Parents of students with special needs who will be entering
Sweetwater Union High School District campuses beginning this fall recently had
a chance to learn more about the programs and services there as part of an
annual orientation fair.
“We do this to help parents feel safe and comfortable
sending their kids to us,” said Mabelle Glithero, program manager in the
Sweetwater school district. “We want to make sure that, as they’re coming into
a new school district, we relieve any stress and anxiety they may have and let
them know that we will continue to provide the services that their students
This year’s fair was the biggest yet, with more than 50
parents attending. The event is a collaboration between the school district and
the South County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), which is operated
by the San Diego County Office of Education.
Most of the students in the six school districts that receive
services by the SELPA will transfer to the Sweetwater district when they enter
The orientation fair featured a general overview of the
district as well as separate tables with specific information for some of the
services that students with special needs may qualify for. This arrangement
creates smaller groups of parents and allows them to have face-time with
employees from the school district.
“The parents were really engaged,” said Ryan Estrellado,
coordinator with the SELPA.
The event is one of the SELPA’s monthly Community Advisory
Committee’s meetings. It was held at the Sweetwater district office in Chula
The South County SELPA coordinates special education program
development and student placements for more than 11,000 students from birth
through age 22.