Special Education

We take great pride in our Special Education Department. We work together to identify and meet the needs of all of our students. Please use this page to find out more about our team and specific ways we can help both you and your child. You'll find specific information about our department, forms you may need, and important dates. 

Special Education Philosophy

The Special Education Department here at Riverside Elementary School District believes that all children can learn. All children have the right to a free appropriate public education, (regardless of disability) that helps them maximize their potential.

Please read more about our special education program in either English or Spanish

Child Find Program

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires that public school agencies identify, locate, and evaluate all children (from birth through age 21) with delays or developmental disabilities to receive the supports and services they need. This includes all children living within the geographic boundaries of the school district, those who are homeless or wards of the state, are attending private schools, or are homeschooled. 

Public schools and the Arizona Early Intervention Program are responsible for “finding” eligible children and providing services needed for them to reach their developmental milestones or meet their educational needs.

  • Early intervention supports and services assist families of eligible children by helping children ages birth to three years develop to their full potential. In Arizona, children receive early intervention services the Early Intervention Program (AzEIP).
  • Preschool special education services for children three to five years provide special strategies to help eligible children reach their developmental milestones.
  • Special education services for school-aged children in kindergarten through age twenty-one provide specialized instruction and services to assist children in the educational environment. 

For additional information about child find, please contact the following agencies:

Screening Dates

If you live within the Riverside Elementary School District No. 2 boundaries and are concerned that your preschool-aged child may have developmental delays, the following information may be helpful for you.

As part of our efforts to locate, evaluate, and serve all disabled children, the Riverside Elementary School District offers free developmental preschool screenings by appointment only. Preschool screening dates are on the following dates from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m.:

  • Thursday, August 27, 2020
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020
  • Thursday, October 22, 2020
  • Thursday, December 3, 2020
  • Thursday, January 14, 2021
  • Thursday, February 18, 2021
  • Thursday, March 18, 2021
  • Thursday, April 22, 2021

For additional screening information, please read the screening flyer. For appointments, please contact Maria Olazava in the Special Education Department at (602) 477.8900, extension 1337.

Prior to attending your scheduled screening appointment, please make sure to print and fill out the child find pre-screening form and the parent input form.

Child Find Notice

Child Find is a comprehensive developmental screening assessment process, which identifies children, three to 21 years of age who have disabilities that may hinder their learning.

If you live in the Riverside Elementary School District boundaries and are the parent or guardian of a student enrolled in a private school within our district, home-schooled, or if you know of a child who might be in need of services for a disabling condition such as speech, learning disability, etc. Please call the Riverside Elementary School District Special Education Department at (602) 477.8900 ext. 1337.

Free special education services are available to eligible students. For more information, visit the Child Find Website or call (602) 477.8900 ext. 1337.

Please see our Special Education Information and Resources document for more information.

New Horizons Academy

New Horizons Academy’s mission is to help children acquire and use functional coping strategies to manage deregulated emotions and mismanaged behavior more effectively and appropriately so they can return to a less restrictive setting in a one–nine month period.

The school is comprised of five full days classroom designed to work with one–10 students. Students participate in a full day academic program that embeds daily therapeutic and behavioral services. The special education director and principal who work collaboratively with concerned parents make all referrals to New Horizons Academy.

Please read more about the New Horizons Academy online.

Section 504/ADA Nondiscrimination Policy

Riverside Elementary School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

Please view our forms below for more information regarding 504/ADA information:

Contact Our Department


Dayna Gilmore
Special Education Director
P: (602) 477.8900 ext. 1338
F: (602) 272.8378


Maria Olazava
Special Education Admin Assistant
P: (602) 477.8900 ext. 1337
F: (602) 272.8378

Please call the district office for information on faxing and/or emailing forms and medical records.

Special Education Records Request

In an effort to keep everything paperless, we request that all school districts and/or charter schools include their email address on their fax sheet. Please call the district office for information on faxing and/or emailing forms and medical records.