Located at the Board of Education Office
3880 Ridge Road, Medina, OH 44256
Phone Numbers: 330-239-1901, 330-686-1901, 330-278-2727
- Mrs. Deborah Yorko, Director of Special Education, ext. 1226:
- Ms. Karen Pokrandt, Secretary, ext. 1256:
The Highland Local Schools Department of Special Education provides services to nearly 400 students with disabilities. By federal and state law, school districts are required to identify children who are suspected of having a disability and then to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) for all children with disabilities. These services can either be provided within the district or by agreement with another school district or service provider. Currently, all but a very few students with disabilities are served within the district.
Highland's preschool special education program includes children with disabilities ages three through five. Services, at no cost to parents, include classroom instruction, school psychology, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and transition to school-age programs. Two preschool classrooms are located at Granger Elementary School. For purposes of inclusion, typically developing children are also enrolled in the program. Typically developing children are selected by lottery in the spring and there is a monthly fee to attend. Currently there are more than twenty-five preschool aged children with disabilities enrolled and approximately fifteen typically developing children.
School-age services, at no cost to parents, for students with disabilities ages five through twenty-one include instruction in special education classrooms and resource centers, individual/small group instruction for students who are fully mainstreamed in regular education, school psychology, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, work study/transition, adapted physical education, consultation, community exploration, and several others.
The Department of Special Education staff includes a director and secretary, three school psychologists, and three speech/language pathologists. Also available are a transition-to-work specialist and an autism / behavior consultant. The special education instructional staff is comprised of eleven teachers for students with mild to moderate disabilities, five individual/small group instructors (tutors) for students with mild to moderate needs, three teachers of students with moderate (cognitive) needs, four teachers of students with moderate to intense (multiple or autism-related) needs, two teachers for preschool-age children with disabilities, an ASL interpreter, and more than twenty special ed instructional aides. Contracted special education related services are provided by an occupational therapy team and a physical therapist.
What does a disability mean?
For age Birth to 3 - An established condition known to result in delay, or a documented developmental delay.
For ages 3 through 5 - A documented deficit in one or more of the following developmental areas: communication, vision, hearing, motor skills, social emotional/behavioral functioning, self-help skills, and/or cognitive skills.
For ages 5 through 21 - Identification of one or more of the following conditions: autism, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment including deafness, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and/or visual impairment including blindness.
Who can help?
Parents, relatives, public and private agency employees, and concerned citizens are used to help Highland School District find any child, age birth-21, who may have a disability and need special education and related services. If you are aware of a child who may have special needs, please notify Highland Local School's Department of Special Education, or the school principal.
What happens next?
Highland's Department of Special Education will contact the parents of the child to find out if the child needs to be evaluated. Free testing is available to families to determine whether or not a special need exists. If a need is identified, the child can begin receiving the appropriate special education and related services. The sooner we know, the better it goes for every child. If you know a child who may have special needs, help is available. Contact the following:
HIGHLAND LOCAL SCHOOLS
Department of Special Education
3880 Ridge Road, Medina, OH 44256
Phone (330) 239-1901, ext. 1226