REMINDER: There will be a School Board Work Session on June 26 at 5:00 p.m.

Special Education

at Queen Anne's County Public Schools


The Department of Special Education, in cooperation with the Department of Student Services and the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, provides special education and related services to students identified as eligible to receive services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004. These services are designed to reflect the Queen Anne’s County Public School’s (QACPS) commitment to ensure that every student demonstrates a commitment to high achievement and everyday excellence, possessing the skills and knowledge to empower them to thrive and continue to grow intellectually, physically, emotionally and socially in a rapidly changing, globally competitive society. Provision of special education services is a collaborative process between families, general and special educators, and related service providers, working together to ensure access to curriculum for all students with disabilities. QACPS staff strives to ensure a full educational opportunity for all students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE).


Special education is grounded in the belief that all students can and will learn. It is the responsibility of QACPS to provide appropriate learning experiences for all students, to recognize and understand the unique nature of each student, and to strive for the educational success of every student. Individual educational needs of students with disabilities will be provided in an inclusive setting to the maximum extent appropriate. The learning process occurs through the implementation of educational goals, objectives, and strategies that enable students with disabilities to achieve meaningful educational benefits.

MSDE Survey


Joeleen Smith

Special Education Supervisor
Ms. Joeleen Smith
[email protected]
410-758-2403 ext. 131

Special Education Facilitator
Mr. Kevin Thompson
[email protected]
410-758-2403 ext. 185

Administrative Assistant/Data Manager
Ms. Mandy Landon
[email protected]
(410) 758-2403 ext.131

Medical Assistance Support
Ms. Sharon Schipul
[email protected]
(410) 758-2403 ext.271

Mental Health Coordinator
Ms. Stirling Ward
[email protected]
(410) 758-2403 ext.179

Infants and Toddlers Coordinator
Dr. Dawn Fraser
[email protected]
(410) 556-6103

Family Support Liaison
Partners for Success (Birth – Age 21)
Ms. Jennifer Christian
[email protected]

Special Education Teacher Specialist – Adaptive Technology
Ms. Andrea Jarrard
[email protected]
(410)758-2403 ext. 128

Special Education Teacher Specialist – Blended Pre-School 3/4 and ESY
Ms. Courtney Pflueger-Turner
[email protected]
410-758-2403 ext. 250

Secondary Transition Coordinator
Ms. Heather Maddy
[email protected]
(410) 758-2403 ext. 260

Special Programs Coordinator/Behavior Specialist
Ms. Katie Peternel (BCBA)
[email protected]
(410) 758 – 2403 ext.234

Behavior Specialist
Mr. Matthew Perry
[email protected]
(410) 758-2403 ext. 224

Learn More About QACPS Special Education


Fall 2022 – 2023 Special Education Newsletter; Spanish Version


Maryland IEP Process Guide

Understanding the Evaluation, Eligibility, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process in Maryland

Maryland Accommodations Manual

Occupational and Physical Therapy in Maryland: A Guide to Practice

Resources for Parents

Parental Rights – Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice

Derechos de los padres – Aviso de las Salvaguardas de Procedimiento de Maryland

A Family Guide to Early Intervention Services in Maryland

A Family Companion Guide to the Maryland’s Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards Notice

A Family Guide to Understanding the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

A Family Guide to Next Steps: When Your Child In Early Intervention Turns Three

Technical Assistance Bulletins

Procedure for Special Education State Complaint Resolution

State Complaint Form Birth to Age 3

State Complaint Form Ages 3 to 21

Request for Mediation and Due Process Complaint Form

State Complaint Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

State Due Process Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

State Mediation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Parents’ Guide to Habilitative Services (English)

Guía de los padres a los servicios de habilitación

COVID-19 Resources

Plain Language COVID-19 Fact Sheets (full set)

Testing Fact Sheet

High Risk Health Conditions Fact Sheet

Vaccines Fact Sheet

Vaccinations At Home Fact Sheet

Vaccines For Children Ages 5 to 11 Fact Sheet

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Fact Sheet

Booster Shots Fact Sheet

Spanish-Language Fact Sheets

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The IDEA regulations (34 CFR 300) require that children eligible for special education and related services be provided a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The provisions at 34 CFR 300.550(b) require each public agency to ensure:

(1) That to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled [emphasis added]; and

(2) That special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily [emphasis added].

Section 300.551(a) requires each public agency to ensure “that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services.” Section 300.551(b) states that “the continuum required in paragraph (a) of this section must –

(1) Include the alternative placements listed in the definition of special education under §300.26 (instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions); and

(2) Make provision for supplementary services (such as resource room or itinerant instruction) to be provided in conjunction with regular class placement.”

Section 300.552 requires that when determining educational placement, each public agency must ensure:

(a) The placement decision—

(1) Is made by a group of persons, including the parents, and other persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options; and

(2) Is made in conformity with the LRE provisions of this subpart, including §§300.550 – 300.554;

(b) The child’s placement—

(1) Is determined at least annually;

(2) Is based on the child’s IEP [Individualized Education Program]; and

(3) Is as close as possible to the child’s home [emphasis added];

(c) Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if not disabled [emphasis added];

(d) In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs; and

(e) A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general curriculum [emphasis added].

Finally, with regard to a child’s IEP, 34 CFR 300.347 requires:

(a) General. The IEP for each child with a disability must include—

(1) A statement of the child’s present levels of performance, including—

(i) How the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum (i.e., the same curriculum as nondisabled children) [emphasis added]; or

(ii) For preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities;

(2) A statement of measurable annual goals, including benchmarks or short-term objectives, related to—

(i) Meeting the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum…or for preschool children, as appropriate, to participate in appropriate activities [emphasis added]…

(3) A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child and a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child—

(i) To advance appropriately toward attaining annual goals;

(ii) To be involved in and progress in the general curriculum in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section and to participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities [emphasis added]; and

(iii)To be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children in the activities described in this section [emphasis added];

(4) An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and in the activities described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.