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Special Programs

Our Program

The Hermiston School District Special Education Program Department takes great pride in providing services that enable all of our children to reach their potential. The district special education program currently serves more than 675 students operating under Federal and State guidelines, offering a full continuum of services to students with disabilities. It ensures a free and appropriate public education that meets the needs of all students in integrated settings. Partnerships are formed with general education staff, specialists, parents, students and the community to develop the skills and behaviors that will lead students to self-sufficiency and independence.
Our Students are served in a variety of ways utilizing many service delivery options, depending upon evaluation results, and IEP (Individual Education Program) team recommendations.
Service delivery options most frequently utilized by students ages five to 21 are resource services provided in general education classrooms and/or resource rooms, and to a much lesser extent, in integrated or self-contained classrooms. Selection of the appropriate option for each student is based upon the student’s IEP, the least restrictive environment requirements, and the methods that provide a reasonably high probability of assisting the student to achieve annual goals.
For students of all ages, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech-Language Pathology, as well as other related services are available as determined through the IEP process.
Click here to access Special Education Report from the Oregon Department of Education:

Our Beliefs


Why We Do What We Do

We do what we do to support the Board and district goals, which focus on student achievement, growth mindset, accountability, and equity. Our focus is on six main pillars. They are represented below:
The truss of the house says student success. Our focus is always on how we can assist students to be successful. This is made possible by a strong foundation.
A strong foundation is built upon the right people, doing the right things, for the right reason. From there, each pillar supports student success.
Each pillar will be discussed below.

Whole-Child means we address each and every aspect of the child. These components include the following realms, academic, cognitive, aptitude, behavioral, physical, psychological, socio-emotional, native language, and any other pertinent components.

Child-Center approach means the adults focus solely on the needs of the child. The adults take the focus off themselves and put serving the child and his/her needs above all else. This is easier said than done, because it can often mean adults have to stretch themselves and step into uncharted territory.

An Individualized approach is the center of special education. The “I” in IEP means…Individualized. Even with almost 5,700 students in our district, we need to ensure our success plans for each child are individualized and tailored to meet the child’s specific needs.

The Integrative approach is one we have been playing with for the last year or so. The integrative approach is a serious shift in philosophy. For years, if a child was labeled as special education s/he received instruction and services somewhere other than the general education setting, regardless of the disability. We are making a shift to special education being a service, and not a place. Therefore, services are delivered in the least restrictive environment, which usually is the general education classroom.

Linkages and Transitions involve connecting children and families to the multitude of resources available, as well as preparing for post-secondary success


Our Services



Our Staff

B.J. Wilson
Special Education Director
Tracy Hepworth
Special Programs Secretary
Please contact Tracy Hepworth to get in touch with a special programs staff member.