Message from the Director
I am very humbled once again to have the opportunity to serve as the Director of Student Services and have the honor to work with such a supportive group of parents and an outstanding staff. We are looking forward to a very busy and successful year.
Our mission is to provide quality educational opportunities for students with disabilities from birth to age 21. It is our aim to improve educational outcomes for all children with disabilities through collaborative efforts among students, families, educators and the community.
Our staff is prepared to do their best to address your child’s educational needs. Coordination and communication with you, the parents, is essential to maximize our students’ potential. The Special Education process is complex and often frustrating, but with continuous communication between home and school, we will be able to work together to ensure your child’s needs are addressed.
Scottsbluff Public Schools prides itself on the quality of special education supports and services provided to students with disabilities. Our district is committed to increasing opportunities for students with disabilities to receive educational services within the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Scottsbluff Public Schools offers a full continuum of special education programs and services including in-class supports, pull-out resource programs, and self-contained programs for students with more significant needs.
There continues to be a strong emphasis on the development of reading skills through the use of research based methods. Special Education teachers have received extensive professional development in the use of evidence based practices.
With the ever-changing needs of students, as well as education as a whole, our district is continuously striving to improve the level of services we provide to students with disabilities. I look forward to establishing and maintaining positive and lasting relationships with you as we work together to meet the needs of our children.
Mrs. Wendy Kemling-Horner, Director of Student Services
Overview of the Continuum of Special Education Services
The Scottsbluff Public Schools, through the Student Services Department, offers a full continuum of educational programs and services to eligible students. Eligibility is based upon meeting specific criteria, following the guidelines set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Nebraska Rule 51, for one or more disabilities and a determination of whether or not special education is necessary for the child to benefit from the educational program. Although the law requires a student to have a disability label, the label does not determine the educational programming, services, or placement for the student.
The Scottsbluff Public Schools believe in providing services in the least restrictive environment (LRE) appropriate for each student. The LRE policy calls for students to be educated with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent possible. This means that whenever possible the initial reference point for identifying, planning, and delivering services for students with disabilities will be their general education classroom in their neighborhood school. Special education services are then provided in instructional areas directly impacted by the student’s disability based upon the student’s specific needs. Only when the student’s unique educational needs and goals require more intensive interventions will consideration be given to providing services in other locations. A small number of our students need more intensive, specially designed instructional programs throughout much or all of the school day. These programs are available at designated schools within our district and our local area.
Following a comprehensive evaluation, a student’s individual education planning team, which includes the parent/guardian of the student, will recommend how and where to best meet the student’s special needs if the team decides services are necessary for educational benefit.
Services for all Resident Children with Disabilities
The district has policies and procedures in place to ensure the provision of effective special education services to children (ages birth to 21) and their parents in accordance with state and federal regulations. All children with disabilities residing in the Scottsbluff Public Schools, including children with disabilities attending non-public schools, are located, identified, and evaluated.
School personnel, in consultation with the child's parent and special education teacher, determine the extent to which services are necessary and, when needed, to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to enable the child to appropriately advance towards achieving the goals set out in the student's IFSP/IEP.
Contact for Special Education
Wendy Kemling, Director of Student Services
1722 First Avenue
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Phone: (308) 635-6200