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SPED In the Press/Awards

The Kitchen tABLE Cafe

  In collaboration with CTE/Adult Education and Business Support Services, Director Tiffany King is very excited to bring the PUSD District Office Cafe back to life.  “the kitchen tABLE” is a project that will include utilizing the cafe to provide culinary, business, hospitality, and agricultural lessons for our students in the Adult Transition Program, along with opportunities for their general education and special education CTE peers from across the district to join them in meaningful multidisciplinary lessons. The program was featured in a lengthy article in the Pomerado News.


2023 Inclusive Practices Schools of Excellence

Six Poway Unified schools rewarded for their inclusion programs
Inclusive Practices 2023
Top row from left to right:
Los Peñasquitos Elementary School, Morning Creek Elementary School, Sunset Hills Elementary School

Bottom row from left to right:
Twin Peaks Middle School, Del Norte High School, Poway High School
 Sped in the news May 22

“This is tough work. It’s a lot of work but it’s the right work,” Phelps said.

January 2022 - Article linked here
 teacher with students

Part of the challenge is to find the best ways that individual children learn and then adapt accordingly, she said.

On Jan. 20, Hillebrecht led her co-taught (two teachers in the same classroom) class in a game about natural disasters. Students had to communicate without using words to complete sentences with facts about natural disasters and then read them aloud for the rest of the class to repeat.

“Nearly 50 percent of that class is special ed and you’d never know,” she said outside of her classroom. “They love interacting with each other.”

January 2022 - Article linked here
 Special Ed awarded honor

A Poway Unified School District program that has redesigned special education services and instruction to move more students into the general education setting has been honored with a state award.

The district received the the Golden Bell Award from the California School Board Association in the special education category for its Inclusive Practices Program.

December 2019 - Article linked here
 Special needs students

At our recent “State of the District” event, PUSD leadership shared stories of success, innovation and challenges within our 39 schools. But one story that really stood out to me and our audience was the story shared by Associate Superintendent Greg Mizel about a young child. He described how the little girl’s mother came up to their principal one day at school and through tears, told him that for the first time in the four years since her child had been attending that elementary school, she had received her first-ever invitation to a classmate’s birthday party.

June 2020 - Article linked here
Poway Unified School District is launching a pilot program in an attempt to take an innovative approach to special education, bringing children with learning disabilties together with the general education population.
July 2019 - Article linked here
 Special needs children building tools  Special Needs students working with textiles

About a dozen of the students in the class are in special education, and the rest are their general education peers. Watching them work, you can’t easily tell who is who. They work in groups of three or four, with a teacher and instructional aid moving between clusters of students to guide them.


September 2022 - ​Article linked here
Webinar linked here - The Transformative Power of Engaging Parents as Partners
Learn how Poway Unified School District completely transformed their relationships with families, re-established trust, and even more importantly, improved students’ learning experiences. Their intentional efforts to engage parents as partners also helped save the district millions of dollars in attorney fees and settlement costs.  Their hope is that by continuing to partner with parents, staff can spend less time and energy embroiled in conflict and more time and energy exploring ways to continuously improve students’ learning experiences.