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Special Education

Special Education Services foster inclusive educational climates where individuality and diversity are respected, honored and celebrated.


We strive to partner with our students and parents in designing the most exciting learning environments for the academic,  social and emotional success of each student---where all teachers and staff design curriculum that is universally accessible for all students in alignment with our community’s educational values and the District’s strategic mission.


Programs and Services

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) provides support to students with identified disabilities. As professional educators, whether our role is in general education, special education, or administration, we believe it is our collective responsibility to support students who receive special education services to meet the District standards and their individualized education plans.

Special Education is specialized instruction provided for children from birth to age 22 who qualify according to the laws and regulations outlined by the state and federal government.

Adaptive Physical Education | Alternative Settings | Behaviorist | General Education Program
Occupational Therapy | Pre-School Intervention Program | Related Services
Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) | Speech and Language | Transportation


Eligibility is determined by the Student Success Team (SST) formerly Student Study Team, a positive school-wide early identification and early intervention process. Working as a team, the student, parent, teachers and school administrator identify the student's strengths and assets upon which an improvement plan can be designed. Concerns are seen as obstacles to student success and not descriptors of the student or his character. As a regular school process, the Student Success Team (SST) intervenes with school and community support and a practical improvement plan that all team members agree to follow. Follow-up meetings are planned to provide a continuous casework management strategy to maximize the student's achievement and school experience.

Special Education Records Request
All requests for records for students who were served in special education at the Palo Alto Unified School District should be sent to Diane Bridges or faxed to (650) 833-4265. All requests must be in writing. The District, by law, must respond to parent requests for records within five business days. If a request is received after school hours, the date of the request will be the next business day.


New To The District?
When registering at PAUSD, please provide a copy of your students Individualized Education Program (IEP), which will assist us in placing your student.

Holly Wade, Ph. D. Director of Special Education

If you have questions about Special Education programs or would like to request a review for assessment, contact Special Education at (650) 833-4257 or

RevisedJanuary 8, 2015



Holly Wade, Ph.d.
Director of Special Education
Phone (650)-833-4257
Fax (650-326-7463

Coordinator of Special Education
Barron Park, Juana Briones, Escondido,
Nixon, Addison, Hoover and Terman
Phone (650)-833-4260
Fax (650)-833-4265

Chiara Perry
Coordinator of Special Education
Gunn High, Palo AltoHigh and Jordan
Phone (650)-833-4260
Fax (650)-833-4265

Coordinator of Special Education
Palo Verde, Duveneck, El Carmelo,
Fairmeadow, Walter Hays, Greendell
Preschool, Ohlone  and JLS
Phone (650)-833-4260
Fax (650)-833-4265


Parent Resources

Special Education Advisory Committee



SELPA1 Community Advisory Committee