Special Education and Enrichment

The Artesia Public Schools Special Education Department provides resources to assist students with disabilities. We work within the educational setting to help each student reach his or her potential and become a productive member of society. The special education department serves students with a wide range of disabilities as well as students in our gifted programs.

Special Education Services

We provide support to parents, teachers, and principals in the provision of special education services at each school in Artesia Public School District. Our specialized staff provides consultation support to Student Assistance Teams, conducts evaluations, and develops Individual Education Plans (IEP) in compliance with state and federal laws.

Special education services range from consultation and direct services in the general education classroom to pullout services and small group self-contained classrooms with specialized instruction and curriculum. In addition, we provide special education services to special needs preschool children aged three to four years old as well as young adults with disabilities through the post-school career preparation program.

Qualifying for Special Education Services

We coordinate all special education services through the special education department upon receiving a referral from the Student Assistance Team (SAT) or IEP team.

Gifted Education

In the state of New Mexico, gifted education falls under the Special Education Department. Students are identified through universal screening in 2nd grade, a referral process, and evaluation.

As described in the NMAC, a gifted student is defined as “a person between the ages of five and 21 whose abilities, talents, or potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs.”

Students can qualify in the areas of general intellectual ability, creative or divergent thinking, problem solving or critical thinking, specific aptitude or achievement, artistic ability, or leadership ability.

The deadline for referrals for gifted for the 2023–2024 school year is on February 1, 2024.

Special Education Ombud

The 2021 NM legislature passed the Special Education Ombud Act which establishes the Office of the State Special Education Ombud within the NM Development Disabilities Planning Council. The Act requires Ombud to ensure that its staff, contractors, and volunteers are trained and certified to provide Ombud services. The Act requires schools to notify students of the Ombud and authorizes the Ombud to take corrective action when schools do not work with the Ombud to address special education concerns.

La legislatura de 2021 NM aprobó la Ley del Defensor de Educación Especial que establece la Oficina del Defensor de Educación Especial del Estado dentro del Consejo de Planificación de Discapacidades del Desarrollo de NM. La Ley requiere que el Ombud se asegure de que su personal, contratistas y voluntarios estén capacitados y certificados para brindar servicios de Ombud. La ley requiere que las escuelas notifiquen a los estudiantes sobre el Ombud y autoriza al Ombud a tomar medidas correctivas cuando las escuelas no trabajen con el Ombud para abordar las preocupaciones de educación especial.

Special Education Contractors

Please contact Cari Jowers, Special Education Director by email or at (575) 746-2777 for assistance with our special education contractors.

Ciro Speech Therapy - Andrea Ciro
Speech Language Pathologist

Ciro Speech Therapy - Vanessa Harvey
Speech Language Pathologist

Gail Melpolder
Contractor - Orientation and Mobility

Pecos Valley Rec #8 - Maria DeLaRosa
Speech Language Pathologist

Pecos Valley REC #8 - Jordan Stearnes
Physical Therapist

Yukie Ebara
Contractor - Audiologist


"Our MINDS are as different as our FACES: we are all traveling to one destination - HAPPINESS; but few are going by the same road."
- Charles Caleb Colton