Special Education

Coordinator Special Education
Adam Flugge
Director, Special Education


Teresa Wood, Secretary

Within Westerville City Schools, we foster professional development and understanding of how each student learns and can demonstrate their best selves. Every student has the opportunity to engage in their learning experience. Below is information regarding various resources for Parents/Guardians and students to review. Providing a continuum of services for learning, Westerville City Schools strives to meet students where they are at in their learning progression. Every student is unique and as a result, so should the educational experience.

Special Education - (614) 797-5900
Special Needs Preschool - (614) 797-5903
Fax - (614) 797-5901


Each quarter, the Special Education Department hosts a Parent Engagement event which features various topics specific to students with disabilities and their families. These include topics suggested by families, students and staff. Please look for future notices for upcoming events and topics. In the event you missed these opportunities, we encourage you to explore the links below to access the information that was shared. 

The final session of the Special Education Family Engagement Forum is 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on May 17, focusing on summer tips and resources for students and parents. More details are available here.

Department Staff

The Special Education Coordinators below are assigned to buildings as indicated. Most of the Coordinators also assume additional administrative responsibilities for the district, including Transition Coordination, Alternate Assessment oversight, Autism Scholarship Coordination, etc. If you have a question specific to one of these areas, please first contact your child's building coordinator.

Suzanne Kile, Preschool Director

Adam Flugge, Special Educator Director

  • Huber Ridge, Wilder, Minerva France, Blendon M.S.


Jill Fogel, Special Education Coordinator for Mark Twain, Robert Frost, Genoa M.S.

Dr. Elizabeth Jelkin, Special Education Coordinator for Fouse, Emerson, Central H.S.

Lisa Ryckbost, Special Education Coordinator for Hawthorne, Pointview, North H.S.

Mike Seitz, Special Education Coordinator for Annehurst, Hanby, South H.S.

Lindy Whitson, Special Education Coordinator for Cherrington, Whittier, Heritage M.S.

Jennifer Winters, Special Education Coordinator for Alcott, McVay, Walnut Springs M.S.


Stephanie Thomas, Parent Mentor
           -  Ohio's Parent Mentor Project

Tristina Munn, Psychologist Secretary

Kimberly Millington, Secretary 

Mary Zarley, Secretary

Allison Poynter, Secretary

Lisa Short, Preschool Secretary

Child Find

Q: What is Child Find?

Each school district is required to put in processes and procedures to identify, locate and evaluate students suspected of having a disability who may need special education and related services. 

Q: What is the purpose of Child Find?

  • To promote public awareness of disabilities.
  • To alert parents, professionals and the public to children who may have special needs.
  • To assist school districts in finding children who may have disabilities and who otherwise may not have come to their attention. 
  • To enable children and families to receive the special education and related services that are needed.

Q: What is a disability?

Children ages birth to 3 years - a mental or physical impairment that may result in a developmental delay. For additional information, refer to the Help Me Grow website.

Children ages 3 to 5 years - Students who have documented needs in one or more of the following areas: adaptive behavior, cognition, communication, hearing, vision, sensory/motor functioning, social-emotional functioning, and/or behavioral functioning. 

Children ages 5 to 21 years - Students who have documented needs in one or more of the following areas:

Autism, Cognitive Disability, Deaf-blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Visual Impairment.  

Q: What do you do (as a parent/guardian) if you suspect your child(ren) has a disability? 

If you suspect your child has a disability, contact your student’s building principal in writing with your concerns. The school team will contact you to discuss the next steps in the process. 

Q: What do you do (as someone other than the parent/guardian) if you suspect a child(ren) has a disability?

If you suspect a child other than your own has a disability, please contact the district Special Education Department at 614-797-5900.The school team will contact the parents of the child to discuss the next steps in the process.

Response to Intervention (RTI) and/or a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is an intervention and targeted instructional model to differently support students that have been identified in benefiting from varied instructional and support methods.

According to the Ohio Department of Education website, A multi-tiered system of support is a framework to provide all students with the best opportunities to succeed in school. A multi-tiered system of supports is defined as “the practice of providing high quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals, and applying child response data to important educational decisions (Batsche et al, 2005).

During this intervention process, progress monitoring is conducted to determine the impact of the intervention and what changes need to be made to continue to facilitate student growth in those identified areas. (Ex: reading, math, social/emotional) Changes to interventions, instruction or student supports are based upon the data generated to inform next steps.  RTI and/or MTSS is a required part of the process in determining if a student has a suspected disability.

For additional information on the RTI/MTSS process, please refer to the following link by the Ohio Department of Education:



Instruction and Curriculum Resources

504 - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act
APE - Adapted Physical Education
AU - Autism
BIP - Behavior Intervention Plan
ED - Emotional Disturbance
EL - English Learner
ESY - Extended School Year
ETR - Evaluation Team Report
FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education
FBA - Functional Behavior Analysis
FERPA - Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
HI - Hearing Impairment
ID - Intellectual Disability
IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEE - Independent Educational Evaluation
IEP - Individualized Education Program
LRE - Least Restrictive Environment
MD - Multiple Disabilities
MDR - Manifestation Determination Review
OHI - Other Health Impairment
OI - Orthopedic Impairment
OT - Occupational Therapist
PLOP - Present Levels of Performance
PT - Physical Therapist
SDI - Specially Designed Instruction
SLD - Specific Learning Disability
SLP - Speech and Language Pathologist
SST - Student Support Team
TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury
VI - Vision Impairment

Framing Your Thoughts

A multi-sensory instructional curriculum to facilitate a deeper understanding of the writing process endorsed by Project Read.

Framing Your Thoughts is a writing program that teaches written language sequentially and systematically.  It is a multi-sensory program that uses written symbols as well as hand motions to represent each part of a sentence.  Instruction moves from simple sentences to five types of paragraph development.

S.P.I.R.E. (Specialized Program Individualizing Reading Excellence)

A multi-sensory curriculum based upon Orton-Giligham instructional strategies to support student learning in the area of encoding and decoding. 

S.P.I.R.E. is a skills-based program which allows a student to work on specific areas of weakness. This program addresses reading foundational skills, language standards, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and builds upon increasingly more challenging texts. 


Assistive Technology is technology that assists a person in completing a task. Assistive technology can be a resource that is in use at various points in time. (Young, Old)

Utilizing Universal Design for Learning, universal tools are available to all of our students Prekindergarten through Grade 12 through a shared dashboard and interactive experience using Google Read and Write and Equatio. Jointly, these tools facilitate a bridge for all learners to access writing, reading and mathematical calculation in the general education setting.

Spec Ed Technology Site
The Special Education Department’s technology website provides helpful “how to” videos for parent, student and teacher use. The site shows students and parents how they can use Google Read/Write, Equatio, Schoology, Google Classroom and other universal tools to support success in school.

Google Read and Write
Hosts various tools to support student learning. Including speech to text, text-to-speech, graphic organizer and vocabulary assistance, highlighter and dictionaries.

Sora (School edition of Libby)
An audiobook library that houses books contributed by Westerville City Schools, Westerville Public Library and Columbus Public Library. 

This library offers materials for students K-12, as well as possesses a feature for students to request books and pair their school account with their current library card. 

Hosts tools to support math problem solving application, problem solving and calculation. This tool utilizes manipulatives, audio and interactive tools. 

LMS - Schoology
The district's Learning Management System is Schoology. This tool houses many student assignments, quizzes, notes and resources for classroom use. Many teachers use this tool to share out classroom announcements, upcoming assignments and relevant school information. 

A free digital library that houses thousands of books to support students with a deficit in print-awareness.

Universal Design for Learning or providing different structures and pathways for all learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.


Westerville City Schools Preschool program hosts learning opportunities for students with disabilities. (Click for more information)


Transition Services and Resources

Transition specialists work with students with disabilities in grades 8-12 to facilitate the transition from school to post-secondary options after graduation.  Transition services include linking families with adult service providers in the Franklin and Delaware County areas. Transition specialists are housed at each of the district’s high schools as well as its transition program. (Click for more information)


Westerville City Schools Preschool program hosts learning opportunities for students with disabilities. (Click for more information)

Gifted Education (Click for more information)

EL (English Learners) Services (Click for more information)

Mental Health and Wellness (Click for more information)

Parent Mentor (Click for more information)

Surrogate Parent (Click for more information)

Best of Both Worlds (Click for more information)

The mission of Best of Both Worlds is to provide a transition program for college aged students in the Westerville community that need an extra helping hand. By creating peer inclusion environments on the Otterbein University campus, the program helps by enhancing job skills, independent living skills, and contributes to the development of well-rounded citizens that are an essential part of the community.


Additional Parent Resources

504 Information 

Parental Guidance (ODE) in additional languages

Ohio Operating Standards for the Education of Children with Disabilities

Disability Specific Resources 

Disability Rights Ohio IEP Services

State Support Team 11

Westerville City School Preschool Services

Ohio Required Forms (ETR/IEP)

Ohio Department of Education - Special Education

Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities




A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education

A new special education procedural safeguards notice, A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education, is now available for district and parent use. This publication replaces the earlier procedural safeguards notice, Whose IDEA Is This?*

A Guide to Parent Rights Translations

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