Lansing Special Education Scoop

Re-Introduction in a New Role

Hello Lansing USD 469 families,

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as the new Director of Special Education. I have several years of experience within the district and have relationships with many of the students, families, and staff. I'm looking forward to continuing to develop those relationships and establishing new ones with those I have yet to meet.

Effective special education systems foster collaborative efforts between school staff, parents/guardians, and community service providers. Each member of a student's team provides valuable information that will lead to educational progress for our students. I'm looking forward to a great school year of collaboration with each of you!

Ascendra Donald


All of my career experience has prepared me for this role:

  • Earned my BA in Psychology from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina
  • Worked as a Case Manager at Central Kansas Mental Health Center in Salina for 1 year
  • Worked as Case Manager at Johnson County Mental Health Center in Olathe for 4 years
  • Worked as a Parent Education within the Parents as Teacher's Program in the Shawnee Mission school district for 1 year
  • Earned my MS and Specialist Certificate in School Psychology from Capella University
  • Worked as a school psychologist at Lansing Elementary and Middle School for 4 years
  • Worked as a school psychologist at Hilltop Learning Center in the Blue Valley school district for 4 years
  • Earned my Building Leadership Endorsement from Fort Hays State University
  • Worked as the coordinator of special education in Lansing for 1 year
  • Earned my District Leadership Endorsement from Fort Hays State University

I've been in school a really long time! đź“š

Our Special Education Administration Team

Depending on the grade level of your student, you will have the opportunity to have immediate special education support with either Rebecca Dalton or Dr. Van Cise. No question is too small, so please reach out as soon as the question or concern arrises.

Rebecca Dalton- Elementary Coordinator

My name is Rebecca Dalton and I am excited to introduce myself as the new Special Education Coordinator at both Lansing Elementary and Intermediate schools, in addition to the Building Administrator at the Early Childhood Center. I strive for relationship based, transparent relationships with school staff, parents/guardians, and community service providers. I am excited to work with your children and their teachers for a successful 2022-2023 school year!

A little history:

I have been in the Special Education field, in North Kansas City, Missouri, for 15 years. I decided it was best for my family for me to stop commuting from Lansing and work where my children are going to school. I have always been interested in learning about people, and after high school I graduated with a degree in Anthropology from the University of Kansas. I took a 1-year sabbatical, from KU, to move to Colorado and join the Americorps. There, I helped serve communities in many different ways. My education career started when I took a job working part time at a day treatment program for children with emotional and behavior disorders and fell I in love working with students that have special needs. I graduated from University of Missouri Kansas City with a Master’s degree in special education. I am currently working on my doctoral degree at St. Louis University, which is where I received my Education Specialist degree in Building Leadership and Administration.

913-727-1755 ext. 1509

Dr. Sandy Van Cise- Secondary Coordinator

Hello, I would like to introduce myself. Many of you may already know me, and for those that do no, my name is Dr. Sandy VanCise. I will be taking a new position for the upcoming school year as the Coordinator of Secondary Special Education for the district. I will also continue my duties as the Assistant Principal at the high school. I have worked within the district for several years first as the building administrator at New Beginnings and then as the Assistant Principal at Lansing High School. Given the experience both of those positions have provided and the relationships I have with many parents, students and staff I am looking forward to the school year ahead. My hope is to foster the relationships I have established and continue to develop relationships with many others.

I believe that my career started when I was in elementary school. After a day at school I would come home and set up school to “teach”. So, I have always wanted to be an educator and I am proud to be an educator. Once I graduated high school I did not immediately pursue my degree, but instead chose to start a family. Ten years later I started my degree at KCKCC and earned my Associates in Elementary Education. I then enrolled at the University of Saint Mary and completed my bachelor’s. Finding a teaching position was difficult as an elementary education teacher, but after enrolling in my Master’s program for Special Education at the University of Kansas, I worked for B. W. Shepard State School working with students with multiple disabilities. I found this position to be the one that taught me the most and am grateful for the experience. The next year I worked in Missouri as an itinerant teacher working with students with behavior disorders, which again was great experience. Finally, I was able to land a job near home and worked for Leavenworth School District for several years with many different positions, but all involving special education. I enrolled in another Master’s program in Administration and my last position for Leavenworth became my first position in Lansing—the Principal at New Beginnings. Once New Beginnings became smaller I was offered the Assistant Principal position at the high school and have continued to serve students with special needs and oversee the Career Tech Education program. I have learned so much in this position and feel it has prepared me for yet another challenge. Along the way I also earned my Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

We have a solid Special Education Team and look forward to the new school year. If you have any questions, concerns, please feel free to reach out.

Dr. Sandy VanCise
Assistant Principal
11th, 12th, Special Education & CTE

Special Education Advisory Council

The special education department will soon be seeking community involvement in the Special Education Advisory Council.

The special education advisory council will advocate, inform, and communicate with stakeholders about special education department initiatives and programming. The advisory council will also discuss areas of improvement and make recommendations for system improvements. Recommendations will be discussed within the district’s special education administration team and leadership team to develop a plan to implement the needed adjustments. Progress made will also be shared during advisory council meetings.

A special education advisory council meeting would not be the place to discuss individual student concerns, as those should be discussed within annual IEP review meetings and can be scheduled anytime upon request with the student’s IEP team.

The advisory council membership will consist of 12 members and participation will be extended to parents, staff, special education and building administrators, board members. Meetings will be held monthly.

We will soon be seeking council member participation. Stay tuned!

Back-to-School Tips

8 Tips For Parents of Children with Special Needs

This article describes 8 back-to-school tips for parents emphasizing communication, organization, and staying up-to-date on special education news.