Special Education

Special Education Department

(408) 201-6040
FAX:  (408) 201-6045


Introduction to Special Education

Morgan Hill Unified School District (MHUSD) provides support to all students with disabilities. We partner with other local school districts as well as the Santa Clara County Office of Education (COE) to insure that programs are located within our Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA).

Department Information

Contact Information

Director Special Education









Jessica Patterson


Karen Haas

Staff Secretary

Nicky Hilkene

Executive Secretary

Kristen Curtis

Program Specialist

Michelle Ballinger

Program Specialist

Eligibility for Services

Students become eligible for special education services through a formalized process of evaluation. Anyone who suspects that a student is disabled may request an evaluation in writing. Requests will receive a response from the school site within 15 days. Usually a Student Study Team is asked to determine whether an assessment is necessary. If recommended, assessments will take place within 60 days of the initial request. If an assessment is not recommended, the Study Team will explain their reasoning in writing.Once a student has been assessed, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting is held to determine a student’s eligibility for services. Students may be found eligible in one of 13 categories:

*Intellectual disabilities
*Hearing impairments (including deafness)
*Speech or language impairments
*Visual impairments (including blindness)
*Emotional disturbance
*Orthopedic impairment
*Traumatic brain injury
*Other health impairments
*Specific learning disabilities
*Developmental delay
*Intellectual Disability Students may receive any combination of services, based on their IEP, including:
*Speech and Language – offered at all schools.  Speech and language specialists provide support for articulation, voice, fluency, and language disorders.
*Resource Specialists – offered at all schools.  Resource Specialists provide educational planning and specialized instruction to exceptional individuals in special programs or within regular classrooms.
*Special Day Classes – offered at selected elementary schools and all secondary schools, not all grade levels are available at all sites.  Students are grouped with others who share similar instructional needs for 50% of the day. Each class has a credentialed special education teacher and Paraprofessional.Adaptive physical education, behavior support, occupational therapy, and other services are available when a student’s IEP determines this need.
If you have questions about Special Education programs or would like to request a review for assessment, contact Special Education Department at (408) 201-6040.


WorkAbility I
WorkAbility I is a training program for special education students ages 14.9-22 designed to promote career awareness and exploration while students complete their secondary education program.  WorkAbility I provides students with opportunities for job shadowing, paid and non-paid work experience, and ongoing support and guidance from vocational personnel.  WorkAbility I  ;is administered by the California Department of Education, Special Education Division.

Business Benefits
Screened students ready to learn and work
Worker interest/skills matched to employer’s needs
Ongoing employee support services
Low-risk, low-cost job training
Trained employees ready to hire

Student Benefits
Career exploration
Work experience
Support system in making career decisions
Interagency collaboration
Assessment of vocational interests and aptitudes
Follow up

WorkAbility I: A California Transition Program

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