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Special Education

Student Programs and Services
Cheryl Mohr, M.A., Executive Director

Special Education programs offer services for students with special needs.  Working closely with parents and guardians, the Special Education staff offers programs and services for students with a wide range of moderate to severe disabilities including, but not limited to, hearing and visual impairments, significant developmental delays, emotional disorders, and severe disorders of language.  Early intervention services are also available for infants and preschool aged children.

Special Education programs are available for children with identified special needs from birth to 22 years of age.  Special Education professionals serve students with moderate to severe disabilities with expertise in occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psycho-educational assessment, adaptive physical education, and specialized transportation.  Madera County Superintendent of Schools Office of Education offers a range of classroom and support services to help students with physical, emotional, and/or mental disabilities to achieve their educational goals.

Special education placements are determined by an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team and are based on  data identifying the child/youth as a student with a disability who is best served in a special education program. Programs offered are:  Pre School Programs, Elementary and Secondary Special Day Class Programs, Transition and Workability Programs, and Resource Specialist Programs. 

Preschool Programs:

The Madera County Superintendent of Schools operates programs for children ages 3-5 who have been identified as having a disability and are in need of special education services.  These services may range from speech and language therapy for students with moderate delays to Special Day Classes (SDC) for students with greater special educational needs.

Elementary and Secondary Programs:

Special Day Class (SDC) programs serving students with severe disabilities are located on regular school campuses and special centers throughout the county.  These programs serve children/youth from ages 5-22 or from Kindergarten to post-graduation.  Instruction for these students is specially designed to focus on the attainment of the California Content Standards through a life skills curriculum that promotes independent functioning.  These classes assist the student's progress through consistent structure and repetition.  Instruction occurs within the classroom setting, on the school campuses, and in the community. 

Resource Specialists Programs:

Services are provided to eligible students who require individual or small group assistance in support of the regular education instruction in the Court and Community School Programs operated by the Madera County Superintendent of Schools.  Emphasis of this instruction is on academic achievement, vocational development, and preparation for adulthood.

Transition Program:

The Transition Program is specifically designed for students, ages 18-22 years, to help them prepare for adulthood by offering them vocational, domestic, and recreational opportunities that promote independence.  The focus is to provide the necessary training students need to become active, contributing members of their community.  The curriculum consists of teaching meaningful activities that enhance competence in real life situations.

Designated Instructional Services:

Designated Instructional Services (DIS) are provided to identified students so that they may benefit educationally from the instructional program.  Services are provided by qualified personnel and may include, but are not limited to, speech and language therapy, vision services, occupational therapy, adapted physical instruction, services for the deaf/hard of hearing, and specialized physical health care services.


This program is available to Madera County students 18 years of age and older who meet criteria as established by the Workability state mandated guidelines. Students are placed at community based employment training sites and earn wages.

Diane Gischel-Lingo, Ed.D., SELPA Administrator
Scott Sweazy, Program Director 
Camille Edmunds, M.A., Program Director
Jason Peterson, M.A., Program Director
Lee Ann Kreps, M.S., Program Director     
Teresa Jorgensen, M.A., Program Director
Lori Kump, M.A., Program Director
Donna Waddell, M.A., Program Specialist