Contact Us




Kara Saldierna
Director of Special Education

Office: (531) 299-9461

Fax: (531) 299-0386

If you have concerns regarding the

development of your child who is

between the ages of birth to 5 years old,

please call the Early Childhood Referral Line

at 531-299-0242 to discuss your concerns.

Programs and Services

Program Description:

The Behavior Skills Program serves students in grades K-12. This program focuses interventions on the social, emotional and behavioral needs of students while providing instruction to support the students' participation and progress in the general curriculum. Behavior intervention plans are individualized to meet the needs of each student. Students are integrated into general education classrooms whenever possible. This program is available at 9 elementary schools, all middle and high schools, and at the alternative programs.

Service Delivery Model:

  • The student's Individual Education Program (IEP) team determines the interventions and supports needed for the student to be successful, based on the student's disability related needs (e.g., using a point card or self-monitoring chart, having a "safe pass" to use when angry, having a "cool down" area to access).
  • The student's IEP team determines the most appropriate setting for the delivery of special education services, with an emphasis on keeping the student in the general education classroom. 
  • The special education teacher consults with the general education teacher(s) to support the implementation of the IEP in general education classes.
  • Accommodations as identified on the IEP (e.g., frequent breaks, extended time) may be provided to support students during instruction and assessments in the general education classroom.
  • The general and special education teachers assess and review student progress regularly.
  • A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is used to assess individual student behavior.
  • A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is used to identify strategies and interventions that will help the student be successful.
  • Social/affective skills instruction is provided.
  • Problem solving is emphasized.
  • The classroom environment is structured for optimal success; procedures and expectations are clearly defined.


  • Students participate in the general education curriculum working towards mastery of regular content standards as measured by state assessments.
  • A social skills curriculum (Skillstreaming the Elementary School Child or Skillstreaming the Adolescent) is used to develop and improve students' social and behavioral skills. Supplemental social skills materials are used as needed.
  • Content related supplemental materials may be used to enhance academic progress.

Special Considerations:
Initial Intake Conference - Most often the principal and special education teachers conference with the student and parent/legal guardian prior to the first day of attendance in the self-contained classroom.

Points of discussion at the intake conference:

  • Structure of the classroom
  • Student schedule
  • Mainstreaming opportunities
  • Behavior management system
  • Point cards and incentive programs
  • Student handbook
  • Code of conduct
  • Procedures for crisis intervention
  • Expectations of all students
  • Emergency contact name and number
  • Questions of the student and parent/legal guardian

Program Contact:

Kylee Starmer-Wilson

BSP Supervisor

Phone:  402-557-2427

Program Description: 

The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program provides educational opportunities to 3-5 year olds as they grow and develop.  When students in our district need extra support to help them become successful in school, the ECSE program provides services to students with a verified disability. 


Service Delivery Model: 

Service delivery may vary depending upon the disability and severity of needs. Our students can receive services in a Pre-Kindergarten, Head Start, Inclusionary, or Early Childhood Special Education classrooms.  Other students receive building level services at their neighborhood school.  The Omaha Public Schools has classrooms that are half day and full day programs that meet 5 days a week.  We have Early Childhood programs that support our Special Education students in 46 Elementary Schools.



In the Omaha Public Schools we use The Creative Curriculum for Preschool as a framework for the classroom.  It is a set of 38 objectives that are divided into 10 areas of development and learning:

  • Social-Emotional
  • Physical
  • Language
  • Cognitive
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies
  • The Arts
  • English Language Acquisition


The Creative Curriculum is an early childhood curriculum that focuses on:

  • Project-based investigations as a means for children to apply skills
  • Fostering development of the whole child through teacher-led, small and large group activities
  • Play-based learning in 11 recommended interest areas (blocks, dramatic play, toys & games, art, library, discovery, sand & water, music & movement, cooking, computers, and outdoors)
  • Linking learning and assessment through the Teaching Strategies Gold assessment that is completed by teachers 3 times per year
  • Teachers are required to teach all six studies: Beginning of the Year, Balls, Building, Clothing, Trees, and Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle


Assessment:  All students in Early Childhood are assessed on 38 Creative Curriculum objectives using Teaching Strategies Gold.  It is an online system that teachers use to complete checkpoints 3 times per year: Fall, Winter, and Spring.  The information gained will be used for future planning of developmentally appropriate activities for the students in the classroom.  All children with an IEP will receive quarterly updates on their progress through Quarterly IEP Progress Reports. 

Role Model Opportunities:  The Early Childhood Special Education Program (ECSE) is looking for role models.  The ECSE classroom is designed to service 3-5 year old children who have a verified disability.  Children who qualify for the ECSE classes have disabilities that may include speech/language, cognition, orthopedic, behavior, vision, hearing and special health problems.  The classroom is staffed with an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and two paraprofessionals.  Classes will include children with disabilities, and 2-3 peer models.

Students who are role models should display age-appropriate cognition, motor development, language, and behavior.  There is no cost for children enrolled in the ECSE program.  Children must be 3 years old by July 31st and participate in a screen process.  Parents are expected to provide transportation for their children and complete all district enrollment requirements.  The ECSE classroom is a half-day program that meets 5 days a week.  Students must be able to attend all 5 days. If you are interested in your preschool child being considered as a role model for the ECSE classroom, please contact the secretary for the ECSE program at 531-299-9519. 

Do you have concerns about the way your child is developing? 

If you have concerns about your child’s development, the Omaha Public Schools will provide a free evaluation.  To make a referral for an evaluation for a child who is birth to 5 years old, please contact the referral line at 531-299-0242.

Program Contacts:

Felicia Tweedy

ECSE Supervisor

Supports schools North of Blondo

Phone:  531-299-9519


Carrie Baden

   ECSE Lead Teacher

Supports schools South of Blondo

    Phone:  531-299-9698



Program Description:

The Hearing Impaired Program serves students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Signing Exact English (SEE II) is the communication system used for instruction and as visual support for other students.  Students participate in the general education curriculum with the support of sign language interpreters.  Students also receive enhanced vocabulary and language development instruction.  This program is provided in two elementary schools, one middle and one high school. 

Service Delivery Model:
  • Hearing Impaired Resource Teacher provides instructional, auditory and language support for students attending their neighborhood school or attendance area option school
  • Hearing impaired, self-contained classrooms are available for students requiring more service
  • Audiological services are available by appointment


  • Content standards for the general curriculum
Program Description:
The Homebound Program provides a limited educational program for students who are confined to the home or hospital due to an illness or health condition. A referral to the Homebound Program can be made by a doctor, parent, hospital social worker or school personnel. The Homebound teacher will coordinate long range plannng with the student's school and collaborate with the classroom teachers to provide instruction/materials in the same content as the student's peers at school. The purpose is to offer students the opportunity to complete credits currently in progress. The students receive services in the home or a hospital setting.


Service Delivery Model:

  • The homebound teacher, as a member of the Individual Education Program (IEP) team, helps to develop a plan to meet the current needs of the student.
  • Instruction is provided to allow students to progress in the core classes in which they are currently enrolled within the same time frame as the students attending the class.
  • It is the goal of the Homebound Program that the transition back into the school setting will be as smooth as possible.
  • Students who are able to attend school part-time do not qualify for homebound services; however, the family can coordinate with the school for completion of homework assignments and tests.


  • Students participate in the general education curriculum with needed support.
  • Instructional materials are provided by the student's school.

Program Description:

The Multihandicapped Program serves students with multiple disabilities, ages 5-21 years, in an environment that supports students’ medical and sensory needs.  The instructional program addresses the cognitive, communication, community, motor, self-help, social skills and prevocational domains.  Opportunities are provided to participate in activities with non-disabled peers. 

This program is located at J.P. Lord School

Service Delivery Model:

  • Students are served in a special school setting at J.P. Lord School
  • Opportunities are provided to participate in activities with non-disabled peers
  • A strong home-school relationship is developed


  • Curriculum includes the domains of cognition, communication, community, motor, self-help, social skills and prevocational
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Small group and individual instruction on developmentally appropriate skills
  • Community-based instruction
  • Functional skills instruction
  • Multi-sensory teaching techniques: auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic prompts
  • Preparatory exposure to situations
  • Individual objectives based on student needs
  • Friendships with age-appropriate peers
  • Clear, concise directions
  • Positive Feedback
  • Behavior modification techniques
  • Arrangements to accommodate the student’s physical needs
  • A clear understanding of the medication needs of each student

Program Contact:

Laura Mac-Holmes

J.P. Lord Principal

Phone:  402-554-6771


Robin Quinn

ACP Supervisor

Phone:  402-557-2447

Program Description:

The Resource Program serves students with disabilities in grades K-12. Special education staff provide interventions, accommodations to support the students’ participation and progress in the general curriculum.  Students in this program may have a variety of disabilities.  This program is provided in all OPS schools.


Service Delivery Model:

  • Amount of service varies according to individual need as determined by the Individual Education Program (IEP) team
  • Services are delivered in the Least Restrictive Environment to increase inclusive opportunities
  • Accommodations may be supported in the general education setting with adjustments by the general education teacher
  • Services and accommodations may be provided in the resource setting by the special education teacher or in a co-taught setting with a special education and general education teacher
  • Continuous assessment and evaluation of progress is managed through the IEP process
  • Students participate in all district assessments and may participate with accommodations as identified and indicated in the IEP
  • The methods and materials for teaching content standards may be adjusted in order to meet the student’s needs at their instruction level



  • Special education supports the general education curriculum by consulting with the general education teacher, providing support, collaboration, and co-teaching in the general education classroom
  • Content standards for general curriculum are used and students are required to meet district and state proficiencies


Program Contacts:


              Valerie Carritt

Resource Supervisor for Bancroft, Benson West, Edison, Florence, Harrison, Jackson, Highland, Oak Valley, McMillan, North High

Phone:  402-557-2540


Abbie Schmidt

Resource Supervisor for Fontenelle, Fullerton, Miller Park, Minne Lusa, Mount View, Pawnee, Rose Hill, Skinner, Marrs, South High

Phone:  402-557-2435


Liz McGuire

Resource Supervisor for Adams, Conestoga, Kellom, Liberty, Sunny Slope, Wilson,

Non-Public Schools, Bryan Middle, Bryan High

Phone:  402-557-2539


Michelle Gaither

Resource Supervisor for Columbian, Masters, Pinewood, Ponca, Prairie Wind, Saddlebrook, Saratoga, Springville, Standing Bear, King, Chandler View, Buffet Middle, Lewis & Clark,

Phone:  402-557-2485


Adia Brightman

Resource Supervisor for Beals, Catlin, Boyd, Dundee, Franklin, Kennedy, Wakonda, Walnut Hill, Monroe, King Science Technology Magnet, Benson High

Phone:  402-557-2657


Chris Pereira

Resource Supervisor for Druid Hill, Field Club, Gilder, Joslyn, Picotte, Washington, Gateway, Hale, Morton, Northwest

Phone:  402-557-2419


Alissa Jangulo

Resource Supervisor for Ashland Park Robbins, Belle Ryan, Castelar, Crestridge, Gomez, Jefferson, Spring Lake, Western Hills, Norris, Central High

Phone:  402-557-2643


Melissa Prante

Resource Supervisor for Belvedere, Central Park, Dodge, Hartman, Lothrop, Sherman, Beveridge, Davis, Burke

Phone:  402-557-2417

Program Description:
The Transition Program serves students with disabilities ages 19-21, who demonstrate continuing needs in the areas of employment, independent living and continuing education following the completion of 12th grade at a traditional high school. Services include monitoring the young adult's performance in a competitive community job, job coaching in a work placement and life skills instruction. This program is located at the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), the Career Center at TAC, and Saratoga Elementary.


Services Delivery Model:

  • Students completing four years of a traditional high school program and reach the age of 19-21 are eligible
  • The IEP team determines placement in the program based upon unmet needs
  • Services are individualized and may range from school staff monitoring a student's performance in a competitive community job to full day placement in work experience and life skills instruction


  • Instruction in independent living skills (cooking, shopping, meal planning, budgeting, using public transportation, etc)
  • Training in an appropriate work setting with work experiences ranging from workshop placements to supervised community training placements to competitive job placement
  • Social skills instruction takes place in real life community settings such as restaurants, shopping situations and recreational facilities
  • Students may be enrolled in a community college setting while receiving support services from school personnel. Tuition payment to the community college is the responsibility of the student


See the Transition Page website at:


Program Contact

Shana Frodyma

Transition Supervisor

Phone:  402-557-2543

Program Description:
The Alternate Curriculum Program serves students with cognitive disabilities in grades K-12 who require instruction focused on functional academic, social and vocational training. Students participate in this program because of the severity of their disabilities and the amount of support required to meet their individual needs. Students also participate in integrative classes and activities with their general education peers as appropriate. This program is provided in 16 elementary schools, 11 middle and 6 high schools.

Service Delivery Model:

  • The student's Individual Education Program (IEP) team determines the interventions and supports needed for the student to be successful, based on the student's disability related needs.
  • The special education teacher provides instruction in a classroom setting that provides a low student/teacher ratio.
  • Opportunities are provided for students to participate in activities with their general education peers that may include homeroom, physical education, art, music, library, and lunch
  • The special education teacher assesses and reviews student progress regularly.



  • Students participate in an alternate curriculum that is aligned to the Nebraska alternate standards in the areas of reading, writing, math, social studies and science.
  • Materials used at the elementary level include: PCI Reading, Sonday Let's Play Learn reading, Symbol Stories, Reading Milestones, Kid's Discover science materials and Touch Math.
  • Materials used at the middle school level include: PCI Reading, Sonday System reading materials, Reading Milestones, Symbol Stories, Access Science, Kid's Discover science materials, Access History and Touch Math. 
  • Materials used at the high school level include: Edmark Functional Word reading materials, Sonday System reading materials, Symbol Stories, Menu Math, Map Skills, Kid's Discover science materials and Touch Math.
  • Assistive technology is available to meet individual student's need.
  • Students participate in the Nebraska State Alternate Assessment.
  • Students participating in an alternate curriculum and alternate assessment are eligible to receive a high school diploma.


Program Contacts:


Robin Quinn

ACP Supervisor

Phone:  531-299-9483


The Omaha Public Schools provides hearing tests through the Audiological department.  If you have concerns for your child's hearing and you are interested in a hearing test for your child, please call Liz Vazquez at 531-299-9399 to schedule.