Special Education

Community Update - May 24, 2023

"specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and other settings, and instruction in physical education."

SpEd Pic Group

California Education Code (section 56031)


Our Special Education Staff has identified four key commitments that will ensure this mission is fulfilled:

  1. Responsiveness - timely communication with students, parents, and staff
  2. Guidance - program implementation in accordance with federal and state laws
  3. Support - to create stimulating learning environments
  4. Resolution - to ensure a free and appropriate public education for all students


The Vista Unified School District Special Education Department offers a continuum of specialized services to meet the unique and individualized needs of each student. Comprising the largest program of the North County Consortium of Special Education (NCCSE), Vista Unified prides itself on the commitment to locating, identifying and serving over 3000 children with special needs from ages 3-22. We are committed to supporting each student's access to differentiated core instruction in the least restrictive environment, while aligning each IEP (Individualized Education Program) to the Common Core State Standards. Our program spans the spectrum from full integration in the general education environment with accommodations, to separate special education programs addressing more significant needs. The dedicated professionals working to support classroom teachers in achieving these goals include: school psychologists, speech-language therapists, occupational therapists, adaptive physical education specialists, behavior interventionists, visual impairment specialists, resource teachers, and instructional assistants.

It is important to note that special education is a service provided to students with exceptional needs. Special education is not a location or specific classroom. Special education is intended to provide a full range of services in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): the instructional setting that is most similar to the instructional setting attended by general education students.

The LRE requires that students with disabilities are to be educated to the maximum extent possible with children who are not disabled. The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 34 C.F.R. Section 300.114 to 300.117 provide specific federal requirements related to LRE.

Mission Statement

Our Special Education Staff is committed to providing specialized academic
and behavioral support and services to students with exceptional needs in
order to fully engage them in high quality learning environments that
challenge and prepare them to be well-rounded, active members of a global society.

Special Education Family Monthly Newsletters

North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE)

NEW Parent Workshops and Services from NCCSE!
Check it out by following the link below:

     Workshops and Events for Families

NCCSE SELPA Local Plan Section B: Governance and

NCCSE SELPA Annual Services Plan

NCCSE SELPA Annual Budget Plan

NCCSE Procedural Safeguards

Vista Unified School District
1234 Arcadia Avenue
Vista, CA 92084
Phone: 760-726-2170
Fax: 760-630-7719

[email protected]


Department Contact List:
Nereida Gutierrez
ext: 92902
[email protected]

Steffanie Rupp

ext: 92905
[email protected]

Jennifer Gruman
Program Supervisor
ext: 92909
[email protected]
William Foley
Program Supervisor
ext: 92906
[email protected]

Kinga Nagorny
Program Supervisor
[email protected]

Dr. Charyn Socket Berg
Program Supervisor
ext: 92907
[email protected]
Katherine Abraham

Principal - Vista Adult Transition Center
ext: 83000
[email protected]
Rachel Schmidt
Principal - California Avenue School
ext: 84002
[email protected]
 Office Staff:
Dafnee Ramirez
Administrative Secretary
ext: 92902
[email protected]
Debra Harris
Staff Data Technician

ext: 92908
[email protected]
Yvonne Fortin
Staff Data Technician

ext: 92910
[email protected]
Alejandra Hoffmann
SPED Interpreter/Translator

ext: 92911
[email protected]
Leticia Robles
SPED Interpreter/Translator

ext: 92150
[email protected]
Doris Cruz
Special Education Community Liaison

ext. 92914
[email protected]

SpEd Community Liaison Flyer 

Special Education
Strategic Plan 

Strategic Plan 

Plan Estrategíco

Board Approved May 12, 2018