Special Education

Special Education Staff

For voicemail, dial 651-683-6969 plus the 5 digit extension

Learning Disabilities

  • Kelli Meyer - VM# 84201
  • Wendy Mandigo- VM# 86439
  • Heather Thaller- VM# 86752
  • Valerie Miller - VM#82290
  • Amanda Nichols - VM# 86711

Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities

  • Wendy Mandigo - VM# 86439

Speech/Language Disabilities

  • Michele Gorder- VM# 88544

School Psychologist

  • Thor Bolstad-VM#86860

CIP Teacher

  • Holly Schmidt - VM# 86416

DCD Teacher

  • Teri Schiernbeck - VM# 86702

Occuptional Therapist

  • Stacy Pfarr - VM# 84573

Adapted Physical Education

  • Dave Christenson- VM#86657

Parent Resources on the Web

Below are links to helpful websites for parents of children with special needs.



CIP stands for Communication Interaction Program. Students who are part of this program each have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) designed to meet their academic and social needs. CIP is an academic based program that offers classes in English, Reading, Math, History, and Science at each grade level. The curriculum in the CIP program mirrors the mainstream curriculum, but is modified to meet the individual needs of students. The students IEP team will determine whether individual students will participate in the mainstream classes or CIP classes. When students are in the mainstream setting program support assistants are available to assist them.

Throughout middle school we work on preparing students for the transition to high school and adulthood. In the CIP program we spend a lot of time working on organizational skills, work completion, and social skills. Students receive support from Speech and Language Clinicians, Adaptive PhyEd, and Occupational Therapy as needed.

If you have any questions regarding the CIP program please contact your son/daughters case manager.

DHMS SPECIAL EDUCATION LEARNING DISABILITIES PROGRAM At your child's annual Individual Educational Plan review, the options offered at DHMS are explained thoroughly. Each student's total program is chosen carefully to meet the needs of that student. The final plan may involve placement in co-taught classes, basic classes, or a combination of the two. Within these settings, the individual needs of the students are further identified.

Grade Six "A Year of Transition"

In grade six, we emphasize organizational skills such as: bringing materials to class, taking notes, organizing materials, and completing homework assignments.

Grade Seven "Moving Onward"

In grade seven, we focus on assignment completion, use of an assignment notebook, student responsibility and accountability. Additional attention is directed toward the application and transfer of learned skills.

Grade Eight "Getting Ready for High School"

Emphasis in grade eight is placed on increasing students self advocacy skills. These skills help students make appropriate choices in course work and extracurricular activities as they plan for their high school years.

Basic Classes

Basic reading, written language and math classes consist of 5-15 students.

The curriculum may include the following areas:


* Decoding strategies

* Comprehension strategies

* Elements of fiction

* Types of fiction

Written Language

* Sentence and paragraph writing strategies

* Research compositions

* Personal compositions

* Spelling Instruction


* Calculation skills

* Basic math applications

* Problem solving skills

* Math for daily living

* Consumer Math

Co-Taught Classes

Co-Taught classes consist of a learning disabilities teacher and a mainstream teacher working in the same classroom. Students with various ability and skill levels are integrated into 'regular' classroom settings. Emphasis is placed on active, appropriate participation in class activities and in mainstream assignment completion(modified as needed according to the Individual Educational Plan).

Depending on their needs, students can participate in co-taught math, English and reading classes during sixth grade. In seventh and eighth grade they can participate in co-taught math and English classes. *co-taught reading may be available depending on if student enrollment and interest is high.

Within their co-taught classes, students' individual needs are met in the following ways:

*Closely monitored assignment completion

*Modified tests, assignments and labs

*Revised outlines and skill sheets

*supplemental materials for additional drill and practice

*Small group instruction awhen needed to increase specific skills


Transition goals are written to help students develop skills they need in order to live and work independently in the community. These goals are for students ages 14 or older and are included in the IEP.

For 7th and 8th graders the goal is to make them aware of the five transition areas and prepare them for high school activites. The five trasition areas are as follows: work skills, home living, recreation and liesure, community participation, post-secondary training and learning.

The students are assessed through formal and informal tests and surveys.

These transition goals and objectives are reached through instruction in academic courses, vocational courses, and work in school, the community or the home.