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Special Education

A student works on an iPad with a teacher.

District 196 Special Education is committed to equitable opportunities through high quality practices to accelerate growth for all students.

Equitable opportunities to accelerate growth

We provide a full continuum of services for students with disabilities. Our Special Education Department serves approximately 4,500 students who range in age from birth through 21. All schools in our district provide special education services with licensed special education teachers and offer intervention supports, evaluations and special education instruction.

District 196 offers a wide range of service delivery models. Most students receive services in their neighborhood school and, when possible, in their general education classroom setting. 

Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the student at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Children must meet specific criteria set by the State of Minnesota and the Federal Government to receive special education services. Special Education is an instructional service, not a place. 

To receive special education services, a student must first be evaluated and meet state criteria. Once qualified, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed for the student.

Contact

Janet Fimmen, 
Director of Special Education

651-423-7629
Janet.Fimmen@district196.org


Location

District 196 Special Education
3455 153rd Street West
Rosemount, MN 55068

Get Involved in Special Education Advisory Council

Join the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) and help advocate on behalf of District 196 learners with disabilities from birth through age 21. The purpose of SEAC is to advise the Special Education Department on current issues, program development, parental concerns and involvement, and department priorities; serve as an advocate for high quality special education programs, and promote communication between family, school and community, actively seeking input from students and parents.
 

EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION

A teacher claps and sings along with young children in an early childhood class.

District 196 has a comprehensive program of Early Childhood Special Education services for children ages birth through the start of kindergarten. Children ages 3-5 who have cognitive or physical disabilities or developmental delays are served in a variety of welcoming and nurturing educational settings.

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DAKOTA RIDGE SCHOOL

Three graduates of ALC smile while on stage at graduation.

Dakota Ridge is a school for District 196 students who are enrolled in special education services and face social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Dakota Ridge provides a safe place for students to work on social, emotional and behavioral regulation and increase pro-social behavior.


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TRANSITION PLUS

Students measuring in kitchen

The Transition Plus Program is a program for young adults ages 18-21 with special needs, who need assistance and support while pursuing transition goals and objectives. It is a community-based program emphasizing employment and independent living skills.


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Center-based Programming

Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the student at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

Center-based classrooms in our inclusive learning community foster high levels of learning in order to support our work of helping students in reaching their full potential. We build communication, functional, social, emotional, and behavioral skills in addition to the core academics, differentiated for individual students. Learn more about where our center-based programs are located.

THRIVE: Serves students with unique health needs who have significant educational needs in the areas of communication and functional skills, and require a highly supported, small group instructional environment.

CONNECT: Serves students who have significant educational needs in social communication and self regulation, and require a highly supported, small group instructional environment.

SKILLS: Serves students who have educational needs in functional and academic skills. Students may receive instruction in the classroom, community environments and/or job training sites, as specified in the individual education plan.

ACHIEVE: Serves students who have educational needs in emotional, behavioral and self-regulation skills in a supported environment.

STRATEGIES: Serves students who have educational needs in social communication and self regulation skills in a supported environment.

Special Education Coordinators

Megan Besaw

Coord of Special Education
District Service Center

Shekinah Dillon

Coord of Special Education
Transition Plus

Lindsay Engberg

Coord of Special Education
District Service Center

Andrea Engstrom

Coord of Special Education
Dakota Ridge School

Christine Gorman

Coord of Special Education
Dakota Valley Learning Center

Kelly Wuensch

Coord of Special Education
District Service Center

Sarah Otte-Phillips

Coord of Special Education
District Service Center

Amanda Schiltz

Coord of Special Education
District Service Center