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Special Education

“Exceptional Student Services”

926 S. Hinman Dr. | Prescott AZ 86305 | 928-717-3236

Philosophy and Objectives

Prescott Unified School District seeks to provide free appropriate public education for students of all abilities. To implement this philosophy, the Special Education Program has the following major objectives:

  • To educate all students to the extent appropriate within the regular education environment.
  • To identify, assess and diagnose the individual needs of children with disabilities.
  • To provide adaptations and interventions to children with disabilities in order to attain optimum learning.
  • To help children receiving special education services learn the social, pre-vocational, and vocational skills necessary to live as independently and successfully as possible.


Request for Assistance

Every school has a Child Study Team that meets to assist classroom teachers in responding to students who are experiencing difficulties at school.

A request for this assistance may come from school staff, a family member, or the student. The Child Study Team develops, implements, and evaluates interventions designed to remedy the problem(s).


If a student continues to experience difficulties, the Child Study Team may request that a more in-depth evaluation be conducted by additional school personnel. One of the purposes for this evaluation is to determine possible eligibility for special education services. However, referral for special education evaluation should occur only after alternatives have been tried and have been determined unsuccessful in the regular classroom.

Full and Individual Evaluation

Evaluations generally assess intellect, achievement, learning styles, and social/emotional development. Decisions are made with parents in a multi-disciplinary evaluation team meeting concerning eligibility. Students placed in a special education program are re-evaluated at least every three years.

Parent Participation

It is extremely important that parents participate in their child’s special education program and understand the procedures and information discussed. We encourage parents to present questions and concerns and to invite other participants according to their individual needs. Various support and educational groups for parents/ students are available for those who wish to participate.

Parents are always invited to visit programs recommended for their child. It is our goal to provide equal access to an opportunity to learn for every child. We encourage the support of parents and patrons in realizing this goal.

“….Parents have to be recognized as special educators, the true experts on their children; and professional people–teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, and others–have to learn to be consultants to parents” (Nicholas Hobbs, 1978).


Mildly Disabled students are served through collaborative consultation (special and regular education teachers working together to meet individual needs within the classroom setting). Students are also served in cross-categorical resource placement primarily (Learning Disabled and Emotionally Disabled). Extended Resource and Self-Contained programs are provided outside of the regular classroom for students who need more intensive special education services.

An Extended School Year (ESY) program during the summer months is provided for students to prevent skill loss or regression.

BEST and RISE programs are provided at each level for students with Severe and Profound Autism.  These programs are designed to meet the needs of non-verbal/limited-verbal students by utilizing AAC technology, ABA practices, sensory integration and structured learning experiences.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) provides support for teachers and staff in responding to students who have challenging behaviors using Positive Behavior Support strategies. This includes conducting observations and Functional Behavior Assessments, writing Behavior Intervention Plans, and providing training.

Pathways, ALPS, and Bridges are programs focusing on prosocial skills for the more significantly Emotionally Disabled students.

Sensory Impaired (Hearing Impaired and Visually Impaired) students are served by school staff as well as personnel from the North Central Regional cooperative (affiliated with Arizona School for the Deaf and the Blind).

Speech and Language Pathologists serve students with communicative disorders and speaking/listening problems. This service may be provided as a related service or as a primary disability.

Physical or Occupational Therapy is provided as a related service when necessary for students’ success and progress in special education. An adaptive physical education program, PEOPEL, is also available.

Transition Services for all disabled students, ages 14-21, are offered, including a vocational assessment, along with transition programs provided to help prepare for successful life experiences beyond the school setting.

Each of these programs may be provided only after an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) has been designed as a result of a a Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) meeting.

Families with children ages 3-5 who may be concerned regarding their child’s development can contact Discovery Gardens Early Childhood Center at (928) 717-3281 for a free “child find” screening.

ESS Staff


ESS Curriculum:


Terry Gorman – Director of Special Education
Education: Masters of Science in Educational Leadership, Drake University; Bachelor of Science, with Endorsements in Elementary Education and Special Education, Mount Mercy University; Special Education Consultant Endorsement, Morningside College


Andrea Johnson – Admin Asst to Sped Director

Cyndy Reyes – Sped Secretary

Angela Rey – Medicaid Coordinator

Jennifer Barnes – Compliance/Instructional Coach

Elle Hughes – AT Coordinator

Danae Potts – Behavior Specialist

Daniel Bullara – Behavior Specialist


Rachel Covey – Lead Psychologist

Georgia Benyk

Andrew Connery

Janet Flores

Jean Powers

Phil Reynolds

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