Special Programs

English Language Learners (ELL) Coordinator

Dea Kobbe
Title: ELL coordinator
Email: dkobbe@wyva.org
Address: 322 W. 5th, Lusk, WY 82225
Phone:  307.334.1001

Section 504 Coordinator

Caroline Hickerson
Title: Principal
Email: chickerson@wyva.org
Address: 322 W. 5th, Lusk, WY 82225
Phone: 307.334.1001

Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met.

Homeless Coordinator

Name: Traci Daly
Title: Social Worker
Email: tdaly@wyva.org
Address: 322 W. 5th, Lusk, WY 82225
Phone: 307.334.1001

Parents and Children Rights

If your family lives in any of the following situations:

  • In a shelter
  • In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation
  • In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
  • Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship

Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under federal McKinney-Vento Act.

Your eligible children have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (The school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference.
  • If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.

Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children’s needs. It is the policy of the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to view children and youth as individuals. Therefore, we will not refer to children as homeless; we will instead use the term “children and youths in transition.”

Children and youths in transition have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there;
  • Stay in the school that they were attending before being in transition, the school they last attended, or the local enrollment school if that is their choice and it is in the best interest of the child;
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if they do not have all the paperwork, such as school or medical records or any other documentation required by the school district to enroll;
  • Unaccompanied youths must be accorded specific protections, including immediate enrollment in school without proof of guardianship;
  • Be provided transportation to or from the child’s school of origin;
  • Access the same special programs and services that are provided to other children, including special education, migrant education and vocational education;
  • Receive the same public education that is provided to other children, including preschool where applicable. (Your child cannot be separated from the mainstream school environment because they are in transition. They cannot be segregated in a separate school, separate programs within a school, or separate settings within a school);
  • Parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youths have the right to dispute an eligibility, school selection, or enrollment decisions.

WYVA provides McKinney-Vento/Homeless assistance and support for eligible families as defined below:

(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence...; and

(B) includes—

  1. children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
  2. children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  3. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  4. migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Children and youth are considered homeless if they fit both part A and any one of the subparts of part B of the definition above.

Foster Care Coordinator

Name: Traci Daly
Title: Social Worker
Email: tdaly@wyva.org
Address: 322 W. 5th, Lusk, WY 82225
Phone: 307.334.1001

American with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager

Name: Robyn Heth
Email: hethr@lusk.k12.wy.us
Address: 322 W. 5th, Lusk, WY 82225
Phone: 307.334.1001

Military/Migrant Coordinator

Name: Jennifer Copeland
Title: Social Worker
Email: jecopeland@wyva.org
Address: 322 W. 5th, Lusk, WY 82225
Phone: 307.334.1001

Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations

Professional interpreter services may be requested at any time for parents/guardian by contacting Robyn Heth at hethr@lusk.k12.wy.us

Additionally, if any parent/guardian has a disability or other limitation that would impact their ability to participate fully in their child’s educational planning process, WYVA would be happy to discuss accommodations that may be available in order to maximize the parent/guardian’s participation. Individuals seeking to discuss accommodations for this reason may contact Robyn Heth at hethr@lusk.k12.wy.us

Procedural Safeguards

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirement that all educational agencies provide parents of students with disabilities notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and U.S. Department of Education regulations. Please click the link, to review the Procedural Safeguards Notice: https://edu.wyoming.gov/in-the-classroom/special-programs/accommodations/

Annual Public Notice of Special Services & Programs

In accordance with federal and state regulations, WYVA will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of WYVA’s child find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities and determination of students’ service and support needs. Please find the procedural safeguards for WY, here: https://edu.wyoming.gov/downloads/special-programs/2016/procedural-safeguards.pdf

Families are encouraged to review the following information that describes these regulations. Information regarding WYVA'S internal practices to comply with these will be available in the WYVA’S Special Programs Manuals and Handbooks.

Child Find

WYVA strives to identify, locate, and evaluate all enrolled children who may have disabilities. Disability, as stated in IDEA, includes such conditions as hearing, visual, speech, or language impairment, specific learning disability, emotional disturbance, cognitive disability, other health or physical impairment, autism, and traumatic brain injury. The process of identifying, locating, and evaluating these children is referred to as Child Find.

As a public WYVA, we will respond vigorously to federal and state mandates requiring the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education regardless of a child's disability or the severity of the disability. In order to comply with the Child Find requirements, WYVA will implement procedures to help ensure that all WYVA students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services—are identified, located, and evaluated —including students with disabilities who are homeless or students who are wards of the state.

Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a "suspected disability" or identified as having a disability, WYVA will ask the student or the student’s Parent/Guardian for information about the child such as:

  • How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student’s learning?
  • What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student’s emerging learning deficits?
  • What educational or medical information relative to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the WYVA?

This information may be also be obtained from the student’s present or former teachers, therapists, doctors, or from other agencies that have information about the student.

All information collected will be held in strict confidence and released to others only with parental permission or as allowed by law. In keeping with this confidence, WYVA will keep a record of all persons who review confidential information. In accordance with state regulations, parents have the right to review their child's records.

As part of the Child Find process, some services may include a complete evaluation, an individualized education program designed specifically for the child, and a referral to other agencies providing special services.


WYVA cannot proceed with an evaluation, or with the initial provision of special education and related services, without the written consent of a student’s parents/legal guardians. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found at the website, https://edu.wyoming.gov/in-the-classroom/special-programs/ or by accessing the link via the Child Find section of the WYVA website. Once written parental/guardian consent is obtained, WYVA will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.

Special Education (IEP) or Service Agreements (504 Plans)

Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified WYVA personnel, parents/guardians, and other relevant service providers hold an evaluation determination meeting to come to agreement on whether the student meets eligibility for one of the disability categories under IDEA https://edu.wyoming.gov/in-the-classroom/special-programs/accommodations/ for information related to eligibility criteria associated with the disability categories defined under IDEA. If the student is eligible and requires specially designed instruction, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be coordinated; during which the IEP team will review and finalize the proposed details of an appropriate educational program to meet the student’s documented needs.

For students confirmed to present with special education needs, once the IEP team agrees on the IEP and the student’s educational placement, a Prior Written Notice (PWN) will sent to the parent/guardian for signature. This must be signed and returned to WYVA. WYVA can only proceed with implementing the student’s IEP (or 504 Plan) upon receipt of the signed PWN. Some students are found to present with one or more disability, but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined under IDEA (special education); however, their disability may still require WYVA to develop a 504 Service Agreement (504 Plan) to outline the special provisions a student may require for adaptations and/or accommodations in WYVA-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.

Students may be eligible to certain accommodations or services if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the WYVA program and otherwise qualify under the applicable laws. WYVA will ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the WYVA program and activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, WYVA will provide students with disabilities the necessary educational services and supports they require to access and benefit from their educational program. This is to be done without discrimination or out of pocket cost to the student or family for the essential supplementary aids, services or accommodations determined to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the WYVA program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities and to the extent required by the laws. Click HERE https://edu.wyoming.gov/in-the-classroom/special-programs/civil-rights-504/ for more information related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Active of 1973.

Parents/Guardians have the right to revoke consent for services after initial placement. Please note, a revocation of consent removes the student from ALL special services and supports outlined on the IEP or 504 Plan.

Privacy & Confidentiality

To maintain privacy of students’ special education records, both within its central office and across WYVA systems and databases, ISPA follows protocols consistent with the federal regulations associated with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Click https://www.k12.com/privacy-policy.html for additional information about the privacy and security guidelines for your child’s educational records.


Notice of these rights is available, upon request, on audiotape, in Braille, and in languages other than English. Should you need further assistance or information regarding any of these accommodations, please contact Jennifer Merten at jmerten@k12.com or any member of your child’s WYVA team for guidance.

Translation Needs

Click https://translate.google.com to translate text to a language other than English.

Special Education Grievances or Disputes

WYVA recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the WYVA-based team and WYVA families or students. Should this situation occur, the WYVA special education case manager will initiate an IEP team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the WYVA Special Education Team seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.

Dispute Resolution Options

IEP Facilitation – IEP facilitation is a voluntary process that can be utilized when all parties to an IEP meeting agree that the presence of a neutral third party would help facilitate communication and the successful drafting of the student’s IEP. This process is not necessary for most IEP meetings. Rather, it is most often utilized when there is a sense from any of the participants that the issues at the IEP meeting are creating an impasse or acrimonious climate.

Mediation – A voluntary process in which both parties seek to resolve the issues involved in the concern with an unbiased, third party mediator from the Department of Education . The mediator who will write up the details of the agreement that the parties come to through the mediation conference, the agreement is signed by both parties, and thus what the document states is mandated to be implemented; This process is overall less time-consuming, less stressful, and less expensive to complete than a due process hearing (see below)

Formal Due Process

Families are NOT obligated to pursue the above alternatives to due process should they feel their concerns can only be resolved through a formal due process hearing. All mediation, state complaint, and due process requests may be filed with WDE by mail or fax to:

State Director of Special Education
Wyoming Department of Education Individual Learning Division
2300 Capitol Avenue Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002
Phone: 800.228.6194 Fax: 307.777.6234