Special Education Family Newsletter

April 2022

Dear families

Spring has arrived and with it we have many reasons to celebrate as we get closer to the end of the school year. First, two of our education specialists received VUSD STARS (Selfless, Talented, and Reliable Staff) awards for their great work with our students. Additionally, we are celebrating our newly tenured members and new hires. Finally, we had a successful staff professional development day in March and parent training on "Strengths-based IEPs" earlier this month. We appreciate everyone who attended and look forward to your continued participation.

With gratitude,

Nereida Gutierrez

Director, Special Education

Congratulations to our Special Education VUSD STARS

Congratulations to our Special Education VUSD STARS

Congratulations to our newly tenured team members!

Welcome to our new hires

Cathy Longo: Instructional Assistant - Behavioral Intervention Hannalei Elementary.

Edna Sanchez: Instructional Assistant- Behavioral Intervention Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.

Mojgan Sheikhzadehafshar: Special Education Assistant IV - SH/PH, Rancho Minerva Middle School

Strengths-Based IEPs Parent Training

Upcoming VUSD Parent Training Opportunities

May 17, 2022 - Parents as Partners in the IEP Process (5:30pm - 6:30pm in person at the Vista Innovation Center) Parent Training Sign Up - May 17, 2022

Spring Workshops and Events for Families:

Community Advisory Committee Meeting:

Nereida Gutierrez, Director, Special Education, presented at NCCSEs Virtual Priority Presentation on March 23. Nereida updated the directors and CAC parent representatives on VUSDs priorities. Community Advisory Committee VUSD Priorities

CAC Meeting Agenda (English and Spanish)

Wednesday April 20th

Topic: Executive Functioning-Practical Tips, Tools, and

Strategies to Support in the School and Home Settings

Guest Speakers:

Shauna Schmoke, NCCSE Senior Program Specialist,

Katerina Dewing, BCBA, Behavior Specialist with


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

CAC Business Items: 6:00-6:30 p.m.

CAC Presentation: 6:30-8:00 p.m.

No cost to attend

Attend online: https://sdcoe.zoom.us/j/84942167459 Meeting ID: 849 4216 7459

North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) Resources

Additional Resources

Student Resources:

Free transit for youth is here!

Teen Guide Mental Health & Wellness

Resources for Transition to Adulthood

YMCA Behavior Support Services

California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, (CAPTAIN): CAPTAIN Website

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

Come join us at the 6th Annual Early Education Fair!

Interested in working in VUSD?

Vista Unified continues to look for dependable people that are excited about working with our students. Vista has a need for both permanent and substitute 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

Special Education Supervisor Site List

Big picture

Special Education Department

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

Araceli Sanchez, Community Liaison, Special Education, aracelisanchezmart@vistausd.org

Doris Cruz, Community Liaison, Special Education, doriscruz@vistausd.org

Special Education Department: specialeducationdept@vistausd.org