Skip to main content
special education local plan area (SELPA)

North Santa Cruz County SELPA Local Plan


Special Education is a specialized instruction provided for children from birth to age 22 who qualify according to the laws and regulations outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004).  A student may qualify for Special Education services as an individual with special needs in one of the following areas:  Deaf/hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind, Visually impaired, Speech-Language impaired, Specific Learning Disability, Orthopedically impaired, Intellectually Disabled, Emotionally Disturbed, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Other Health Impaired.  A student receives support from Special Education as identified on his/her Individual Education Plan.


Scotts Valley Unified School District offers a continuum of Special Education support which includes:  push-in, resource, and Special Day Classes.


At each IEP meeting, the team is required to consider a continuum of options for service, beginning with the least restrictive.  Their job is to determine which combination of services provides the required benefits with the least restriction in environment.  Federal law requires that the placement be as close as possible to the child's home, and that the child is educated in the school he or she would attend if non-disable, unless the IEP team determines that the child requires some other arrangements.

Special Education Programs/Directory

Scotts Valley serves a wide range of students with special needs: 

  • Students that have mild to moderate disabilities are typically served within Scotts Valley Unified School District.  Students with mild to moderate disabilities may have learning disabilities, speech and language delays, minor health disabilities, or have a mild form of autism. 
  • Students with moderate to severe disabilities, including severely handicapped, pre-school through 5th grade are frequently served by Scotts Valley Unified School District.   Additionally Pre-school through 22-years may be served by other programs determined to appropriately provide a public education. 

If you suspect your child has a disability, do not hesitate to contact the Director of Special Education or your site administrator.

Early detection and intervention is important!

Special Education Personnel

Director of Student Services                  

Dr. Steven T. Hoy
(831) 438-1820 ext. 103

School Psychologist                   

Michelle Hodsdon               


Administrative Assistant

Beth Hyytinen
(831) 438-1820 ext. 102

Adapted Physical Education  (APE)                   

Lewis LaHood

Behavior Support Aide

Leslie Gerlack

Occupational Therapy

Jade Keyes

Program Specialist

Sarah Strite


Brook Knoll Special Education Teachers/Providers

K-5:  Mild-to-Moderate

Samantha Nielsen                  

Resource Teacher

Lisa Jacobs


Georgia Cambra


Jeanelle Babitzke


Vine Hill Special Education Teachers/Providers

Resource Teacher

Denise Hitzeman                 



Kirsten Maure




Middle School Special Education Teachers/Providers

Mild-to-Moderate Special Day                    

Chris Cheman


Caitlyn Reynolds

Resource Teacher

Liz Pennington


Caitlyn Reynolds


Debbie Beffa





High School Special Education Teachers/Providers

Resource / Mild-to-Moderate

Special Day Class Teachers:

Erik Axelsson   


Lori Blair


Jenny Daniels



Debbie Beffa