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Special Education

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The Contra Costa County Office of Education provides a full range of services designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities throughout the county, ranging in age from birth to age 22.

Student Programs serves the following:

These programs provide classes and training that use innovative approaches in a structured, positive environment to support each student in meeting his or her Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives. Approximately 700 students are served in more than 40 locations throughout the county.

Classroom settings include fully integrated sites on regular school campuses, community-based instruction, and special centers. By offering a range of settings, the programs can address students' individual education needs.

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Programs for Children with Autism

The Contra Costa County Office of Education provides highly specialized, intensive, early intervention programs for young children (Pre K-2) with autism. These programs utilize a variety of instructional and behavioral strategies, derived from best practices and research in the field, to reach and teach the child with autism. Comprehensive instructional plans are systematic and responsive to each child's individual present needs, and incorporate both home and school activities.

Programs emphasize an ongoing multidisciplinary case intervention team approach, where parents are expected to be active members of the team. A maximum student-to-staff ratio of 2:1 is maintained in these programs.


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Community-Based Instruction and Transition Programs

The goal of the Transition Program is to implement and evaluate a model program that demonstrates innovative approaches to facilitate the transition from school to adult life for persons with severe disabilities. The Transition Program assists a large group of students, parents, interested community personnel, educators, adult service providers and prospective employers with this process. The Transition Program includes appropriate identification of the individual transition needs of each student. Individual transition services are developed in conjunction with the annual IEP with each student who is 14 years or older. A student centered team including parents, teachers, assistants, and support staff, develop and implement the transition services.

The focus of the Transition Program is to assess, train, and place each student. Informal assessments, portfolios, and standardized tests are ongoing in the classroom for each student. In addition, a full vocational assessment is available through the Vocational Assessment Center. Students can attend Community Based Instruction classes which utilize the community as well as the classroom. The students learn transition skills in the environment in which they will apply them as adults. Specialized Regional Occupational Program courses are offered to meet the needs of students who require a more supportive environment.

Follow-up studies are completed annually to review the progress of students who have transitioned into adult options. All students are followed for a minimum of two years and, if necessary, they are provided with redirection services from the Transition Program.

Community Based Instruction is a class for students 18-22 years of age. The goal of this program is to facilitate the transition from school to adult life for students with severe disabilities. Curriculum and transition strategies include: Independent Living Skills, Social Skills, Recreation/Leisure Opportunities, Employment Training, Mobility Training, Economics/Money Management and Community Awareness and Services.

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Early Start and Preschool Programs

The Contra Costa County Office of Education operates a multifaceted program for youngsters 0-3 years old who qualify for special education services. Also offered are classes for students with Autism.

  1. EARLY START serves children to age three who have vision, hearing, orthopedic problems or other developmental disabilities. Early Start educators assist the family in developing an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) to address the child's needs and priorities. The Early Start team includes teachers, instructional aides, occupational therapists, a psychologist and a speech language therapist. Service is provided in a variety of ways which may include classroom activities, individual home-based instruction, play groups and family activities.
  2. INTENSIVE CLASSES serve students, ages 5 to 11, diagnosed with Autism. Opportunities to work on behavior, academics and integration with same-age peers abound. The classes are supported by a team composed of a psychologist, behaviorist, nurse, speech and language specialist, adaptive P.E. and occupational therapist.

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Counseling and Education Program

The CCCOE provides Special Education classes for approximately 150 elementary, middle, and secondary school students who exhibit a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems. The program is based at the Floyd I. Marchus School and extends to district campuses throughout Contra Costa County through satellite classes on integrated sites. Students are recommended for placement in classes on integrated sites when their behavior is appropriate for a district school campus.

The intent is to help students address personal issues and change their behavior so that they may return to a less restrictive educational setting when appropriate. To that end, students are taught academic, social, and conflict resolution skills that foster healthy emotional development and academic achievement. Behavior and a other management techniques are used with students to help them overcome inappropriate behaviors which may prevent their return to a district school campus.

When possible, classes maintain an educational program similar to that which students may expect upon returning to their district's schools. The staff members work within a collaborative model to help each student meet the social, emotional, academic, and behavioral goals that are prescribed in the student's Individual Education Program (IEP).

To an even greater extent than in district school programs, this program relies on the support and participation of each student's family as well as related agencies. Staff communicate frequently with families and encourage them to utilize fully community support services.

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Severely Handicapped Program

The Contra Costa County Office of Education provides a full range of services designed to meet the needs of severely handicapped students from age 3 to 22.

Programs emphasize integration of students with age-appropriate peers, placement in the least restrictive environment, a comprehensive curriculum for severely handicapped, and programs to support transition. Leadership and support exists to insure the quality of their student's instructional programs as well as having facilities that are appropriate and maintained in a safe condition.

This Special Education curriculum is based on the core areas identified in the California State Department of Education Curriculum Frameworks and is aligned with Contra Costa County Standards. It includes a framework and the following subject areas:

  • English/Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • History/Social Science
  • Health
  • Physical Education
  • Visual Performing Arts
  • Science

The instructional focus of this curriculum is the integration and connection between the core areas and the four life skills domains:

  1. Recreation/Leisure
  2. Domestic
  3. Community
  4. Vocational

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Programs For Students with Visual and Auditory Impairments

The Special Education Program provides special day classes and services for approximately 115 students at 14 sites.

The regional office is located at Mauzy School in Alamo. At the Mauzy site there are two preschool classes, one Elementary and one combined middle school and high school class for severely handicapped students. In addition, Meadowlark, a typical preschool and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District's early childhood special education programs are located at the site.

Support staff, such as speech therapists, nurses, psychologists, behavior specialists, occupational therapists, augmentative communication specialists, and teachers of vision and hearing impaired students are also part of the program team. In addition, the California Children's Services has a medical therapy unit at the Mauzy site.

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WorkAbility I (Special Education)

WorkAbility is a community and state of California transition program providing special education students (ages 16 to 22) the opportunity to complete their secondary education while obtaining marketable job skills.

Workability was started in the early 1980s by Gail Zittel, a vocational education visionary. She wanted a continuum of vocational education, work experience and life skills for special education students. The student-focused philosophy continues today, helping students understand how they fit into the "world of work" and preparing them for life. From a small beginning, Workability services are now available throughout the state of California.

The Contra Costa County Office of Education program, begun nearly 20 years ago, was the third program established in California. Currently, there are 304 established in the state.

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Online Resources for Special Education

California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN)

CAPTAIN is a multi-agency network developed to support the understanding and use of Evidence Based Practices for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder across the state. Link to there website at:

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2015–2016 School Calendars


Special Education Contacts:
Director, Student Programs 925.942.3376
Administrative Assistant III 925.942.3376
FAX, Special Education   925.942.3353
Special Education Schools:
Heritage High School
101 American Avenue, Brentwood, CA 94513
Interim Principal: 925.634.3671, ext. 100
School Administrative Assistant: 925.634.3671, ext. 108
FAX:   925.634.4320
Liberty High School
850 Second Street, Brentwood, CA 94513
School Information
Interim Principal: 925.634.0511, ext. 226
School Administrative Assistant: 925.634.0511, ext. 221
FAX:   925.634.9725
Marchus School
2900 Avon Ave., Concord, CA 94520
School Information
Principal 925.602.3421
School Administrative Assistant 925.602.3421
FAX   925.689.9128
Mauzy School
2964 Miranda Ave., Alamo, CA 94507
School Information
Principal 925.837.6007, ext. 2105
School Administrative Assistant 925.837.6007, ext. 2101
Resource Center for the Visually Impaired (RCVI)
Braillist 925.837.6007, ext. 2112
FAX   925.831.8691
Turner Elementary
4207 Delta Fair Blvd., Antioch, CA 94509
School Information
Principal 925.777.2000, ext. 1102
School Administrative Assistant 925.777.2000, ext. 1101
FAX   925.778.1319
Special Education Sites:
Bristow Middle , Interim Principal 925.634.0511 ext. 226
Canyon Elementary , Principal 925.602.3421
Diablo Vista Elementary , Principal 925.777.2000
Heritage High , Interim Principal 925.634.3671 ext. 100
Krey Elementary , Interim Principal 925.634.3671 ext. 100
Liberty High , Interim Principal 925.634.0511 ext. 226
LMC Transition , Principal 925.602.3421
Marchus School , Principal 925.602.3421
Mauzy School , Principal 925.837.6007
O’Hara Park Middle , Interim Principal 925.634.3671 ext. 100
Turner Elementary , Principal 925.777.2000
Woodside Elementary , Principal 925.837.6007
WorkAbility I , Principal 925.602.3421
Ygnacio Valley High , Principal 925.837.6007

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Page updated on: June 13, 2016

Rev: 0.4-010514-BETA4