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Special Education

Eden Prairie Schools provides a comprehensive program for students with disabilities. Services are provided to students who range in age from birth through high school, with a few students receiving help until age 21.

All services are developed to facilitate each student in reaching his or her potential. Inclusive education between regular and special education allows for the opportunity to learn and develop in an age-appropriate setting. From early intervention to community-based vocational training, students are provided a quality, individualized education program in the least restrictive environment.

Each school in the system has a special education team who provides services to students with a variety of handicapping conditions. A lead teacher is available at each school to assist students and families in the Special Education Program. Special education team members work in conjunction with a students regular classroom teachers and support staff.

Special Education Staff:

Name Email Voice Mail Position Website
Jackie Drummer 952-975-2705 Speech
Emily Salley 952-975-4189 ABS  
Amy Madvig 952-975-4371 LD/EBD  
Ashley Ross 952-975-8841 Lead/LD/Autism
Justin Kieffer   Adaptive Phy Ed  
Jennifer Thaney 952-975-8846 ABS  
Sadie Tollman 952-975-2474 ECSE  
Jessica Premo 952-975-4155  

Staff Descriptions


Adaptive Physical Education Teacher: Our Adaptive Physical Education (D/APE) Teachers are physical education (PE) teachers who has advanced training in Special Education. The role of the D/APE teacher is to help each student achieve success at their level while working on gross motor fitness and lifetime sport skills. In addition, they:

  • work with students of all disabilities who demonstrate specific needs in the areas of gross motor skills
  • work with students in the mainstream PE class, in small groups or individually
  • consult with mainstream PE teachers about adaptations and safety issues

Assistive Technology Specialist: Our part-time Assistive Technology Specialist is a licensed professional who can provide services that directly assist a student with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

  • assist in the identification of assistive technology needs
  • evaluate the functional and educational needs for a student who is under consideration for assistive technology;
  • provide recommendations, assist in the selection, modification and implementation of low, mid and high technology solutions and devices
  • consult and coordinate with team members
  • train teams, staff and families in the use of assistive technology
  • facilitate the Individual Education Program decision making process with regards to assistive technology

Speech-Language Pathologists: Our Speech-Language Pathologists (CCC-SLP) are nationally certified. The role of the Speech-Language Pathologist is:

  • to serve students with identified speech-language disabilities,
  • to evaluate students with whom parents or teachers have a specific speech or language concern
  • to consult with parents and teachers about speech-language development and how disabilities may affect academic progress.

Speech/language impairments fall into four different areas.

  • A fluency disorder means the intrusion or repetition of sounds, syllables, and words; prolongation of sounds; avoidance of words; silent blocks; or inappropriate inhalation, exhalation, or phonation patterns. These patterns also may be accompanied by facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak.
  • A voice disorder is displayed when a student's voice interferes with communication, due to quality, prodigy or health factors.
  • An articulation disorder is the absence of or incorrect production of speech sounds that are developmentally appropriate.
  • A language disorder means a breakdown in communication as characterized by problems in expressing needs, ideas, or information that may be accompanied by problems in understanding.

Occupational Therapists: The role of the OT is to work with students identified as having a disability who demonstrate needs due to sensory, perceptual or fine motor limitations that impact their ability to participate in activities related to their educational program. OT's also manage and assist in the acquisition of adaptive materials and equipment.

School Psychologist: The role of the School Psychologist is to consult with parents and teachers regarding behavior, development, emotional concerns and education planning; conduct crisis intervention; conduct individual and group counseling; and assist in determining student learning needs. Each School Psychologist is a special education team member; they administer intellectual, behavioral and other assessment tools and are part of the assessment team.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teacher: Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing are licensed teachers who work on an itinerant basis with students ages birth to twenty-one, who have been identified and meet state criteria for deaf/hard of hearing services or are in need of an assessment to determine eligibility. The role of the D/HH Teacher is to:

  • Participate on pre-referral teams and conduct assessments to determine D/HH eligibility when appropriate;
  • Participate in the writing of the IEP or IFSP in all areas pertinent to the student’s hearing loss;
  • Provide direct or indirect services to students as specified in the IEP or IFSP;
  • Provide in-service training to special education and regular education staff, provide maintenance and provision of equipment, and consult with interpreters, educational audiologist, medical professionals and parents;
  • Assist Director and Assistant Director in program planning;
  • Attend regional and state D/HH meetings and conferences