Navigating PAUSD

PAUSD Special Education Department Contacts
Department Main Contact

If you have questions about Special Education programs or would like to request a review for assessment, contact Special Education at (650) 833-4257 or or browse the Department Web Site.

The PAUSD Special Education department offers Parent Education programs, often co-sponsored by the Palo Alto CAC. List of PAUSD Parent Ed

Heads of Special Education

Yolanda Conaway - Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and Operations (650) 833-4242 -

Alma Ellis - Director of Special Education-Elementary (650) 833-4260 -

Stephanie Sheridan - Director of Special Education-Secondary (650) 833-4260 -

Coordinators (Your path of escalation, after your case manager)

Amy Sheward: Jordan Middle, Juana Briones, Barron Park, Duveneck, Greendell, Nixon, Ohlone.

Victoria Luke: Gunn High School, Terman, El Carmelo, Hoover, Palo Verde, NPS/Residential/Alternative Programs.  (650) 833-4260 -

Tracy Berliner: Palo Alto High School, J L Stanford Middle, Addison, Escondido, Fairmeadow, Walter Hays.

Mental Health

Megan Cadwell-Brubaker - Educationally Related Mental Health (Office located at Briones) (650) 833-4206 -

Wendy Goodridge - Supervisor, Educationally Related Mental Health (650)

Additional District Staff involved with Special Education
Contact your case manager or your school coordinator for more information on these staff members.
Behavior Support Services

Soo Jin Cheng - Supervisor

Adaptive Physical Education

Angel Sheridan

Speech and Language Specialists

Leyla Gonzalez – Greendell Sophia Lo – Greendell Peggy Syvertson – Paly/GHS Sabrina Cheng – Addison/Palo Verde Mona McClure – Briones Jessica Chen – Duveneck Grace Lee – El Carmelo/Hoover Allison Alberda – Nixon Christina McIver – Fairmeadow Jenny Zine – Jordan Cynthia Ehrhorn – Ohlone/Barron Park Ilo Nilson – Escondido Kathleen Vargha - Walter Hays Jenna McComb - Barron Park Marianne Rivers - Terman

Occupational Therapists

Quyen Lieberman Erin Finley Maggie Weir Uyen Nguyen Maura Dell

Assistive Technology

Jen Dorwin Brian Gadus Aide: Syedali Zaidi AAC, Emily Kingshill

District Behavior Supports

Melissa Ochoa Amy Stirman Christine Gorshe-Olsen

504 Plan Contacts
Your primary and first point of contact is someone at your school. In elementary and middle schools, the 504 leads are the school psychologists. In high school, it's the vice principal. This page on the PAUSD website lists the contacts at each school. If you need to get additional help, after working with your school contact, the District contacts are: Miriam Stevenson - Student Services Director - (650) 833-4208 - Lissette Moore-Guerra - 504 Program Coordinator - (650)329-3722

Parent Liaison Program
Translators and parent outreach from PAUSD
PAUSD provides a parent liaison to each school community as part of its Department of Academic Support. The liaison can assist both parents and students with communication issues, support academic progress, and clarify district assessments and state examinations. They can arrange communication & translation in Spanish, Chinese and other languages according to need. PAUSD Parent Liaison Program Parent Liaison Drop-In Hours

School-Based Contacts
School-based staff are the ones that work the most directly with students. For contact information, go to your school website. Here is an overview of the people you should look for.

All Elementary Schools have a School Psychologist, Speech and Language Specialist, Reading Specialist and a Resource Specialist.  Go to your school’s website to find names and contact information for those people. Barron Park, Briones, Escondido, Walter Hays and Ohlone have Study Centers/Special Academic Instruction Classrooms. Please talk with your case manager about the possibilities.

Middle School
All Middle Schools have a Resource Program/ Study Skills, Speech and Language, Academic Communication/Social Skills Class, Educationally Related Mental Health Services (EMRH) and the Reading 180 reading intervention program. There are classes with co teaching, specialized math instruction, but these vary every year.  Jordan and Terman both have a Futures program which resembles a Special Day Class. In these programs there are reading and math classes and there is some emphasis on vocational training.  The Futures programs run a smoothie business with the help of the students.  Jordan also has a Social Cognitive Class and a Therapeutic Support Class.  Please talk with your case manager about the options.

High School
For staff contact info go to the websites for the Paly Special Ed dept and the Gunn Special Ed dept.  All classes available to high school students are listed in the course catalog on the school's websites. In high school the Futures program emphasis is mostly on vocational training and life skills. Both high schools also have Read 180 programs, Academic Communications & Study Skills classes, and a number of co-taught classes. Talk with your case manager about the options.