Welcome to the Special Education Dept.

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

Sarah Grantano, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Health Services 541-2216


Tami Cervantes, Director II/Principal, John F. Kennedy School

Saundra Day, Principal, Margaret L. Annear School 541-2270
Tricia Tariku, Preschool Program Specialist 541-2271       

Kristy Mabee, Director II 238-1780

Kendra White, Director II 541-2218
Katie Lewis, Program Specialist 541-2315

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



The Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) Department of Special Education employs over 350 individuals who provide direct and support service to over 2,000 disabled students within the Stanislaus Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA). Staff include itinerant and classroom teachers, instructional assistants, psychologists, behavioralists, nurses, speech/language pathologists, program specialists, secretaries, managers and others.


To provide a comprehensive school program for severe, non-severe and low incidence disabled students ranging from birth to 22 years of age.  

To create educational programs that are designed to meet the unique needs and abilities of individual students who have been identified as having special needs.

To maximize each student's opportunity to achieve his or her full potential.

To develop collaborative relationships with families and public/private agencies with interests in children and adults with disabilities.

To provide support services to enrolled students that allow them every opportunity to be educated in their home school or as close to their home as possible.


Professionals ae skilled and trained to provide suport to students with severe developmental, speech, language, hearing, health, orthopedic, or vision impairments to be successful in general education classes in their neighborhood schools.

Special Class teachers, instructional assistants and itinerant professionals provide a specially designed curriculum for students with similar disabilities. These services and classrooms are located on general education school sites which enable students the opportunity to participate with non-disabled peers to the greatest extend possible.


Through the caring and commitment of public education and effective leadership and instruction, we empower students and parents by supporting independence, providing opportunities through implementation of best practices, and establishing partnerships for life-long learning.


Our impact on individuals with disabilities and their families will provide independence, opportunity and hope for the future.



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, 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 541-2330.


Stanislaus Count Office of Education and Valley Mountain Regional Center work in collaboration to provide services to children ages birth-2 years old in the natural enviornment.  If you have any questions or concers regarding the development progress of your child and would like informatin regarding a possible referral or assessment, please contact the Station at Valley Mountain Regional Center at (209) 529-2626.


Stanislaus County Office of Education is the regionalized provider for PH inclusion support services to students within the Stanislaus SELPA who have Orthopedic Impairments.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's orthopedic needs, please contact your district of residence for support and guidance.  The basic functions of this service is to modify or adapt the instructional setting (classroom or unstructured time such as recess) so that it can appropriately accommodate students with orthopedic impairments.


Stanislaus County Office of Education is a service provider for Preschool Special Education Services including special Day Classes and Related Services to school districts with Stanislaus County that do no operate their own programs for students who qualify for Special Education services.  If you have andy questions or concerns regarding the developmenal progress of your child, please contact your district of residence for support and guidance.

Special Day Classes operated by SCOE

Related Services/Designated Instructional Services


Stanislaus County Office of Education is a service provider for Speech and Language services to school districts within Stanislaus County that do not operate their own program.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the speech and langugage development of your child, please contact your district of residence for support and guidance.

(EC 56333)

A pupil shall be assessed as having a speech or language disorder which makes him/her eligible for special education and related services when he/she demonstrates difficulty understanding or using spoken language to such an extent that it adversely affects his/her educational performance and cannot be corrected without special education and related services.

Eligibility Criteria:

California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Section 3030

1.    Articulation Disorder/Phonoogical Deviations

2.    Abnormal Voice

Fluency Disorder

Language Disorder


The pupil scores at least 1.5 standard deviations below the mean or below the 7th percentile, for his or her chronological age or development level on one or more standardized tests in one of the areas listed below AND when the pupil displays inappropriate or inadequate usage of expressive or receptive language as measured by a respresentatie spontaneous or elicited language samples of a minimum of fifty utterances.  The language sample must be recorded or transcribed and analyzed, and the results included in the assessment report.  If the pupil is unable to produce this sample, the language-speech pathologists shall document why a fifty utterance sample was not obtainable and the contexts in which attempts were made to elicit the sample.



John F. Kennedy is a public, segregated site serving the multiply handicapped and severely handicapped behavioral populations ages 5 to 22. The program centers around positive behavioral strategies, sensory integration and a functional skills curriculum that facilitates independence.  Each student has an individualized plan that incorporates vocational training, lifeskills instruction and transition skills including mobility. The highly trained tafff at JFK are committed to maximizing student potential by giving our students the skills to become constributing members of our society.


SCOE offers a specialized program that delivers an environment tailored to meet the unique sensory, cognitive, movement, and medical needs of each individual student ages 5-22.  The philosophy of the MH/MF Program is to provide students with a caring and supportive environment that fosters the development of their individual strengths and meets their highly specilized needs.  IEP goals and objectives selected for this population are based on the student's current level of functioning and developed utilizing the California Core Curriculum Content Standards and the M.O.V.E. curriculum. (The M.O.V.E. [Mobility Opportunities Via Education] Program is designed to help people with severe disabilities learn the skills needed to sit, stand, walk and transition.  Combining natural body mechanics with instruction, learning occurs while students are engaged in real life activities.)

The goals of the MH/MF program are:

*    To develop each student's strengths in order to facilitate optimal independence

*    To provide multi-sensory stimulation that fosters student growth and development

*    To create a nurturing environment that enables the students to develop the Core Curriculum Content      Standards at their individual level of functioning.    


SCOE has a state of the art segregated school site that offers a specilized enviornemnt tailored to meet the unique sensory, cognitive, vocational communication, behavioral, and functional life-skill needs of each individual student ages 5-22.  The philosophy of the SH Behavioral program is to provide students with a safe and supportive environment that fosters the development of their individual strengths and meet their highly specialized needs with an emphasis on positive behavioral management.  The goals selected for this population are based on the studen'ts current functionng level and developed utilizing the California Core Curriculum Content Standards.  The primary focus for this population is developing behavioral supports for students that will allow them to regulate their own behaviors in order to access their educational setting.

The goals of the SH Behavioral program are:

*    To develop each student's skills and strengths in order to facilitate optimal independence.

*    To provide behavioral and sensory supports that allow students to access their educational setting and show growth and development in all educational areas.

*    To create a nurturing environment that enables the students to develop the Core Curriculum Content Standards at their individual level of functioning.


SCOE provides adapted physical education programming for over seventy different school sites acress the Stanislaus Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).  Our ission is to design physical education activities with appropriate accommodations and modifications so that they are as appropriate for a person with a disability as they would be for a non-disable peer.  We work to develop: physical and motor skills, fundamental motor skills and patterns, dance, group games and sports, and life time healthful living and leisure.

Special day classes are offered at our alternative education program for sixth through twelfth grades. Each classroom has a teacher and a para educator. Along with focusing on each student's Individual Education Plan (IEP), a mental health clinician works with students on social problem solving, anger management, drug and alcohol issues, and other relevant topics.  Participating in this counseling fulfills with district's counseling requirements on most expulsion orders.  We also have a vocational coach to assist the students in developming plans regarding future career choices.

SCOE provides resource specialist services at all of our alternative education sites and the following small districts in our Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA): Roberts Ferry, Knights Ferry, Valley Home, Shiloh, and Paradise. Our mission is to assist the districts and alternative education in the identification and provision of specialized academic assistance to help each student progress in the general education curriculum to the fullest extent possible.

SCOE services students kindergarten through eight grade in specialized classrooms located on district sites. Each of our classrooms has a teacher, two para educators and a full time mental health clinician, as well as,  support from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The goal of our program is to teach the students social skills, coping and problem solving strategies to work through their emotional difficulties so that they can progress in their academic program.  Our program aligns to the district curriculum and we participate with our sites to the fullest extend possible.  When ready, our students main stream. Our ultimate goal is to help the students to acquire the skills he or she needs to self-regulate and manage behavior without it negatively impacting their academic progress and eventually return to their home school.

Emotionally Disturbed Inclusion Program is designed for students identified as emotionally disturbed that require the least amount of suppport either because they are transitionaing out of our special day classes, or they have not demonstrated the need for a special day class.  Services provided by highly trained para educators, focus on social skill development or support, problem solving and coping skills and are delivered at the student's school site. Students who qualify through Behavioral Health and Recovery Services for educationally related mental health services also receive counseling servies at the school site.

SCOE provides educationaly related mental health assessments to students suspected of having emotional issues impacting their learning.  Our clinicians, either Licenserd Marriage and Family Therapists or Licensed Clinical Social Workers, work with the school districts we serve to previde thorough, accurate assessments.  We then work collaborativedly witht Individual Education Plan (IEP) teams to determine eligibility, goals and proper services for the individual students.  Contact Kendra White for referrals at (209) 541-2218.

Special education services continue for students while they are incarcerated.  In this setting, we have a resource specialist, a special day class teacher and a team of para educators to ensure that we are matching the services that each student received on their Individual Education Plans (IEP) when they were outside of this setting.  We ensure that each student's goals and objectives are addressed and that all service minutes are given. Our staff ensures that indivudual education plans meetings are held and out of date plans are brought back into compliance while the students are in our care.



Focus on interventions for positive behavior support, academic learning strategies, modification of curriculum, assistive materials and technology, social skills development, functional life skills, researched based best practices for instructional strategies, communication and language development as determined by the IEP.  Support for staff working with students in inclusive settings is provided by ongoing communication, consultation, one to one coaching and group training as requested by district staff.  Sensitivity trainings can be provided for all students to teach acceptance and friendship skills for diverse populations.


Evidence Based Practices for students with Autism including DTT, DI, Prescision Teaching, Structured teaching, visual supports, picture communication and technology are integrated within typical classroom activities with supports in place to accommodate the individual needs of the students  Classroom size is small with high staff to student ratio in order to provide intense individualized instruction for the vast range of needs and mainstreaming support as needed.  Focus is on language and behavior support across communication, academic, social and self-help domains.

BEHAVIOR SUPPORT (Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Support Staff)

SCOE behavior support staff use applied behavior analysis, as well as, developmentally appropriate strategies to promote positive behavior supports and effective instructional strategies.  Concentrating on skill development, building fluency, maintaining generalization and increasing independence.  Support and training for SCOE and district staff working with students in various settings is provided by ongoing communication, consultation, one to one coaching and group training as appropriate.