Director of Special Education: Sharon O’Donnoghue Administrative Assistant: Diane Aouad Supervisors of Special Education: Sara Larkin & Sheree Harmon Administrative Assistant: Erna Povlakic
Special Education Pupil Accounting: Terri Conley Clerk: Kim Boynton
The special education department serves eligible students who meet the following:
- Have a disability as defined in the MI Special Education Rules and Regulations that;
- Has an adverse impact on the student’s educational progress and;
- Requires specialized instruction through special education programs or services. (Specialized instruction includes methodologies, strategies, or timelines beyond those provided within general education that cannot be reasonably implemented by general education staff.)
Kentwood Public Schools identifies students under the eligibility of Specific Learning Disability by using a pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Decision rules for determining a pattern of strengths and weaknesses can be obtained by contacting the Special Education Office at 616-554-3980.
It is the mission of the Kentwood Public Schools Special Education Department to provide excellence and equity in education. Our goal is for all students with special needs to master essential skills and become successful, productive citizens.
Child Find activities are provided by Kentwood Public Schools to assure we meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA). IDEA requires identification and evaluation of all children (0-25) residing in the State of Michigan who are suspected of having a disability that may affect their educational performance and who are in need of special education and/or related services. This includes children with disabilities who are homeless or are wards of the State and children with disabilities attending private schools regardless of the severity of their disability. If you feel your child may have a disability that prohibits him/her from succeeding educationally, please contact your child’s building administrator or the Special Education Office at 616-554-3980.
If your child is under 3 years old, please contact 1-800-Early On (327-5966) or go to 1800EarlyOn.com to complete a referral for an Early On Evaluation.
The Kentwood Special Education Department is committed to eliminating barriers that are grounded in systemic bias, structural racism, and other forms of racial disparities for our Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color with disabilities. In support of our students with disabilities reaching their fullest potential, we will actively engage in learning and leadership to:
- Promote culturally responsive special education programs/services
- Advocate for practices and procedures that eliminate over/under representation in qualifying for special education
- Promote equitable discipline practices that reduce disproportionate removals
- Promote practices to eliminate disproportionate participation in more restrictive settings
- Seek engagement and promote collaboration with families in the IEP process
- Hire staff who are representative of the students with disabilities being served