Special Services

Notice to Parents

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 services programs.

To ensure the timely identification of students in need of support, our school staff may screen your child on aspects of your child’s functioning such as hearing, vision, academics, 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

Cartwright's well-trained professional special educators effectively 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, 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 jmedrano@csd83.org or via phone at 623-691-4087 at any time.

The policy can be viewed here.


Dr. Juan MedranoDr. Juan Medrano
Director of Special Services

Juan Medrano began his education career with the Tolleson Elementary School District where he served as a middle school mathematics teacher, assistant principal, principal and Director of STEM and Assessment over a span of 16 years.

He enjoyed collaborating with teachers and staff in developing and implementing structures to support the academic, social and behavioral success of all students. He also served as a Transition Education Counselor for the Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program for the U.S. Army as his family was abroad for 2 years as part of his wife’s career as a military service contractor. His most recent work was with Estrella Mountain Community College serving as the Title V Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant Director supporting students who placed into developmental coursework and requiring additional support to enter college-level courses.

He is excited to join the Cartwright Elementary School District Familia and contribute his experiences to an outstanding team in supporting the success of students.

Ashley WilderAshley Wilder
Assistant Director of Special Services

She is an Arizonan native and a PROUD product of the Arizona School System. She grew up and attended school in Peoria Arizona, and is an alum of ASU and GCU. 

As to her background and areas and strength, she began her teaching career at Palm Lane in the REACh program in 2010. For 6 of those years, she lead their Professional Learning Committee. While obtaining her graduate degree in Educational Leadership, she provided special services to students in our county juvenile detention centers. This will be her 11th year in education!

What she loves most about education is to see those "AH-HA" moments with students and supporting family members. As a District leader, she also loves to see this same light bulb go off amongst her colleagues! "If I can be apart of that, then I am doing something right!" - Ashley Wilder 



Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.