Special Education

We provide a comprehensive program for students with disabilities. Our Special Education Department serves approximately 1100 children who range in age from birth through 21. All buildings in our District provide special education services. All schools have licensed special education teachers and offer intervention supports, evaluations and special education instruction.

Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the child at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Children must meet specific criteria set by the State of Minnesota and the Federal Government to receive special education services. Special Education is an instructional service, not a place.

We offer a wide range of service delivery models. Most students receive services in their neighborhood school and, when possible, in their regular class setting. Service models include home-based services for infants and toddlers, 1:1 instruction, small group instruction, instruction in the general education classroom and off-site instruction as determined by the student's individual education planning (IEP) team.

Our Vision for Student Support Services and Special Education

  • Responsibility for all students to reach their full potential is shared by all.
  • High expectations; academic and behavioral, are maintained for all students.
  • All students are provided access to our core curriculum.
  • All students are valued members of the school community and
  • A positive climate exists to provide a sense of belonging for all learners.

  • We will work collaboratively with all staff, students and families, to provide the best supports and services that will enable students to thrive in the Least Restrictive Environment.

    Related Services

    Minnetonka Public School District offers Special Education Services including related services if needed to assist the student in benefiting from specialized Instruction.

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech/Language Therapy
  • Developmental Adaptive Physical Education
  • Physical Therapy
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing, and Educational Audiologist
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Assistive Technology
  • Physical/Other Health Impaired
  • Vision, Orientation and Mobility
  • Social Work and Health Services
  • Transportation

  • Children may qualify for special education services in the following disability categories

    Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Great difficulty in communicating and interacting with others, thus interfering with learning and/or relationships at school. Visit the MDE Autism Spectrum Disorders Site

    Cognitive Disability

    Many difficulties in learning and adapting. The learner experiences a much slower rate of learning.
    Visit the MDE Developmental Cognitive Disabilities Site

    Developmental Delay

    A child up to age seven who is experiencing a measurable delay in development according to diagnostic instruments and procedures. Visit the MDE Developmental Delay site.

    Emotional or Behavioral Disorder

    Serious problems with behavior, social skills, peer relations, emotional responses, and coping skills which interfere with learning and/or relationships in school.
    Visit the MDE Emotional or Behavioral Disorder Site

    Hard of Hearing

    Hearing loss which interferes with the learner’s performance in school.
    Visit the MDE Deaf and Hard of Hearing Site

    Other Health Disability

    A broad range of medically diagnosed chronic or acute health conditions that greatly interfere with learning. Visit the MDE Other Health Disabilities Site

    Physical Impairment

    Permanent, severe and acute, or chronic physical conditions which greatly interfere with performance at school. Visit the MDE Physically Impaired Site

    Severely Multiply Impaired

    Students with severe multiple impairment (SMI) meet the criteria for two or more of six categorical areas: deaf or hard of hearing, physically impaired, developmental cognitive disability (severe/profound), visually impaired, emotional or behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorders. Visit the MDE Severely Multiply Impaired site.

    Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

    A large difference or discrepancy between a learner’s intellectual ability and her/his achievement in the areas of reading, math, written expression, oral expression, and/or listening comprehension; a severe underachievement in academic work and severe difficulty in processing information.
    Visit the MDE Specific Learning Disabilities Site

    Speech or Language Impairment

    Great difficulty with speaking, understanding, or using words and sentences in a meaningful way.
    Visit the MDE Speech or Language Impairment Site

    Traumatic Brain Injury

    Permanent and severe injury to the brain occurring after birth, which greatly interferes with learning. Visit the MDE Traumatic Brain Injury Site

    Visual Impairment

    Loss of vision, visual field cut and/or very poor visual acuity even with correction (glasses), which interferes with learner’s performance in schools. Visit the MDE Blind-Visually Impaired Site

    Contact Us

    Michelle Ferris

    Michelle Ferris
    Executive Director of Student Support Services

    Christine Breen

    Christine Breen
    Director of Student Support Services
    Groveland, Scenic Heights, MHS

    Mandy Kasowicz

    Mandy Kasowicz
    Supervisor of Student Support Services
    Deephaven, MME, MMW

    Kristin Laughlin

    Kristin Laughlin
    Supervisor of Student Support Services
    Email Kristin Laughlin

    Mary Miller

    Mary Miller
    ECSE and Related Services Coordinator

    Ann Foss

    Ann Foss
    District Health Services Coordinator

    Staff Directory