Special Education Staff Newsletter

September 2022

Dear Staff,

I hope this email finds you all safe and healthy in this new school year. We are grateful to every teacher, staff member, and administrator for your tremendous effort and hard work to make these first weeks of the school year exciting and inviting for all students. In order to continue to provide FAPE services and meet the needs of our students, our department continues to work closely with Human Relations to recruit new staff to fill our various vacant positions. If you know someone who is interested in working in the Special Education Department please encourage them to apply online.

We appreciate all of you as we look forward to an inspiring year ahead.


Nereida Gutierrez

Director of Special Education

Vista Unified School District

Please Welcome Our New Admin Secretary Dafnee Ramirez

Dafnee started working in the educational field as a GEAR UP tutor/mentor. She has worked for Vista Unified for almost 16 years. At the age of 17, she started working for Rancho Minerva Middle school; afterwards, she became the translator and interpreter for Special Education. After a few years, she became the school administrative secretary for California Avenue School and now she is coming to support the Vista community at the Special Education Department.

Read more about Dafnee here

Welcoming back our students was a success!

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Are you new to VUSD? Do you need a review of VUSD special ed procedures? If so, then please join the Special Ed Department monthly optional office hours.

SpEd Certificated Office Hours (4pm - 5pm via zoom) (Optional, paid hourly rate): The purpose of SpEd office hours is to review IEP compliance and current topics in SpEd. Agenda items will be posted on the invite. The 2022-23 Office Hours agenda is in the SpEd Guidelines Shared Folder

Please sign up in Vector for all office hours.

September 8, 2022 - working with interpreters, SEIS tracker, DO contacts

October 6, 2022 - Related Services, AT referrals

CPI Saturdays in September and October

We are pleased to announce that we are offering CPI certification in VUSD on 2 Saturdays in September (9/10 & 9/17) and 2 Saturdays in October (10/8 & 10/15). These sessions will be limited to 20 people. Please sign up in Vector.

Friday Tips

NCCSE Professional Development

Please note: you must get approval from your site administrator to attend any out of district trainings using the following form:

Out of District Travel Form (FYI: this document is housed in your Cloud Connect under "Forms")

Certificated: If you require a sub, please contact your site office manager for a school business sub. (Due to the shortage of subs, there is no guarantee that a sub will be available. Also, no school business subs are approved on Mondays and Fridays)

If you’d like to attend a webinar, please submit a Webinar Approval Form


2022-23 PD Plan - post upcoming PD. Sign up in Vector.

Vector Sign Up Instructions

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Just a reminder that special education transportation is a service in which students must meet eligibility criteria through their IEP. Not all special education students qualify for special education transportation. Please be sure to discuss transportation eligibility at annuals and tris and document it in the notes, especially for our mild/mod students. Students attending their home schools typically do not qualify for transportation unless the IEP team feels it's appropriate in order for the student to access their special education services.

For students that do qualify for transportation, if parents have questions about special education bus routes and pick up/drop off times, please refer them to the transportation department.

Thank you!

Submit Transportation Forms

If you are helping a parent fill out their transportation form please return them to our email inbox: specialeducationdept@vistausd.org (Except for CAL Ave and VATC forms)

Link to transportation forms:

Transportation Form 2022-2023

Bus Schedules

If parents signed up for transportation, the transportation department will contact them regarding the bus route. Please advise parents to be patient if they recently submitted a form as we have many students to route and bus driver shortages.

Questions? Please call the Transportation Department: (760) 726-2170 ext. 92802

Special Education Community Liaison:

Department Contacts