Winchester Public School’s Mission is to provide specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

"Learning For All… Whatever It Takes"


SEAC MEETINGS - Unless otherwise noted, meetings will be held 6:00-7:00pm in the DMIS Conference Room.

  • September 12, 2017
    October 17, 2017
    February 13, 2018
    April 10, 2018


Local special education advisory committees (SEACs) have a long history in Virginia. Every school division is required to have a SEAC as detailed in Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, effective January 25, 2010 (special education regulations).

The major purpose of SEAC is to provide an opportunity for parents and other school board appointees to have a voice in the way school divisions provide services to students with disabilities. SEAC is an extension of local school board since members are appointed by them, and SEAC provides reports and recommendations to their school board.

For information on becoming a member of Winchester Public Schools' SEAC, refer to our SEAC Membership Information Sheet. If you would like to apply for board membership, complete the SEAC Membership Application and email to Sarah Kish, Director of Special Education, at



    Sarah Kish - 667-4253 x 12150
    Rodney Morris - 678-3965 x 12116
Transition Coordinator:
    Toni Cary (JHHS) - 662-3472 x 45189
Lead Teacher:
    Debbie Beeman (DMMS)- 667-7171 x 75196
Administrative Assistant:
    Melissa Minnick - 667-4253 x 12115

Support Staff
    Debbie Brady (JHHS)
    Tina Eversole (FDES/DMIS/DMMS)
    Michelle Madden (VACDES)
    Anderea Mason (JKES/GQES)

Speech/Language Therapists:
    Melissa Largent (JKES)
    Michelle Sabol (DMIS/DMMS)
    Grace Zaras (FDES/JHHS)
    Amanda Glover (VACDES)
    Susan Gano (GQES)

Hearing Impaired:
    Paula Turley (System-wide)
    540-678-3962, ext. 35102
Occupational Therapist:
    Contractor: Carpenter & Associates
        Dave Carpenter

Physical Therapist:
    Elizabeth Turner  667-4253

Behavorial Specialist:
    Sandra Himelright (System-Wide)
    667-4253 x 35104

Vision Impaired:
    Contractor: Allied Instructional Services

John Handley High School
    Robin Blend
    Carla Casella
    Kim Dengler
    Andrew Dudley
    Kim Ford
    Laurie Gaynor
    Tina Hall
    Cinthy Harner
    Amanda Jenkins
    Lisa Kelly
    Stacie Labrozzi
    Drew Lamb
    Michelle Marker
    Ann Marie Schaefer
    Cathy White
    Galen Westman

Daniel Morgan Middle School
    Barbara Arbogast
    Jennifer Bruening
    Jill Crowe
    Miranda Delmerico
    Ellen Milligan
    Tim Mondell
    Carmen Place

Daniel Morgan Intermediate School
    Rachel Crout
    Sherie Derth
    Maria Estevan
    Ashley Haines
    Troy Mezzatesta
    Christine McNelis
    Emily Nail
    Samantha Newbold
    Heather Oakes
    Renee Robertson

Frederick Douglass Elementary School
    Janelle Hyson
    Cindy Thomas
    Joelle Vanderwater

John Kerr Elementary School
    Robin McKay
    Patsy Stainback

Garland Quarles Elementary School
    Kathleen Alcott
    Patty Johnson
    Julianne Scott-Williams
    Nina Shaw

Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School
    Jan Chancey
    Katie Meily

Northwestern Regional Educational Programs
    Ralph Reese, Program Administrator

Jefferson Street Center
    Kim Dodd, Medicaid


The Child Find Program of Winchester Public Schools is a mandated program that identifies and evaluates children residing in our district from birth to 21 years old who are suspected of having a disability and in need of special education services. We welcome the opportunity to provide information and special services early, when treatment is more effective. Child Find

If you are the parent of a child:

    Ages 0-2, contact:
    Sharlene Stowers, System Manager for Infant and Toddler
    Connection of Shenandoah Valley
    P.O. Box 547
    Front Royal, VA 22630
    (540) 552-1523

    Ages 3-5, contact:
    Ralph Reese, Program Administrator
    Northwestern Regional Educational Program
    (540) 665-0103

    Ages 5-21, contact:
    Sarah Kish, Director of Special Education
    Winchester Public Schools
    (540) 667-4253


The local educational agency shall ensure that an IEP is developed and implemented for each child with a disability at the beginning of each school year, and reviewed annually.

The IEP team should include but is not limited to:

  • Parent(s)
  • Regular Education Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Administrator
  • Student (as appropriate)



  • APR – Annual Performance Report
  • AT – Assistive Technology
  • AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress
  • BIP – Behavior Intervention Plan
  • CIP – Continuous Improvement Plan
  • ESY – Extended School Year
  • FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education
  • FBA – Functional Behavioral Assessment
  • FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • IDEA – Individuals with Disability Education Act
  • IEP – Individualized Education Program
  • PLOP - Present Level of Performance
  • IFSP – Individualized Family Service Plan
  • LEA – Local Education Agency
  • LEP –Limited English Proficiency
  • LRE – Least Restrictive Environment
  • MDR – Manifestation Determination Review
  • OSEP – Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education
  • RTI – Response to Intervention
  • SPED – Special Education


A state assessment program for measuring student performance on grade level standards for students with disabilities who are unable to participate in statewide Standards of Learning testing, even with accommodations.

  • VAAP- Virginia Alternative Assessment Program is the measurement of student performance for individuals with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in statewide SOL testing, even with accommodations.
  • VMAST - The Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST) is intended for students with disabilities who are being instructed in grade level content but are not likely to achieve proficiency in the same time frame as their non-disabled peers. In the VMAST assessments, research-based supports and simplifications identified by Virginia educators have been applied to existing online reading and mathematics items to make them more accessible for students with disabilities. VMAST assessments are in Algebra I and end of course reading.
  • VSEP- Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program is designed for students with disabilities who have attained the knowledge and skills addressed by the Virginia Standards of Learning, but are unable to access the assessment(s) due to the nature of their disabilities and type of accommodations they use to access content and/or assessments.


In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ‘97), Winchester Public Schools supports youth with disabilities through Transition Services, a coordinated set of activities that enables youth with meeting their postsecondary goals.

What Are Transition Services?

Transition Services are a coordinated set of activities for youth with disabilities that promotes movement from school to post-school activities including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. Transition services are based on individual needs of the student taking into account the student's preferences and interests and includes instruction, related services, community experiences, development of employment, and other post-school living objectives and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

Who Receives Transition Services?

A statement of the transition service needs that focuses on the student's course of study must be developed for each student with a disability beginning at age 14 (or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team). Beginning at age 16, a statement of needed transition services including, if appropriate, a statement of the interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages must be included on the IEP.

What Can Transition Services Do To Help Youth With Disabilities?

Transition services help youth with disabilities develop the skills and plans to get additional help from adult service agencies. Making these connections before graduation is important. Examples of some adult agencies include:

How Are Transition Services Identified?

Identifying transition service needs begins with a conversation between the student, the student's parents, and school personnel about the student's career goals and interests. Needed services and supports are then determined to meet those career goals, interests, and preferences. These services and supports may include:

  • Assessments:
    • Vocational
    • Functional behavior
    • Interest Inventories
    • Learning styles
    • Assistive Technology
  • Specialized Instruction or Training
  • Community-Based Work Experience
  • On-the-Job Training

Who Should Be Involved in Transition Planning?

The student, family, special educator, guidance counselor, vocational educator, vocational evaluator, therapists, adult agency service providers, and others that the family or school identify are possible members of the IEP transition planning team. Students must be invited to participate in transition planning. The transition services must be based on the student's needs, interests, and preferences.

For more information, please contact:

Toni Cary, Coordinator of Transition Services
John Handley High School
Phone: 540.662.4371, ext. 45189

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12 N. Washington Street
Winchester, VA 22601
  Phone: (540) 667-4253
Fax: (540) 722-6198
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