Special Education

  • - DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE -

    Kami Jessop, Ed.D.

    Greetings from the Westside Community Schools Special Services Department!  Whether you are joining us as the family member of an incoming preschooler or a graduating senior, it is with great pride that I welcome your child and you to another school year!  

    As the Director of Special Services, I could not be more honored to serve within a District that embraces diversity, challenges educators to personalize learning for all students, and promotes inclusion and kindness within our community.  It is easy to see that the mission of Westside Community Schools --“serving the unique needs of all learners”-- both shapes and supports the work we do in classrooms each day.  In order to effectively live our mission, we must not overlook the importance of creating strong home-school partnerships with families and caregivers.

    Collaborating around student strengths and shared goals requires special educators and families to openly communicate.  This website is an additional way the Special Services department is working to inform, engage, and enhance communication with our parent and caregiver community.  

    We look forward to continuing our tradition of strong, collaborative parent-teacher partnerships.  I would encourage you to reach out to your child’s special education case manager if you have questions, concerns, or need additional information.  These highly skilled and dedicated educators are committed to your child’s success and look forward to partnering with you.  Listening, learning, advocating, and maintaining high expectations is the work of all of us.  We value your partnership and thank you for choosing Westside Community Schools.  On behalf of the Special Services Department, we wish you a great school year!

    Yours,

    Kami Jessop, Ed.D., Director of Special Services

     

MISSION

  • The mission of the Westside Special Education Department is to provide the very best possible educational opportunities for students with disabilities ranging in age from birth through age 21. In order to fulfill that mission, our goal is to educate all students in their neighborhood schools to the greatest extent possible, regardless of their disabilities. This is made possible by offering a continuum of services designed to meet individual student needs. These services range from a consultative model to a highly specialized alternate program.

ABOUT US

  • Westside currently has approximately 1,000 special education-identified students and an estimated 120 certified staff members. Our staff includes special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, assistive technology and vision specialists, a deaf educator and school psychologists, all of whom use their training and expertise to provide support to students and staff at the building level. These individuals receive ongoing training and professional development opportunities, as well as designated time to collaborate with their general and special education colleagues, all for the purpose of improving learning for students with disabilities.

CORE VALUES

  • The work of the Westside Community Schools Special Services department is inspired by four core values that align to our district mission statement.  These core values remain at the forefront and are foundational to the practices we implement each day.  Decisions regarding the allocation of resources, teacher selection, professional learning opportunities, and even the content of a child’s IEP are all driven by the values upheld by the special services department.

  • EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES

  • INFORMED & ENGAGED IEP TEAMS

  • HIRING & DEVELOPING THE BEST

  • COMPLIANT & HIGH QUALITY IEPs