Private School Referrals The Referral Process
Assessment and Eligibility Assessment Procedure
IEP Development
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Community Resources Parent Handbook Parent Support Network Matriculation/Transition


(949) 234-9270

Office Hours

CUSD Special Education Department

Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 4:30

Quick Links


What's in a Name?

Though parents normally don't get involved in the software that the staff uses for organizing special education records and creating IEPs, some may have noticed that the name of our software is ...more


Federal and state laws require the district to identify, locate and assess all students within the district from birth through 21 years of age who may have disabilities, and then provide appropriate ...more

Mission Statement

The Special Education Department exists as an organized team to provide specialized service, support and knowledge to students with special needs, their parents, the community and staff. The results of such efforts are the development and implementation of effective, evidence-based programs and services for all CUSD children.


District Special Education Leadership Team

Dr. Gregory Merwin

Associate Superintendent
Student Support Services

Sharla Pitzen
Executive Director
Preschool/Elementary Special Education Services

Jim Wood
Executive Director
Secondary/Adult Special Education Services

Sara Young
Executive Director
Informal Dispute Resolution/Compliance

Alex Sedique
Program/Technology Support

Steve Gelsinger
Psychological Services

Claudia Ginsberg-Brown
Itinerant Services/Medi-Cal

Tracy Christman
Program Specialist
Private School

Myla Candelario
Program Specialist
Behavior/Mental Health Support

Joseph Jones, Roxanne Cortez, Davine Jones

Program Specialists
Secondary School

Cheri Bene, Shari Nelson, Allison Jacobs, 
Rebecca Bailey, Ryan Ortiz, Janelle Stever

Program Specialists
Elementary School

Program Specialists, Autism Specialists, and TOSAs Assignments

Did you know......

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 is the foundation for all current Special Education law. It is properly referred to both as IDEIA and as IDEA.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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