Special Services

Special services includes early essential education ( 3-5 yrs old), special education (5-21 yrs old) and prevention and Intervention services as well as coordinating Medicaid.

All special education personnel are centralized and fall under the RNESU central office. This includes school psychologists, special education teachers, speech/language pathologists, early essential education teachers, para-professionals and contracted staff (i.e. occupational therapists, physical therapists, behavior specialists) serving our students.

Although the Director of Special Services is responsible for all the overall provision of services throughout the supervisory union, the Coordinator of Special Education @ OVUHS, is directly responsible for the supervision and evaluation of all faculty and staff at Otter Valley Union High School and the Coordinator of Out of District/Off Sites is directly responsible for all programs and services occurring within the OV North Campus.

Our belief that all of our schools can effectively teach all of our children/students stems from the practice of including all students in regular education classrooms. When it is necessary for students to receive special education services those programs, strategies, and procedures are designed and employed to supplement, enhance and support the general curriculum.

Our Core Assumptions are:

  • Our educational system can effectively teach all children.

  • Early intervention is critical to preventing problems from getting out of control.

  • High quality instruction includes staff collaboration, trust, commitment and effective supports for students.

  • The implementation of a multi-tiered service delivery model is necessary.

  • A problem solving model should be used to make decisions between tiers.

  • Research based interventions should be implemented to the extent possible.

  • Progress monitoring must be implemented to inform instruction.

  • Data should drive decision making.

The Director also serves as the Supervisory Union's Harassment Coordinator and Equity Officer as well as the consultant for Section 504.

If you have any questions pertaining to special education or Section 504, feel free to contact Marsha F. Bruce, Director of Special Services at (802) 247-5757 or any one of our district schools.

Special Services Staff

Marsha F. Bruce - Director of Special Services
Beth Ripley - Special Education Admin Assistant/Medicaid Clerk

Pam Parker - Special Education Admin Assistant
Becky Dwyer - Secretary to the Evaluation Team

Special Services News

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!This year in special services we welcome Heather Todd as our new Early Essential Education Speech Language Pathologist. At the same time we say farewell to Kathy Sherwin as she transfers to Lohtrop Elementary School to become a fifth grade classroom teacher.   Please Welcome 2017!This school year has been moving alone very quickly. Our students continue to access a wide variety of curricular offerings as well as appropriate student supports. We entered this school year saying good bye to long standing school psychologist, Robert Soule aka Dr. Bob as well as our long time SLP evaluator, Tom Sarault. Fortunately, Tom rejoined us part time at Neshobe as we continue to assess our students SLP needs. "Snow falls softly across my meadow this morning.It is a silent, slow veil that falls upon the land. A new awakening to brightness and beauty,a new beginning, one in which we all soar hand in hand". Feel free to visit me on Twitter @_mbruce

Services for Homeless Students

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures the rights and protections for students experiencing homelessness. 

"Homeless" is defined as "anyone lacking a fixed, adequate, regular nighttime residence".  Examples include: 

  • In an emergency shelter or transitional housing.

  • In a motel, hotel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation.

  • In a car, park, abandoned building, or public place due to unavailable suitable housing options.

  • Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship.

  • Unaccompanied (not living in direct care of legal parent or guardian) or runaway youth. 

Under the legislation, eligible children have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education

  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.

  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled)

  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested.

  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the children's needs.

    *If the school district believes that the school selected is not in the best interest of the child, then the district must provide a written explanation of its position and inform the family of its right to appeal the decision.

Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union (RNESU) is committed to supporting all of our families.  If your family is experiencing homelessness or you want to refer a student who may be experiencing homelessness, please contact a school staff member or the RNESU Homeless Liaisons for support.

Melinda Piper
Jessica Morse Davis
RNESU Homeless Liaisons
(802) 247-5757


Families may also contact school guidance counselors or any faculty or staff member with whom they feel comfortable.

Barstow Memorial School - Bianca McKeen, Principal (802) 773-3763
Lothrop Elementary School - Debbie Alexander, Principal (802) 483-6361
Neshobe Elementary School - Judi Pulsifer, Principal (802) 247-3721
Otter Creek Academy - Thomas Fleury, Principal 
Leicester (802) 247-8825
Sudbury (802) 623-7771
Whiting (802) 623-7991
Otter Valley Union Middle/High School - Jim Avery, Principal (802) 247-6833



RNESU Homeless Referral Form
Parent Brochure: What You Need to Know to Help Your Child in School
Vermont Foodbank Locator
Vermont Youth Resources Locator
Vermont Agency of Education Homeless Children and Youth Education Program
National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)

School Identification for Equity Supports