Special Programs

The Special Programs Department oversees Special Education, English Learner Services, 504 Accessibility Supports, McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth, Long Term Care and Treatment Programs, and Foster Care Student Supports for the Pendleton School District.

Jsmithatpendletonsd.org (Julie Smith)
Special Programs Director

mrosenbergatpendletonsd.org (Melody Rosenberg)
Student Services

Special Education Program

Pendleton School District provides a comprehensive special education program in conjunction and collaboration with General Education to ensure students develop skills and strategies for becoming independent productive citizens of the community through fluid and invisible inclusive services, supportive practices, and effective instruction.

English Learner Program

Our overarching program goal for English Learners is competency in reading, writing, speaking, listening and understanding interpersonal and academic English in order to achieve academic competency in the essential skills of reading, writing, math, and science through classroom instruction in English.

504 Accessibility Supports

School Child Development Specialists or Counselors are the primary contact at the school for Section 504 referrals. Section 504 is a nondiscrimination statute that addresses discriminatory actions such as different treatment, denials of access, disability-based harassment, and requires that disabled persons be provided equal opportunities as nondisabled persons.  To ensure an equal opportunity for qualified public school children with disabilities, the Section 504 regulations require that a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) be provided.

McKinney-Vento Act: Homeless Education Program

  • The McKinney-Vento Act’s Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program ensures that homeless children and youth are provided a free, appropriate public education, despite lack of a fixed place of residence or a supervising parent or guardian. The state public school admission statute assuring the right of homeless and other children and youth in similar circumstances to enroll in schools is ORS 339.115(7).
  • If your family lives in any of the following situations:
    • In a Shelter
    • In a motel or campground due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodation
    • In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
    • Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections
  • For more information call Julie Smith
  • http://www.oregon.gov/ode/schools-and-districts/grants/ESEA/McKinney-Vento/Pages/default.aspx

The ESSA provisions relating to students in foster care include:

  • Allowing students in foster care to remain in the school district /school of origin even when the foster home placements change.
  • Immediate enrollment of students in foster care after a school move.
  • Foster care point of contact in every state education agency as well as each school district.
  • Plans for school district/school of origin transportation to maintain a foster student attendance in the school district/school of origin.
  • Tracking achievement and graduation data for students in foster care

Talented and Gifted Program

In Pendleton School District we recognize that every student comes to us as an individual with unique abilities, talents, and needs. We believe it is our responsibility, as educators, to provide appropriate instructional programs and supportive environments allowing and encouraging every child to realize his/her potential. Pendleton School is committed to providing a quality education for all students.

We use a Multi-Tiered Systems approach to identify students who may potentially qualify for our Talented and Gifted Programs. For more information contact the Director of Special Programs, Julie Smith, at 541-966-3262

School Contacts:

Pendleton Early Learning Center
Principal: lhaleatpendletonsd.org (Lori Hale)
Special Education teacher: Katie Gillem
English Language Development Teacher: Cary Varela
Child Development Specialist: Anne Sokoloski

McKay Creek Elementary
Principal: lwoodsatpendletonsd.org (Lorena Woods)
Special Education Teacher: Sally Ladd
English Language Development Teacher: Laetitia Schreier
Child Development Specialists: Patti Thorne

Sherwood Heights Elementary
Principal: rsmithatpendletonsd.org (Ronda Smith)
Dean of Students: Piper Kelm
Special Education Teachers: Shelby Torgeson, Jennifer Wirth, Bob Hempel, Betty Townsend
English Language Development Teacher: Laetitia Schreier
Child Development Specialist: Lisa Roberts

Washington Elementary
Principal: avanniceatpendletonsd.org (Aimee VanNice)
Dean of Students: Maria Davis
English Language Development Teacher: Cary Varela
Special Education Teachers: Janet Vaupel-Moody, Bailey Harwell, Jessica Lewis
Child Development Specialist: Deirdre Bradley

Sunridge Middle School
Principal: dwilliamsatpendletonsd.org (David Williams)
Assistant Principal: Jared Tesch
Special Education Teachers: Nicholas Leonard, Deena Nelson, Jill Pitt, Alisa Rasheed
English Language Development Teacher: Cary Varela
Counselors: Jessica Sou, Matthew Rediger

Pendleton High School
Principal: msandvenatpendletonsd.org (Melissa Sandven)
Assistant Principal: Curt Thompson
Special Education Teachers: Myrah Carey, Sarah Gaulke, Jackie Brown, Kathryn Hall
English Language Development Teacher: Laetitia Schreier
Counselors: Greg Whitten, Karen Demianew, Ron Murphy

Nixyaawii Community School
Principal: rheinrichatpendletonsd.org (Ryan Heinrich)
Special Education Teacher: Sarah Gaulke

Hawthorne Alternative School
High School Success Coordinator: ksimpsonatpendletonsd.org (Kelly Simpson)
Special Education Teacher: Kathryn Hall