Special Education

The Special Education Department is comprised of a group of highly qualified personnel specializing in Special Education and other related services.

NEW Academy Canoga Park is committed to the goal of providing an appropriate education for students with needs in the least restrictive environment. State and Federal Special Education laws and regulations, namely The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), govern the referral, evaluation and placement procedures.

Our Special Education Department includes a Special Education Coordinator, Special Education Teacher, Psychologist, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Special Education Assistant.

Dr. Clara Guerrero, Special Education Coordinator– is responsible for planning, development, implementation, evaluation and maintenance of programs for individuals with exceptional needs; provides training to special education staff, general education staff, administrators, classified staff and parents; monitors program compliance and ensures that procedures are appropriate in relation to policies required by state and federal regulatory requirements; provides curricular resources to teachers and specialists; provides consultation and support to site administrators and staff in the area of special education and related services; responsible for the coordination of special education programs and related services within his respective assignment; responsible for analyzing data; assists in the supervision of support staff.

Bruce Barrows, Resource Specialist Teacher- is responsible for instruction and services for students whose needs have been identified in an IEP; provide information and assistance to students with disabilities and their parents; provide consultation, resource information and materials regarding IEP students to parents and to general education staff; coordinate special education services with the regular school program for students enrolled in the resource specialist program; monitor and record pupil progress; participate in the review and revision of IEP’s, as well as distribute IEP report cards; participate in the referral of pupils who do not demonstrate appropriate progress, as well as participation in the Student Success Team process; provide services, monitor, collect and record data for students in the Learning Center.

Linda Michel, Speech and Language Pathologist– is responsible for the diagnosis and remediation of communication disorders, facilitate and enhance the development of receptive/expressive/pragmatic language, articulation/phonology, voice, fluency, augmentative and alternative communication to support student access to the general education curriculum; provide services as specified in the IEP; provide small group instruction; provide educational strategies to the general education teachers and parents for implementation within the classroom and home environments.

Rachel Simkin, Occupational Therapist– is responsible for the planning and implementation of treatment with special education students. The responsibilities of the Occupational Therapist may include the following; improve a student’s ability to independently perform tasks at school; improve, develop or restore functions related to participation and performance in the school setting; use techniques that correct, facilitate or adapt the student’s functional performance in postural stability, sensory registration and processing, motor planning, fine motor, activities of daily living, social play/organization of behavior, and environmental adaptations/assistive devices.

Barbara Gifford, School Psychologist– assists in the Student Success Team pre-referral process, conducts psycho-educational assessments to assist in determining eligibility for special education services and the development of educational programs and consults with school personnel and parents.