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Special Education

Special Education Contacts
Contact Diane Conger  Diane Conger (707) 431-3383 Director of Student Support Services
Contact Zenia Horning  Zenia Horning (707) 431-3132 District Psychologist
Contact Kimberly Riff  Kimberly Riff (707) 431-3132 Administrative Secretary, Special Education

Healdsburg Unified School District is committed to providing an appropriate education and services to students with disabilities in the least restrictive setting. We believe in a collaborative relationship among parents, families, educational professionals and students. It is our goal to understand the child’s specific needs and work together as a team to help a child succeed in school and to further develop the skills necessary for college, career and citizenship in the 21st century.

What Is Special Education?

As defined by the California Education Code (section 56031) special education is:

Specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs, whose educational needs cannot be met with modification of the general instruction program and Related Services that help individuals with special needs to benefit from specially designed instruction. Special Education is an integral part of the total public education system. Other features of Special Education are:

  • Services provided in a way that promotes maximum interaction between students with and without disabilities in a manner which is appropriate to the needs of both;
  • Services are provided at no cost to parents;
  • Services include a full range of program options to meet the educational and service requirements of individuals with exceptional needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  The LRE is generally the setting that is mot similar to those attended by general education students.

Who is Eligible for Special Education Services?

Special Education is specialized instruction provided for children from birth to age 22 who qualify according to the laws and regulations outlined by the state and federal government. A student may qualify for special education services as an individual with special needs in one of the thirteen areas identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004). These are:

1.    Autism

2.    Deaf-Blindness

3.    Deafness

4.    Hearing Impairment (Hard of Hearing)

5.    Intellectual Disability

6.    Multiple Disabilities

7.    Orthopedic Impairment

8.    Other Health Impairment

9.    Severe Emotional Disturbance

10.  Specific Learning Disability

11.  Speech or Language Impairment

12.  Traumatic Brain Injury

13.  Visual Impairment

Healdsburg Unified School District is part of the Sonoma County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). We are also a part of the North County Consortium (NCC). Through the District, SELPA and NCC we offer a continuum of services for students with disabilities.