Special Education

Mission Statement

The mission of the Dixon Unified School District Special Education Department is to support all students with disabilities in achieving their highest potential in the areas of academics, communication, social skills and life skills to become included, productive, members of the community.

Jennifer Austin – Director of Special Education
(707) 693-6300 x8011

Anahis Gomez Nunez – Program Office Coordinator
(707) 693-6300 x8011

Carmen Zamudio – Interpreter/Translator
(707) 693-6300 x8012

Vision Statement

DUSD believes that individuals with disabilities should be educated to the maximum extent possible in accordance with their individual capabilities and in a manner that enables them to strive for their fullest potential. This will be accomplished by:

  • Maintaining high standards and expectations for each individual’s achievements in correspondence with their abilities and physical limitations.
  • Focusing on the strengths of the students and emphasizing that students with disabilities are valued and shall be included fully in the district.
  • Fully involving parents of students with disabilities in all aspects of their child’s education with the goal of developing effective home/school partnerships.
  • Engaging staff in regular professional development activities in order to keep current with effective programs and practices.
  • Challenging individuals with disabilities to use their abilities to the fullest extent possible to become educated, productive, and independent citizens.
Eligibility for Special Education

Dixon Unified School District offer an excellent special education program for those students identified as having exceptional needs. Because it is a serious decision to identify a student as an individual with exceptional needs, the decision must be supported by thorough assessment and professional deliberation.

Based on Education Code 56303, “A pupil shall be referred for special educational instruction and services only when the resources of the regular education program have been considered, and where appropriate, utilized.” Is a student continues to exhibit learning difficulties, each school site conducts a Student Support Team meeting that reviews all potential referrals to special education. An Individual Educational Support Program (IEP) team composed of assessment members, other school staff, and the parents review assessment results to determine eligibility for special education services.

Student must meet eligibility criteria for special education in one of the following identification categories, and must require special education services:

  • Significant Adaptive and Intellectual Deficit
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Deafness
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Visual Impairment
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Autistic-Like Behaviors
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Established Medical Disability (ages 3-5 only)

Program options recommended for a student by the IEP team are based upon the student’s strengths, needs, and established goals and objectives. The IEP team must provide a program in the least restrictive setting that is reasonably calculated for that pupil to benefit.

Parent Information Network (PIN)

Parent Information Network: The Parent Information Network (PIN)  is a group of parents, educators and community members who are concerned with the educational needs of children with disabilities. The PIN meetings are held at least once a quarter and provide information on topics of parental interest that will assist them in supporting their child by working in partnership with the school. The meetings are meant to be informational, supportive and to assist parents in the IEP process and in understanding their child’s disability.

Questions and topics of interest for the PIN meetings should be emailed to: kim.parrott@dixonusd.org

Solano County Selpa

The local education agencies (LEAs) within Solano County join together pursuant to California Education Code (EC) Section 56195.1 to adopt a plan in accordance with EC Section 56205 to assure equal access to special education and services for all eligible persons with disabilities residing in the geographic area served by these agencies, hereafter known as the Solano County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). In adopting the Local Plan, each participating local education agency agrees to carry out the duties and responsibilities assigned to it within the plan.

Contact the Solano County SELPA

SELPA Local Plans

Special Education Acronyms

ADD/ADHD – Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
APE – Adapted Physical Education
ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder
AT – Assistive Technology
BSP – Behavior Support Plan
CAHSEE – California High School Exit Exam
CCS – California Children’s Service
CDE – California Department of Education
CEC – Council for Exceptional Children
CPS – Child Protection Services
DHOH – Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
DRDP – Desired Results Development Profile (state-funded preschool assessment)
ECE – Early Childhood Education
ED – Emotionally Disturbed
ELL – English Language Learner
EMD – Established Medical Disability
ESY – Extended School Year (summer school for special education students)
FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education
FSP – Functional Skills Program
IDEA/IDEIA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEE – Independent Educational Evaluation
IEP – Individual Educational Program
IFSP – Individual Family Service Plan
ILC – Intensive Learning Center
ILS – Independent Living Skills
IQ – Intelligence Quotient
ISGI – Individual Small Group Instruction
ITP – Individualized Transition Plan
LCI – Learning Children’s Institution
LD – Learning Disability/Disabled
LEA – Local Education Agency
LRE – Least Restrictive Environment
NPA – Non-public Agency
NPS – Non-public School
OAH – Office of Administration Hearings
OCR – Office of Civil Rights
OHI – Other Health Impaired
OI – Orthopedically Impaired
OM – Orientation & Mobility
OSEP – Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education
OT – Occupational Therapy
OTR – Occupational Therapist, Registered
PSSP – Private School Services Plan
PT – Physical Therapy/Therapist
RSP – Resource Specialist Program
RTI – Response to Intervention
SDC – Special Day Class
SEIS – Special Education Information System
SELPA – Special Education Local Plan Area
SH – Severely Handicapped
SMD – Severely/Multiply Disabled
SPED – Special Education
SS – Standard Score
SST – Student Support Team
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury
VI – Visually Impaired
WIAT – Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
WISC – Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

Team Dixon

T.E.A.M Dixon stands for Together Everyone Always Matters, a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization composed of families in and around Solano County who believe that we can build a better community for our special needs children, and that the youth in our area have a lot to demonstrate in the way of friendship, compassion, tolerance, and human kindness.

Connect with Team Dixon

Care Solace

Care Solace is an online resource with a live 24×7 concierge line that assists individuals in finding local mental health related programs and counseling services. To use Care Solace, individuals answer ten basic questions in order to receive an extensive list of referrals to applicable care providers. Care Solace takes into account all types of private insurance including Medi-Cal, Medicaid, and Medicare and those that have no insurance. The system also filters by age, gender, zip code and special requests.

DUSD’s partnership with Care Solace provides access to services for our students, staff, and families at no cost. Please note, this service is an optional resource available by choice and is not mandatory in any way. Care Solace does not require a user’s name, address, phone number, or date of birth. All of the information that is entered on their platform is completely confidential and stored securely.

Care Solace provides care connections for mental health concerns related to:

  • alcohol
  • marijuana
  • hallucinogens
  • inhalants
  • opioids
  • stimulants
  • sedatives
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • suicide
  • bipolar disorder
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • trauma & stress
  • disruptive, impulse control
  • eating disorders
  • neurodevelopmental disorders

To access Care Solace, visit www.caresolace.com/dixonusd

Or call (888) 515-0595


I have a problem – Who do I contact?

Contact your student’s special education teacher, site principal, or assistant principal. If you are not able to work out the issue, the district’s Director of Special Education will be able to assist you.

You are also welcome to contact our Department Program Manager, Susie Altieri, at: 707-693-6300 Ext. 8011 to schedule an appointment with our director.

What is a Student Support Team (SST) and how will this team assist my child?

A referral to a Student Support Team brings together the parent(s), teacher, administrator/counselor, and other professionals at school, to look at the student as a unique individual. The Student Support Team may address learning needs, social concerns, health issues, or other factors that affect the student’s success at school. The meeting will address the student’s strengths, known information, concern areas, identify appropriate actions that the school or family will take, outline needed accommodations/modifications, and who is responsible for each of these items. A follow-up Student Support Team Meeting will be scheduled to address student’s progress and need for further supports.

How do I refer a school-age child for special education?

You, or the teacher, may refer your child to the school’s Student Support Team, to consider the request for an assessment for special education eligibility. Part of the responsibility of the SST (Student Support Team) is to document the modifications and interventions that have been attempted in the general education setting, and to suggest other steps that may be taken to meet the student’s needs in the regular education program. The SST (composed of teacher, principal, counselor or other staff who has an interest in the child) will consider your request, and, if applicable, develop an assessment plan for parent approval, or to respond if the request is not appropriate.

In the Dixon Unified School District, we schedule an SST meeting to consider the request in order to meet the legal requirement that general education supports be utilized as appropriate, before special education is considered.

How is eligibility for special education determined?

The school IEP (Individual Education Program) team makes this determination, based on assessment information. The IEP team determined is the student has one of the fourteen disabilities specified by federal and state law, and requires special education services and support. The IEP team weighs the question: Can this student’s needs be addressed through regular education or are specialized support and services required? To answer this question, the team draws on information provided by the parents, school history, specific assessments and the student’s response to regular education supports. If the IEP team finds that the student is eligible, the team specifies goals, services, instructional modifications and accommodations in the IEP document.

Who do I contact regarding transportation?

Is a student requires specialized transportation due to his/her disability, it should be documented on the student’s IEP and a Transportation Request and Information Form will be completed by the IEP team. The teacher or Program Specialist will notify the district office if transportation is required; “related service” as decided upon by the IEP team. Please note that not all students receiving specialized transportation are transported curb-to-curb. Once a transportation request has been sent to the transportation department, the transportation department will call the parent with the bus stop location, pick-up time, and drop-off time. Please allow up to 5 days for new transportation requests.

Each year, prior to the start of school, it is the parent’s responsibility to fill out a new transportation form for any special needs a student may have.

My child has a current Individual Education Plan (IEP) and we’re moving to DUSD – Who should we contact?

If you child has an active IEP, please contact the Special Education Department at 707-693-6300 Ext. 8011. If parents have copies of the current IEP, and any recent assessments, these can be faxed to the district office at  707-678-7209. If your child’s IEP contains services not offered at the student’s home school, you will be directed to register your child at the closest school offering the required services.

What is the process for elementary students with IEPs moving to middle school?

In the spring, prior to your student moving to middle school, an Individual Educational Program meeting will be arranged by your student’s case carrier to address transition. During this meeting, student’s current level of performance and goals and objectives will be reviewed to identify appropriate services for when your student goes to middle school. A representative from middle school will be in attendance to assist the Individual Education Program Team and to answer questions.

Does Dixon Unified School District offer extended school year for students with active IEPs (Individual Education Plans)?

Dixon Unified offers extended school year if the IEP team determines that, due to the student’s disability and needs, regression in performance which will occur which require substantial time to recover the next school year. This is an IEP team decision, based on individual needs of each student.

Extended school year services are offered for a 20 day session during summer.