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Special Education

The Special Education team is committed to the mission of empowering every student to be successful in college, career, and the community. The team serves to prepare our students for positive outcomes by ensuring inclusion and equity for students in our educational communities through ongoing multi-disciplinary collaboration and decision-making, intentional and individualized service provision and monitoring, and alignment with family and community partnerships.


Letter from the Executive Director of Student Support Services:


November 19, 2020

Dear Parents of Students in Special Education,

My team and I are here to support teachers in providing your children with a remarkable remote educational experience so that learning continues while your student is at home. Our system of student supports extend and enhance learning so that remote classroom instruction meets the needs of your child. This will include:

  • Continuing to provide indirect services as outlined in children's Individualized Education Programs. Our case managers and special services providers will continue to work with small groups and/or provide one-to-one direct services to our students with disabilities.
  • Continuing to provide our English Language Learners with small-group or one on one instruction with their English Language Development teachers through their remote learning platform.
  • Developing resources for classroom teachers to help them provide enrichment and assignment ideas for gifted and talented students. Our Gifted and Talented facilitators are also available to co-plan or assist with lessons as needed at their schools.
  • Providing support for all school staff to foster social-emotional learning and trauma-informed strategies in a remote learning environment.

As you find yourself with additional questions, the first and best place for district information is our website: www.durangoschools.org. If you don’t find an answer there, please contact your child’s case manager at the school. If you need further information or clarification you may contact:
Steve Steiner, Coordinator of Special Education, Durango School District 9-R, ssteiner@durangoschools.org

There are some great parent resources on the Colorado Department of Education’s website: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/covid19-family.

We understand that these are uncertain times and that the uncertainty creates questions and concerns for you as parents of children with special needs. We are here to support you and your child(ren). Please reach out to your school and/or to us here at the District Office if we can be of service.

Vanessa Giddings, Executive Director of Student Support Services


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