special education

Special Education services at SCSC include

  • The Region 9 Project for Low Incidence
  • A comprehensive system of personnel development

Low Incidence

Low Incidence refers to a disability that occurs rarely or in low numbers. There are eight disabilities categorized as low incidence.


South Central Service Cooperative Regional Low Incidence Project provides audiological services for children with suspected or diagnosed hearing loss.

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The term Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is used to refer to a range of related conditions also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Autistic disorder and these related conditions are lifelong developmental disabilities that usually begin during the first three years of a child’s life. The earlier a child receives intervention the more gains they make.

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Our philosophy is based on the premise that visually impaired children are first of all children with the same basic needs as all other children. One of the primary concerns of a vision consultant is to assure proper placement, access and program adaptation for visually impaired/blind students.

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Terms that have been used include dual sensory impairment, hearing and vision loss, concomitant hearing and vision loss, and hard of hearing/visually impaired. The term, stated in the IDEA refers to a continuum from hard of hearing to complete deafness and visually impaired to totally blind. Very few people are completely deaf and completely blind. Many students with deafblindness have additional disabilities.

To qualify there must be verification that the student meets criteria for visual impairment and deaf/hard of hearing.

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Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (DCD) means a condition resulting in significantly below average intellectual functioning and concurrent deficits in adaptive behavior that adversely affects educational performance and requires special education and related services. DCD does not include conditions primarily due to a sensory or physical impairment, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorders, severe multiple impairments, cultural influences or inconsistent educational programming.


Other health disability means a broad range of medically diagnosed chronic or acute health conditions that may adversely affect academic functioning and result in the need for special education instruction and related services. The decision that a specific health condition qualifies as other health disabilities will be determined by the impact of the condition on academic functioning rather than the diagnostic label given the condition.


Physical impairment means a medically diagnosed physical impairment, either congenital or acquired, that adversely affects physical or academic functioning and results in the need for special education and related services.

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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that may adversely affect a child's educational performance and result in the need for special education and related services. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as: cognition, speech/language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, and information processing.

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Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (Assistive technology can be as simple as a pencil grip or as complex as a voice-activated computer.) Educators must consider assistive technology for all children with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) (§34 C.F.R 300.346.2.(v)) and provide assistive technology for students who require it (§34 C.F.R. 300.6 (b)). For current federal language regarding assistive technology, see the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
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Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities

Regional Network of Professional Development and Technical Assistance. Each of the existing economic development regions will house a "Early Childhood Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities." The centers will provide a high quality, comprehensive, coordinated system of professional development that includes regionalized support, technical assistance and training.

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For additional information, contact the director of Special Education for your district.

Mankato Area Public Schools-ISD #77

Scott Hare (Director), 507-207-4202 
Cara Samuelson (Assistant Director of Special Education), 507-387-1818
Katie Gag  (Assistant Director of Early Learning), 507-625-4620
Sam Steinman (Secondary Special Education Coordinator), 507-387-1818

Minnesota Valley Education District

Sara McMonagle (Director), 507-934-5420

  • Cleveland
  • Lake Crystal
  • Le Center
  • Le Sueur-Henderson
  • Maple River
  • Nicollet
  • St. Clair
  • St. Peter

River Bend Education District

Doug Hazen (Director), 507-359-8766

  • Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop (GFW)
  • Green Isle Community School
  • Lafayette Charter School
  • Madelia
  • New Ulm
  • Sibley East
  • Sleepy Eye
  • St. James

South Central Service Cooperative

Holle Spessard (Special Education Director, Region 9 Low Incidence Project, Centers of Excellence CSPD), 507-389-1914

Southern Plains Special Ed Cooperative

Sarah Mittelstadt (Director), 507-238-1472

  • Blue Earth Area
  • Fairmont
  • Granada-Huntley-East Chain (GHEC)
  • Martin County West
  • United South Central

Truman Public Schools

Waseca Public Schools – ISD #829

Heather Harms (Director of Special Education), 507-835-5046
Linda Hullopeter (Assistant Director of Special Education), 507-835-5046

  • Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (JWP)
  • New Richland-Hartland Ellendale-Geneva (NRHEG)
  • Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (WEM)
  • Waseca