Skip Ribbon Commands
SharePoint
Table heading

​​​​​​​​​​​​​PROGRAMS

Adapted Physical Education (APE)
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program (DHOH)
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
Itinerant Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program (IDHOH)
Orthopedic Handicap Program (OH)
Psychological Services
School Health Services
Sierra School
Special Classes for the Severely Disabled (SC/SD)
Speech and Language Services
Transition Services
Program for the Visually Impaired (VI)
Occupational Therapy

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Adapted Physical Education (APE)

Adapted Physical Education is provided to students who cannot safely or successfully participate in the vigorous activities of the general physical education program. Generally, students receive services at their own schools during regular school hours. The adaptive physical education specialist coordinates services with the classroom or physical education teacher.

​Maria Duran-Barajas, Program Coordinator
back

 

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program (DHOH)

​Students whose hearing impairments are so severe that without specialized services they would not benefit from regular school programs attend special education classes for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Students range in age from preschool to high school. A total communication approach which emphasizes all avenues of communication (speech, speech reading, aural, sign language, finger spelling, etc.) is used throughout the instructional day. Students have access to auditory trainers as well as other specialized resources and equipment to enhance their learning.

​Maria Duran-Barajas, Program Coordinator ​ ​
back

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

The following ECSE programs serve infants and young children with disabilities:

Infant Care Program (ICP)

The Infant Care Program, part of the California Early Start Program, provides services to children from birth to three years of age and to their families. Services are based on an Individualized Family Service Plan that allows for 1-2 days per week of center-based activities, home visits, family training, parent-to-parent support, respite care, nursing, occupational therapy, and transportation. Each family is provided with a service coordinator who coordinates Early Start services. ICP staff work closely with other agencies to facilitate service coordination. Parental involvement is an essential component of the ECSE program. 

 
Jennifer Slatten, Program Coordinator

Preschool Specialist Program (PSP)

The Preschool Specialist Program is an early education program for eligible preschoolers between the ages of three and five. Services are provided to eligible children who need assistance in one or more of the following areas: communication, communication, cognitive/adaptive, academic readiness, gross/fine motor, or social/behavioral. Services include developmental assessment, special instruction, family support, service coordination, and consultation. 

 
Jennifer Slatten, Program Coordinator

Other ECSE Programs

Other ECSE programs serve children, ages three to six, having disabilities that range from moderate to severe. Services include instruction and therapy in small classes that meet three to four times per week. Home visits are provided for some children as determined by the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team.

Stephanie Roe, Program Supervisor
Jennifer Slatten, Program Coordinator
Karen Pivirotto, Program Coordinator 
Cindy Heaton, Program Coordinator

back

Itinerant Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program (IDHOH)

The itinerant teachers of the hearing-impaired have the primary responsibility for the specialized instruction and services required to meet the unique needs of students in general education classes with hearing losses. Eligible students are those hose hearing loss affects his or her developmental growth or educational performance to such an extent that special education and related services are required.

Maria Duran-Barajas, Program Coordinator
back

 

Orthopedic Handicap Program (OH)

Students with orthopedic handicaps have a wide range of needs based on the nature and severity of their impairments. Many of these children attend regular classes in their local school districts. The OH teacher travels to the local school to facilitate the student’s program through consultation and direct services.

 

Maria Duran-Barajas, Program Coordinator
back

Psychological Services

School psychologist services are available to Merced County’s school districts that wish to contract for these services. These services, particularly assessment and counseling, are critical for the placement of students in Special Education classes, programs and services. School psychologists also provide important information and support to both teachers and parents/family members regarding the students’ education, living skills and behavior management.

 

Karen Pivirotto, Program Coordinator
back

 

School Health Services

The Merced County Office of Education provides nursing services for all special day classes. Nurses have two primary roles, first as a health provider and second as a health educator. They are registered nurses with further specialization in school health care.

 

Maria Duran- Barajas, Program Coordinator
back

 

Sierra School

The Sierra Special Education Program serves students, kindergarten through high school, who meet the state’s seriously emotionally disturbed criteria. MCOE provides services to students who have severe emotional problems that interfere with their educational performance. Physical and mental limitations must be ruled out as the primary reason that a student is not learning in a normal manner. The program emphasizes social skills training and interagency collaboration, including the Merced County Mental Health Department.

 

Kevin Smith, Program Coordinator
back

 

Special Classes for the Severely Disabled (SC/SD)

The Merced County Office of Education operates Special Classes for the Severely Disabled (SC/SD) at various locations throughout the county. The classes are designed to meet the relatively low incidence special education needs of students whose disabilities are severe, including those with multiple handicapping conditions and severe mental retardation.

SC/SD classes are systematically integrated into the community and included at regular school sites. Placement decisions are based on such factors as the student’s age, educational needs, parental perspectives regarding instructional setting, and whether there are medical conditions or needs for specialized equipment and services which might preclude appropriate placement on a particular school site. The primary goal is development of independent living skills to the fullest degree possible.

 

Cindy Heaton, Program Coordinator
Rich Kleitman, Program Coordinator
Karen Pivirotto, Program Coordinator
Lissa Mitchell, Program Coordinator
back

 

Speech and Language Services


Speech and Language Services are provided to children between the ages of birth through twenty-one years who have qualifying speech and/or language problems. Services include: Evaluation by a qualified Language, Speech and Hearing Specialist Individual or small group instruction as necessary to provide language, speech and/or hearing therapy Consultation

 

Maria Duran-Barajas, Program Coordinator
back

 

Transition Services


All special education students served in MCOE operated classes are eligible for transition services from age fourteen through graduation or age twenty-two, whichever comes first. These services include career exploration activities, job search skills, job keeping skills, job shadowing activities, and on site job training through the Regional Occupational Program (ROP). For those students who successfully complete all these activities a Work-Ability program providing paid work experience is available. Starting at age fourteen, every student receives a brochure titled making plans for Life After High School, and a transition services Plan for the Future is included in their Individual Education Plan. This plan details what instructional services, community involvement activities, development of employment and other post school living objectives and daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation are necessary for the student to achieve their dreams.

 

Rich Kleitman, Program Coordinator
Cindy Heaton, Program Coordinator
back

Program for the Visually Impaired (VI)


The Program for the Visually Impaired assists students who have visual impairment which interfere with his/her normal educational progress. The program serves students who are functionally blind or have low vision. A functionally blind student is a student who relies basically on senses other than vision as major channels of learning. A low vision student is a student who uses vision as a major channel of learning. A visual impairment does not include visual perceptual or visual motor dysfunction resulting from a learning disability. Medical verification of a visual impairment is required. The program for the Visually Impaired serves students from birth through twenty-one years of age. As prescribed by the Individual Educational Program (IEP), individual or small group instruction is provided. The instruction may include Braille, academic support, listening, visual efficiency, living skills, use of technology, and other adaptive skills.

 

Maria Duran- Barajas, Program Coordinator
back

 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is provided to students who have the service listed on their I.E.P. Physical Therapy is provided by California Children’s Services (CCS). In the educational system, occupational therapy is a related service in which the therapist functions as a member of an interdisciplinary team whose purpose is to provide an appropriate educational program for handicapped students. An Occupational Therapist utilizes medically-based training to evaluate and apply therapeutic, goal directed, developmentally-sequenced activities to enhance the students’ potential for learning. The selection of therapeutic activity used in the occupational therapy program is based on its potential for facilitating improvements of students’ physical, emotional, sensory and/or perceptual deficits. The Occupational Therapist provides consultant services to individual classroom teachers besides providing direct services to identified students

Maria Duran-Barajas, Program Coordinator


 

IMPORTANT NOTE ON ​LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

All special education students have the opportunity to interact with non-dis​​abled children of their own age. Access to regular school classes and activities are determined at the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) development meeting. As appropriate, students participate with non-disabled peers in activities such as art, music, physical education, recess, lunch, assemblies and field trips.
back
​​