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Special Education

Department of Special Education

Our department is dedicated to providing personalized educational support to students with disabilities, ensuring that they receive the appropriate resources and instruction from PreK through high school graduation.  We believe that special education is a set of supports and services rather than a place and we choose to focus on the student rather than the disability. We work closely with parents, school staff, and students to develop Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s). These plans outline specific goals, accommodations, and supports tailored to each child’s individual needs. Through specially designed instruction, assistive technologies, and accommodations, the Special Education Department supports students to become confident, creative, and open minded learners. By focusing on the strengths and needs of each student, special education ensures that all students have access and opportunity to all of the learning experiences provided across our district. 

Director, Lori Nickels,

Craig Russell,, Special Education Secretary, 330-438-2691

Parent Mentor Program

Here in Canton City, we are able to offer the services of a Parent Mentor. Parent Mentors provide free support and resources to families of children with disabilities and school staff members. Parent Mentors typically work within designated school districts or Educational Service Center (ESC) areas. Parent Mentors can provide information and resources for:

• Improving student success, especially in literacy;

• Planning transitions from age 3 to age 22 or until the student graduates from high school

• Understanding the rights and responsibilities of families and students.

Parent Mentors also can:    

• Attend individualized education program (IEP) meetings and other meetings at the request of families or staff members

• Host information sessions for families and staff members

• Connect families, schools and communities by providing links to local services and organizations that support students with disabilities

• Provide information about federal, state and local special education laws and policies

  • Share updated information about special education, such as timelines and deadlines, eligibility processes, informed consent, prior written notice and other requirements.

Parent Mentor, Amanda Lee,,  330-588-2145

Special Education Department
Canton City School District
Suite 115, 619 Tuscarawas St. W.

Child Find

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) requires districts to ensure that all children with disabilities residing within their district and who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated. Each year, Canton City Schools participates in an effort to identify, locate and evaluate these children - from birth through age 21. Through Child Find, Canton City Schools offers services to identify, screen, and evaluate children suspected of having a disability. There are thirteen categories under which a child can qualify as a student with a disability: developmental delay (ages 3-10 only), autism, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disability, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment- including blindness. 

If you know of a child who may have one or more of the above suspected disabilities, including

preschool age children, please contact the Special Education Department at 330-438-2691.