Special Education and English Language Learners
Welcome to Student Services.
Sahuarita Unified School District and the Student Services Department are committed to providing quality instructional support programs and services to students and their families.
Student Services staff members consist of the following staff members:
- special education teachers,
- school psychologists,
- behavior specialist,
- school-based speech pathologists,
- school-based occupational therapists,
- school-based physical therapists,
- transition specialist,
- SEI classroom teachers for ELL students,
- the Student Services Director and Assistant Director,
- Student Services Program Specialist
- and Student Services Assistants.
The Student Services Department works collaboratively as a team with other district personnel, general education teachers, administrators, and parents to provide academic and behavioral services designed to support students in accessing their instructional programming meaningfully and appropriately.
Director of Student Services
Student Services Assistant
Student Services Assistant
Please submit Special Education student records requests by fax to 520.625.5380, or email your request to Joyce Blalock at [email protected].
Student records requests may also be submitted through e-IEPPRO.
What Is Child Find?
Child find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA ’04) that requires states to locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities, ages birth through 21 years, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. This includes children who are highly mobile, such as migrant or homeless children, children suspected of having a disability even though they are advancing from grade to grade, private school students, and homeschool students. The Arizona initiative for child find is referred to as AZ FIND.
Developmental and Educational Services for Children Ages Birth through 21 Years
Some children have more difficulty learning than others. They may have trouble achieving milestones in one or more of the following developmental or academic areas:
- Vision and Hearing
- Motor Control or Coordination
- Behavior or Social Skills
- Speech or Communication Skills
- Cognitive or Academic Skills
A referral for early intervention or special education services can come from a parent, guardian, foster parent, family member, teacher, counselor, or student who finds learning difficult. The earlier you express your concerns, the sooner your child’s needs will be identified and the sooner he or she will receive the help needed to succeed.
Help for Infants and Toddlers
Children ages birth to 2 years 10.5 months are screened through the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) to determine if early intervention services are needed. Early intervention brings professionals, working in partnership with parents and families of children with special needs, together to support infants’ or toddlers’ growth, development, and learning. If you have questions about your child’s development, an AzEIP specialist will talk with you about your concerns and observe your child. If your child is found eligible, a plan will be designed to include strategies, activities, and supports to achieve desired outcomes related to your child’s needs. Make an online referral at www.azdes.gov/azeip. For more information, call (602) 532-9960.
Help for Preschool and School-Aged Children
Sahuarita Unified School District screens children ages 2 years 10.5 months through 21 years. SUSD schools use an informal screening process to check your child’s development and academic progress.
- Screening must be completed within 45 calendar days of the date you notify the school of your concerns.
- When a concern is identified through screening procedures, you must be notified within 10 school days and informed of procedures to follow up on your child’s needs. For example:
- Your child may be referred to the school’s child study team for pre-intervention services; or,
- If screening results indicate your child may have a disability, a comprehensive evaluation may be necessary to determine eligibility for special education and related services. A team (including parent/guardian) will meet to begin the process. Screening and evaluation are free. All information contained in the screening or evaluation is confidential.
What should I look for?
Children who are showing needs in any of the following areas may have a learning difficulty:
- self-help skills
- behavior/social skills
- manipulating small objects/drawing
Who should I contact?
For preschool-aged students (2 years 10.5 months through 5 years), please contact the Early Childhood Center Child Find office at 520-625-3502 x1929
For school-aged children (5 years through 21 years) contact their school of attendance or the Student Services office at 520-625-3502 x1011 or 1020.More information for families: English | Spanish
For eligible students, an individualized education plan (IEP) is developed by the IEP team, including the parent. Specific needs and services are outlined in the IEP. Related services such as OT, PT, Speech, etc. are also considered for each student. Consent for initial placement is obtained from the parent/guardian prior to a student receiving special education and related services. IEP’s are reviewed at least once a year and more frequently if circumstances warrant consideration be given to discussion and possible changes to the IEP.
Preschool-aged children referred to the school district participate in a Screening process that quickly probes all developmental areas of a child’s development in an attempt to identify those children that may need special education to be successful in school. Screening procedures include vision & hearing, cognitive or academic, communication, motor, social or behavioral, and adaptive development. Children who fail the screening in any area are referred to the Multidisciplinary evaluation team to begin the evaluation process. Please refer to the Special Education Process Flowchart for the Screening and evaluation of preschool children.
English language teachers utilize Arizona’s new English Language Proficiency Standards to guide instruction. These standards are grouped into 4 main areas: 1) Receptive Communication (listening & reading); 2) Productive Communication (speaking & writing); 3) Interactive Communication (listening, speaking, reading & writing); and 4) Language (vocabulary/grammar). In addition, the new standards are supplemented by Reading Foundational Standards which include Phonological Awareness, Print Concepts, Phonics & Word Recognition, and Fluency.
General education teachers use integrated instruction in disciplinary language and content to support EL students. This is accomplished by using content standards to plan instruction along with the English Language Proficiency Standards to support differentiation by language proficiency level. Through the use of scaffolded supports, academic language development, and collaborative discussions, reading, and writing, educators help students develop disciplinary content knowledge, language, and autonomy.
Through effective targeted and integrated instruction, EL students will develop a sense of voice, confidence, and self-determination as they use content and language in tandem to meet their goals.
When submitting a request, the following information is required:
- Who (the requester),
- What (IEP meeting, parent conference, etc.),
- When (date and time, including the amount of time needed), and
- Where ( the location of the meeting, conference, or event).
Parents should submit their request to Joyce Blalock in the Student Services office by e-mail:[email protected]. A parent who does not have access to e-mail may contact the Student Services office at (520) 625-3502 ext. 1011.
All requests need to be made at least 2 weeks in advance of the designated date of the meeting/event to be able to ensure that the request can be accommodated. Every effort will be made to confirm an Interpreter; however, an occasion may arise when the district is unable to confirm an interpreter. Once confirmation is received, the parent will be contacted.