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DNUSD Special Education Department

  • DNUSD is committed to serving the special education needs of the students of Del Norte County. Every child is important, and we strive to provide exceptional services that will meet the individual needs of our students. Our dedicated staff provides services for students with disabilities ranging from mild learning disorders to severe physical and intellectual disabilities. It is our goal to provide the best educational options for each student in the most supportive environment possible.

    What is Special Education?

    The district provides a full continuum of services for students with intensive needs. District Special Day Class programs are provided for students with delayed cognitive abilities, autism, emotional disturbance, severe language delays and physical disabilities. Occupational/Physical Therapy needs and Counseling and Behavioral Intervention services are also available. These programs focus on building academic, social, emotional, communication, pre-vocational, vocational, and functional life skills within the educational setting.

    The District wants to identify and assess all children with disabilities, whether homeless, wards of the state, and enrolled in public or private schools.  The District has policies guiding procedures for identification and referral.  Students identified with special needs will receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment.  EC48853, 56020, 56301; 5 CCR 4622; 20 USC 1412, (10) (A) (ii), 1412(a) (6) (A); 34CFR 300.121.

    Child Find

    The Del Norte County Unified School District seeks to identify, locate, and evaluate children suspected of having a disability who may be eligible for special education services designed to meet their educational needs at no cost to families. This includes highly mobile children, migrant children, children experiencing homelessness, children who are wards of the state and children attending private schools loacated within DNCUS boundaries regardless of where they reside. 

    Preschool Programs for 3-5 Year Old Children

    Designated Instruction and Services (DIS) programs provide a continuum of services for young children with special needs. Special Day Classes provide programs to students with delayed cognitive abilities, language delays, autism, physical disabilities, hearing impairment, and learning disabilities.

    All programs provide the opportunity to interact with non-disabled peers and have parent-education components. A full range of related services is available as appropriate, including EIBI (Early Intensive Behavior Intervention), Adaptive Physical Education, Speech and Language Services, Occupational Therapy, Parent Education, and other related services.

    Early intervention and prevention services are provided through consultation with the district State Preschool programs and Redwood Regional Center.

    Speech and Language Services

    Speech and Language Pathologists represent professionals with a wide variety of areas and services; working with students with hearing impairments, oral-motor needs, implementing social communication programs in the classroom, augmentative communications, and specialized diagnostic and assessment expertise.

    Special Education Transportation

    Special Education Transportation is designed for special education students with exceptional needs as specified in their individual education program (IEP). The IEP team will determine whether or not the student is eligible for transportation. Examples: Students with profound disabilities, pupils with orthopedic disabilities using wheelchairs or requiring lifts, and students that are enrolled in a Special Day Program that is not at their resident school.

    Special Education Records

    Special Education records are only available through the Special Education department. Special Education records are not kept after 5 years. Transcripts, diplomas, and cumulative files are stored at the school of last attendance. Send a record request directly to Jennifer Thomas via email at Jthomoas@dnusd.org. 

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