Special Education

Educational Service Unit 5 provides services to area schools via contract for selected programs and services.  Schools that participate receive direct services and support services in special education through ESU 5 as described below.

Behavior Consultant

ESU 5 employs a Behavioral Consultant who works with school staff serving seriously behaviorally disordered students.  The behavior consultant supports the needs of the nine districts in the ESU 5 area. The Behavioural Consultant conducts functional behavioral assessments; designs positive intervention plans and provides consultation to resource staff, school administration, and individual teams on the implementation of positive behavioral intervention.

Deaf/Hearing Impaired

ESU 5 provides services to our children with hearing impairments through the use of one deaf educator that supports our districts.  The deaf educator is responsible for making sure students with hearing loss are receiving the equipment and services they need to have the most appropriate educational experience.  


The Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Coordinator helps school districts create systems of support for academics and behavior.  The coordinator assists schools in planning for ways to meet their school improvement goals through a system-wide program which may include Response to Intervention (RtI) and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).  The MTSS Coordinator meets regularly with school districts to help guide programs with the use of data and to help the districts develop ways to improve grade-level interventions for both struggling and advanced students alike.

Occupational/Physical Therapy

ESU 5’s Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapist provide services to eligible students, ages birth to 21, with a variety of disabilities and diagnosis that impact educational performance.  Occupational Therapists/Physical Therapists support students, families, and school personnel in learning and participation while fostering independence through educationally appropriate activities.

School Psychologist

The School Psychologist assists schools in assessing student’s needs for special education.  The school psychologist is involved in interpreting, assessing, and creating interventions to help improve the academic, behavioral, and social needs of the students.  Furthermore, the school psychologist helps the school with professional development and assisting in planning and programming for the districts that they serve.

Speech Therapy

ESU 5’s Speech & Language Pathologist serve students birth to 21 within our area.  Speech & Language Pathologists are responsible for identifying students with possible articulation, language, voice and fluency disorders that negatively impact the child’s educational career and provide services to those children based on the child’s needs.

Transition / 504 Consultation

ESU 5 provides transition services for school districts and their students ages 14-21with developmental disabilities, through a set of coordinated activities that teach the individuals how to prepare for post-secondary life. Services provided help school district's provide   individualized student programming taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests and needs. ESU 5 provides 504 consultations to member districts by helping schools identify students with disabilities and create individualized written plans according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, that outlines individual accommodations so the students identified have access to programs and activities within their school. 

Vision Specialist

A Vision Specialist works with children who are visually impaired or blind.  This service is available for students whose needs are identified through their individual Education Programs.  

Program Supervision

Program Supervision provides in-service components for IEP (Individualized Education Plan) development, learning strategies training, and assistance with the ILCD (Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities) and MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) process.  

Program Supervision supports administrators, teachers, and service providers within the districts who receive direct special education program supervision.  Efforts include budget development and support, assistance in understanding and compliance with federal and state special education requirements and laws, special education curriculum and development, and compliance with federal grants/projects.  Our support is provided through supervision to help districts maintain an electronic database of student records for over 500 students. Additional support and oversight are provided with the development of IEP and Individual Family Support Plans (IFSP) as well as Medicaid forms for area schools.

I am so grateful that the ESU had so many specialists to work with my son, because now I know what to do to help my child with autism. The speech pathologist and occupational therapist from the ESU have allowed him to gain more than I ever expected him to. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
The best part of working at ESU 5 is the people I work with!
ESU 5 Staff Member
ESU 5 is a wonderful place to work! My co-workers are helpful, friendly and supportive.
ESU 5 Staff Member