West Covina Unified School District Awards
About Board of Education Superintendent and Administration Choose Us Newsletter Measure ES Shop Local After School Program Social Media
Information Enrollment and Immunizations Programs Schools After School Programs
Events District School Calendar 2016-2017 District School Calendar 2017-2018 District School Calendar 2018-2019
District Departments Business Services Division Educational Services Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations Fiscal Services Human Resources Nutrition Services Student Services Purchasing, Reprographics, and Warehouse Risk Management Special Education Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Technology Transportation College and Career
Helpful Links FAQ Our Community
Contact Us

Special Education

Our Special Education Department is committed to working with families to develop Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) designed to meet the individual needs of every student who qualifies. This plan includes related services within the school setting to support each student’s ability to access the curriculum and ensure that every student receives a free and appropriate education.


The school based Student Support Team (SST), including but not limited to parents, teachers, school psychologists, administrators, and/or other related service providers, use current data collection procedures to identify students in need of intervention, support, and/or special education services. If the SST determines that special education services may be required, the team will conduct a multi-disciplinary assessment in all areas of suspected need.

Related Services

Students found eligible for special education services may receive a variety of services designed to meet their individual needs and allow them to access the curriculum. Related services may include but is not limited to:

  • Speech and Language     
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Adaptive Physical Education
  • Physical Therapy
  • Vision Therapy
  • Orientation and Mobility 
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Mental Health

Individual Education Plans (IEP’s)

We review Student Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) at least annually, and students are re-evaluated every three years. At IEP meetings, the team will review student progress, educationally related support and services, educational placement, and will develop goals and objectives to meet the student’s needs. Each student’s IEP determines the extent of special education services and its location, and we base this on the students identified needs, abilities, and level of intervention.

A message from your Director

Diana s Pic2.jpg
Dear Parents,

Our special education programs support the student by providing specially designed instruction and related services to students with disabilities. This allows them to develop university and career readiness skills, and achieve the same overall foundation for success as students in general education.

Our mission is to provide students with special needs a foundation that is rich with opportunities to learn the necessary skills to pursue further education, or to obtain employment, and prepare them for a successful adult life. 

The student must be determined eligible under IDEA 2004 Act, have defined disabilities and experience a significant impact in their performance that cannot be addressed through their general education program.  Once the student is eligible for special education, an Individual Education Program (IEP) team (which includes the parents) is assembled, and meets to develop an IEP.  The IEP is the plan and includes goals, services and placement appropriate to the student’s identified areas of need.  The IEP is reviewed annually and revised as necessary.  Eligibility is re-determined every 3 years.

Most of the services can be provided for students with special needs at their local schools,  however, some services and programs are only available at specified schools throughout the District and may require enrollment at a designated site.

Parents who suspect that their child has a disability should discuss their concerns with their child’s teacher and request a referral to the Student Study Team (SST).  If the child continues to exhibit difficulties after receiving interventions, the student is then further assessed to determine eligibility for special education.

Our goal is to work with the parents and students to provide an appropriate educational program that provides each student with the tools that they need to thrive and be prepared for further 21st century education and skills for life.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Diana Marie Casato

Diana Marie Casato
Executive Director, Special Education
(626)939-4600 EXT. 4680


Diana Marie Casato
Executive Director, Special Education
Send E-mail

Betty Benitez
Coordinator II 
626-939-4600 ext. 2313



Gina Ramallo
Coordinator II 
626-939-4600 ext. 4679



Sarah D'errico
Program Specialist

626-337-0133  ext. 3036


Parrish Erickson
Program Specialist
626-337-0133  ext. 3035

Send E-mail   


Maggie Russell
Program Specialist
626-337-0133  ext. 3034

Send E-mail   


Mark Ware
Program Specialist - SEAS
626-931-1810  ext. 2221

Send E-mail   

  Bonnie Marker, LMFT
Clinical School Psychologist    
626-960-3052 ext. 2246
Send E-mail

Veronica Navarro-Aguirre, M.S., LMFT
Clinical School Psychologist
626-960-3052 ext. 2244



Jose Juarez, LMFT
Clinical School Psychologist
626-960-3052 ext. 2227
Send E-mail


Zineta Dukaj
Behavior Specialist-Autism
626-337-0133 ext. 3039



Erika Tututi, BCBA
Behavior Specialist

626-337-0133  ext. 3037
Send E-mail


Rachel Luna-Banuelos
Secretary III
626-939-4600 ext. 4679
Send E-mai


Sylvia Sanchez
Secretary III
626-939-4600 ext. 4683
Send E-mail

  Monica Macias
Secretary III
626-939-4600 ext. 4680
Send E-mail
Areina Antunez   
Clerical Assistant lll   
626-960-3052 ext. 2221 
Send E-mail

Ana Robles
Behavior Specialist 
626-337-0133 ext. 3038



Lori Williams 
Coordinator II - Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders 
626-939-4600 ext. 4685

Send E-Mail


Parent University Workshops

Parent Tips: Test Taking Strategies


CCSS Information

Parent Resources

Teacher Resources