Sean Cochran---Director of Special Services/MIS Clerk

Beth Smith---Special Services Secretary

Mary Masilionis---School Social Worker

Caryn Gustin---Speech-Language Pathologist


Pagie Meek - Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Marci Gudenkauf - K-3 Interrelated Teacher

Alicia Elliott - 4-6 Interrelated Teacher

Taylor Smith - 7-9 Interrelated Teacher

Kasi Fredericksen - 10-12 Interrelated Teacher

Angel Urton - Interrelated/Low Incidence

Sarah Reynolds - Gifted Facilitator

Ashley West- Behavior Interventionist


The Mission Valley Special Services Department offers a wide range of programs and services provided for children ages 3 to 21 with special educational needs. The goal at Mission Valley is to support each child and address their individual needs. We work collaboratively with our special education teachers, general education teachers, administration, support staff, and parents as we build teams that plan for student success in the resource room as well as the regular classroom.

How Does Special Education work in Kansas?

Special education and related services are support services for students with exceptionalities. In order for a student to be eligible for special education and related services, the student must first be determined to have an exceptionality and need specialized instruction. Once eligibility is determined, and IEP is developed and special education and related services can begin.


ESI Emergency Safety Interventions

Emergency Safety Interventions Board of Education Policy

Child Find

Child Find is an ongoing process that school staffs use in public and private to locate and identify students who may need special education services. In Kansas, Child Find for young children age birth through age 5 is called-----screening. Schools should provide screenings within 30 days of the request for screening. Screenings may consist of observations, interviews, and assessments that would identify a disability or developmental delay in the areas of communication, thinking/reasoning development, social-emotional development, self-help/adaptive behavior, and/or physical development. For children in kindergarten through 12th grade, child find usually begins with general education interventions. In most cases, when a child is determined to need support in addition to what the classroom teacher has provided, a team meeting is held and an intervention plan is developed. This team will use an individual problem-solving process known as general education interventions. The team is sometimes called a student support team, student improvement team, care team, or something similar. The purpose of the team is to determine: which skills need further intervention what interventions will be provided how and by whom the intervention will be carried out what data will be collected to determine if the intervention is working, and *how often the team will meet to review the progress of the child. As part of their school improvement efforts, some schools in Kansas have implemented the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS). In those schools, a framework of academic and/or behavioral interventions is developed and interventions are provided for any student who shows a need based on instructional data. Documentation from the interventions can be used to develop effective instructional strategies to meet specific needs of students in the general education environment. If the general education interventions are significant, beyond what could be provided by the general education and requires specially designed instruction, the team would refer the student for an initial evaluation.

Initial Eligibility and Evaluation - Initial eligibility means the process of collecting information about a student for the following purposes: to decide if the student has an exceptionality, based on eligibility criteria set by KSDE to decide if special education services are needed for the student to benefit from an educational program *to identify the student’s individual educational strengths and needs to provide a basis for appropriate interventions The evaluation must assess the student’s needs in all areas related to the suspected area of concern. The evaluation results will be used to decide the student’s eligibility for special education and related services and to make decisions about an appropriate educational program for the student. Parents will be provided prior written notice and be asked to provide written consent to allow the school to conduct the initial evaluation. Parents are specifically named as members of the team that determines if a student is eligible for services. Eligibility has two components: 1) the student must have an exceptionality; and 2) the student must have a need for special education and related services. The team must be sure that the concerns are not the result of a lack of instruction in reading or math, or because the student has limited English ability. Parents are to be given a copy of an evaluation report that documents the team’s decision regarding eligibility and the reasons for that decision. If it is determined that the student is not eligible for special education services, the student improvement team meets again to consider other services that might be appropriate (like migrant, bilingual, special reading or math enrichment programs) or a student may be eligible for services under Section 504.

For more information, please contact me at or 

New Early Childhood Newsletter

The State Interagency Coordinating Council has initiated a new newsletter for early childhood personnel and families in Kansas. The newsletter will provide information, research, and resources concerning our youngest Kansans and their families. Be sure to check out their website regularly to see what’s new!

Parent's Right to Know

Parents Right to Know Parents may request the following information regarding the professional qualifications of the student’s classroom teachers:

○Whether the teacher has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.

○Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived.

○The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree.

○Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

Additional Resources:

-Access to building/district State Report Cards at

- Public Notice of Educational Rights for Homeless

KPIRC (Kansas Parent Information Resource Center) 1-866-711-6711 (785)783-2975

Federal Parent Information Resource Center