Special Education


     Each student with a disability who is a resident of Shenandoah Valley shall be provided quality education program and services that meet the student’s needs for educational, instructional, transitional, and related services. The special education program shall be designed to comply with law; conformed to district goals; and integrate programs of special education with the regular instructional program of the schools, consistent with the interest of the student with a disability and other students. 

     Under Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), a child with a disability can be defined as the following: Autism, Deaf/Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance,Hearing Impaired, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech and Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment.

     If you believe that your school-age child may be in need of special education screening or evaluation, services are available to you at no cost, upon written request.


Family Engagement



Family Engagement promotes equitable partnerships among schools, families and communities to actively promote student achievement through shared commitment, decision-making and responsibility.  PaTTAN is looking for your input as we update our training plans, publications and resources.  Please help us by completing our Family Engagement Survey.  Families and schools working together, because our students are worth it.

The survey can be accessed at the link below and will close 3/23/20.


Special Education Contact Information:


​​Michelle Zinkus, Director of Special Education

(570) 462-1957 zinkm@svbluedevils.org​​

Kelly Savakinas, Secretary to the Director of Special Education

(570) 462-1957 savak@svbluedevils.org

Lesley Matus, School Psychologist

(570) 462-2796 matul@svbluedevils.org

Elementary Special Education Teachers:

Maricia Buhl buhlm@svbluedevils.org

Karen Possessky posk@svbluedevils.org

Jaime Houseknecht  housej@svbluedevils.org

Angela Huben hubea@svbluedevils.org

Michelle Brochyus brocm@svbluedevils.org

Ashley Palubinsky palua@svbluedevils.org

Barbara Cuff cuffb@svbluedevils.org

High School Special Education Teachers: 

Amanda Zulkowski mccla@svbluedevils.org

Sarah Hollenbach lesis@svbluedevils.org

Lori Hess hessl@svbluedevils.org 

Gloria Laudeman laudg@svbluedevils.org

Coleen McGuire mcguc@svbluedevils.org

Speech and Language Pathology: 

Dawn Wenrich wenrda@svbluedevils.org

Erica Polley polle@svbluedevils.org

Emotional Support Teachers

Kassandra Stewart blewk@svbluedevils.org

Angel VanBlargan vanban@svbluedevils.org


Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teacher:

Lisa Reidler  reidl@svbluedevils.org

Autistic Support Teacher:

Melissa Troutman  troum@svbluedevils.org

Occupational Therapy 

Valerie Dornsife dornv@svbluedevils.org

Social Worker/Behavioral Interventionist 

Sean Lyons  lyonss@svbluedevils.org  

Joan Matta (Behavioral Interventionist) mattj@svbluedevils.org   


Inclusion Classroom:


     There are currently four co-teaching classrooms at Shenandoah Valley Elementary School. “Co-teaching is two or more people sharing responsibility for teaching all of the students assigned to a classroom (Nevin, Thousand, & Villa, 2008).” The research indicates increased overall achievement for all students. There are many benefits of co-teaching for both students and teachers alike. For students, co- teaching develops respect for differences, opportunities for leadership and growth within the least restrictive environment, improves self- esteem, enables development of friendships, shows increased achievement test scores, etc. 

     All students have the right to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). If you would like to receive more information about co-teaching, please log on to Parent Hub.


Child Study Team:


     The purpose of the Child Study Team is to implement academic and behavioral interventions to meet the needs of students experiencing difficulty prior to a special education referral. When the student is showing academic or behavioral problems, the teacher will complete the Child Study Referral form. The Child Study Referral form is located in the Elementary Office. The Child Study Referral form will be turned in to the School Counselor.


Transition 101 Parent Training:

       What is Transition? What does this mean for my child with a disability?

If you have a child with a disability who is 13 - 21 years of age and would like to receive information about the transition process and transition section of an IEP, then please come join us for an informational training about transition. Parents, guardians, and family members from ANY DISTRICT may attend the following training listed on the attached flyer.

CSL Stem

Anatomy of a Quality Employee

Find Your Right Way

Guardian Transition Sessions

Schuylkill County Resource for Families 


Helpful Hints/Parent Trainings


Find Your Right Way - Informational session provided by Schuylkill Intermediate 29

   S.N.A.P. (Special Needs Assessment Program) is a disaster preparedness tool provided by your county government. For more information visit www.scema.org Help Your Emergency Responders Help You! 

The Brain: Basic Anatomy, Brain Injuries and Return to Learn Protocol Training

Advice from the OT - Why Good Sitting = Good Listening

PA's Supplementary and Aids Toolkit - An Overview for Parents

The Special Ed Evaluation/IEP Process

The Special Ed Evaluation/IEP Process

The Special Ed Reevaluation/IEP Process

The Special Ed Reevaluation/IEP Process

PBIS Parent Traning

Find Your Child's right Way

My Bike Program

Human Trafficking 101

What's Your Vision

College and Career Planning Resources


www.collegeboard.com : Register for the SAT

www.bls.gov/oco : Occupational Outlook Handbook - This is a guide to career information about hundreds of occupations!

www.onetonline.org : O Net online - Find occupations.
petersons.com :Find a college that's right for you!

FAFSA information : Apply for Federal Student Aid (Financial Aid)

Act Student : Register for the ACT

PA Career Zone

PA Career Link




  Use the following links to find information
     SAT - College Board
     ACT - ACT Student
     ACT  Question of the Day 

Test Guide : ASVAB Practice Tests