Special Education Staff

Our school offers a host of services to help your student get the support they need to thrive in school and beyond. Below is a list of specific services, providers, and contact information.

Identification of English Language Learners (ELL) Coordinator

Miriam Mueller Owens
ELL Coordinator/3-5 Teacher
4721 Dale Curtin Dr, McFarland, WI 53901
608-838-9482 ex 2109

Identification of Section 504 Coordinator

Andrea Schmidt
504 Coordinator/High School Special Education Teacher
4721 Dale Curtin Dr, McFarland, WI 53901
608-838-9482 ex 3156

Identification of Homeless Liaison

Kerry Marren
Family Resource Coordinator
4721 Dale Curtin Dr, McFarland, WI 53901
608-838-9482 ex 3171

Identification of Foster Care Coordinator

Karri Marren
Family Resource Coordinator
4721 Dale Curtin Dr, McFarland, WI 53901
608-838-9482 ex 3171

Identification of American with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager

Becky Eberhardt
Special Programs Manager
4721 Dale Curtin Dr, McFarland, WI 53901
608-838-9482 ex 1107

Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations

Professional interpreter services and or disability accommodations may be requested at any time for parents/guardians by contacting Miriam Mueller-Owens, mmowens@wivcs.org.

Additionally, if any parent/guardian has a disability or other limitation that would impact their ability to participate fully in their child’s educational planning process, WIVA/WIDCA would be happy to discuss accommodations that may be available in order to maximize the parent/guardian’s participation. Individuals seeking to discuss accommodations for this reason may contact Miriam Mueller-Owens, mmowens@wivcs.org.

Procedural Safeguards

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirement that all educational agencies provide parents of students with disabilities notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and U.S. Department of Education regulations, please click https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/families/rights to review the Procedural Safeguards Notice.

Annual Public Notice of Special Services & Programs

In accordance with federal and state regulations, WIVA/WIDCA will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of WIVA/WIDCA's child find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities and determination of students’ service and support needs.

Information regarding WIVA/WIDCA's internal practices to comply with these will be available in the WIVA/WIDCA's Special Programs Manuals and Handbooks.

Child Find

WIVA/WIDCA strives to identify, locate, and evaluate all enrolled children who may have disabilities. Disability, as stated in IDEA, includes such conditions as hearing, visual, speech, or language impairment, specific learning disability, emotional disturbance, cognitive disability, other health or physical impairment, autism, and traumatic brain injury. The process of identifying, locating, and evaluating these children is referred to as Child Find.

As a public school, we will respond vigorously to federal and state mandates requiring the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education regardless of a child's disability or the severity of the disability. In order to comply with the Child Find requirements, WIVA/WIDCA will implement procedures to help ensure that all WIVA/WIDCA students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services—are identified, located, and evaluated —including students with disabilities who are homeless or students who are wards of the state.

Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a "suspected disability" or identified as having a disability, WIVA/WIDCA will ask the student or the student’s Parent/Guardian for information about the child such as:

  • How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student’s learning?
  • What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student’s emerging learning deficits?
  • What educational or medical information relative to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the school?

This information may be also be obtained from the student’s present or former teachers, therapists, doctors, or from other agencies that have information about the student.

All information collected will be held in strict confidence and released to others only with parental permission or as allowed by law. In keeping with this confidence, WIVA/WIDCA will keep a record of all persons who review confidential information. In accordance with state regulations, parents have the right to review their child's records.

As part of the Child Find process, some services may include a complete evaluation, an individualized education program designed specifically for the child, and a referral to other agencies providing special services.


WIVA/WIDCA cannot proceed with an evaluation, or with the initial provision of special education and related services, without the written consent of a student’s parents/legal guardians. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found at  https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/families/rights. Once written parental/guardian consent is obtained, WIVA/WIDCA will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.

Special Education (IEP) or Service Agreements (504 Plans)

Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified school personnel, parents/guardians, and other relevant service providers hold an evaluation determination meeting to come to agreement on whether the student meets eligibility for one of the disability categories under IDEA.  See https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/laws-procedures-bulletins/laws/eligibility for information related to eligibility criteria associated with the disability categories defined under IDEA.  If the student is eligible and requires specially designed instruction, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be coordinated; during which the IEP team will review and finalize the proposed details of an appropriate educational program to meet the student’s documented needs.

For students confirmed to present with special education needs, once the IEP team agrees on the IEP and the student’s educational placement, a Prior Written Notice (PWN) will sent to the parent/guardian for signature. This must be signed and returned to WIVA/WIDCA. WIVA/WIDCA can only proceed with implementing the student’s IEP (or 504 Plan) upon receipt of the signed PWN. Some students are found to present with one or more disability, but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined under IDEA (special education); however their disability may still require WIVA/WIDCA to develop a 504 Service Agreement (504 Plan) to outline the special provisions a student may require for adaptations and/or accommodations in school-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.

Students may be eligible to certain accommodations or services if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program and otherwise qualify under the applicable laws. WIVA/WIDCA will ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the school program and activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, WIVA/WIDCA will provide students with disabilities the necessary educational services and supports they require to access and benefit from their educational program. This is to be done without discrimination or out of pocket cost to the student or family for the essential supplementary aids, services or accommodations determined to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities and to the extent required by the laws.  See https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/topics/504  for more information related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Active of 1973.

Parents/Guardians have the right to revoke consent for services after initial placement. Please note, a revocation of consent removes the student from ALL special services and supports outlined on the IEP or 504 Plan. (https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/laws-procedures-bulletins/procedures)

Privacy and Confidentiality

To maintain privacy of students’ special education records, both within its central office and across school systems and databases, WIVA follows protocols consistent with the federal regulations associated with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Click https://www.k12.com/privacy-policy.html for additional information about the privacy and security guidelines for your child’s educational records.


Notice of these rights is available, upon request, on audiotape, in Braille, and in

languages other than English. Should you need further assistance or information regarding any of these accommodations, please contact Miriam Mueller-Owens, mmowens@wivcs.org or any member of your child’s WIVA/WIDCA team for guidance.

Translation Needs

Click https://translate.google.com/  to translate text to a language other than English.

Special Education Grievances or Disputes

WIVA/WIDCA recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and WIVA/WIDCA families or students. Should this situation occur, the WIVA/WIDCA special education case manager will initiate an IEP team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the WIVA/WIDCA Special Education Team seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.

Dispute Resolution Options

  • IEP Facilitation – IEP facilitation is a voluntary process that can be utilized when all parties to an IEP meeting agree that the presence of a neutral third party would help facilitate communication and the successful drafting of the student’s IEP. This process is not necessary for most IEP meetings. Rather, it is most often utilized when there is a sense from any of the participants that the issues at the IEP meeting are creating an impasse or acrimonious climate.
  • Mediation – A voluntary process in which both parties seek to resolve the issues involved in the concern with an unbiased, third party mediator from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The mediator who will write up the details of the agreement that the parties come to through the mediation conference, the agreement is signed by both parties, and thus what the document states is mandated to be implemented; This process is overall less time-consuming, less stressful, and less expensive to complete than a due process hearing (see below)

Formal Dispute Resolution-  Families are NOT obligated to pursue the above alternatives to due process should they feel their concerns can only be resolved through a formal due process hearing, if a formal complaint against WIVA/WIDCA is submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction at https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution/due-process.

WIVA Title IX and Non-Discrimination Notice