Special Education/Student Services

The mission of the Brawley Union High School District is to provide a student-centered educational experience, focused on high academic expectations, in a safe and secure learning environment.

The role of the Special Education Department is to provide support services for students with disabilities to assist in reaching their full potential as members of their community. Special education services are provided only after all resources of the general education programs have been considered and utilized. Our program is dedicated in overseeing the social, emotional, behavioral, physical and academic needs of all students-affording access to be fully or at least partially immersed within general education programs along with preparation for post-secondary life.

Previous Slide
Next Slide

Administrative Team

Dr. Julie Fernandez, Psy. D.

Director of Special Education

Phone: 760-312-6077


Special Education Secretary

Ana Karen Bastidas

Phone: (760) 312-6090 / (760) 312-4071

Fax Number: (760) 312-6074


Speech & Language Pathologist (Tuesday's & Wednesday's)

Nabil Noujaim Phone: (760) 312-6066


District School Psychologists

Ruby Cato

Phone: (760) 312-4077 rcato@brawleyhigh.org

Evelyn Perez

Phone: (760) 312-4250 eperez@brawleyhigh.org

Albert Raczka (Monday's & Tuesday's)

Phone: (760) 312-4085 craczka@brawleyhigh.org

Student Study Team/Section 504 Accommodation Team

SST/Section 504 Coordinator

Kurt Leptich

Phone: (760) 312-4091


SST/Section 504/SARB/MAA Clerk

Yolanda Lemus

Phone: (760) 312-4072

Fax Number: (760) 312-6074


Special Education Teaching Team

Brawley Union High School

Pedro Carranza

Renee Gray

Beth Hopkins

Gerardo Parra

Cathy Ray

Angelica Rosales

Leslie Van Der Linden








Desert Valley High School & Renaissance Community Day School

Giovanna Wells


Individualized Education Program (IEP)

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities.

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a formalized, legal plan which identifies a student's educational needs along with goals for meeting those specific needs.

Students with disabilities, who need special education and related services, are found eligible when they meet the IDEA definition of a “child with a disability” in combination with state law and regulations. There are 13 different disability categories under which a student may be found eligible for special education and related services. These categories are listed below.

  • Autism

  • Deafness

  • Deaf-Blindness

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Intellectual Disabilities

  • Orthopedic Impairment

  • Multiple Disabilities

  • Other Health Impairment

  • Emotional Disturbance

  • Specific Learning Disability

  • Speech or Language Impairment

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Visual Impairment, including blindness

Section 504 Accommodation Plans

There are two main functions to Section 504. The first purpose of Section 504 is to protect qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. The second purpose, is to provide students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE).


Section 504 defines a person with a disability as one of the following:

• Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

• Has a record of such an impairment.

• Be regarded as having such an impairment.

Physical Impairment:

The law does not limit a physical impairment to specific diseases or medical conditions. Therefore a physical impairment may include, but is not limited to: Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal,special sense organs, respiratory, speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic skin, and endocrine.

Mental Impairment:

Any mental or psychological disorder such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities. The regulations do not set forth an exhaustive list of specific diseases and conditions that may constitute physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of such a list.

A Record of an Impairment or is Regarded of Having an Impairment:

Under Section 504, unless a student actually has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, the mere fact that a student has a "record of" or is "regarded as" disabled is insufficient, in itself, to trigger Section 504 protections that require the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The phrases "has a record of disability" and "is regarded as disabled" are meant to reach the situation in which a student either does not currently have or never had

A Major Life Activity:

Major life activities are basic activities that the average person in the general population can perform with little or no difficulty. This may include, caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, standing, lifting, thinking, concentrating, interacting with others, sleeping, bending, communicating, reading and writing.

For a 504 Team to determine that an impairment substantially limits a major life activity, the impairment need not prevent, or significantly/severely restrict an individual from performing a major life activity. In determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity, the focus of the inquiry is on how the impairment limits the major life activity not on the outcomes the individual achieved. Compare a student to his or her non-disabled age/grade peers to determine whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Mitigating measures used by a student with a disability to manage his or her impairment or lessen the impact of his/her impairment (medications, medical devices, cochlear implants, related aids and services, assistive technology, behavioral modifications, etc.) should be disregarded when determining whether a students’ impairment constitutes a disability under Section 504.