Welcome to the Department of Special Education

  • The Department of Special Education is dedicated to providing a safe, secure and positive learning environment for all students.  All students must have a voice and be empowered to reach their full potential through rigorous and engaging instruction focused on strengths and supporting needs. The Department of Special Education partners with families and staff to help students make connections that foster success in school, at home, and in the community. The Department of Special Education ensures that staff have the tools and resources necessary to create a learning environment that meets individual student needs and prepares students to be college and/or career ready.  Through courageous commitment, the Department of Special Education makes decisions in the best interest of students by breaking down barriers and supporting an inclusive environment. 

     


     

Special Education Program Overview

  • Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 supports students with special needs with exceptionally trained, incredibly compassionate and competent staff in all buildings. Special education teachers, specialized service professionals, and support staff work diligently with building staff, administrators, and families to meet the individualized needs of students. Building upon a foundation of strong relationships and high expectations, special education staff support students in meeting rigorous academic, social and functional goals. In order to help students succeed educationally, Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 provides a robust continuum of supports to meet student needs. A student may receive either direct or indirect support from any of the following special education staff:

    • Moderate Needs Special Education Teachers - educators trained and licensed to provide special education services, including specialized instruction in reading, writing, math, and organization. Services provided by these teachers may be provided in general education or special education environments, in a small group, large group, or individualized format.
    • Center-Based Special Education Teachers - educators trained and licensed to provide special education services, who focus on students with very particular needs that require even more specialized supports. Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 offers center-based programs in the areas of Autism, Affective Needs, and Significant Support Needs. 
    • Speech-Language Pathologists - specialists trained to work with students who may have communication difficulties ranging from articulation errors to receptive, expressive, or pragmatic language difficulties. Students may also receive direct communication supports from Speech-Language Therapist Assistants under the supervision of Speech-Language Pathologists. 
    • School Psychologists - specialists trained to provide mental health, social, and behavioral supports to students in need of skill development in any of those areas.
    • Physical Therapists - specialists trained to promote gross motor development in students so that they can successfully physically participate in activities and routines within the school environment such as walking up stairs and engaging in activities during Physical Education classes.
    • Occupational Therapists - specialists trained to promote fine motor and sensory development in students so that they can successfully participate in activities and routines within the school environment such as cutting and letter formation. Students may also receive direct motor supports from Occupational Therapy Assistants under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist.
    • School Nurses - registered nurses who are also licensed by the Colorado Department of Education to support medical needs of students within the district so that students may fully engage in and benefit from their education.
    • Paraprofessionals - educational support staff who work in conjunction with center-based special education teachers to support students in accessing academic instruction, exhibiting pro-social behaviors, and supporting health/medical needs. 

Contacts

  • Lisa Zimprich
    Director
    Department of Special Education

    (719) 382-1314

    Erika Zulkosky
    Assistant Director
    Department of Special Education

    (719) 382-1313

    Tish Watson
    Assistant Director
    Department of Special Education

    (719) 382-1313

    Erika Slaughter
    Assistant Director
    Department of Special Education
    (719) 382-1313

    Laurie Noblitt
    Director of Early Education and Gifted Programming
    (719) 304-3500

    Valorie Trujillo
    Secretary to the Director
    (719) 382-1314

    Carol Costlow
    Administrative Assistant
    Department of Special Education

    (719) 382-1313