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Excellence and High Expectations with a Commitment To All
Excellence and High Expectations with a Commitment To All



The mission of Tulsa Public Schools' Special Education and Student Services department is to uphold excellence and high expectations with a commitment to all. We are committed to identifying and meeting the diverse needs of each student through individualized educational programming. It is our mission to work cooperatively with families, students, community, colleagues, and other professionals in order to promote each student's success and well-being as he/she prepares for future endeavors.

Programs and Services:



Provides services for students with significant educational needs related to an autism spectrum disorder. This disorder is a developmental disability which significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction. It is generally evident before the age of three. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. Medical information from a licensed physician is a required component in the evaluation for autism.


Deaf-Blindness refers to concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

Deafness or Hearing Impairment

Deafness refers to a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child cannot hear or understand either speech or most sounds in the everyday environment, with or without amplification. Hearing Impairment refers to an impairment in hearing of at least 40 decibels, which even with best correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. An otologist's or audiologist's report indicating the extent of the hearing impairment is required

Developmental Delay

A student, age 3 through 8 years of age, is considered to be developmentally delayed when functioning with a significant deficit in adaptive, cognitive, communication, social, emotional, and/or physical development which adversely affects educational performance.

Emotional Disturbance

An emotional disturbance is characterized by one or more of the following characteristics, to a marked degree, over an extended period of time, which adversely affects educational performance.

  1. Inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
  2. Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peer and teachers.
  3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  4. Tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
  5. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

An evaluation of psychological/social/emotional/behavioral functioning conducted by qualified examiner(s) is required.

Intellectually Disabled

These students exhibit significantly below average general intellectual functioning, along with deficits in adaptive behavior, which are evident during the developmental period. These deficits in functioning are not a result of environmental or sociocultural factors and reflect consideration of the physical health of the child which may impact functioning. The team may identify degrees of intellectual disability such as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.

Multiple Disabilities

An impairment accompanied by one or more other impairments (such as blindness-mental retardation), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs designed solely for one of the impairments. Does not include deaf-blindness. Medical information from a licensed physician providing relevant medical findings, specific syndromes, health problems, or any information deemed necessary for planning the child's educational program is required.

Other Health Impaired

Limited strength, vitality or alertness due to chronic or acute health conditions which adversely affects educational performance. May be due to health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, or other chronic or acute health conditions. Requires medical information from a licensed physician, providing relevant medical findings, specific syndrome, health problems, medication, and any information deemed necessary for planning the child's educational program.

Specific Learning Disability

A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. May include conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, motor disabilities, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. Lack of instruction in math or reading, and/or limited English proficiency must be ruled out as the determining factor of the disability.

Speech-Language Impaired

A communication, language, or voice impairment that adversely affects educational performance. Evaluation of speech skills may include articulation (speech sound production), voice quality, fluency (stuttering), and oral-motor skills. Language skills may involve receptive and expressive language, including vocabulary (semantics), sentence structure and word endings (phonology, morphology, syntax), and use of social language skills (pragmatics).

Traumatic Brain Injury

An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma. Medical information from a licensed physician should be obtained regarding relevant medical and neurological findings and any information pertinent to planning the child's educational program.

Visual Impairment

Visual impairment, including blindness and partial sight, involves an impairment in vision that, even with best possible correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. An ophthalmologist's, optometrist's, or physician's report stating the diagnosis and description of the child's visual problems is required.



The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act defines Assistive Technology in terms of devices and services.

An Assistive Technology Device is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

Assistive Technology services are “any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device” (including evaluation, loaning, selecting, training, and technical assistance.)

Tulsa Public Schools Assistive Technology (AT) team offers various support services to teachers and students. The AT team offers recommendations to the IEP team after consulting, assessing, or evaluating the student’s ability to access their education.

Some of these services include: evaluating and recommending low to high technology options for students, providing strategies and /or tools for increasing students’ performance in the school environment, and training and providing technical assistance for staff.

Contact Information

For questions or additional information regarding assistive technology services contact ESC by calling 918-746-6191.



What is Audiology?

Audiology is the science of hearing . . . how it works, what happens when it doesn’t work, what can be done to help a person that cannot hear, and how to prevent hearing loss. The educational audiologist supports students in their academic environments, and collaborates with community audiologists and physicians for the hearing healthcare plans of students in the district. The educational audiologist also collaborates with Tulsa Public Schools Division of Health Services for an important Hearing Loss Identification Program, to ensure that all district students have their hearing screened annually.

TPS Audiology Services

Audiology services for Tulsa Public Schools students include free comprehensive audiological evaluations, hearing aid monitoring and basic repairs, FM system dispensing and monitoring, earmold impressions for school equipment, and coordination of the Hearing Loss Identification Program.

The Tulsa Public Schools audiologist works with Deaf education for equipment and audiological support for students along the continuum of learning, from self-contained classrooms to the mainstream classrooms.

What is an FM system?

An FM system is a device used for optimal speech intelligibility in all listening situations where the speech signal is degraded. This could be due to background noise, such as a classroom situation; or when there is a great amount of distance between the listener and the speaker, such as a lecture hall or auditorium.

An FM system has two main components, the transmitter (teacher’s part) and the receiver (student’s part). The transmitter uses an accessory called a microphone, to transmit the speaker’s voice via radio wave to the receiver, which is worn by the student. The receiver can be used with a desktop speaker, headphones, or with the student’s hearing aid(s) for maximum audibility.

An FM system can overcome background noise problems by improving the signal-to-noise ratio by up to 20 dB.*

An FM system can reduce the speaker-listener distance to just 20-30 centimeters, which is the average distance of the transmitter microphone to the speaker’s mouth. * *courtesy of Phonak, Inc.

Did you know?

  1. Tulsa Public Schools has converted all of the FM system equipment to state-of-the-art ear level devices, both for comfort and maximum audibility for students.
  2. Tulsa Public Schools has a full-time audiologist to serve the hearing and listening needs of students in the district, from Deaf education to the Hearing Loss Identification Program.
  3. The Tulsa Public Schools audiologist works cooperatively with parents, teachers, nurses, principals, and those individuals involved in the education and success of our students.

Tulsa Public School's Educational Audiology Program

Tulsa Public Schools, the district of choice for over 41,000 students, is a pioneer in Oklahoma for the hearing health care of its students. Taylor Young, Ph.D., former Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services hired the district’s first educational audiologist in May 2006, to implement an aggressive campaign of identification and management of students with hearing loss in Tulsa Public Schools. The audiologist works cooperatively with the division of Health Services to provide training of staff completing hearing screenings, and monitoring of the Hearing Loss Identification Program, and will also provide comprehensive audiology services to students in TPS that require evaluation and management of hearing loss.

Tulsa Public Schools has converted its entire FM system inventory to state-of-the-art technology, in order to provide TPS students access to auditory information in the classroom. Assistive Technology is a team approach within Tulsa Public Schools, and the addition of audiology to the team has improved service delivery for both students and teachers.

Tulsa Public Schools is slated to receive a new, state-of-the-art audiological suite on-site at Eisenhower International School. The audiologist provides comprehensive audiological services, including OAEs, earmold impressions, and hearing aid services. The addition of the audiology clinic provides students and their families a location within the district where they can be assured of receiving free, quality, diagnostic audiology and support services.

For more information, call 918-746-9115



Autism Team Referral Process

1. School principal, department chair, or team leader may e-mail or call the autism team coordinator at 746-6123 to request a member of the team to visit their school site for specific assistance.

2. The appropriate team member will visit with school personnel and observe the student in the school environment.

3. The Autism Team will meet weekly to discuss school concerns and develop a course of action to assist schools with any student on the autism spectrum.

4. A team member will contact the requesting school staff member (teacher), department chair/team leader, and principal to discuss, develop, and implement an action plan to improve the target student behavior or academic issue. This action plan will include what is to happen, who will be responsible, and when the school personnel will meet again to measure student progress on the target behavior or academic issue.

5. Students not already identified on the autism spectrum, will go through the Child Study Team process, with the aid of the autism team psychologist, to help ascertain if Parent Consent for testing is necessary to determine appropriate services.

6. There may be times, that the school staff and autism team members believe that the student would benefit from services in a specialized class environment, in spite of their best efforts to improve student behavior and provide services in the students home school. At these times, the student’s school IEP team, a member of the autism team, and a teacher from the specialized school program should review the students placement and consider an alternative placement to best meet the needs of the student.

Autism Programs and Services

Remington Elementary is the school site specializing in students with Asperger Syndrome and Gifted & Talented.

Carnegie, Marshall, Chouteau and Hoover Elementary have developed classrooms specializing with children moderate-severe autism and communication issues.

Autism Classroom Training (ACT) is a summer program designed to help teachers in regular education, special education, and district para-professionals to better understand children with autism spectrum disorders. This program improves inclusive practices by providing professionals with common approaches and techniques used to educate students on the spectrum.

Students enrolled in Tulsa Public Schools attend in a classroom setting for morning sessions, five days a week and the TPS staff receives additional training information in the afternoon. This is offered to anyone actively enrolled or employed in Tulsa Public School District.

C.A.R.E.S. (Consortium for Autistic Resources, Exchanges, and Support) – The autism team hosts an informative teacher session on the second Thursday of the month after school hours to discuss current issues and offer teachers hands-on assistance with students on the Autism Spectrum.

S.O.S. (Socialization Opportunities and Support) – The autism team in conjunction with TARC hosts an informative parent-child support group. This is open to parents in Tulsa Public Schools and other school districts. Parents listen to informative speakers discussing to learn more about Asperger Syndrome and related behavioral issues. Children with Asperger Syndrome work together in small groups to improve socialization skills. Childcare is available for typically developing siblings.


Oklahoma Autism Alliance Website

Autism Society of America

Autism and PDD Support Network



What Is a hearing impairment?

Hearing impairment occurs when there's a problem with or damage to one or more parts of the ear.

Conductive hearing loss results from a problem with the outer or middle ear, including the ear canal, eardrum, or ossicles. A blockage or other structural problem interferes with how sound gets conducted through the ear, making sound levels seem lower. In some cases, conductive hearing loss can be corrected with medications or surgery.

Sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the auditory nerve. The person has trouble hearing clearly, understanding speech, and interpreting various sounds. This type of hearing loss may be treated with hearing aids or, in severe cases, a cochlear implant.

Mixed hearing loss occurs when someone has both conductive and sensorineural hearing problems. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 28 million Americans are deaf or hearing impaired. That's about one out of every 10 people. Another 30 million are exposed to hazardous noise levels on a regular basis.

Tulsa Public Schools Deaf Education Services

The Tulsa Public School district provides a wide variety of services for deaf and hard of hearing students. Each program is based on the student's individual language needs. Some students may receive services in a self contained classroom with specialized instruction focused on language development using sign language, while others are mainstreamed in their home school with all necessary support services.

A fully accredited teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing may work with our students to ensure that they have direct and appropriate access to all components of the educational process. This teacher may provide direct instruction and/or consultative services to deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled in general education classes, resource specialist programs, or in special education classes. The itinerant teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing supports the teachers and administrators at each school site ensuring that required and related services are provided to deaf and hard of hearing students, and that the special education team understands the unique needs of these students in the general classroom. This teacher also works with the educational audiologist (SEE AUDIOLOGICAL SERVICES), sign language interpreters, and speech-language pathologist (SEE SPEECH-LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT), to maintain the appropriate levels of service for TPS students with hearing impairment.

As of the 2006-2007 school year, Educational Interpreters will be certified in the State of Oklahoma by the Quality Assurance Screening Test. They will be required to have at least a Level III certification to work with our students. This high level of knowledge and skill in sign language ensures our students appropriate language role models as they learn.

How to access services:

1. If a student has a hearing loss but is not currently receiving Special Education services, contact Shannon Moore at 746-9115.

2. If a student with hearing loss is receiving Special Education services, and you would like to inquire about itinerant services, contact Shannon Moore at 746-9115.

3. If you have questions regarding hearing loss, hearing evaluations, or available services contact Shannon Moore at 746-9115.


Find out more about Hearing Impairment

For more information, call (918)-746-6376





Realignment of Developmental Delay Program

Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) has realigned the Developmental Delay (DD) program in order to provide additional services to our Early Childhood DD students, from age three to kindergarten. The realignment took place through a task force with TPS and Community Action Project (CAP) Head Start to develop blended services for TPS DD students at their home schools or at CAP Head Start sites. Placement of all students is based upon evaluation results eligibly criteria, and teacher/parent interviews.

Services for Students with Developmental Delay

Tulsa Public Schools, in Collaboration with CAP Head Start will provide services to all three year old students with a Mild/ Moderate disability at the CAP Head Start site closest to their home school address according to our district feeder system. These students will receive full day services in an early childhood program with an early childhood teacher. They also receive support services from a special education teacher and any necessary related services specified in the student’s Individual Educational Program (IEP).

TPS has developed three District Early Childhood Multiple Disabilities Classrooms to serve student’s age three to kindergarten who have severe/ profound disabilities.

Additional special education staff has been added to most elementary building sites; therefore, 4-year-old students will be placed in the early childhood programs at their home schools and will be served with a blended service approach. This approach will allow them to receive services from the regular education and special education teachers, as well as related services required by their IEP’s.

Kindergarten students will receive services in the kindergarten classrooms at their home schools and will also be served with a blended service approach. They will receive services from the regular education and special education teachers as well as related services student require.

Placement options for DD eligible 3 and 4-year old students

Newly identified Mild/Moderate DD 3 year olds will attend CAP program.

Newly identified Mild/Moderate DD 4 year olds not currently attending a 4 year old program, may attend the area school 4 year old program or the appropriate CAP program per the established IEP staffing procedure (if student is found eligible to receive services they must meet the eligibility cutoff date for birthday, September 1, 2005).

Students attending TPS school sites or CAP programs will remain at current TPS school site or CAP programs.

All students identified as Severe/Profound may attend one of three Early Childhood Multiple Disabilities classrooms per the IEP team decision with Special Education Supervisor.

Already Identified DD student situations:

If a student is enrolled in a 4-year-old program or CAP program, but then moves to another school area with a 4-year-old program that is full, they have two options:

1. Parent transport back to the original school area 4-year-old program

2. TPS will transport to the closest CAP site

Parents of a 4-year-old moving into Tulsa Public Schools with an established category of Developmental Delay, may attend their home school 4 year old program. If the program is at capacity, the student may attend the appropriate CAP program per the established IEP staffing procedure until an opening is available at the home school. When an opening occurs, the parents have the option of staying at the CAP program or moving their child to the home school 4-year-old program.

Community Action Project Head Start Sites:

76 N. Zunis

11610 E. 25th St.

203 W. 28th St. N.

Good Shepard
8730 E. Skelly Drive

6520 E. Latimer Pl.
(918)-838-1767 / (918)-838-1432

6150 S. Yorktown

North Y
5424 N. Madison


10940 E. 5th


For more information, call Special Education at 918-746-6376



Programs for Students with Emotional Disturbance

The Tulsa Public School district currently serves elementary students who meet the criteria for special services under the category of Emotional Disturbance at multiple designated sites. In addition, every middle school and high school in the district provides services to accommodate those students who are eligible for services under this category.

All students who meet the IDEA criteria for emotional disturbance receive services, not only for development of essential social and life skills, but also instruction in the core academic areas. Program goals for each student always include working toward a successful transition into the regular education environment.

Teachers and other essential personnel working with these students are provided staff development specific to individual needs. Trainings include academic modifications, classroom management skills and social/emotional concerns as addressed in the required individual education plan of each student.

For more info, call TPS' Special Ed. Main at (918)-746-6376




What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is a neurologically based disorder that interferes with a person's ability to store, process, or produce information. It creates a "gap" between a student's ability and performance. Individuals with learning disabilities are generally of average or above average intelligence. Learning disabilities can affect a student's ability to write, read, speak, or compute math. It can also interfere with social skills in the classroom. Students with learning disabilities can have significant difficulties on certain tasks, while excelling at others.

Learning disabilities are NOT the result of mental retardation, autism, deafness, behavioral disorders, blindness, economic disadvantage, cultural differences, lack of instruction, or environmental factors.

What should I do if I think my child has a learning disability?

If your child is having academic difficulties, you should first speak with the regular classroom teacher. The teacher will listen to your concerns and may refer your child to the school's Child Study Team. This team of professionals may develop an intervention plan or behavioral strategies to help your child improve classroom performance. Modifications and adaptions may be attempted in an effort to overcome any academic difficulties. If the modifications are not successful, the Child Study Team may recommend a multidisciplinary evaluation to determine your child's current educational needs. This evaluation will help determine the presence, or absence, of any disability that is interfering with educational performance.

How many students have a learning disability?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 2.8 million children receive special education as students with learning disabilities. This represents approximately 5% of all school aged children in the United States. 52% of all children receiving special education services through the public schools are identified as learning disabled.

Find out more about Learning Disabilities:

Learning Disabilities Online
Learning Disabilities Association of America

For more info, call TPS' Special Ed. Main at (918)-746-6429



The Tulsa Public School District currently has 13 Multiple Disabilities (MD) classrooms. These classrooms are designed to serve our students with the most severe mental and/or physical disabilities. These programs are staffed with one special education teacher and three paraprofessionals per 10 students. This high teacher ratio allows us the ability to provide the best possible education to our students. Students in these classes receive a variety of services based on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) developed for each. The types of services a student may receive based on the IEP team decision include the following: Inclusion full or partial, related services: OT, PT, and Speech.


Tulsa Public Schools Programs for Multiple Disabilities

Academy Central

1789 W. Seminole Street
Teacher: Dorthea Prater

(918) 833-8760

6304 E. Admiral Blvd.
Teacher: Penny Tolson

(918) 833-8600

2137 N Pittsburg Ave.
Teacher: Tricia Archie

(918) 746-9340
Patrick Henry 3820 East 41 Street
Teacher: Joan Denny
(918) 746-9160

2940 S. 90 E. Ave
Teacher: Mary Jo McArthur

(918) 925-1540

724 N. Birmingham Ave.
Teacher: Judy Gilliam

(918) 746-9400

2316 North Norwood Place
Teacher: Caroline Hemberger

(918) 746-9440

2177 S. 67th E. Ave
Teacher: Delois Forbes

(918) 746-9260

2800 E 41 Street
Teacher: Becky Robinette

(918) 746-8500
Central 3101 West Edison Street
Teacher: Kristina Smith
(918) 833-8400

5840 S. Hudson Ave.
Teacher: Debra Lestrud
Teacher: Janet Parker

(918) 833-9600
McLain 4929 North Peoria Avenue
Teacher: Pat Nazari
(918) 833-8500
Rogers 3909 East Fifth Place
Teacher: Mary Barker
(918) 833-9000



Learn more about Multiple Disabilities:

Fact Sheet
(NICHCY website)


For more info, call TPS' Special Ed. Main at (918)-746-6376




Occupational and Physical TherapyServices

Occupational and physical therapists provide services that includes improving, developing or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost and preventing through early intervention further impairment or loss of function.

Occupational therapists focus on fine motor skills, self help and adaptive skills. Physical therapists focus on gross motor skills and mobility. Occupational therapy may be needed for example to acquire appropriate eating utensils for a child or teach classroom personnel how to use the equipment or to teach classroom staff how to adjust a lap board for a student who uses the lap board for writing activities. Physical therapy may be needed for example to teach transfers from a wheelchair to a chair or restroom facilities.

What is School Based OT and PT?

Occupational therapy and physical therapy are supportive services that may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from their education. The Individualized Educations Program (IEP) team is responsible for deciding if the student needs OT/PT services to benefit from their educational program. These services are to provide a child with equal opportunity that would not exist without therapy service and not merely maximization of a child's potential. Occupational therapists and physical therapists are trained to provide many types of developmental and rehabilitative services.

Legal mandates require the school-based therapist to deliver only those services that are necessary to assist students to benefit from their educational programs. The focus of school based therapy depends on which IEP goals therapy will be supporting. The need for therapy is based the choice of educational goals and whether the expertise of OT or PT is needed to help the student achieve those goals. Some goals may be academic while other goals will focus on student function or the students participation and success in the school environment. Therapists cannot independently determine who does or does not need services. The decision for OT/PT services is determined by the IEP team and it is a team decision.

Do OT and PT write separate therapy goals on the IEP?

Educational goals are discipline-free. Educational goals are developed by the student's educational team with consideration for the student's unique needs. Goals are not developed in isolation by occupational therapists or the physical therapist. Educational goals are not therapy goals. School based occupational therapists and physical support the educational goals and do not write additional therapy goals for the IEP. It is acceptable for the therapist to provide information and suggestions related to the student to the IEP team. This information might include present levels of specific skills related to the student's educational goals.

What Is The Process for Referral

If seeking an initial evaluation for a child with a suspected disability, a member of the school staff must complete the Child Study Team process. The staff should assess the school OT or PT to provide preliminary recommendations regarding the child's areas of difficulty and complete to Child Study Team intervention plan. If the Child Study Team intervention plan is unsuccessful or if the suspected disability is obvious, the decision to pursue initial evaluation can occur. The on-site staff members should complete a Review of Existing Data form and seek parent consent for the evaluation on the Parent Consent for Evaluation form. The school psychologist/psychometrist will assist in the completion of the two required forms and will then identify the components of a comprehensive evaluation by checking the appropriate boxes of the back of the Parent Consent for the Evaluation form. Areas of concern that will warrant an occupational or physical therapy evaluation are motor, perceptual processing, and adaptive behavior. Upon completion, this paperwork should be sent to the Department of Special Services at the Education Service Center c/o OT and or PT. In addition, in order to expedite the process, a school official should contact your school occupational therapist and notify them of both OT and PT needs. If the school official does not know who the site therapist is please contact the lead therapist for the OT/PT department at the ESC Department of Special Services.

If the child is already on an IEP, once a concern is identified by the teacher, the teacher will need to discuss those concerns with the schools psychologist/psychometrist to see if an OT/PT evaluation is warranted. If the school psychologist/psychometrist is in agreement, an IEP review will need to be scheduled to obtain a recent parental consent for additional evaluation. At the time of the review, the school psychologist/psychometrist will identify the areas of concern requiring additional testing by checking the appropriate boxes on the back of the IEP Review Form. Again the areas of concern that will warrant an occupational or physical therapy evaluation are motor, perceptual/processing, and adaptive behavior. In addition to the IEP review, the teacher should attach a statement identifying the specific activities within the classroom environment with which the student is having difficulty. This paperwork should be sent to the Department of Special Services c/o OT and or PT. The evaluation will occur within 45 calendar days.


Oklahoma State Department of Education Special Education Services. (2005) Technical Assistance Document: Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy In Oklahoma Schools.

For more info, call TPS' Special Education main phone at 918-746-6376




In November, 2004, a working task force was created to review current school-based and community services available to students with behavioral and/or emotional needs, and their families; and construct a strategic plan for creating new service delivery models to address areas of need at all grade levels, across all geographic areas of the district.

The task force reviewed and considered sources of data that identify a significant need for prevention and early intervention services for students with behavioral and/or emotional needs. District suspension rates are high, especially at the middle and high school level. Office and counseling referrals are high at all levels as reported by site principals, and indicate that teachers are not skilled at strategies necessary to successfully integrate students with behavioral and /or emotional concerns. Requests for student assessment for placement in special education programs for students with emotional disturbances continue to increase. Though interventions must be attempted prior to the referral initiation, those interventions are limited due to the absence of professional behavioral support systems at the school level.

Sites that represent various geographic regions of the school district have been selected for pilot participation. These include Cooper Elementary, Houston Elementary, Cleveland Middle School, Bryant Middle School, and Marshall/McClure to be serviced by Family and Children’s Services. Associated Centers of Therapy will service Nimitz Middle School, East Central High School, Tulsa Science High School, and Skelly Elementary. Dayspring Behavioral Health Services, Inc will service Hamilton Middle School, McKinley Elementary, and Rogers High School.

Service Delivery Model Description

Behavior Coach Support

At the first manifestation of behavioral issues in the regular classroom, teachers will request the assistance of the members of the Child Study Team to develop a positive behavior support plan for the student in need. Should the teacher need assistance in the deployment of a behavior support plan, the CST may request support from a behavior coach. The coach will model, mentor, and support the behavioral support plan by working directly with the classroom teacher. The behavior coach will not be utilized as paraprofessional support for the student, but will focus on increasing the skills of the regular classroom teachers to better meet the needs of the student with behavioral and/or emotional issues. The services of the behavior coach will be faded out as the teacher and student progress, or utilized as a liaison to other services should the student not be progressing.

The behavior coach will be employed by Tulsa Public Schools and function as a member of the school-based Positive Behavior Support Services.

Skill Building Groups

As an additional early intervention strategy, students may participate in skill building groups, two to four hours weekly, facilitated by the staff of Intensive Therapeutic Services. These classes will be available to students with behavior plans prior to consideration for more intensive therapies.

Intensive Therapeutic Services (ITS)

At the second component of intervention, a skilled and qualified clinician and a behavior technician will provide a wide range of intensive school based services. These services will also be accessed through the Child Study Team process as a means for providing a higher level of support for students with behavioral and emotional needs that prevent the child from having success in the classroom setting.

Following the development and implementation of a positive behavioral support plan by the classroom teacher without the desired results over a period of time, a student may enter additional services through the CST, facilitated by the behavior coach. The ITS staff will manage the entrance of the student into intensive therapeutic services, and will develop a new positive behavior support plan as a child study team intervention or through a student individualized education plan, or IEP.

All components of intensive therapeutic services will focus on teaching students to shape new behaviors and cope with emotional issues. The range of services may include cohort group therapies, individual therapies, family therapies, and case management. The ITS staff chooses from the menu of possible therapies and develops a treatment plan that matches the needs of the student and his/her family. A student may be involved in the therapies outlined in their individual treatment plan for up to nine hours each week, and up to thirty students my be involved in the ITS at each site. As students meet therapy goals and are exited from the program, new students will enter through the CST process on an on-going basis. These services are intended to be an intervention to prevent suspension and restore classrooms to threat-free learning environments.

The clinician and behavior technician will be employees of the participating agency, and will hold licensure and/or certification as required by their program standards. The clinician will hold a master’s degree and will be a Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or be a qualified candidate eligible for licensure. The behavior tech will hold a bachelor’s degree, and also meet the participating agencies program requirements. The participating agencies are Associated Centers for Therapy, Family and Children’s Services, and Dayspring Behavioral Health Services, Inc. Wraparound Services The third type of service will be provided by Wraparound Tulsa, a local Systems of Care initiative. These services will also be accessed through the site Child Study Team and a member of the

Wraparound services team

A student that qualifies for Wraparound will be a student who is not progressing in other services, and meets the qualifications of Wraparound. Wraparound will be designed to support students twenty-four hours a day, including the home setting.

Qualification for Wraparound include 1) having a behavioral/emotional symptom that suggests a diagnosable emotional disorder, 2) having a significant difficulty that has lasted or is expected to last for a year or more due to serious emotional disturbance, 3) having received or requested services or support from two or more systems, 4) is at risk of out-of-home placement or out-or-school placement due to the impact of the serious emotional and/or behavioral disturbance, 5) resides in Tulsa County, and 5) family volunteers for Wraparound service and agrees to participate actively.

It is the expectation of the task force that participating principals will lead their schools in necessary systems change processes to ensure the e school culture will be shaped to support these core operational values. There must be evidence that the school leader, as well as the participating partners are committed and will strive to create the type of school culture that will successfully support the proposed service delivery model.



Copes for Kids is a Family and Children’s Services provided to the community for anyone: depressed, about to explode, feeling like hurting yourself or someone else, consumed with worry, or severely emotionally upset. COPES for Kids can help. The COPES team is available to take your call or meet with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can meet with you at school, your home or anywhere in the Tulsa metro area. Anyone may call the COPES line at 918-744-4800.


Copes for Kids - 3-25-05.pdf
Systems of Care 9-30-04.pdf


For more info, call TPS' Special Ed. Main at (918)-746-6376



Who We Are

Tulsa Public School speech-language pathologists are educators specially trained in the study of human communication. The speech-language pathologist evaluates a student's speech and language skills to determine the presence of a communication disorder which adversely affects academic performance. An individualized plan is then developed to improve communication skills in the classroom.

Speech-Language Services

Students identified with a speech-language disorder may receive direct or indirect therapeutic services. Direct services may include individual or group therapy, while indirect services may consist of consultation or monitoring. The type of service recommended will depend of the severity of the disorder and its effect on classroom performance and academic achievement.

What is a Speech-Language Disorder?

Sometimes, children can have difficulty acquiring communication skills. This problem can be developmental, or may be caused by physical factors such as cleft palate or hearing loss. A student with a speech-language disorder may have difficulty producing age-appropriate speech sounds, might have a chronically hoarse voice, or may frequently experience stuttering during conversations. A child's language skills might be disordered if he or she uses immature sentence structures, has difficulty understanding oral directions, or uses vocabulary common for younger children. Speech-language pathologists can evaluate a student to determine if their difficulty in learning these skills is not age-appropriate, and is significantly interfering with academic achievement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I have my child tested for speech?

First, talk to your child's classroom teacher. He or she may also have some concerns about your child's communication skills in the classroom. The next step is to speak to the speech-language pathologist at your child's school. He or she will consult with the classroom teacher and conduct an evaluation if it appears that the suspected communication difficulties are not age appropriate, and that they adversely affect your child's performance in the classroom.

My 5-year old son says "wabbit" instead of "rabbit". Should I be concerned?

The /r/ sound is one of the most difficult sounds to produce. It requires a great deal of oral motor control. It is usually considered to be within normal limits for children to have difficulty producing this sound until around age 7 or 8. You can help your son at this time by monitoring his hearing (especially if he has frequent ear infections), and modeling good speech for him. Let him hear you using good /r/ sounds without forcing him to repeat you. Contact your school's speech-language pathologist if you have any other questions or concerns about your son's speech.

What do the initials CCC-SLP mean?

A speech-language pathologist who has these initials after his or her name, indicates that he/she holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. This certification is awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to those individuals who have earned a Master's degree in speech-language pathology, passed a national examination, and completed a supervised clinical fellowship year.

Speech-Language Forms

Regular classroom speech-language modifications
Teacher request for speech observation form
SLP observation of classroom speech-language skills
Language Rating Scale
Articulation Rating Scale
End of the year caseload list

Parent/Teacher Handout:

Common Characteristics of Speech-Language Disorders


Parent Handout:

Developing Your Child's Language Skills
Help Improve Your Child's Speech Production

Find out more about speech-language impairments:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Stuttering Foundation of America
Q & A about Articulation

For questions or information about speech-language services, contact CC Canfield at 746-6191 or email at



Programs for Visual Impairments

Tulsa Public Schools provides services to students who are blind or visually impaired in as many varied ways as there are individualized needs. Tulsa Public Schools’ goal for each student receiving Special Education services is for that child to remain in his or her home school. Each child’s individual needs are taken into consideration when determining placement.

Students who remain in their home school are provided with the materials and lessons necessary for them to access their education. Examples of these are large print books, magnifiers, large screen monitors/magnifiers, technology, and orientation and mobility lesson.

Occasionally, a student’s needs indicate the necessity to provide instruction at one of three programs within our district where students are provided with more intensive daily instruction unique to his or her vision impairment. Students are provided instruction in the Braille, orientation and mobility, Abacus, assistive technology, self-help skills, and independent living skills.

All students are enrolled with the Oklahoma Library for the Blind allowing check out of materials and equipment through the school site, as well as enabling them with the ability to check out items for home use.

Program Locations

The District has specifically designed programs for students who are blind or visually impaired located at the following sites:

  1. Nimitz Middle School, 3111 E. 56th St.
  2. Memorial High School, 5840 S. Hudson Ave.

Parents and students can expect support from all staff in the Visual Impairments programs. We are able to provide parents with access to various resources and support unique to their child’s situation.

Throughout the school year, teachers and Braillists working for Tulsa Public will be attending workshops and trainings aimed specifically toward the issues associated with blindness and visual impairments. Parents and caregivers will be encouraged to attend.


National Federation of the Blind

Disability Resources, Inc.

Oklahoma Library for the Blind

Braille Institute of America

Department of Rehabilitation Services of Oklahoma

Library of Congress

American Council of the Blind

Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic

American Printing House for the Blind

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Louis Braille Center

Hadley School for the Blind


Contact Information

Contact Special Education and Student Services at 918-746-6376 for more information.




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