300 L Street
Aurora, NE 68818
402-694-6923

Special Education

Program Overview

Aurora Public Schools provide Special Education Services to students, birth through 21 years of age, as required by the federal law known as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and Nebraska Department of Education’s Rule 51 and Rule 52. Thirteen disability categories are defined by the State of Nebraska. They include: autism, deaf-blindness, developmental delay, emotionally disturbed, hearing impairments, intellectual disability, multiple impairments, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, speech-language impairments, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairments. Children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment.

The Aurora School District contracts for a visual consultant and other services, if needed, from the Educational Service Unit No. 9 in Hastings. Occupational therapy and physical therapy services are contracted from Memorial Hospital here in Aurora. All other certified and non-certified staff members are employed by the Aurora School District.  Special education services are provided for 200+ students at Aurora Public School.

Aurora Public Schools has the philosophy of using a team concept in providing services to students with disabilities. Parents, classroom teachers, special educators, administrators, outside agencies, and other appropriate personnel work together to individualize the program for each special education student. Depending on the severity of the disability, students are provided with opportunities for academic assistance, skill development, vocational programming assistance with community living, development of self-help skills, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and linkages to post-secondary programs.

We provide educational opportunities for ALL students in our district by…

* serving our children in our community.
* providing academic experiences for children with diverse learning abilities.
* providing students with the necessary assistive technology to promote independence and opportunities to use them in a variety of settings.
* promoting interactions with same age peers and partnerships between general education and special education students.
* providing opportunities to learn and improve self-help skills, daily living skills, and vocational skills.
* providing social opportunities with other students, teachers and community members.
* developing lasting partnerships with community members, organizations and businesses in the Aurora area.

Special Education Director:  Jeff Sutter

Email:  jsutter@4rhuskies.org

Phone #:  402-694-6966

Job Description: Oversees the Aurora Special Education/Preschool Program – (Birth-21)

My mission is to … live by my values, promote a positive attitude, and to serve others on a daily basis.


Documents


Technology

Apps

Math

Oh no Fractions

Mad Math

Math Tour

Math 7

What is my Number

Math Snacks HD

Bubbles Math

Zoom

Hungry Fish

Rocket Math

Reading

Painless vocabulary

Dragon Dictation

Proloquo2Go

Writing/Storytelling

Sparkle Fish

Painless Grammar

Painless Spelling

Tourwrist

Qwiki

Conditions & Qualifications

To qualify for special education services in the category of Autism, the child must have a developmental disability which:
– significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction;
– is generally evident before age three; and
– that adversely affects the child’s educational performance.
– Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and
stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routine, and
unusual responses to sensory experiences.

Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

Aurora School District Specialists

  • Anne Wilbur, School Psychologist – awilbur@4rhuskies.org
  • Sheri Thompson, Speech Language Pathologist – sthompson@4rhuskies.org
  • Carol Schuster, Speech Language Pathologist – cschuster@4rhuskies.org
  • Roxie Obermier, Resource Teacher – obermier@4rhuskies.org

Resources

To qualify for special education services in the category of Autism, the child must have a developmental disability which:
– significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction;
– is generally evident before age three; and
– that adversely affects the child’s educational performance.
– Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and
stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routine, and
unusual responses to sensory experiences.

Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

Aurora School District Specialists:
Anne Wilbur, School Psychologist – awilbur@4rhuskies.org
Sheri Thompson, Speech Language Pathologist – sthompson@4rhuskies.org
Carol Schuster, Speech Language Pathologist – cschuster@4rhuskies.org
Roxie Obermier, Resource Teacher – obermier@4rhuskies.org

Resources:

Tuck-Advancing Better Sleep (Autism Article) www.tuck.com/autism-spectrum-disorder-and-sleep/

Central Region Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (This is Aurora’s region) http://www.esu10.org/programs-services/special-education-services/Autism

Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network (ASD) http://www.unl.edu/asdnetwork/

Autism Speaks http://www.autismspeaks.org/

Autism Action Partnership http://www.autismaction.org/

Social Thinking http://socialthinking.com/

Autism Internet Modules (AIM) – Linking research to real life. GREAT Free On-Line Training Resources!! Intervention Modules for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders including Home Base, Structured Work Systems and Activity Organization, Transitioning Between Activities, Visual Supports http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/

Autism Center of Nebraska in Omaha, NE
http://autismcenterofnebraska.org/
Telephone Number: 402-316-1000

Theory of Mind http://www.asperger-advice.com/theory-of-mind.html

You Tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDtjLSa50uk

Autism Speaks Video Glossary – http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/video-glossary

OCALI You Tube Videos – http://www.youtube.com/user/ocalivideos?feature=watch

National Professional Development Center – Evidenced Based Practices Briefs –http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/content/evidence-based-practices

Autism Society of America Online Course – http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/how-we-can-help/online-courses.html

Illinois Autism Training & Technical Assistance Project – http://autism.pbisillinois.org/
National Autism Center – http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/

TARGET: Texas Autism Resource Guide for Effective Teaching – http://www.txautism.net/manual.html

ADEPT – Autism Distance Education Parent Training – http://media.mindinstitute.org/education/ADEPT/Module1Menu.html

To qualify for special education services in the category of Deaf-Blindness, the child must have concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes:
– severe communication needs;
– other developmental and educational needs.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Developmental Delay, the child shall have a significant delay as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in one or more of the following areas and, by reason thereof needs special education and related services:
– cognitive development,
– physical development,
– communication development,
– social or emotional development,
– adaptive behavior or skills development, or
– a diagnosed physical or medical condition that has a high probability of resulting in substantial delay in function in one or more of such areas.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of emotionally disturbed, the child must have a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects the child’s educational performance or, in the case of children below age five, development:
– an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
– an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
– inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
– a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
– a tendency to develop physical symtoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Hearing Impairment, the child must have an impairment in hearing which:
– is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing with or without amplification, or
– is permanent or fluctuating, and
– adversely affects the child’s development or educational performance.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Intellectual Disability, the child must demonstrate:
– significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period,
that adversely affects a child’s educational, or in the case of a child below age five, a child’s developmental performance.
– this term parallels the federal definition of mental retardation in the regulations implementing IDEA 2004.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Multiple Impairments, the child must have concomitant impairments (such as mental handicap-visual impairment, mental handicap-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational, or in the case of a child below age five, a child’s developmental needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Other Health Impairments, the child must have:
* Limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational
environment that is due to chronic or acute health problems which adversely affects the child’s educational, or in the case of a child below age five, a child’s
developmental performance such as:
– asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophelia, lead poisoning, leukemia,
nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Specific Learning Disability, the child must have a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations. The category includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The category does not include children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visuals, hearing, or motor disabilities; of mental handicaps; of behavioral disorders; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Speech-Language Impairment, the child must have:
* a communication disorder such as:
– stuttering;
– impaired articulation;
– language impairment; or
– a voice impairment.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Traumatic Brain Injury, the child must have:
– an acquired injury to the brain caused by external physical force resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that
adversely affects the child’s educational performance, or in the case of a child below age five, a child’s developmental performance.
– the category includes open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas such as:
* cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem solving;
sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing;
and speech.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for special education services in the category of Visual Impairment, including blindness, the child must have:
– an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects the child’s educational, or in the case of a child below age five, a child’s developmental
performance;

This category includes children who have partial sight or blindness.
Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

To qualify for services in the category Orthopedic Impairment, the child must have a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects the child’s educational, or in the case of a child below age five, a child’s developmental performance.

The category includes children with impairments caused by:
– congenital anomaly,
– impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and
– impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

Nebraska Department of Education – Rule 51 (Effective Date: May 15, 2010)

Staff

Kathy Dyer

Early Childhood Special Educator

Email: kdyer@4rhuskies.org

I am an Early Childhood teacher who supports, encourages, and loves children in a natural, risk-free environment.

My mission is to … encourage children to be themselves, engage in positive interactions with children and staff, and to facilitate change for kids and families.

Gen Weiss

Deaf Educator

Email: gweiss@4rhuskies.org

I provide deaf education to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … faithfully give my best, with humor, and good cheer.

Carla Christenson

Occupational Therapist

Email: cchristenson@mchiaurora.org

I provide Occupational Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … have positive interactions with students, staff, and parents; to enhance each child’s ability to participate in his/her school day, and to try to be a positive and kind person to all I encounter.

Kim Eberly

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Email: keberly@mchiaurora.org

I provide Occupational Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … engage each student to do their best, to build relationships based on trust, and to grow in knowledge and skill to be better able to serve.

Cami Knust

Physical Therapist

Email: cknust@mchiaurora.org

I provide Physical Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … provide each child with a positive learning experience, while promoting enhancement of gross motor skills, by creating a desire to remain physically active at school, home, and in the community.

Shana Merrihew

Speech-Language Pathologist - Birth-5 home base services/preschool

Email: smerrihew@4rhuskies.org

I give Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.

My mission is to ... develop relationships, laugh, find success every day, and encourage kids to meet their potential.

Gayleen Moeller

ESU #9 Vision Consultant

Email: gayleen.moeller@esu9.us

I provide vision services for students enrolled in the Aurora Preschool through ESU #9.

My mission is to …conduct myself with a positive attitude, to recognize the whole child in each of one my students, to motivate them to explore the world around them, to believe every child is unique and is a blessing and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

DeLee Manka

Paraprofessional Staff

Email: dmanka@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to …help and inspire the positivity, creativity & uniqueness of those I work with, help foster kindness, compassion, and connection, and make everyday a learning success!

DeLee Manka

Paraprofessional Staff

Email: rduerksen@4rhuskies.org
My mission is to …be supportive and productive to staff while fostering independence
in children and families.

Dana Boehr

SPED Teacher

Email: dboehr@4rhuskies.org

I am a Resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.

My mission is to … provide a positive learning experience, recognize individual strengths, and collaborate with other team members.

Rhonda Grosshans

SPED Teacher

Email: rgrosshans@4rhuskies.org

I am a Resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.

Zach High

SPED Teacher

Email: zhigh@4rhuskies.org

I am a Resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.

My mission is to … impact, challenge, and make a difference EVERYDAY.

Luey Krejdl

Resource/Life Skills Teacher

Email: lkrejdl@4rhuskies.org

I am a resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.

My mission is to … be an advocate for each individual and their abilities, to always teach with purpose, and to work to make a positive change.

Carol Schuster

Speech-Language Pathologist

Email: cschuster@4rhuskies.org

I give Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.

My mission is to … help my students become effective communicators.

Gen Weiss

Deaf Educator

Email: gweiss@4rhuskies.org

I provide deaf education to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … faithfully give my best, with humor, and good cheer.

Carla Christenson

Occupational Therapist

Email: cchristenson@mchiaurora.org

I provide Occupational Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … have positive interactions with students, staff, and parents; to enhance each child’s ability to participate in his/her school day, and to try to be a positive and kind person to all I encounter.

Kim Eberly

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Email: keberly@mchiaurora.org

I provide Occupational Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … engage each student to do their best, to build relationships based on trust, and to grow in knowledge and skill to be better able to serve.

Cami Knust

Physical Therapist

Email: cknust@mchiaurora.org

I provide Physical Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … provide each child with a positive learning experience, while promoting enhancement of gross motor skills, by creating a desire to remain physically active at school, home, and in the community.

Paraprofessional Staff

Tamera Brophy

Email: tbrophy@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … help students develop active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. By following my mission I will always set others up for success.

Monica Wilkins

Email: mwilkins@4rhuskies.org

Jane Earnest

Email: jearnest@4rhuskies.org

Cortney Epp-Nelson

Email: cepp-nelson@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to …Build positive relationships, make an impact, and make people smile.

Margie Kliewer

Email: mkliewer@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to ... have faith in students and myself each day, have a positive attitude with students and all staff, help students reach their fullest potential, and be a positive role model for others by following the “Golden Rule”.

Tonya Smith

Email: tsmith@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … help students utilize and improve skills they have, and to help them discover and develop new skills so they may achieve their full potential now and in the future.

Lisa Werner

Email: lwerner@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … treat each child with patience and respect, encourage students to believe in themselves, and uplift all those around me with love and kindness.

Sally Hoos

SPED Resource / Life Skills Teacher

Email: shoos@4rhuskies.org

I am a resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.

My mission is to … be caring, communicate, and collaborate with others.

Roxie Obermier

SPED Resource/Middle & High School Life Skills Teacher

Email: obermier@4rhuskies.org

I am a resource teacher who teaches students to achieve their own personal level of independence in everyday living.

My mission is to … advocate, be enthusiastic, and believe all students are capable of learning.

April Sullivan

SPED Resource

Email: asullivan@4rhuskies.org

I am a resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.

My mission is to …be positive, assist others, and promote life long learners.

Mary Johansen

Paraprofessional

Email: mjohansen@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … do my best to help everyone around me feel valued.

Kelly Trumble

Paraprofessional

Email: ktrumble@4rhuskies.org

Philip Shively

Speech-Language Pathologist - Middle School/Elementary

Email: pshively@4rhuskies.org

I give Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.

My mission is to … carefully listen, take positive mindful action, and to assist students at their level of need.

Gen Weiss

Deaf Educator

Email: gweiss@4rhuskies.org

I provide deaf education to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … faithfully give my best, with humor, and good cheer.

Roxann Bredthauer

Email: rbredthauer@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … share my positive attitude with smiles and encouragement, use each opportunity to help others use their potential to learn and grow, and to make a difference in someone’s life by showing I care.

Amy Hudiburgh

Email: ahudiburgh@4rhuskies.org

Eileen Ohlin

Email: eohlin@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … ``Live to Love``, ``Every Day - Every Person``, and take ``One Interaction at a Time``.

Leslie Spence

Email: lspence@4rhuskies.org

Jody Collingham

Email: jcollingham@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … be flexible, be firm, be compassionate, be caring, and deal with each situation as its own along with adapting to each students' needs.

LaVon Williamsson

Email: lwilliamson@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to …dedicate myself to the students of Aurora Public Schools to enrich their life through education of social skills and knowledge, and to prepare them for adult life.

Kelly Trumble

Email: ktrumble@4rhuskies.org

Tim Elge

SPED Resource Teacher

Email: telge@4rhuskies.org

Resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.

Deb McDonald

SPED Resource Teacher

Email: debmcdonald@4rhuskies.org

Resource teacher who helps supplement students in the general education curriculum.
My mission is to … inspire ALL children to learn, be true to my morals and values, and make a personal connection with students.

Roxie Obermier

SPED Life Skills/Resource Teacher

Email: obermier@4rhuskies.org

Resource teacher who teaches students to achieve their own personal level of independence in everyday living.
My mission is to … advocate, be enthusiastic, and believe all students are capable of learning.

Sheri Thompson

Speech-Language Pathologist

Email: sthompson@4rhuskies.org

Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.
My mission is to … live each day with integrity, have a growth mindset, and empower others to achieve success.

Gen Helzer

Deaf Educator

Email: gweiss@4rhuskies.org

Providing deaf education to students attending Aurora Public Schools.
My mission is to … faithfully give my best, with humor, and good cheer.

Bob Betts

SPED Resource Teacher

Email: bbetts@4rhuskies.org

Diane Cooper

Email: dcooper@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … “Encourage”, “Listen”, and help “Fill Students’ Buckets”.

Lani Heiser

Email: lheiser@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … encourage students to do their very best job possible, to be a good listener, and to share my positive and caring attitude.

Mary Johansen

Email: mjohansen@4rhuskies.org

My mission is to … do my best to help everyone around me feel valued.

Dan Ziegler

Email: dziegler@4rhuskies.org

My mission and privilege is to … utilize the tools necessary to ensure our students have the opportunity to succeed with their academics.

Anne Wilbur

School District Psychologist

Email: awilbur@4rhuskies.org

Provides assessment services which are required to identify, diagnose, and verify students in addition to qualifying students for special education according to Nebraska Rule 51 for state regulations and standards; Teaching strategies for special education personel as well as classroom teachers; Behavior Consultant; Autism Specialist, RtI Team Member
My mission is to … look for and build upon people’s strengths, and appreciate and be enriched from each individual’s uniqueness.

Carla Christenson

Occupational Therapist

Email: cchristenson@4rhuskies.org

Providing Occupational Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … have positive interactions with students, staff, and parents to enhance each child’s ability to participate in his/her school day, and to try to be a positive and kind person to all I encounter.

Kim Eberly

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Email: keberly@mchiaurora.org

Providing Occupational Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … engage each student to do their best, to build relationships based on trust, and to grow in knowledge and skill to be better able to serve.

Cami Knust

Physical Therapist

Email: cknust@mchiaurora.org

Providing Physical Therapy services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.
My mission is to … provide each child with a positive learning experience while promoting enhancement of gross motor skills, by creating a desire to remain physically active at school, home, and in the community.

Shana Merrihew

Speech-Language Pathologist - Birth-5 home base services/preschool

Email: smerrihew@4rhuskies.org

Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.

My mission is to ... develop relationships, laugh, find success every day, and encourage kids to meet their potential.

Carol Schuster

Speech-Language Pathologist - Elementary School

Email: cschuster@4rhuskies.org

Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.

My mission is to ... help my students become effective communicators.

Philip Shively

Speech-Language Pathologist - Middle School/Elementary

Email: pshively@4rhuskies.org

Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.

My mission is to … carefully listen, take positive mindful action, and to assist students at their level of need.

Sheri Thompson

Speech-Language Pathologist - High School/Life Skills (Middle/High school)

Email: sthompson@4rhuskies.org

Diagnosis and Therapy for students who qualify for services in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, language, and social skills.

My mission is to … live each day with integrity, have a growth mindset, and empower others to achieve success.

Gen Weiss

Deaf Educator

Email: gweiss@4rhuskies.org

I provide deaf education to students attending Aurora Public Schools.

My mission is to … faithfully give my best, with humor, and good cheer.

Gayleen Moeller

ESU #9 Vision Consultant

Email: gayleen.moeller@esu9.us

Providing vision services to students attending Aurora Public Schools.