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Special Education

student in wheelchair with smiling teacher

About ECS Special Education

Elkhart Community Schools operates a comprehensive special education program for students with disabilities, ages 3 through 22. Special education services are coordinated and administered within the Department of Exceptional Learners. Operating in accordance with Indiana Article 7, which governs the provision of special education, Elkhart Community Schools provides services that encompass a continuum of services. These services range from consultation to resource rooms to self-contained classrooms, depending on the individual needs of the students identified as having a disability

  • Children who are served through the ECS Special Education program include those with the following special needs:
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Blind or Low Vision
    • Cognitive Disability
    • Deaf or Hard of Hearing
    • Deaf-Blind
    • Developmental Delay (early childhood) - PACE Program
    • Emotional Disability
    • Language Impairment
    • Speech Impairment
    • Multiple Disabilities
    • Other Health Impairment
    • Orthopedic Impairment
    • Specific Learning Disability
    • Traumatic Brain Injury

Early Childhood Support Services

For early intervention, Elkhart Community Schools offers the PACE (Preschool Assisting Children’s Education) Program, a public service available to children aged 3-5 who may be in need of special services. The early years of child development are critical to future success, and PACE aims to provide early intervention that can help children successfully grow and further their education. For more information about our PACE Preschool Program, please visit the PACE page: PACE Preschool Program.

Young Adult Program

Elkhart Community Schools' Young Adult Program (YAP) is designed for 18-22 year old adults with special needs, focusing on connecting students to job opportunities based on their abilities instead of their limitations. Students work on life skills such as next dollar amount, social skills, telling time, and cooking meals. YAP students work with job coaches and get placed into paid internships once training is completed. We have many different opportunities the students can get involved with, both in school and community job experiences, so every student can find the right fit for their needs and abilities. Learn more about the ECS Young Adult Program.

Additional Information

If you believe your child may qualify for special education services or you would like additional information about programs offered, please contact Charrell Stevens in Exceptional Learners at 574-262-5861. 

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Forms, Procedures, and Resources

Special Education

Exceptional Learners
J.C. Rice Educational Services Center
2720 California Road
Elkhart, IN 46514

Tony England, Assistant Superintendent of Exceptional Learners

Lindsey Cox, Supervisor of Special Programs

Shirley Elliott, Supervisor of Special Programs

Cindy Pinkowski, Autism Coordinator

Charrell Stevens, Secretary to Asst. Superintendent of Exceptional Learners

Lori Disselberger, Secretary

Andrea Garcia, Secretary