Services & Programming

Douglas County School District provides special education and related services for eligible students in compliance with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Colorado’s Exceptional Children’s Education Act (ECEA).  DCSD schools and programs ensure the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment for each student eligible for special education services. 

Early Childhood Education - The preschool program provides an innovative and effective learning environment that is designed to positively impact long-term academic achievement and social-emotional development.  Visit the ECE website for more information. For information regarding registration contact our preschool information line at 720-433-0025 or email [email protected].

Child Find is a part of the district's special education program, and serves as a resource for families who are residents of Douglas County.  Our Child Find teams offer developmental assessments at no charge to families for children from birth to age five.  Visit the ECE Child Find website for more information.  If you have any questions contact the Child Find office at 720-433-0020.  If you have any questions about hearing test for your child contact the Audiology Department at 720-433-0022.  

Moderate Needs - This programming is located in each school and assists the student in developing skills and learning behaviors which enable him/her to benefit from the general education program, even with the challenges presented by their disability.  Programming offers support in the learning content area or language processing area which makes learning in the conventional sense, difficult.  Delivery of service is through collaboration (team teaching), consultation, differentiated instruction, materials modification, small group instruction and/or direct instruction within the special education setting.

Levels of Support - In-class/Indirect Support-Special Education teacher or Educational Assistant works in the Regular Education classroom to provide additional accommodations including small group instruction and testing accommodations. Pull-out/Direct Support - Students travel to a designated room to get more direct instruction from Special Education staff.  This may often include behavioral support and/or significant modifications to the curriculum in the Regular Education classroom setting.  Students in this setting receive support based on their Individual Education Program (IEPs) in order to progress in the state education requirements and grade level expectations. 

SSN (Significant Support Needs) Center-Based Programs -
Students identified with intellectual disabilities and/or multiple disabilities (A child with two or more areas of significant impairment, one of which shall be an intellectual disability) often require programming in SSN center-based programs.  SSN programs provide specialized instruction aligned with Colorado's Extended Evidence Outcomes, and focus on the development of functional academic skills, communication, social skills, adaptive skills and life skills.  SSN programming is designed to increase students' independence throughout their education.  Students in center-based programs access general education classrooms based on their individual needs.  The programming is flexible and individualized, and not entirely self-contained.  Downloadable flyer (coming soon).

Affective Needs Center-Based Program - Students served in affective needs center-based programs experience skill gaps that may be related to a variety of special education disability categories including but not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Serious Emotional Disability or Other Health Impairment. Placement in a center-based program is a special education process determined by each student’s IEP team. Program placement location is selected primarily based on geographic proximity and program capacity at the time placement is needed. The center-based program has dedicated classroom space and staffing in order to provide a safe space for students to access sensory accommodations and adult support for emotional regulation when needed. Students in center-based programs access general education classrooms based on their individual needs. The programming is flexible and individualized, and not entirely self-contained.  Downloadable flyer

Plum Creek Academy -
Plum Creek Academy is a special education program that operates as a separate school for high school students who experience serious emotional disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and in some cases co-occurring intellectual disabilities.  For more information about Plum Creek Academy visit their school website

18-21 Bridge Transition Program
- Students in this setting receive support based on their individual Education Program (IEP) in order to progress in the state education requirements and grade level expectations.  The 18-21 Bridge Transition Program serves significant needs students after their 4 years of high school.  The program focuses on independent living skills, community access skills, and pre-employment skills.  For more information about the 18-21 Bridge Transition Program, visit their website.

Mental Health Services - Mental health services are based on each student's individual needs.  The continuum of support ranges from universal for all students, targeted for at-risk students, and intensive for students with a 504 Plan or IEP.  All schools have one or more school counselors on staff to support teachers in instructing students using universal social-emotional curriculum.  School counselors, social workers, and psychologists provide targeted services as part of a school's Response to Intervention process.  School social workers and psychologists deliver 504 and IEP services.  These services support students to benefit from their educational programming.  Services focus on the development of problem-solving, social, and emotional regulation skills through evidenced-based interventions.  A student may receive targeted and intensive services through individual or group counseling sessions, and as skills are mastered coaching in the classroom may be provided to support generalization of the skills.  Mental health services also include providing consultation about positive behavior and learning strategies to school staff and parents, including conducting functional behavioral assessments and developing behavior intervention plans.  Limits of Confidentiality Form Downloadable flyer  

Speech-Language Services - Students can be referred for speech-language services by their parents/guardians or their classroom teachers if there is a concern about speech and language proficiency. Speech-language services and resources are focused on providing evaluation and treatment of communication disorders. Our goal is to help students develop the speech and language skills necessary for positive interpersonal relationships and academic success.  Downloadable Flyer

Douglas County Assistive Technology Team (SWAAAC) -
SWAAAC stands for State Wide Assistive Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication.  The mission of the SWAAAC team is to build the school team's capacity to consider and implement assistive technology so that each student can reach their individual potential.  The SWAAAC team provides multidisciplinary assistive technology services to enable students with disabilities equal access to the curriculum, and full participation in the classroom.  The SWAAAC team collaborates with school teams to support students with high and low-incidence disabilities including complex communication needs. Downloadable Flyer

Visual Impairment, including Blindness -
Students with a visual impairment, including blindness in Douglas County School District have access to a range of services for their education and social support. The majority of students with visual impairment, including blindness attend their neighborhood school. Itinerant teachers of students with visual impairment (TVI) and certified orientation and mobility specialists work with educators to ensure students with visual impairment, including blindness have access to the general education curriculum and related services identified in Individualized Education Programs. Trained braillists and a vision educational assistant are available to assist with accommodations of instructional materials and braille translation. Students who are blind or visually impaired may qualify for orientation and mobility (O&M) services.  O&M skills provide freedom of movement and independence, which promotes high self-esteem and offers increased opportunities for social interactions and employment. A certified orientation and mobility specialist is responsible for teaching a student with a visual impairment to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community using a long cane or other mobility tools and devices. Visual Impairment, Including Blindness site.   Downloadable Flyer

Occupational Therapy
- Occupational Therapy services may be provided to a student on an IEP as a related service to help a student access the motor components of their specialized instruction. Students with significant fine motor, visual motor, visual-perceptual, sensory motor and/or gross motor deficits may qualify for support to enable them to benefit from their educational environment. Service delivery options and settings are based on the individual needs of the student and determined by the IEP team but could include in class or out of the classroom support and through direct or indirect services. Students may be instructed in the use of various modified tools and/or equipment to enable them to better access their instruction and participate in their education. Downloadable Flyer

Physical Therapy - Physical Therapy services may be provided to a student on an IEP as a related service to help a student access and safely navigate their various school environments, more fully participate in school routines and activities and address various school based independent living skills and transfers.  Service delivery options and settings are based on the individual needs of the student and determined by the IEP team but could include in class or out of the classroom support, through direct or indirect services. Students may be instructed in the use of various equipment to enable them to better access their instruction and safely participate in their school environments and educational programming.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)
 - DHH services are designed to meet the diverse needs of students with hearing loss in Pre-K through High School.  DHH services are offered in a continuum that includes in-class support, direct services through a pull-out model, or center-based programming.  Downloadable Flyer

School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) - The purpose of the School Work Alliance Program (SWAP) is to provide support to young adults in career paths as they leave the school system and enter the workforce.  SWAP provides individualized services to adults 15-24 years of age.  SWAP works alongside the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to assist individuals with mild to moderate needs with preparation, exploration, and awareness training around life after high school.  For more information about the School to Work Alliance Program visit the SWAP technical assistance document from the Colorado Department of Education.
Downloadable Flyer

Autism Team - The Autism Support Team serves students and school teams to collaboratively develop and improve programming for students in their least restrictive environment by providing expertise consisting of research-based professional development, coaching, and consulting for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The Autism Support Team consists of both certified and classified staff.  Specialists include Special Education teachers, psychologists, and BCBAs.  Classified staff members have completed the Registered Behavior Technician coursework.  All of our team members have expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Downloadable flyer (coming soon).

Behavior Support Team - Coming Soon

School Nurse Consultants -
School nurse consultants can be an important member of the IEP team with respect to students' health.  The school nurse consultant participates in IEP meetings of students with complex health issues to consult on the implementation of health-related accommodations for students.  School nurse consultants collaborate with parents to implement and revise individual health care plans (HCPs) and they consult on Section 504 plans written in accordance with Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  For more information on school nurses, visit the School Nurse Consultants webpage on the district website.


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.

In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).