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 541-2330
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

Autism-special Day Class

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Special Day Class

Multiply Handicapped/Medically Fragile Special Day Class

Related Services/Designated Instructional Services

Autism Inclusion Services

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inclusion Services



Physically Handicapped Inclusion Services


Adapted PE

Occupational Therapy


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 n 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.  Thje 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.



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.


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.

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.



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.  



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.



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.