Special Education

Special Education is a form of learning provided to students with exceptional needs such as with cognitive, learning, emotional, and/or behavior disabilities. Special Education and related services are provided in public schools at no cost to parents and includes special instruction in the classroom.  Services are designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a free public education as designated by the individual IEP developed for each Special Education student.  MLK offers a continuum of services both in the Mild Moderate setting as well as in the center programs.



ACE- Alternative Cooperative Education
ADD- Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
AT- Assistive Technology
BIP- Behavior Intervention Plan
ESY- Extended School Year
FAPE- Free and Appropriate Public Education
FBA- Functional Behavioral Assessment
FERPA- Family Educational Rights Privacy Act
HI- Hearing Impairment
ID- Intellectual Disability
IDEA- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP- Individualized Education Plan
LD-Learning Disability
LRE- Least Restrictive Environment
MD- Multiple Disabilities
MH- Mental Health
MI- Multi-Intensive
MIA- Multi-Intensive Autism
MIS- Multi-Intensive Severe
M/M- Mild Moderate
NCI- Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
OHI- Other Health Impairment
OI-Orthopedic Impairment
OSEL- Office of Social and Emotional Learning
OT- Occupational Therapist
PARA- ParaProfessional
PT- Physical Therapist
SEAC- Special Education Advisory Council
SED-Social Emotional Disability
SEO-Student, Equity, and Opportunity Partners
SLD-Specific Learning Disability
SLI- Speech Language Impairment
SLP- Speech Language Pathologist
SPED- Special Education
SSP- Special Service Provider
STAR- Students Transitioning to Adult Resources
TBI-Traumatic Brain Injury
VI-Vision Impairment
WES-Work Experience and Study
WESS-Work Experience, Study and Supports


Mild Moderate (M/M)
Students usually have mild academic or behavioral difficulties and can often be very successful with limited or moderate special education supports.

Multi-Intensive (MI)
Provides a functional approach to academic and life skills for students with moderate to severe delays in cognition, academic achievement, and/or adaptive behaviors.  Programming provides students with opportunities to develop academic, social, and transition competencies essential to becoming productive citizens to their communities.  Students are taught life long skills that will maximize the potential to live, work and participate within society.

Multi-Intensive Severe (MI-S)
This program serves pupils who frequently manifest multiple disabilities. Curriculum emphasis is in development of basic skills and concepts.  Motor, communication and social skills are infused throughout all areas.

Multi-Intensive Autism (MI-A)
The MIA center is geared more specifically to meeting the needs of students with autism or autistic-like behaviors which is also available as part of a continuum of services. The range of services must be available to students so that they can be served in the Least Restrictive Environment.

DMLK serves students with a variety of services based on their academic, behavioral, and social emotional needs.  Below you will find the different models that DMLK offers.

Models include:

  • Math/English SPED Intervention Classes-Students attend not only their core Math and/or English class but have an option of having an intervention class with a Special
    Education teacher to teach the skills that are lagging in their core classes.  This is based on the need of the student as well as the decision of the IEP team.
  • Math/English Push-In Support Classes – Students attend their grade level Math and/or English class with the support of both the General Education teacher and Special
    Education teacher.
  • Math/English SPED Intervention and Push-In Combined – Students have a combination of Push-In and SPED Intervention models in their daily schedules based on their
  • Center Students Inclusion – Each center based classroom pushes into either an AVID, Science, or Social Studies class which changes per semester.  Each class has a General Education teacher and a Special Education teacher.

SPED Administrator

Kimberly Grayson (Principal)

Dean of Student Services
Camille Galaviz

Center Teachers

Whitney Vaughns- MI Teacher (Middle School)

Emily Bevington-MI-S (Middle School)

Soyeon Joo-MI-A Teacher(Middle School)

Nicholas Lake-MI-A Teacher (High School)

Robert Polk (Associate Teacher) MI-A Center (High School)

Mild Moderate Teachers

Christina Damon-ELA (Middle School)/Gifted and Talented Teacher

Mackenzie Holland – Math (Middle School)

Shazia Imam – Math (High School)

Marva Short – Math (High School)/ACE Connect Teacher

Regina Martinez – English (High School )

Susie Fowler- ELA (Middle School)/English High School

Christina Reyes (Associate Teacher)- English & Math (High School)

Paulina Mory-MI Center (Middle School)

Latrice Walker-MI-S  Center (Middle School)

Peter Gale-MI-A  Center (High School)

Lizabeth Gish – MI-A  Center (High School)

Sarah Johnson-MI-A Center (Middle School)

Sandra Fortune – MI-A Center (Middle School)

Ashley Monzalvo- MI-A (Middle School)

Ashley Hawkins – 1:1 M/M (High School)

Cynthia Edmonds- MI-S  Center (Middle School)

Ashley Madsen-MI-S Center(Middle School)

Esmeralda Orozco-MI-A Center (Middle School)

Mya  Medina-MI-A Center (Middle School)

Leshunne Semper- MI-S (Middle School)

Vacancy-MI-A Center(Middle School)

Vacancy-MI-A Center (Middle School)

Student Apprentices;
Elizabeth Reyes
Jennifer Arroyo-Martinez
Rosine Niyoyishura
Zyeria Turner-Johnson

Special Service Providers:

Anahita Khosravi-School Psychologist

Cyndi Hawkes-School Social Worker

Pamala Vaughn – Trauma Social Worker

Felicia Hawkins-School Nurse

Occupational Therapist (O/T): TBD

Julianne Fair-Physical Therapist

Megan Stoutenburgh -Speech Language Pathologist

Andrea Steffanich-Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Tara Aronson-DPS Audiologist

Student Educational Instructional Specialist (District SPED Partner)
Julie Rottier-Lukens

Announcements/Upcoming Events
Refer to the Remote Learning Tab at the top of the DMLK website


Transportation Services is committed to providing the highest level of service and support for students with disabilities.  Their goal is to ensure a safe and pleasant trip to and from school for all students.

For students identified for Special Educations Services, the IEP and program designation will determine if your child requires transportation.  The Department of Transportation must receive and complete accurate information regarding your student’s special needs from the Department of Student Services to ensure safe transportation.

http://transportation.dpsk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/9362_I_Parent-Pamphlet-Special-Education-Transportation.doc-update-9-23-14_SP.pdf (pamphlet in Spanish)

Please note: A parent, guardian or designated adult must meet the bus when driver instructions indicate that the student cannot be left unattended.  The responsible adult must be seen at the door of the bus before the student is released.

Routing questions (720-423-4699).  This number is for schedules, route information, and is staffed 7-8 hours a day.  If you have an issue with a bus or a bus driver please have all pertinent information: students ID/name, school, route number, date incident occurred and whether it is the am or pm bus.

Dispatch questions (720-423-4624). This number is for parents to call to cancel a pick up for the day or longer, if a bus is late, or if a child has left something on the bus.


Parent Corner

Nurse Info-Felicia Hawkins-School Clinic- 720-424-0488

Denver Health’s School Based Health Clinic (SBHCs)-offer specialized pediatric focused care to treat most health conditions that affect school-aged children.  Services are available throughout the school year to any Denver Public Schools (DPS) student or child that attends a DPS affiliated Early Childhood Education (ECE) center within Denver County. SBHCs offer convenient care that limits the amount of time students are out of class and parent/guardians have to be off work.  In many cases, students are able to get same day or next day appointments.  More information on health center locations can be found on our locations page below.
http://www.denverhealth.org/medical-services/primary-care/primary-care services/school-based health centers

ESY– The purpose of the Extended School Year (ESY) Program is to maintain students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals from the previous school year.

CDE Office of SPED – This site/office is a resource to teachers, administrators, and parents of students with exceptional educational needs due to disability, or with some other special need.

Medicaid Resources – A jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program that covers children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled and other people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.

Family and Community Engagement – Family and Community Engagement (FACE) fosters school communities that are educated, engaged and empowered to share the responsibility in creating thriving schools where Every Child Succeeds.

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) – The Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) consists of members interested in the quality of education received by children and youth with special needs. The committee includes parents of individuals with disabilities, educators, administrators and representatives from a variety of related agencies. SEAC’s purpose is to educate members and families on special education topics and inform members of proposed legislation concerning special education.

Parent Rights (Procedural Safeguards) – This form describes the Educational Rights of Parents and Due Process Procedures

IEP Procedural Guidance (CDE) – A guide to the IEP process.


ACEConnect-A support program that prepares students with disabilities by ensuring that they are post-secondary and workforce-ready.  Students may choose to enter any industry, and ACEConnect helps them to build the soft skills that align with  their career choice


CareerX Industry Exploration Program-This program provides real-world exposure to companies in each student’s field of study.  Students learn about careers available within a particular industry and observe the work performed by people in those careers.  They also learn about post-high school educational paths to careers they observe.


18-21 Transitional Program/ (STAR/STEP-UP)- These transition programs offer a continuum of support for students to access post-secondary education, employment, and independent living options after completing credits required for graduation.  They provide case management, coaching and direct instruction in the areas of community access, adult independent living and job readiness.