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Special Education

We offer special education programming through the Sherburne Northern Wright Special Education Cooperative. Together with this cooperative of numerous area school districts, We are  dedicated to ensuring a free and appropriate public education for eligible students who have been identified as having a disability and who are in need of specialized instruction. 

Special Education Programming Includes:

  • K-12 Special Education

  • Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-K)

  • Homebound Education

  • Developments Cognitive Disabilities (DCD) Center-based program, ages 5-21

  • Elementary Level 4 Program

Once an evaluation confirms a student will benefit from special education services, an individualized education program (IEP) will be developed. The IEP outlines the unique needs of a student and the specialized goals and objectives that will help a student make educational progress. Parents play an important role in identifying special education needs and in establishing the IEP. 


Jacqueline Holker
6-12 Special Education Coordinator

Monica O'Neil
K-5 Special Education Coordinator

Janelle Ortiz
Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator


In order to be eligible for special education services, a child must meet the criteria for one of the following disabilities, as defined by the Minnesota Department of Education:

  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Blind or visually impaired
  • A speech or language impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Severe multiple impairments
  • A physical impairment or other health disability
  • Developmental cognitive disability
  • An emotional or behavioral disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury

If you believe your student fits the criteria above and would benefit from special education services, please contact your child's principal and request an evaluation.

Early Childhood Special Education

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) is available to children from birth to age seven who:

  • need special instruction or services due to a visual, auditorial, physical or other impairment
  • have an identifiable syndrome known to hinder normal development
  • or have a significant delay or impairment in cognitive, speech or language development.

Depending on needs, home-based services are available for children birth to age three and center-based services are available for children ages three to seven.

The goal of early intervention is to provide free and appropriate opportunities for children to develop skills that will enable them to function to their fullest potential. Early childhood years are crucial for developing and learning the skills necessary for future success! Parent involvement is a critical factor in the success of ECSE: educational programs and services require the consent and involvement of parents from initial assessment to placement. We will work with you to provide support and guidance every step of the way!