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  • Notice to Parents

    Parents, as we continue to work together to support the education of our students, we want to make sure that you have everything that your child needs to be successful in their learning. Our teachers and staff will continue to reach out to provide any learning materials and assistive technologies that your child might need to support their learning. Please contact your child's school to assist with providing any resources that your child needs as written in their IEP.  

    The mission of the Cartwright Special Services Department, through leadership and collaboration with all stakeholders, is to identify, implement and evaluate effective educational programs for students requiring special services based on individual strengths and needs. This is accomplished through communication, training and support of professionals and instructional assistants, ensuring implementation and compliance of special service programs.

    To ensure the timely identification of students in need of support, our school staff may screen your child on aspects of his/her functioning such as hearing, vision, academic, language, behavior, social skills, cognition, perception, and/or motor skills. Screening is an informal process of quickly rating skill strengths and weaknesses. Should you have any questions regarding the screening process, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or Special Services at 623-691-4090.

    Special Education Services

    For Special Education Records, call 623-691-3971 or fax 623-691-5924 or email

    Cartwright's well-trained professional special educators serve a broad range of students eligible for special education services through individualized planning and instruction.

    Specialists serving our students with disabilities include special education, certified teachers, school psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, music therapists, teacher specialists, interventionists and instructional assistants trained to serve students, grades Pre K-8 who have at least one of the following conditions: autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, emotional disability, hearing impairment, other health impairment, a specific learning disability, mild, moderate or severe intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, multiple disabilities with severe sensory impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, as well as preschool moderate delay, preschool severe delay, and preschool speech/language delay. Students must meet eligibility requirements to enroll in a Special Education program.

    The Special Services department also includes professionals who specialize in working with students that may need related services. Related services may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and/or assistive technology.

    The goal of Special Education is to help students become independent learners, to teach learning strategies to prepare them to be successful in their regular classes, and to prepare them for high school and post-secondary experiences. This goal will be achieved through a partnership between the student, home and school.

    Governing Board Policy IHB-R Special Instructional Programs

    Policy IHB-R: Special Instructional Programs is our Governing Board Policy that provides guidance for our practices in identifying and placing students qualifying to receive special education services. We encourage you to read through Governing Board Policy IHB-R: to support your understanding of identification and placement practices and your rights as a parent in the participation and decision-making of implementing education practices to meet your child’s needs. If you have any questions or comments related to this policy, please feel free to contact Dr. Juan Medrano at or via phone at 623-691-4087 at any time.

    The policy can be viewed here.


    Dr. McNeilDr. David McNeil
    Director of Special Services
    I have been a devoted Arizona educator for more than twenty-five years. I have worked with students ranging in age from Kindergarten through 12th grade in a variety of roles. I have taught several elementary and middle school grades and love them all equally. Following the work in the classroom, I started my journey into school administration. I was an assistant principal in the Murphy School District as well as a principal in the Washington Elementary School District. Following the extraordinary experience of serving as a building principal, I found myself in roles at the district level such as director of assessment and accountability, executive director of elementary schools, and assistant superintendent of school leadership. 
    On a personal note, I am an Arizona native and a graduate from the Phoenix Union High School District as well as Arizona State University. I am the father of two amazing children, Michaella who is a middle schooler, and Michael who starts 6th grade in the fall.  I view education as a life-long process and expect that I will continue to learn much about the uniqueness of the Cartwright School District this year and in the years to come. Most importantly, I bring a belief that students are at the center of all school-related decisions. I am excited to unite my experience, my openness to learn, and my child-centered approach to support our students. As we know, the relationships between families and the school are vital to the success of our students, so I encourage you to become involved in every way possible. I look forward to meeting you soon!  

    Requirements for Destruction of Special Education Records

    1. The retention period for special education records is “4 years after the fiscal year of final enrollment
    in the program” (Parents must be notified prior to the destruction of special education records). CSD’s
    internal practices have been to retain sped records for 5 years after the fiscal year of final enrollment in
    the program.

    2. SPED records are the only record series that require parental notification prior to destruction. This
    notification is a Federal requirement, per 34 CFR 300.624: Destruction of Information.
    Section 34 CFR 300.624: Destruction of Information reads as follows in the Individuals with Disabilities
    Education Act (IDEA –
    (a) The public agency must inform parents when personally identifiable information collected,
    maintained, or used under this part is no longer needed to provide educational services to the
    (b) The information must be destroyed at the request of the parents. However, a permanent record
    of a student’s name, address, and phone number, his or her grades, attendance record, classes
    attended, grade level completed, and year completed may be maintained without limitation.
    3. There is no formally approved method for the notification prior to destruction of these records. Here
    are some best practice recommendations for parent notification of destruction of records:
    ● Make a Notice to Destroy part of the enrollment process in the program.
    ● It is also recommended to do one of the following
    o Mail out a Notice to Destroy to every parent prior to the destruction
    o Advertise in a recognized newspaper
    o Place a Notice to Destroy on your website
    o Place a Notice to Destroy in your Newsletter


    Dear Parents / Guardians,
    Federal and state laws require that parents/guardians of children who receive special education services
    on an IEP be notified when their special education records will be disposed of. Cartwright Elementary
    School District disposes of special education records for students receiving services 5 years after
    promotion from 8th grade to high school. If your child exits special education services before 8th grade,
    their records will be disposed of 5 years after they have exited from our special education program.
    This notice is to inform you that if your child was receiving special education services on an IEP as an 8th
    grader in the 2016-2017 school year or before and promoted to high school, we will be disposing of their
    special education records. Also, if your child exited from receiving special education services in the
    2016-2017 school year or before, and they were not in 8th grade, we will also be disposing of those
    records. We will begin the disposal of these records on September 1, 2022.

    If you have any questions and wish to get copies of your child’s special education records before they
    are disposed of, please contact us at 623-691-3971.
    Dr. David McNeil
    Director of Special Services
    Cartwright Elementary School District