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Safeguard and Procedures

Special Education Department


Welcome to the place that focuses on the whole child and emphasizes the ability, not disability of students! The Templeton Unified School District's Special Education Department strives to offer services in the least restrictive environment - that is, to the maximum extent appropriate, providing an education in the same manner as it is provided to every other child, alongside peers in a general education environment. Special Education addresses the educational needs of children in the District who have identifiable disabilities, from age three through 21 years, or until they receive their high school diplomas. In accordance with state requirements, the District arranges for multi-disciplinary evaluations for three-five year olds and school-aged children with suspected learning disabilities (Child Find). The Special Education Department works collaboratively with the Student Success Team to identifying teaching strategies, best practices and interventions to meet the needs of all students.

The staff is dedicated and committed in supporting instructional outcomes for all students. The Department welcomes any comments and concerns. Everyone is encouraged to become actively involved in the growth and development of special education programs. Please feel free to contact the Special Education Director, Dee Dee Mello-Wisch at (805) 434-4074 for more information or if you have any questions.

The Templeton Unified School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, creed, marital status, age or disability in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, Section 504, and ADA regulations.

Free Appropriate Public Education


 Educational Philosophy and Goals

A principle goal of Templeton Unified School District's Special Education Department is to identify all disabled children ages three through 21 years at the earliest possible age for placement in programs designed to help them meet their individual and exceptional needs that will provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).  Special education programs will supplement the general education program to the fullest extent possible.  All children with a disability who have met the elgibility requirements for special education, will have an IEP developed, reviewed and revised annually.


Further goals of the TUSD Special Education Department are:

  1. To provide a continuum of service options.
  2. To develop instructional plans according to individual learning needs.
  3. To inform the general educational community of the purpose of Templeton Unified  School District special education and to solicit input from school staffs, parents, pupils and community agencies in the development of special education programs.
  4. To place pupils in the least restrictive environment.
  5. To practice non-discriminatory procedures in program assessment and the placement of all pupils, and to make a conscientious effort to enforce this policy in all practices and procedures.  The district will examine its enrollment data to review for any unexplained population imbalances between various population groups during CASEMIS.
  6. To utilize the services of public and nonpublic agencies and the state residential schools.
  7. To work as a group within the county providing access to services for all pupils with exceptional needs.
  8. The district has the policy that a free appropriate public education is available to all students between the ages of three and 22 with a disability and an IEP.
  9. The district provides special education and related services in accordance with the child’s IEP.  Low incidence is provided by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (SLOCOE).
  10. The IEP is accessible to all service providers.  All school sites and any outside agencies that provide services are to be given a copy of the IEP.  Each teacher and provider informed of their specific responsibilities related to implementing the IEP.
  11. All children with disabilities will be educated with children who are not disabled to the appropriate level as designated by the IEP.  The placement in special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature of severity or the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. 
Monthly Calendar
Special Education Staff Directory
Contact Laney Arebalo  Laney Arebalo Education Specialist
Contact Zahida Banu  Zahida Banu TMS DISC 6 - 8
Contact Cindy Cherry  Cindy Cherry District Staff
Contact Amanda Corcoran  Amanda Corcoran TES DISC
Contact Fran Coughlin  Fran Coughlin TUSD School Nurse
Contact Jean DeClue  Jean DeClue (805) 434-4074 Department Administrative Assistant
Contact Lindsay Flatos  Lindsay Flatos Elementary Program Specialist
Contact Teri Fredrick  Teri Fredrick District Staff
Contact Sally Gaita  Sally Gaita BCBA
Contact Brian Gaviola  Brian Gaviola Psychologist
Contact Natalie Hughes  Natalie Hughes TMS Ed Specialist
Contact Kim King  Kim King Program Specialist
Contact Tyler Lane  Tyler Lane APE TMS
Contact Kristin Larsen  Kristin Larsen PreK/SDC
Contact Tyler LaSalle  Tyler LaSalle RSP THS
Contact Hannah Layman  Hannah Layman RSP THS
Contact Jeri McBeth  Jeri McBeth Psychologist
Contact Karen McCaffrey  Karen McCaffrey THS Ed Specialist
Contact Melissa Medeiros  Melissa Medeiros Psychologist
Contact DeeDee Mello-Wisch  DeeDee Mello-Wisch (805) 434-4074 Director - Special Education
Contact Michelle Nikolaou  Michelle Nikolaou RSP/COAT
Contact Arielle Perez  Arielle Perez RSP TES
Contact Kerry Schmidt  Kerry Schmidt OT TMS
Contact Melissa Spate  Melissa Spate DISC PreK
Contact Maria Spencer  Maria Spencer TES/TMS Speech Therapist
Contact Christy VanAlstine  Christy VanAlstine VES Ed Specialist
Contact Samantha Woolf  Samantha Woolf RSP TMS
Contact Katie Yamagata  Katie Yamagata Speech

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