Comprehensive Distance Learning

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.

Julie Smith

Julie Smith

Special Programs Director
(541) 966-3262

Meagan Coots

Data Specialist
(541) 276-6711

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.

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.

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 non disabled 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.

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

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

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.

Pendleton School District TAG Plan

School Contacts

Pendleton High School
PrincipalMelissa 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

Sunridge Middle School
PrincipalDavid 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 Early Learning Center
PrincipalLori Hale
Special Education teacher: Katie Gillem
English Language Development Teacher: Cary Varela
Child Development Specialist: Anne Sokoloski

McKay Creek Elementary
PrincipalLorena Woods
Special Education Teacher: Sally Ladd
English Language Development Teacher: Laetitia Schreier
Child Development Specialists: Patti Thorne

Sherwood Heights Elementary
PrincipalRonda 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
PrincipalAimee 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

Nixyaawii Community School
PrincipalRyan Heinrich
Special Education Teacher: Sarah Gaulke

Hawthorne Alternative School
High School Success Coordinator: Kelly Simpson
Special Education Teacher: Kathryn Hall