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Special Education

At Excel Academy Charter School, we are committed to serving all students, including those with special needs. We are supported by the Sonoma County Charter SELPA and employ an internal staff of highly qualified teachers and specialists to serve students across Southern California. Special education and related services are available to students who are determined eligible through a formal assessment process. As a public school we are required to follow all laws and regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the California Education Code, including the requirement that all special education students enrolled at Excel Academy are able to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Independent Study setting.

Special Education Department Contacts

Parent Support

Parent support is available during school hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M.– 4:30 P.M. Please see the information below for special education department contact information.

Mailing Address

Our office is located at:

1 Technology Drive, Ste I-811
Irvine, CA 92618

For all questions regarding continuing students, please first contact your student’s assigned Case Manager (“CM”) for support. You will receive contact information for your student’s CM prior to the first day of school. If you wish to reach a different staff member by email, please use one of the contacts below.

Main Office/General Special Education Information:

Lauren Hansen, Operations Coordinator - lhansen@excelacademy.education

Records Requests:

Cori McCook, Registrar - registrar@excelacademy.education

Newly Enrolled/Transfer Students & Referral Questions:

Sondra Ryan, Intake Manager - sryan@excelacademy.education

Case Manager and Service Provider Questions:

LaKeyshia Ono, Department Coordinator - lono@excelacademy.education

IEP Questions or Concerns:

Leah Vides, Program Specialist - lvides@excelacademy.education

All of the Above & Any Other Questions or Concerns:

Lara Ulmer, Director of Special Education - lulmer@excelacademy.education

Newly Enrolled Students

Students newly enrolled in Excel Academy Charter School with an active Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be supported during each step of the transition. Once the admissions process is complete, your student will be assigned to a Teacher of Record, who will walk you through the details of the Master Agreement as well as the Acknowledgement of Responsibilities. Once both have been signed, your student is considered fully enrolled. Our special education Intake Manager will support the process of requesting, gathering, and reviewing your student’s records prior to sending a welcome letter via email describing next steps. Once you have received your student’s welcome letter, please contact our Intake Manager if you have questions.

Procedural Safeguards

Individuals with disabilities and their parents are afforded rights and procedural safeguards to ensure that all individuals with disabilities are provided a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

Parents can obtain assistance in understanding their rights and procedural safeguards from the Excel Academy Charter School Special Education Department, the Sonoma County SELPA, or the California Department of Education.

Please refer to the following links for the most current Notice of Procedural Safeguards. If you require translation in a language other than Spanish, please contact our office for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions