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Summary of Services


Santa Clara Unified School District has a commitment to providing special education services in the least restrictive environment for all special needs children. Students are placed in programs that provide maximum interaction with their non-disabled peers. SCUSD has implemented an Inclusive Education program which provides a quality education for all students with mild to moderate disabilities in Resource Specialist Programs and Special Day Classes in their home schools with maximum inclusion general education classes.

Students with Severe Disabilities

The district provides a full continuum of services for students with intensive needs. District Special Day Class programs are provided for students with delayed cognitive abilities, autism, emotional disturbance, severe language delays and physical disabilities. Occupational/Physical Therapy needs and Counseling and Behavioral Intervention services are also available. These programs focus on building academic, social, emotional, communication, pre-vocational, vocational and functional life skills within the educational setting.

Preschool Programs for 3-5 Year Old Children

Designated Instruction and Services (DIS) programs provide a continuum of services for young children with special needs. Special Day Classes provide programs to students with delayed cognitive abilities, language delays, autism, physical disabilities, hearing impairment and learning disabilities.

All programs provide the opportunity to interact with non-disabled peers and have parent education components. A full range of related services is available as appropriate, including EIBI (Early Intensive Behavior Intervention), Adaptive Physical Education, Speech and Language Services, Occupational Therapy, Parent Education, and other related services.

Early intervention and prevention services are provided through consultation to the district State Preschool programs, Children Center Programs and Wilson Preschool programs.

Auditory Oral Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program

For over 50 years the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Regional Program, located at Haman Elementary School, has been successfully educating deaf and hard of hearing children from preschool to 5th grade using auditory/oral methods. The program is designed to minimize the effects of hearing loss and to maximize the skills necessary for students to function independently. The program includes the students in the general education setting with emphasis on speech, language, and auditory skills. Additionally, an itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing is available for the purpose of providing individual, direct and consultative services to students whose educational needs can be best met at their home school.

Vision Impaired Program

The Vision Program is housed at Sutter Elementary. Life skills including Braille and occupational therapy services complement the learning environment. Students are included in the general education classrooms to the maximum degree appropriate. Orientation and Mobility is also available for students who qualify.

Career and Vocational Education

Exemplary career and vocational education services are provided to all secondary special education students. Services include vocational assessment, vocational counseling, skills training, work experience, supported employment, job coaching, transition, and post-high school services. An established WorkAbility Program has resulted in the successful employment of district special education students.

Psychological Services

The School Psychologists provide a wide range of services, including a Crisis Intervention Program, parenting classes, consultation services, counseling services, behavior management support, as well as assessment and diagnostic services.

Speech and Language Services

Speech and Language Pathologists represent professionals with a wide variety of areas and services; working with students with hearing impairments, oral-motor needs, implementing social communication programs in the classroom, augmentative communications and specialized diagnostic and assessment expertise.

Special Education Transportation

Special Education Transportation is designed for special education students with exceptional needs as specified in their individual education program (IEP). The IEP team will determine whether or not the student is eligible for transportation. Examples: Students with profound disabilities, pupils with orthopedic disabilities using wheelchairs or requiring lifts, and students that are enrolled in a Special Day Program that is not at their resident school.

Special Education Records

Special Education records only are available through the Special Education department. Special Education records are not kept after 5 years. Transcripts, diplomas, and cumulative files are stored at the school of last attendance. If you went to Buchser, the file would be at Santa Clara High School. If you went to Peterson, the file would be at Wilcox High School. New Valley and Wilson High have records at the school. 

Special Education Referral Process

A parent, teacher, or other professional may make a formal written request for an assessment advising the District of the areas of suspected disability. Please see Assessment Requests page.