Special Education

The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District is committed to providing children age 3 years through 8th grade with special needs, a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with federal and state laws. As a member of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE), we offer a full range of special education services appropriate for students with disabilities ranging from mild learning disorders to severe physical and mental handicaps. Credentialed special education teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, adapted physical education specialists, and psychologists make up our team of dedicated special education professionals. Services and placements are based on each student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

What is Special Education?

Special Education is specialized instruction provided for children from birth to age 22 who are eligible according to the laws and regulations outlined by the state and federal government. A student may be eligible for special education services as an individual with special needs in one of fourteen areas identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

These areas are:

  • Autism
  • Deaf
  • Deaf-Blind
  • Emotionally Disturbed
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Intellectually Disabled
  • Multiple Handicapped
  • Orthopedically Impaired
  • Other Health Impaired
  • Specific Learning Disorder
  • Speech-Language Impaired
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment
  • Established Medical Disability

The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District Special Education Department offers a continuum of specialized services to meet the unique and individualized needs of each student. We are committed to supporting each student’s access to differentiated core instruction in the least restrictive environment, while aligning each IEP (Individualized Education Program) to the Common Core State Standards. Our program spans the spectrum from full integration in the general education environment with accommodations, to separate special education programs addressing more significant needs. The dedicated professionals working to support classroom teachers in achieving these goals include school psychologists, speech-language therapists, occupational therapists, adaptive physical education specialists, behavior interventionists, visual impairment specialists, credentialed special education teachers, and instructional assistants.

It is important to note that special education is a service provided to students with exceptional needs. Special education is not a location or specific classroom. Special education is intended to provide a full range of services in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): the instructional setting that is most similar to the instructional setting attended by general education students.

The LRE requires that students with disabilities are to be educated to the maximum extent possible with children who are not disabled The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 34 C.F.R Section 300.114 to 300.117 provide specific federal requirements related to LRE.

Accessing Special Education Services

If you think your child may benefit from Special Education services and you live within the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District boundaries, you will need to first register your child for school here. You will need a copy of the child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and proof of residency within the FUESD boundaries.

Your second step will be to write a letter addressed to the Director of Special Education detailing your concerns (not those of a third party) and the type of assessment you are requesting. Include the following details:

  • Child’s legal name
  • Child’s date of birth
  • Grade
  • Parent Name
  • Home address
  • Telephone
  • Signature and Date

The letter is to be presented to the school site office or to the Special Education Office at 321 Iowa Street, Room 401, Fallbrook, CA 92028.
An evaluation plan will be completed within 15 days of receipt of the request. The evaluation will be completed within 60 days of receiving the signed consent form from the parent.

Parents as Partners

At FUESD, we believe children benefit most when parents and educators function as partners working toward a common goal.  Here are some additional resources many families find helpful when supporting a child with special needs.

 North Coastal Consortium for Special Education

The North Coastal Consortium for Special Education is a Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) comprised of fourteen local school districts including the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. Through this partnership, FUESD students, parents, and staff have access to a comprehensive array of services and resources. One of the most useful aspects of the NCCSE services is the parent and community support and resources website.

Member districts within NCCSE work collaboratively to provide a continuum of services for students who are eligible for special education. These include services provided within each district as well as regional services. Regional services include those provided to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, students with severe disabilities, and students with social-emotional disabilities. In addition, audiological services and itinerant teachers for students with hearing and vision impairments are available through the member districts.

Professional development opportunities for school district staff and parent education is available. For more information please visit the NCCSE webpage for families or you may call 760-761-5110.

Public Hearing for NCCSE’s Annual Budget and Services Plan for 2022-2023 School Year

Community Advisory Council (CAC)
The Community Advisory Council (CAC) is a committee made up of parents, educators, and community members who are involved in special education. The California Education Code requires that each SELPA have a Community Advisory Committee. The CAC meetings take place once a month and consist of a business meeting followed by an educational presentation. Anyone interested is invited to attend. In addition, CAC provides related workshops, activities, and resources at no cost. They are designed to help families understand and participate in their child’s educational decision-making, to access services and resources, and connect families with each other.  For more information, click here to go to the NCCSE CAC web page.

 

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) 
The EFMP assists Active Duty Service Members in managing the dual demands of a military career and having a family member with special needs, whether medical, emotional, or educational. For more information call the office at (760) 725-5363 or visit the website.

CONTACT US

Stephenie Blinco-Martinez
Director of Special Education
sblincomartinez@fuesd.org

Special Education Department
760-731-5412

Office Fax Number
760-723-2186

Sarah D’Errico
Coordinator
sderrico@fuesd.org

Jessica Dutcher
Secretary III
jdutcher@fuesd.org

Martha Esteves
Special Education Data Technician
mesteves@fuesd.org

Jessica Botica
Behavior Specialist
jbotica@fuesd.org

Sarah Salberg
Special Education TOSA
ssainsbury@fuesd.org

Jessica Ramirez
Special Education Literacy Coach
jeramirez@fuesd.org

321 Iowa St.
Fallbrook, CA 92028

(760) 731-5400

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