Overview

  • Welcome to Exceptional Student Services (Special Education)

    Exceptional Student Services is the umbrella under which students with special needs are served. We currently serve approximately 1495 students in programs and classrooms throughout the district. Students fall into many different special education categories, ranging from emotional disabilities to physical disabilities to speech therapy needs and all stages in between.

    Exceptional Student Services includes the following:

    • Special Education
    • Assistive Technology
    • Occupational and Physical Therapy
    • Preschool
    • Psychology
    • Speech Therapy

     Meet the Director - Susan Smith, M.Ed.


    Susan Smith, Director of ESS

    “If a child cannot learn in the way we teach… we must teach in a way the child can learn.” - Ivar Lovaas

    As the Director of Exceptional Student Services, Susan works primarily with special education. She helps to ensure that all children can learn and all educators share the responsibility to make learning happen. Some of the many programs and services available through the Exceptional Student Services Department for students who are eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) include Assistive Technology (AT); Extended School Year (ESY); related services such as Occupational (OT) and Physical Therapy(PT); Adaptive PE; preschool; psychology; and speech/language therapy.

    Susan has been working in special education for 13 years, serving students with disabilities and their families. She worked as a special education teacher and as a teacher specialist at the district level with students with developmental disabilities. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a dual major of Special and Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. She later received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Susan has also worked as an Education Program Specialist at the Arizona Department of Education.

    In her free time, Susan enjoys nothing more than being with her husband and two children. She loves to travel, hike, and try new restaurants with family and friends.