Special Services

About Our Department

Our department is here to help all students who have a need for extra supports that the general education programs may not be able to provide. Working together, we find a way to create individualized programs that help every child reach their fullest potential. Teachers, assistants, principals, therapists, and parents all work together to wrap around services that develop the whole child. We pride ourselves on the personal and caring approach we use to make a difference for the students we services.

Things We Do

Meeting the needs of the whole child is essential to helping them feel connected, supported, and ready to learn. Our Special Services Department provides a variety of services to help students, parents, and teachers be successful in their educational endeavors:
  • Consult with parents and teachers to problem solve learning challenges that arise.
  • Provide training and support for academic and/or behavioral needs of any student.
  • Consult for 504 plans, SST meetings, and interventions.
  • Assist the building-level teams in working through the identification process for potential special education services.
  • Evaluate students in need of additional testing through our school psychologist.
  • Advocate for students with special needs and work collaboratively with the school.
  • Support teachers and parents with resources to help a student.
  • Care... our teachers care about and want the best for every child. 

Parent Rights

Parents of a child who has or may have a disability have certain rights, or procedural safeguards, under federal and state laws. Please read more about your rights on the Indiana Department of Education's website. We are here for parents to help assist with any questions you might have about your child's rights. We work diligently to follow the laws when developing IEPs and plans for support.

Our Staff

Emma Albert, Grades K-6 Special Services Coordinator 
765-395-3341, ext. 3010

Amy Benner, Grades 7-12 Special Services Coordinator
765-395-3341, ext. 6210

Crystal Maynard, Special Services Administrative Assistant
765-395-3341, ext. 5011

Lisa Graham, Special Education Director for Oak Hill United School Corporation and Grant County Special Education Cooperative
765-395-3341, ext. 6008

School Programs and Staff

Converse Elementary: 

  • Preschool Program - Taught by Tiffany Lipetri, this program focuses on students age 3 to 5 that show some type of developmental delay or speech and/or language concern. Entry into this program is done through an evaluation process. For more information, please check out our Preschool Program information. You can call the Special Services office to get an appointment for a referral if you have a child who may need these services. Early intervention is key to preparedness for traditional school.
  • Resource Classroom - Michal Watkins is the teacher of this program that services students kindergarten through second grade. Students who are identified for special education receive individualized services for academics and behavior. She provides a supportive environment for children who need a little extra support. 
  • Life Skills - Taught by Emily Shaw, this classroom works with students who have more intense educational needs. This program works to develop all aspects of the child's educational, social, emotional, and behavioral health. By offering a structured and safe environment, students learn to maximize their potential.

Sweetser Elementary: 

  • Resource Classroom - Emma Albert works with students in third and fourth grade who have learning challenges and/or emotional and behavioral needs. By providing classroom support or direct individualized instruction, she is able to help each child grow and learn. She uses a variety of strategies to assist all students in being successful. 

Swayzee Elementary: 

  • Life Skills - Lindy Gibson is the life skills teacher. The main focus of this program is to work on creating more student independence. We work diligently at this level to not only provide academic support, but also to concentrate on social skills development that are age appropriate as they prepare for junior high. 
  • Resource (SOAR) Classroom - Leisa Drook has been our teacher in this program for a number of years. She provides quality individualized instruction to students unable to work at grade level. She also supports the general education teachers for our students in the mainstream. She has the ability to motivate students to learn and grow. Students in this program feel connected to learning and feel the security needed to excel. 

Oak Hill Junior High: 

  • Life Skills - This program is housed in the junior high building but services students in Grades 6 through 12. Lisa Garverick is the teacher and has built a very solid program. The students work daily on developing independent life skills as well as vocational skills training. Students start working in our workshop setting then they move to school jobs, and eventually they are working in the community with support as their abilities allow. The goal of this program is to develop students to transition to the adult world and to be as independent as they can. 
  • Resource Classroom - Gail Frazier provides a structured environment that encourages students to be responsible and productive. They have some classes for pull-out students, they team teach in the general education classes, and they provide in class supports as needed. The goal of this program is to prepare students for success in high school.

Oak Hill High School: 

  • Resource Classroom - Known as the ARL (Academic Resource Lab), this program offers supports to many students. Whether it be a student with a 504 plan or an IEP, all students are provided with the help they need. The current staff of Amy Benner and Derrick Pond also teach some remediation classes and classes that support social skills needs. Students receive modifications and study support to be able to earn credits and successfully obtain a diploma. This program has been very successful in helping all students graduate from high school prepared for the world ahead. 
  • Mild Disabilities Program - New in 2015, this program is individually designed to address the unique needs of some of our students who may not be able to earn a traditional diploma. Currently, Kara Ozmun teaches students in this program. They focus on life skills reading, math, and writing. Students are also working on vocational skills needed for success in the workplace. Community-based activities are a routine part of building their life experiences, as well. Building confidence, basic skills, and appropriate relationships is the driving force of this program. 

Therapy Programs and Services Available:

  • Speech and Language Services - Referred to as our SLP, Teresa Cass works diligently with all identified students who struggle in articulating their words or in putting words together. She not only does pull-out services, but she works with classroom teachers as well. Mrs. Cass services all students within the Oak Hill district who are in need of services.
  • Physical Therapy - Mindy Hussey is our physical therapist who comes to Oak Hill weekly to work with students in need. She helps students develop their physical mobility, strength, and coordination. Her goal is to help students with special challenges to learn how to manage their environments to the best of their ability. 
  • Occupational Therapy - Sabra Richardson is an occupational therapy assistant who provides services to students with fine motor needs. She works to develop writing skills and self-help skills when students need some extra supports. She is also able to help us address sensory needs of students, and to help provide strategies for support with students who struggle with focusing. 
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing - Jody Havens is the specialist in this area who helps students with hearing deficits. Whether it is providing one-on-one instruction, assisting with equipment, or being a support person for staff, Pam keeps our students moving forward.
  • Blind or Visually Impaired - Carla Garbo is our specialist in the area of vision. She comes to Oak Hill and provides training to students who are blind or visually needing supports. She teaches them strategies for managing their environments safely, and she provides instructional support to teachers as needed. With a wealth of knowledge and a heart for students, she is able to give students hope and tools to be successful in their world. 
  • Horse Therapy - The newest therapy to Oak Hill is our horse therapy program. Owned by Gary and Riann Creech, students are able to ride and interact with the horses as a way to build confidence, work ethic, and social behaviors. Whether it is riding, grooming, or participating in planned activities, students are always engaged and smiling. The benefits of this program are significant to many of our students. Watching the students in this setting, you see the magic happening right before your eyes. 
  • Sports Programs - Oak Hill students have the opportunity to participate in a Unified Basketball, Robotics, and Track & Field programs. Select peers play with and assist them in developing their skills. We are currently hoping to expand some of our sport options and appreciate the support we have from our Oak Hill peers.