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.


Stephenie Blinco-Martinez
Director of Special Education

Special Education Department

Office Fax Number

Jessica Dutcher
Secretary III

Martha Esteves
Special Education Data Technician

Jessica Botica
Behavior Specialist

Sarah Salberg
Special Education TOSA

May Pickett
Special Education Literacy Coach

321 Iowa St.
Fallbrook, CA 92028

(760) 731-5400

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