Special Education Staff Newsletter

January 2022

Happy New Year!

Welcome back! I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing winter break. I appreciate all of your dedication and hard work with our students. I have observed so many of you supporting each other and providing suggestions to meet the needs of our students during this challenging time. Please know that I value your time and commitment to our students.

With gratitude,

Nereida Gutierrez

Welcome to Our New Team Members


Heather Moffat, Learning Recovery Education Specialist (VVS/Hannalei)


Natora Harper (SH/PH IA) - MMS

Cirenia Mora (LH/CH/RSP) - VHS

Elijah Zepeda (LH/CH/RSP) - MD

Position Postings

Do you know of anyone who might be interested in working in Vista? Here are a few links you can share.

Ed Join - VUSD SLP Posting

Ed Join - VUSD Mild/Mod Ed Specialist Posting

Ed Join - VUSD - School Psychologist Posting

Participate in the Great Kindness Challenge

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 uplifting, social and emotional learning program is appropriate for in-person, virtual, and hybrid classroom learning. Educators can visit The Great Kindness Challenge website for more information.


Please be sure to keep your Canvas pages updated

Need Help?

Compliance Updates

Congratulations! VUSD is 95% compliant with our IEPs. Keep up the amazing work!!

Progress Report Reporting:

  • Please make sure you report on progress every time students receive a report card from general education.

  • You may report on progress more frequently than the required updating periods.

  • The case manager must affirm all progress reports in SEIS. Related service providers do not have the ability to affirm. SEIS Progress Reports Tutorial.

  • Be sure the progress aligns with the criteria in the goal.

  • You must report progress on goals - do not use statements such as not enough time to collect data due to COVID, quarantine, etc. Report progress based on the data you have.

  • If the student is not making progress, you must address it: hold an IEP meeting to address the areas of need, consider changing the goal, adding additional supports and services, etc.

  • You do not need to send a copy of each progress report to the DO, just the final progress updates with the plan review (annual) or eligibility evaluation(tri).

  • You may be asked by your Program Supervisor to send progress reports to the DO if there is a high profile case or specific student information is needed

  • If you are not completing progress reports and/or not affirming them, you will be required to send them to the DO.

Progress Reporting Dates:

  • Elementary, Cal Ave, Alta/Murray - November, March, June

  • Middle - January, June

  • High School - RBV/VHS/VATC - December, June MVHS - October, December, March, June

Emergency Circumstances Form A:

Please make sure you review this form at the plan review (annual) or eligibility evaluation(tri). This should be shared and reviewed AFTER the offer of FAPE. This form is to be used only if the District shuts down for more than 10 school days due to an emergency. This form is in the ‘future IEP' in SEIS. You can also find it under the resources tab. If you need help filling it out, please reach out to your Special Ed Supervisor.

In Person IEPs: Although most large District meetings and PD are now virtual, if a parent requests an in person IEP, we will continue to accommodate them.

IEP Zoom Meeting Safety: Please ensure that all members of the IEP team are participating in a safe environment during zoom meetings. IEP team members (this includes parents) should not be driving while participating in a zoom IEP.

Professional Development

District PD:

Please note: All Professional Development Opportunities will be held via zoom until further notice.

Classified: Tues., Jan 25, 2022 (4pm - 6pm) - Trauma Informed Practices, Maria Al-Shamma, VUSD Social Worker

This presentation will give an overview of trauma informed care and what approaches we can use with our students.

Trauma Informed Practices Link Sign up

Zoom Link Classified Jan 25, 2022 - Trauma Informed Practices

Meeting ID: 954 4755 1203

Passcode: 393030

Certificated: Thurs., Jan 27, 2022 (3:30pm - 5:00pm) - Understanding SpEd Eligibility, How Disabilities Impact Students in the Classroom, Legally Compliant IEPs

Understanding SpEd Eligibility sign up

Zoom Link Certificated Jan 27, 2022 - Understanding SpEd Eligibility

Meeting ID: 924 0535 1588

Passcode: 505933

2021-22 Special Ed PD Plan

Upcoming Certificated Office Hours Dates:

Feb 3, 2022 (3:30 - 4:30pm) (virtual)

March 3, 2022 (3:30 - 4:30pm) (virtual)

April 7, 2022 (3:30 - 4:30pm) (virtual)

May 5, 2022 (3:30 - 4:30pm) (virtual)

Site PD:

The Special Ed Department is available for specific trainings at your site during late start/early release Mondays for Ed Specialists, related services providers or IAs. Please reach out to your site admin or special ed supervisor and let them know your topic of interest (behavior, compliance, etc.), target audience and when.

Other PD Opportunities:

Carrie Lane, one of the Instructional Technology Specialists with SDCOE, is hosting an accessibility collaborative and training series. The series will focus on one accessibility related topic each month.

Accessibility Collaborative Series Schedule

Registration Form

NCCSE PD Opportunities:

NCCSE Professional Development Opportunities

NCCSE On-demand webinars

NCCSE Scholarship Information Deadline March 31, 2022

Links to external NCCSE



Additional Resources