Special Education

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

is seeking interested community members, parents, and students.

For more info email: portsmouthseac@gmail.com

Special Education Training for Military Family Members in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in cooperation with the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is offering a two-day training opportunity for military family members interested in learning more about their rights as families of students with disabilities in Virginia.  The training sessions will be conducted between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, and Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the Hilton Norfolk the Main100 East Main Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510.

These trainings are designed to provide participants with basic knowledge of the regulatory provisions outlined in the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia.  Additionally, participants will receive guidance on individualized educational program (IEP) development, review, and revision, effective collaboration and communication skills, and the use of mediation as a means to resolve disputes.

This is a free opportunity for all participants due to the collaborative sponsorship of VDOE and PEATC.  Space is limited and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.  All participants must pre-register using the following weblink:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-iep-all-hands-and-aboveboard-tickets-31715060600.  Upon acceptance of their registration, attendees will receive additional information regarding the conference agenda.

Limited complimentary lodging is available to participants who need such arrangements for the nights of April 18 and April 19, 2017.  Travel reimbursements will also be provided; as will breakfast and lunch on both days of the training. 

Participant materials and an agenda will be provided during the on-site registration process at the training venue.  For questions regarding online registration or to register by phone, interested participants should contact PEATC at (800) 869-6782 or (703) 923-0010.  General questions regarding these trainings should be directed to Hank Millward, Director, Office of Specialized Education Facilities and Family Engagement, VDOE, via email at Hank.Millward@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 371-0525.

Your Family's Special Education Rights

Parent's Guide to Special Education

Office of Special Education & Related Services


2801 Turnpike Road, Portsmouth VA 23707

(757) 393-8792
(757) 393-5289 (fax)

Dr. Susan Bechtol


Pamela Battle-Hardy


Judith Fagan


Candice Lang


Marcy Pronovost


Jackie Tate


Lisa Gehring

Program Specialist

Tomara Carmon-Rogers

Assistive Technology Specialist

Nell King

Speech and Itinerant Services Department Head

Tilda Sorensen

Occupational and Physical Therapy Department Head

Tom Byrnes

School Psychology Department Head

Diane Hawkins

School Social Work Department Head

Mission of the Office of Special Education:

The PPS Special Education Department in conjunction with the school staff, parents, and community members, supports, mentors, monitors, and motivates for the most inclusive specialized education of all students with disabilities while focusing on excellence for all students. 

The values of the SPED office include:
 integrity, loyalty, teamwork, and professionalism.

We support this mission
through collaboration with teachers, students, parents, and support staff
by providing rigor and relevance in the classroom,
building resilience and capacity in our students and staff,
and developing life-long relationships
that support positive student outcomes.