Personalized Learning

Special Education at TRHS

ThunderRidge High School provides targeted special education support and services to students on Individual Education Plans (IEP).

Special Education Services

Special Education services are afforded to all students who are entitled to special education services as identified in the student’s Individualized Education Program. Services may include:

  • Moderate needs support: An individualized service delivery model that primarily utilizes inclusive practices through a combination of special education support provided in the general classroom environment and/or special education support provided outside the general classroom environment.
  • Additional supports: This may include mental health, speech-language, and occupational therapy interventions provided in the general classroom environment and/or special education support provided outside the general classroom environment.
  • Instructional/environmental accommodations & modifications
  • State assessment accommodations
  • Individualized instructional practices
  • Small group services/interventions
  • Individual goal setting and progress monitoring

The continuum of special education services are designed to ensure that students are able to access and make progress in the general curriculum. Service delivery is driven by student performance and subject to change as the student makes progress towards goals and objectives and is served in the least restrictive environment.

More information can be found at https://www.dcsdk12.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=5755431



Supporting Students

At ThunderRidge, one of the ways in which students are supported is through a co-taught model. Co-teaching is the practice of pairing teachers together in a classroom to share the responsibilities of planning, instructing, and assessing students. In a co-teaching setting, the teachers are considered equally responsible and accountable for the classroom. Co-teaching is implemented at ThunderRidge with general and special education teachers paired together as part of an initiative to create a more inclusive classroom.

ThunderRidge also offers a continuum of services for students that need support in addition to the co-taught classes. These classes are outside of the general education classroom and taught by a learning specialist.



Reference:Trites, N. (2018, August 27). What is Co-Teaching? An Introduction To Co-teaching and Inclusion. Retrieved from http://castpublishing.org/introduction-co-teaching-inclusion/

Registration Process for Incoming 9th Graders with IEP's

  1. In January, 8th graders will be asked to register for classes with the help of TRHS school counselors. During this time we ask that students follow the instructions of the counselors (registering for the core classes and electives of their choice).
  2. In March or April, the case-manager from the middle school will schedule a matriculation meeting with the high school team and the family.
  3. At the matriculation meeting, the teams will discuss the students present levels of performance and current needs. The high school team will then describe the various services offered at THRS. Then the two teams and the family will create a plan for the ways the student will be serviced at TRHS in accordance with the student's IEP.
  4. The high school team will work to build the students schedule in order to ensure that student is in the proper classes.
  5. At the beginning of the student's 9th grade school year the student's case manager will reach out and introduce themselves.


If at any time during this process, should questions arise please contact the TRHS special education department.

Special Education Department Contacts

Department Chairs

Michael Carver- michael.carver@dcsdk12.org

James Tropper- james.tropper@dcsdk12.org

IEP and Assessment Specialists

Susan Giusti- susan.giusti@dcsdk12.org

Michael Carver- michael.carver@dcsdk12.org

Learning Specialists

Amy Lunstra (SSN)- amy.lunstra@dcsdk12.org

Candace Bruce-Andrews (Mild/Mod)- candace.bruceandrews@dcsdk12.org

Karen Clark (Mild/Mod)- karen.clark1@dcsdk12.org

Kimberly Geer (AN)- kimberly.geer@dcsdk12.org

Mariclar Hall (Mild/Mod)- mariclar.hall@dcsdk12.org

Nichole VandeVusse (Mild/Mod)- nichole.vandevusse@dcsdk12.org

Samantha Wheatley (SSN)- samantha.wheatley1@dcsdk12.org

Steve Fendry (Mild/Mod)- steve.fendry@dcsdk12.org

Mental Health

Chris Hannaford- chris.hannaford@dcsdk12.org

James Tropper- james.tropper@dcsdk12.org

Stephanie Guyer- stephanie.guyer@dcsdk12.org

Speech-Language

Pam Lackey- pamela.lackey@dcsdk12.org