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Special Education

Mission:

Support learners with disabilities to grow in all areas (academic, choice-ready, and wellness) by building their self-efficacy, agency, voice and choice in their programming for success in life.

Vision:

Achieve student growth through the collaboration of our staff, families, and community. 

We Believe...

• All learners can grow and thrive in a welcoming and intentional learning environment through evidenced-based interventions and programming.
• All learners should have access to their Least Restrictive Environment to become independent alongside their peers.
• Personalized Competency Based Learning provides meaningful access to education for all learners.
• Educators that are provided with the right tools, resources and training are more prepared to support and have a positive impact on all learners and build educator wellness in this field.
• A collaborative Individualized Education Plan Team has a positive, practical and lasting impact on our learners by developing plans that honor the learner’s strengths, areas of improvement, intentional goals aligned to standards as a pathway back to a lesser restrictive environment, and supports needed in all educational environments.

Special Education Scope of Practice

West Fargo Public Schools (WFPS) offers a wide range of special education programs and services, which are provided to students and their families beginning at age 3 and through age 21. Our special education and related services staff provides instruction and support to students with identified disabilities in the least restrictive environment, to the maximum extent appropriate with nondisabled peers and access to the general education curriculum. A continuum of services and placements are available in all areas of disability in West Fargo Public Schools. The Individual Education Program (IEP) team, including parents, determines the most appropriate setting and services based on the student’s unique needs. The disability categories for special education in North Dakota are: autism, deaf, deaf and blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, non-categorical delay, other health impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech and/or language impairment, specific learning disability, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment.

Any person aware of a child between the ages of 3 through 21 who has a disability or may be experiencing physical, mental health, emotional or learning problems may contact a classroom teacher, school staff, or principal to discuss the best methods to support the student’s needs. This could include a discussion of intervention supports, accommodations, modification, or the process of initiating an assessment and determination for special education services. The WFPS leadership team is also available to discuss Special Education needs.

DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP

Rachel Kjonaas

Director of Special Education

Penny Henderson

Administrative Assistant
(701) 356-2003

ALIGNMENT TO STRATEGIC PLAN

Wellness:

In order to engage in learning, our learners need to feel a sense of welcome and belonging. We will create safe and compassionate learning environments for all learners by responding intentionally to  individual needs.

Academic:

By building self-efficacy, the belief that you can do hard things, and agency, to be active participants in their own education, our learners will have the dispositions necessary to succeed in their educational setting and community.

Choice Ready:

Personalized Competency Based Learning meets each learner where they are at, informing them of expectations in their learning, encouraging them to develop a pathway for their education that aligns to their interests and abilities by engaging them in the guaranteed viable curriculum.

DEPARTMENT DIRECTORY

Ellen Aamot

Titles: Paraprofessional
Locations: West Fargo High School
Departments: SPED

Roberta Aarfor

Titles: Teacher
Locations: West Fargo High School
Departments: SPED

Ava Abbott

Titles: Behavior Technician
Locations: Westside Elementary
Departments: SPED

Kalian Aberle

Titles: Paraprofessional
Locations: Early Childhood Center
Departments: SPED - ECSE

Michelle Ackman

Titles: Behavior Technician
Locations: Community High School & Transitions A
Departments: SPED

Glenda Adams

Titles: Paraprofessional
Locations: South Elementary
Departments: SPED

Tara Ahrendt

Titles: Teacher
Locations: Early Childhood Center
Departments: SPED - ECSE

Heather Alberty-Schaffer

Titles: Social Worker
Locations: Heritage Middle School
Departments: SPED - Social Work

Brandee Albin

Titles: Paraprofessional
Locations: Early Childhood Center
Departments: SPED - ECSE

Marjorie Allen

Titles: Paraprofessional
Locations: Community High School & Transitions A
Departments: SPED
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