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Special Services

The Department of Special Services encompasses several areas to support students throughout the school system. These areas include special education services, Section 504 processes, and school nursing.

The Western Heights special services team consists of 42 special education teachers and support staff, 1 behavior specialist, 2 psychologists, 7 speech language pathologists, 1 occupational therapist, 1 physical therapist, 1 vision consultant, 1 hearing impaired liaison/consultant from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf, full-time nursing staff, counseling services, and 1 administrative assistant.

Special Education Services

Western Heights Public Schools provides special education services at all levels and in all building sites. The type of special education services may differ among the buildings; however, we have a full continuum of services throughout the district. Western Heights PS has early childhood/preschool programs available to students who meet eligibility qualifications. Students may receive special education services within general education or special education classrooms determined on an individual basis by the individualized education program (IEP) team.

Life skills programs are provided to the students who require an alternative curriculum. Curriculum is based on the alternate assessment framework of the Oklahoma Academic Standards. This curriculum also targets independent functioning, social skills, community-based instruction, and pre-vocational skills.

Continuum of Services and Support

We strive to continuously improve student growth and achievement by ensuring that, to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with their non-disabled age-appropriate peers. Placement decisions are the responsibility of the IEP team. In order to obtain a satisfying and productive classroom and school learning environment the team must take into consideration the educational needs of both the student with disabilities and those of other students in the classroom.

The IEP team places particular emphasis on access to the general education curriculum when developing appropriate goals and objectives for the student with disabilities. Students are placed in the educational setting that best meets their needs within the (LRE) least restrictive environment.

Related Services

Students may receive one or more of the following services as determined by the IEP team; speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. (Additional related services may be provided beyond this list based on the student needs and the IEP team determinations.)

The OSDE Special Education Handbook includes all information regarding disability categories and more.  OSDE Special Education Handbook

Parents' Rights

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) clearly identifies the rights of parents of those with disabilities. Please review Parents Rights in Special Education: Notice of Procedural Safeguards which identifies these rights and procedures associated with special education services.

Important Links

Sites of interest concerning special education.

US Department of Education

Oklahoma State Department of Education

National Mental Health and Education Center for Children and Families

Council for Exceptional Children

Scholarships & Resources for Students with Disabilities

Special Education STAFF

Ms. Jill Hilst, Director of Special Services
405.261.3067 | Email Ms. Hilst

Donna Wells, Administrative Assistant to Director of Special Services
405.350.3455 ext 4312 | Email Ms. Wells

Cheryl Custer, Speech Language Coordinator
405.350.3485, ext. 4313 | Email Ms. Custer

Susan Bouse, District Behavior Specialist
405.350.3485, ext. 4302 | Email Ms. Bouse

Johnny Flenory, District School Psychologist
40.350.3485, ext. 4322 | Email Mr. Flenory


Elementary Level:

Lydia Strong, Council Grove Elementary
405.350.3465 | Email Ms. Strong

Barbara Rhodes, Greenvale Elementary
405.350.3470 | Email Ms. Rhodes

Gina Redwine, John Glenn Elementary
405.350.3480 | 

Kendra Cope, Winds West Elementary
405.350.3475 | Email Ms. Cope

Intermediate Level:

Angela Smith, Bridgestone Intermediate Center
405.350.3420 | 

Middle School and High School Level:

Janel Cypert, Middle School
405.350.3455 | Email Ms. Cypert 

Lauren Wade, 9th Grade Center and High School
405.350.3435 | Email Ms. Wade