Special Education Family Newsletter

January 2022

Happy New Year!

Welcome back! We are happy to see our students back after a long break. Please know that our special education team is diligently working to meet the needs of our students during this challenging time. We appreciate your patience and feedback as we navigate this challenging t. As always, our team continues to hold our students at the forefront as we collaboratively and creatively brainstorm solutions to meet the needs of our learners.

With gratitude,

Nereida Gutierrez

Director, Special Education

The Great Kindness Challenge Week: January 24–28, 2022

The California Department of Education, in partnership with the Great Kindness Challenge® (GKC), encourages all teachers, staff, students, and families of California schools to participate in the GKC the week of January 24–28, 2022.

The GKC initiative, presented by Kids for Peace, is a global campaign that promotes kindness in kindergarten through grade twelve schools. It is a positive, action-based bullying-prevention initiative that creates a school culture of kindness, compassion, unity, and respect.

This challenge week gives every educator and student an opportunity to model and focus on kindness practices that engage the entire school community in the social-emotional learning (SEL) process. SEL is the process of developing self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success.

Please join VUSD as we continue to promote a culture of kindness.

Parent Learning Opportunities and Resources

District Learning Opportunities:

Meet & Greet the Special Education Department team as they present: The Transition Process from Preschool through High School and Adult Transition. We will also have a speech pathologist speak about speech and language development.

Please log in to meet the Special Education Department team as we share our department updates and present on the transition process.

This training will focus on facilitating successful transitions from preschool through high school and post- secondary for students with disabilities as guided by the students IEP. Special Education Administrators from all school levels will facilitate this presentation.

When: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 (5:15 - 6:30 via zoom)

Feb 8 - Parent Sign Up Form

Feb 8 - Parent Training Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 917 7315 8611

Passcode: 479131

North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE):

NCCSE Website

Click Here for On Demand Parent Workshops

NCCSE Scholarship Information Deadline March 31, 2022

Links to external NCCSE



Community Advisory Committee Meetings:

A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is made up of parents, educators, and community members who are involved in special education. The CAC of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) provides meetings and special events throughout the year and advises the superintendents of the 14 school districts about special education services. Each meeting includes information on a special education topic, resources for families, and opportunities to meet with other parents to exchange resources, information, and ideas. Whether you are a student who qualifies for special education services, a parent or family member of a student, or a district teacher or staff person, we can help!

CAC Meeting Agenda

CAC Info & Upcoming Learning Opportunities

California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, (CAPTAIN )

North Coastal Consortium for Special Education SELPA is proud to partner with the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, (CAPTAIN ) by promoting the use of evidence- based practices for students with Autism. CAPTAIN is part of the California Department of Education Statewide System of Support in collaboration with Marin County SELPA. Please click here for resources: CAPTAIN Website

Looking for a job while your kids are at school?

Vista is currently looking for dependable people that are excited about working with our students. Vista has a need for both permanent and substitutes employees! We can get you working immediately! Come work with a district that is making a difference in the lives of children!

For more information, click below:

Instructional Assistant II - LH/CH/SP

Instructional Assistant - Behavior Intervention

Special Education Assistant IV - SH/PH

Ed Join

Special Education Department Contact Information

Nereida Gutierrez, Director, Special Education, nereidagutierrez@vistausd.org

Steffanie Rupp, Coordinator, Special Education, steffanierupp@vistausd.org

Chris Altona, Principal, Vista Adult Transition, chrisaltona@vistausd.org

Rachel Schmidt, Principal, California Avenue School, rachelschmidt@vistausd.org

Katherine Abraham, Program Supervisor, katherineabraham@vistausd.org

Tracy Zachry, Program Supervisor, tracyzachry@vistausd.org

Jennifer Gruman, Program Supervisor, jennifergruman@vistausd.org

Kursten Carlson, Program Supervisor, kurstencarlson@vistausd.org

Jean Potter, Administrative Secretary, Special Education, jeanpotter@vistausd.org

Special Education Department: specialeducationdept@vistausd.org

SpEd Supervisor Site Support 2021-22