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Special Education

Our Mission:

As a department, we are committed to reversing the trend of isolation and segregation of students with disabilities by ensuring all students have access to high quality instruction responsive to their needs and delivered by effective and culturally responsive educators within the Least Restrictive Environment.

Our primary focus is to build capacity and to support staff members district wide to ensure effective instruction is the predictor of student outcomes.

New Central office Staff-Special Education

There have been several staff changes in the special education department for next school year. Three TOSA(s) are moving into administration roles within the Special Education Department. Please welcome Claire Skelly, Kaveh Pakseresht and Kate Silver into their new roles!

Claire Skelly will be the Program Administrator supporting the k- 8 schools in the Franklin Cluster. Claire has worked with student’s pre-k through high school in different capacities. She began working for PPS in 2007 as a Life Skills teacher at Llewellyn Elementary. From there she became a Communication Behavior teacher at Grout Elementary, and then an Autism Consultant at the district office. Last year, while working as a TOSA in the Special Education Department, she focused on building inclusive opportunities for students through co-teaching and differentiation.

Please welcome Kaveh Pakseresht to our Leadership Team. Kaveh will be a new Assistant Principal with our Pioneer Program Continuum. Kaveh will be leading the work for our K-2 Inclusive Practices Team and will be overseeing the Professional Development for our 3-8 Behavior Classrooms. Kaveh has been working in Special Education with PPS for 10 years. He was most recently a Behavior TOSA in the Special Education office, a teacher with our Pioneer Programs before, and started in our district as a therapeutic intervention coach.

Kate started her career 10 years as a teacher at Pioneer High School. Kate’s first position with Pioneer was teaching an all-girls classroom. She then led development of the first Pioneer step down classroom, located at Lincoln High School. Last year Kate served as a behavior TOSA, teaming with 33 schools to provide support for school staff. Kate has also led district wide Professional Development in function based thinking, collaborative problem solving, and trauma informed practices. This year, Kate’s work will focus on the implementation of Pioneer High School's decentralized services. We will replicate the successful Pioneer Therapeutic Stepdown that began at Lincoln High School (currently at Wilson) and expand to two new locations. Our Pioneer High School Programs will have high school classrooms on the k-12 Pioneer Campus at Youngson, Wilson, Cleveland and Benson campuses.

All of this movement from within our department created several vacancies. We are also happy to welcome 4 people who will be in their first year as Special Education TOSA(s); Maria Montalbano, who is coming from Irvington Elementary, Robbie Davis- formerly at King Elementary, Kelly Decklar , who is coming from Tigard/Tualatin School District and Nic Johnson, who is joining us from Hillsboro School District.

Click here to see our 2015-2016 Special Education Program Administrator Assignments

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District Strategic Framework

District Strategic Plan

How Special Education aligns with the Strategic Framework

Individual Student Supports

  • Access to differentiated core instruction
  • IEP alignment to Common Cores State Standards(CCSS)
  • Access to tiered level of interventions matching intensity of needs

Effective Educators

  • Champions of anti-racism through the initiation of courageous conversations and action
  • Data-driven and reflective practitioners

Rigorous, Relevant Programs for All

  • Access to instruction in the Least Restrictive Environment(LRE) that is culturally responsive and differentiated to meet the needs of all students
  • Flexible, evidence-based service delivery models
  • Use of a comprehensive assessment system (data) to drive instructional practice

Collaboration with Families & Communities

  • Goal driven collaboration with advisory groups
  • Increased and sustained collaboration with communities of color

Calendar of Events