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Exceptional Education Services

In keeping with Penn-Harris-Madison’s Vision of Excellence, we have an outstanding team of professionals who serve the unique needs of all of our students through our  Exceptional Education Division. We have a dedicated staff made up of school psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists and preschool teachers.


Parents are integral part of P-H-M’s Triangle of Success that helps our students succeed. We value our relationships with our parents and have created the Exceptional Education Forum as another way to engage with our parents. 


In November 2018, Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation’s Exceptional Education Department received its assessment by the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Education (IDOE/OSE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


As a Local Educational Agency (LEA), P-H-M’s Exceptional Education Department was found by IDOE/OSE  as “Meets the Requirements” of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


Based on a local educational agency’s score on a number of criteria, it is then ranked in one of four categories of determination, with “Meets Requirements” being the highest category: 

  1. Meets Requirements
  2. Needs Assistance
  3. Needs Intervention
  4. Needs Substantial Intervention

To determine if each LEA meets the requirements of Part B of the IDEA, IDOE/OSE has implemented Results Driven Accountability (RDA). This new form of monitoring began in November 2018.


RDA includes three elements: Results Elements (including federal results indicators and other assessment data); Timely Data Elements; and Compliance Elements. Data from these elements are then calculated, resulting in an RDA score, which in turn is used to make the determination.  


P-H-M had strong scores in the Results Elements matrix, and perfect scores in the Timely Data Elements and Compliance matrix which lead to the District receiving the “Meets Requirements” category—the highest category under the IDOE/OSE’s assessment.



Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guarantees all children the right to free appropriate public education. That includes education for disabled students in the least-restrictive environment possible—not segregated and sequestered away from their peers.


Inclusion involves supporting students with disabilities through individual learning goals, accommodations, and modifications so that they are able to access the general education curriculum (in the general education classroom) and be held to the same high expectations as their peers.


Research shows that students with and without disabilities benefit both socially and academically from inclusion. Inclusion has benefits for students, teachers, and families.  High school students with disabilities achieve better outcomes in inclusive academic settings: Study examines results of special education placements in Indiana schools (Indiana University, Sept. 15, 2022)


Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. Paula is a former special educator who has served as a classroom teacher and inclusion facilitator.  Dr. Kluth presented to P-H-M principals on June 15, 2023 about providing appropriate services to students with disabilities within the classroom. Click here to view the presentation slides.



P-H-M’s Exceptional Education Department is located within Penn High School, 56100 Bittersweet Rd., and can be reached at (574) 968-9600.



  • Exceptional Education Executive Director: Gena L. Todd
  • Exceptional Education Program Supervisor (Middle School and High School): Beth Zachary 
  • Exceptional Education Program Supervisor (Elementary): Rebecca Allen
  • Exceptional Education Program Supervisor PennPals/Elementary: Jodi Eveland
  • Penn High School Exceptional Education Academy Leader: Virginia Shafer
  • Administrative Secretary: Mary Peterson
  • Division Secretary: Angie Edwards
  • Preschool Clerical: Nicole Valdez
  • District Office Clerical: Lori Reichanadter
  • School Psychologists: Travis Block, Erin Roe
  • IEP Coordinators: Tammy Kenna, Karen Miller


Click here to access a full P-H-M Staff Directory for email addresses.


Penn PALS Community Preschool 


Eligible students aged 2½ to 5 years old who attend Penn PALS (Promoting Academic Learning Skills) will learn and grow!  Click here for more information or call (574) 968-9600. Register at any of the four locations: Bittersweet, Elm Road, Elsie Rogers and Mary Frank Elementary Schools


Free Speech and Language Screenings

P-H-M offers free speech and language screenings for three, four, and five-year old children who reside within the school district’s boundaries




Links to Parent Support Groups