Special Education

Special Education Overview

The San Diego Unified School District is committed to providing young children and eligible students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education consistent with federal and state laws. These laws require the district to identify, locate and assess all students within the district from birth to 21 years of age who may have disabilities, and to provide appropriate support and services to those eligible.

Special Education support and services are provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. The delivery of special education services in the San Diego Unified School District is described in the district’s Local Plan for Special Education.

For more information, please contact the school office or visit the Special Education website.

Special Education at Pershing:

Pershing offers a full continuum of services:

  • Moderate/Severe Special Day Class (SDC): A separate class for students with moderate to severe disabilities
  • Co-teaching: An education specialist and a general ed content teacher teaming together in a general ed classroom
  • Collaboration in general education: Assistance in a general education classroom by a paraprofessional (aide) from 1 to 5 days a week.
  • Resource: Student in general education classroom. Ed specialist monitors progress and collaborates with teacher as needed.

Pershing's Special Education Staff:

Education Specialists:
Ms. Heather Edgington (Mild/Moderate)

Mr. Gaute Halvorsen (Mild/Moderate)

Mr. Kevin Quinn (Moderate/Severe)

Mrs. Jessica Rutaquio (Mild/Moderate)

Mr. Donald Tyssee (Mild/Moderate)

 Ms. Ashley Smoker (Mild/Moderate)

School Psychologist:
Kelsey McDermott [email protected] 

Speech Language Pathologist:
Brianne Hemmingson [email protected]

Adapted Physical Education:
James Keegan [email protected]

Para-educator Independence Facilitator (PIF):

David Carmona-Baez Tashon LaGrone Erin Lam Claudia LaneMaria Martinez Carla Michaelis Norma "Susan" Minor Keara Nelson

Michael Rowan

Desmond Thomas Francisco Torres

Krista Tulloch Kim Watson 


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