comprehensive evaluations assess intellect, achievement, learning styles, social/emotional development and Speech/Language. Decisions are made with parents in a multi-disciplinary evaluation team meeting concerning eligibility. Students placed in a special education program are re-evaluated at least every three years.
Parents are an integral part of their child’s special education program and it is necessary that they understand the procedures and information discussed. We encourage parents to present questions and concerns and be actively engaged in the process. Various support and educational groups for parents/ students are available for those who wish to participate.
It is our goal to provide equal access and learning opportunities for every child. We encourage the support of parents and patrons in realizing this goal.
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These services are only provided to students who qualify for special education services through an IEP or 504 plan (based on 504 criteria).
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) provides support for teachers and staff in responding to students who have challenging behaviors using Positive Behavior Support strategies. This includes conducting observations and Functional Behavior Assessments, writing Behavior Intervention Plans, and providing training.
Speech and Language Pathologists serve students with communicative disorders and speaking/listening problems. This service may be provided as a related service or as a primary disability.
Physical or Occupational Therapy is provided as a related service when necessary for students’ success and progress in special education. An adaptive physical education program (APE), is also available for students who qualify for the service and have a goal(s) within their IEP..
Extended School Year (ESY) program during the summer months is provided for students to prevent skill loss or regression.
Transition Services for all disabled students, ages 14-21, are offered, including a vocational assessment, along with transition programs provided to help prepare for successful life experiences beyond the school setting.
Families with children ages 3-5 who may be concerned regarding their child’s development should contact Discovery Gardens Early Childhood Center at (928) 717-3281 for a free “child find”
These programs may be provided only after a student qualifies for special education services and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) has been created.
This program serves students who require Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) focused on academic, social/emotional and behavioral needs. Students in this program spend the majority of their school day within the general education setting.
This program serves students who require Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) focused on academic, social/emotional and behavioral needs. Students served within the program require more time within a special education setting for Specially Designed Instruction (SDI). Some students may also require core standards instruction (English and/or Math) at a slower pace within a smaller setting, along with their specially designed instruction. Students served within this program do not require a full-day self-contained program to access general education.
Emotional Disability (ED) and Emotional Disability-Private School Placement (ED-P)
This program serves students who require both core standards and specially designed instruction within the special education setting, with a focus on pro-social skills. Students have the opportunity to return to the general education setting as they develop their pro-social skills. Only students with emotional disabilities are served within this program.
This program serves students who require core standards instruction, Life Skills (in some instances) and specially designed instruction within the special education setting for the majority of the school day, with inclusion into the general education setting, as appropriate.
Severe and Profound BEST
This program serves students who are significantly, cognitively impacted. Students receive the majority of their instruction within the special education setting and are included in general education based on individual student strengths and needs.
This program serves students who are significantly impacted by Autism. Students receive the majority of their instruction within the special education setting.
Sensory Impaired (Hearing Impaired and Visually Impaired) students are served by school staff as well as personnel from the North Central Regional cooperative (affiliated with Arizona School for the Deaf and the Blind).
Dr. Apollos R. Harris – Director in the Office of Exception Student Services
- Bachelor of Science in Social Science Secondary Education
- Masters of Science in Special Education
- Masters in Business Administration
- Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with focus on Special Education
Jennifer Merriken – Admin Asst to Sped Director
Debra Finley – Sped Secretary
Alma Klinefelter – Medicaid Coordinator
Tia Knoy – Assistive Technology Coordinator
Jennifer Barnes – Compliance/Instructional Coach
Danae Potts – Behavior Specialist
Rachel Covey – Lead Psychologist
Prescott Unified School District #1 provides special education programs for children with disabilities, within the boundaries of the district, including homeless children or wards of the State, children attending private schools or who are home schooled, those who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located and evaluated.
The District also provides transition planning and services to assist children with disabilities entering the world of work or college. Anyone interested in receiving information about these services is encouraged to contact Prescott Unified School District, Exceptional Student Services at 717-3236 or email the Director of Special Education, Terry Gorman at email@example.com.
For more information: AZ Find