Welcome to the Special Education Dept.

1336 Stonum Road, Modesto, CA 95351
(209) 541-2200

Sarah Grantano, Division Director of Special Education and Health Services 541-2216


Tami Cervantes, Director II/Principal


Saundra Day, Principal 541-2270
Tricia Tariku, Preschool Program Specialist 541-2271       

Kendra White, Director II
Katie Lewis, Program Specialist 541-2315

Zapien, Director II  541-2215
Laura Bartlett, Autism Program Specialist 541-2220

Ardeth Mattison, Director II


Kristy Mabee, Director II 238-1780

School Nursing

Nursing Procedure Support

Child Health and Disability Prevention


Hearing Conservation

Deaf and Hard of Hearing School Age and Itinerant



The Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) Department of Special Education employs over 380 individuals who provide direct and support service to over 2,000 handicapped students within the Stanislaus SELPA. Staff includes teachers, classroom aides, psychologists, nurses, speech/language pathologists, program specialists, secretaries, managers and others. The focus of the department is to provide a comprehensive school program for severe and low incidence handicapped students ranging from birth to 22 years of age.  


The Margaret L. Annear Early Intervention Program serves children with special needs from the ages of birth to five. Services, designed to meet the unique educational needs of children with mild to severe handicaps, include special day classes for infant/toddlers and preschoolers, a language stimulation program, as well as readiness classes. Support personnel available to children and their families include speech/language pathologists, physical/occupational therapists, a school psychologist, family service workers, adapted physical education teacher and nurses. Programs for children, which are provided in the home, inclusion in child care setting, or center-based program. Focus emphasized on the developmental areas of cognition, social/emotional, motor, self-help, readiness and language. Assessment of children is provided, at no cost to families, by a multi-disciplinary team that includes a resource specialist, psychologist, nurse and speech/language pathologists. For further information, please call 541-2269.  


Stanislaus County Office of Education also operates SH classes for students with severe behavioral challenges:

Students in the SH classes have Hughes Bill behavior plans and require intense supervision and staffing. Each student’s Hughes Bill plan is written in conjunction with the classroom teacher by the behaviorist prior to being approved by the IEP team and data is collected on a daily basis. Support services include speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologist, adapted physical education teachers, and nurses. The medically fragile students are afforded the same services in addition to requiring intensive medical supervision and assistance with feeding and toileting.



The Stanislaus County Office of Education operates in continuum of services to meet the unique educational needs of Severely Handicapped students from kindergarten through age 22. These students have developmental delays in the areas of motor skills, communication, academic skills, and cognitive abilities.

Integration of students is facilitated by placement of classrooms in local school districts including Riverbank, Oakdale and Salida. There are 4 special day classes located within these districts to meet the needs of 40 students. Approximately 70 certificated and classified staff members provide dedicated and skilled services for this challenging population.

Vocational education is provided for students enrolled in our high school and transition programs (ages 18-22) for the severely handicapped. This program provides a broad range of community-based services designed to develop basic job skills consistent with each student's ability as well as maximizing their full potential for employment. In addition, this program supports implementation of the functional skills curriculum directly related to community-based programming.

Typically, students enrolled in the vocational education program work at jobs in the community, either individually or in groups, under the supervision of a "job coach". Areas of instruction include basic job skills and job specific skills and job specific skills as well as mobility training when needed.

Two itinerant teachers and instructional assistants accomplish inclusion of approximately 30 students into general education classes for the entire school day. These staff members work closely with general education teachers to modify programs, materials and expectations to enable these students to be successful within the general class setting.

Specialized Support Services are provided by certificated staff in the areas of health services, speech and language therapy, adaptive P.E., deaf and hard-of-hearing services, and visually handicapped services.


The Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) operates a continuum of services to meet the unique educational needs of students with Low Incidence Disabilities who reside in the Stanislaus SELPA. Students with Hearing Impairments (Deaf or Hard of Hearing), Severe Orthopedic Impairments and Vision Impairments (Blind and Partially Sighted) who have been identified through the IEP process are served in these programs.

INCLUSION of students in their neighborhood schools and districts is facilitated by itinerant teachers who have specialized training and certification in each disability area. Inclusion teachers collaborate with classroom teachers and other school personnel to provide adaptations and modifications necessary to accommodate students’ special needs. Instruction in special skills needed by students is also provided.

SPECIAL CLASSES are available for students in each disability group, except visually impaired, who have more intensive needs and require a variety of support services and/or equipment to be successful. Teachers have specialized training and certification in the appropriate disability area.

SPECIALIZED SUPPORT SERVICES as specified in pupils’ IEPs are provided by credentialed and licensed staff including: an Assistive Technology Specialist, an Audiologist, an Augmentative Communication Specialist, and an Orientation and Mobility Specialist. Physical and occupational therapy are provided in cooperation with California Children’s’ Services.  


Services for students with more than one handicapping condition are located primarily at integrated sites. Because programming is based on individual needs, students may receive a range of services from pull-out in an inclusion setting to enrollment in a special day class. Currently, there are four special day classes, California Avenue School in Riverbank, Ustach School in the Sylvan District, Turlock High School in Turlock District and John F. Kennedy School in Ceres. Students in these classes have orthopedic handicaps and classroom instruction utilizes the Mobility Opportunity Via Education (M.O.V.E.) curriculum when appropriate.


SCOE provides a continuum of classes to meet the needs of emotionally disturbed (ED) students from kindergarten through grade 12. These classes, located at school sites in Stanislaus Union, Ceres, Sylvan, Riverbank, Waterford, Empire and Denair districts provide students with intense behavioral intervention, social skills development and a complete academic curriculum. Classroom staff receives support each week from Stanislaus County Department of Mental Health and Sierra Vista Children’s Center.


SCOE operates a continuum of academic classes for pre-formal through third grade students with severe language disorders. Students receive specific instruction to remediate language disorders in the areas of syntax, morphology, semantics and pragmatics with an academic curriculum that is language-based.

Support services are available to students who require adapted physical education, speech therapy and other services identified through the IEP process. In addition, support is available from a school psychologist and nurse.


DESIGNATED INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES (DIS) provides services to full inclusion, mainstreamed, and special day class students on a pull-out basis. Credentialed and licensed staff provide services for low-incidence students as well as students needing Adapted Physical Education and/or Speech and Language Therapy. Serving up to 88 sites, staff provides direct services, collaboration, and consultation for over 700 students, from infancy through 22 years of age. Ranging from individual to small group, services are provided based on needs as specified in the student’s individualized education plan.