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Special Education Department Instructors

Herman, Sue
Teacher
Johnson, Cherry
SDC Teacher
Mitchell, Brett
Teacher
Newstat, Ron
Teacher
Pogorzelski, Deborah
Teacher
Seeley, Kevin
Teacher
About the Special Education Department

 The Special Education Department at San Rafael High School includes a Resource Specialist Program (RSP) and two Special Day Classes (SDC) that provide diagnostic and instructional services to students who have Specific Learning Disabilities and/or other qualifying disabilities. The program is proud of its high graduation rate and the number of students who continue their education after high school. In addition to the programs operated by the San Rafael High School District, the Marin County Office of Education operates a Special Day Class at San Rafael High School for students who are more severely disabled.  It is the philosophy of the department to ensure that all students receive their education in the least restrictive environment. 

Currently, the resource specialist program teachers, each with an instructional assistant, provide individual or small group instruction to seventy-eight students.  There has been a decrease in the number of students in the resource specialist program for the last two years. The resource specialists develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for all special education students who have been identified with specific learning disabilities or other disabilities that qualify the student for special education services.   These plans are reviewed annually and are developed with input from the student, parents, counselors, general education teachers, as well as any DIS providers such as Speech and Language Therapists, Hearing Specialists, Occupational Therapists, and Vision Specialists who are members of the student’s IEP team. On a regular basis, the resource specialists meet with the students on their caseloads to provide direct instruction, tutoring, and remediation to support students in meeting their individual goals in the least restrictive environment.   Collaboration with general education teachers, administrators, parents and counselors to provide coordinated educational services is an essential component of the program.  

The special day classes for students who have specific learning disabilities employ two teachers and two instructional assistants. At present, there are twenty-four students enrolled in the classes.   In the special day classes, students receive direct instruction in all content areas.  Annually, the special day class teachers are also responsible for developing IEPs for all program participants.  This plan is developed in conjunction with other team members.  Whenever possible, students participate in the mainstream classes offered at San Rafael High School.  As necessary, the special day class teachers collaborate with the general education teachers to adapt assignments so that students can participate successfully in mainstream education classes. The special day class teachers are proud of the high level of support and instruction that is being provided to the students in these classes. The courses are aligned to the state standards and whenever possible assessments are modeled after the mainstream education classes. The portfolio developed by the English and Social Studies Departments will be adopted in the Special Day Classes with modifications to meet the needs of students participating in this program. All special education classes are using the English Department Writing Handbook to guide student learning.