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Special Education Programs

Inclusion/Structured Preschool

Read more about Inclusion/Structured Preschool here

Tuolumne County SELPA Inclusion and Structured Preschool classrooms provide multiple levels of support for preschool students with special needs.  The Inclusion Preschool classrooms allow full inclusion of SELPA special Education preschool students into Head Start general education preschool programs.  SELPA students in these classes receive additional support from highly-qualified SELPA special education teachers and paraprofessionals, who work alongside general education teachers and paraprofessionals with effective program implementation. Students attending SELPA Structured Preschools benefit from highly-qualified teachers and paraprofessionals, a specialized curriculum, and applied behavioral analysis techniques embedded in the preschool program.  Low adult-student ratios promote successful early intervention behavioral and learning strategies for preschool students.

Structured Preschool
Teachers: Mayra Patel and Jennifer Njirich
Location:  Sonora Elementary School/Shaws Flat School
Program Specialist:  Mindy Barberis

Independent Living Skills

Read more about our ILS Programs here

The Independent Living Skills (ILS) program is a regionalized program for students with moderate to severe disabilities. Access to the ILS program is through the student’s Individualized Education Plan team and a referral by their local school district. Classrooms are located at school sites within the Tuolumne County Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA).

Instruction is based upon seven curricular domains:

• domestic
• vocational
• recreation / leisure
• community access / motor skills
• communication
• social- emotional and
• functional academics

Academics are addressed within these domains with the purpose that students learn functional skills that are practical and will maximize their independence in the future. Instruction is designed to meet individual needs of each student throughout the school day, including recess and lunch periods. Establishing a functional means of communication for each student is an important focus of the program and a strong emphasis is placed on teaching the students appropriate behaviors.

ILS program staff include: Teachers, Paraeducators, Speech and Language Pathologists, an Occupational Therapist, a School Nurse, a Psychologist, a Vision Specialist, an Orientation and Mobility Specialist and an Adapted Physical Education Teacher. Staff members use evidenced-based instructional strategies to teach the functional skills that will maximize independence for the students.

Kindergarten through Grade 2
Teacher: Marshelle Schultz
Location: Soulsbyville Elementary School
Program Specialist:  Mindy Barberis
Grade 3 through Grade 5
Teacher: Lindy Middleton
Location: Soulsbyville Elementary School
Program Specialist:  Mindy Barberis
Grade 6 through Grade 8
Teacher: Kim Flower
Location: Soulsbyville Elementary School
Program Specialist:  Mindy Barberis
Grade 9 through 12
Teacher: Bonnie Cozad
Location: Sonora High School
Program Specialist:  Amanda Drayton

NeXus Programs

Read more about our NeXus Program here

NeXus, a regionalized structured behavior and emotional support program, uses a model similar to Response to Intervention (RtI) for academics. Instead of math and reading, the NeXus program’s RtI focuses on behavior. Three levels of intervention range from Intensified Level I to Intensified Level 3. Students at the Intensified Level 3 are receiving the most significant behavior and emotional supports within the NeXus program.

Eight key concepts in the emotional and behavior supports used by NeXus are:
1. Multiple levels of emotional and behavioral support
2. Selecting evidence-based practices
3. Continuous progress monitoring
4. Monitoring intervention fidelity or integrity
5. Data-based decision-making
6. Problem solving processes
7. School/home collaboration
8. Mental health service coordination

Access to the program is through the student’s Individualized Education Plan team at his/her home school. Classrooms are located at school sites within the Tuolumne County Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA).

The software program located atwww.psiwaresolutions.com/ is used by NeXus to collect data and monitor progress. Review 360/Behavior Matters is also a website with useful classroom management information.

Elementary and Middle School
Teachers:  Shea Morgan and Eric Carlson
Location:  Jamestown Elementary School
High School
Teacher:  Jenny David
Location:  Sonora High School
Program Specialist: Amanda Drayton

Adult Transition

Read about our Adult Transition Program here

The Adult Transition Program serves 18-22 year old students with developmental disabilities and/or autism who have received a Certificate of Completion from high school and have significant needs for support as they transition to adulthood. The Adult Transition Program aids in the development of young adults with special needs into positive, productive, and contributing members of society. All students who attend the Adult Transition Program are referred through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.

Students in the Adult Transition Program will demonstrate a mastery of a continuum of transition skills based on their unique level of ability with the goal of successfully transitioning to adult living. Skills are developed using community-based instruction in addition to classroom instruction.

Program components include:

• Vocational training
• Community integration
• Travel and/or mobility training
• Communication skills
• Recreational activities
• Self-care and daily living skills
• Functional academic skill development
• Social skill development
• Self advocacy, self determination skill development
• Technology skills
• Support for attending a community college or higher education program

Students participate in the components of the program that assist them in moving toward their desired post-school outcomes, taking into account students’ preferences, needs and skills. The Adult Transition Program also prepares students for involvement in adult community programs, and if possible, employment.

Most of the students in the Adult Transition Program are clients of Valley Mountain Regional Center. As students are getting ready to exit the program, the Valley Mountain Regional Center is the link to the transition supports needed for the future. The Adult Transition Program staff teaches students to initiate and maintain a close connection to this agency.

Transition Program, 18 to 22 year old students
Teacher: Keely Noonan
Teacher: Melissa Flick
Location: 13895 #B, Mono Way, Sonora (In the Sierra Repertory Theatre Plaza)
Program Specialist: Amanda Drayton

Early Start Program

Read here about our Early Start Program here

Early Start is a statewide system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers, from birth to 36 months of age, with disabilities or at risk of having disabilities and their families.  Services are provided in a family-centered, multidisciplinary, interagency, and community-based system.

Parents have rights and access to procedural safeguards to assure that early intervention services are provided in a manner appropriate to their child’s needs and to the concerns of the family.

Early Intervention Specialist
Heidi Milnik

Questions about our programs?