Special Education

Student playing on playground equipmentJohn Gandy Elementary School offers a variety of special education programs that provide educational services for children with special needs. We provide special education services in a collaborative or resource setting as specified in each child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Any child, 2–21 years of age, living in the John Gandy Elementary School district, who is suspected of having a learning problem, can be referred to the special education administrator. Parent(s), school staff, or other individuals can make these referrals. Upon receipt of the referral, the special education administrator will convene a meeting to discuss the referral. Participants in this meeting will be individuals who are familiar with the child as well as school staff. Recommendations may be made at this time to help the child become more successful in the classroom.

If additional information is needed, the team may decide upon additional testing, which must be completed within 65 calendar days. At the end of this period of time, the team will convene again to go over the test results. The team will make recommendations after reviewing the test results.

If a child is found eligible for special education services, the team will develop an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, within 30 calendar days. IEP services will be given in the child’s least restrictive environment. Recommendations to make changes to a child’s IEP can be made at any time; however, the IEP must be reviewed annually. For more information regarding our special education services, please view our division site.

Please direct all questions regarding special education services at John Gandy Elementary to Sarah Oates, assistant principal.


We offer speech services based on the educational impact a speech/language problem may present. The focus of our school-based speech and language pathologists is to facilitate the development of effective and efficient communication skills so students can participate as fully as possible in educational, social, and vocational interactions. For additional information about speech and language services, please contact Madeline Carter or Meggan Williams, speech and language pathologists.

Students celebrating

Parent Resource Center

Hanover County Public Schools' Department of Special Education has established the Parent Resource Center (PRC) as a source of information, support, and training for parents, students, teachers, staff, and community members.

The PRC is committed to promoting working relationships between parents, educators, and the community. Our goal is to help parents gain knowledge and become comfortable with the special education process. We believe this will allow parents to partner with schools and become more involved in the planning and decision-making process for their child's education. For more information, please view our division PRC page.

Special Education Contacts 

Sarah Oates, Assistant Principal
Daniel Ellithorpe, Special Education Teacher
Wendy Pico, Special Education Teacher
Melissa Vessels, Special Education Teacher
Lisa Bradley, Special Education Teacher
Emily Monroe, Special Education Teacher
Blair Mallory, Occupational Therapist
Madeline Carter, Speech and Language Pathologist

Meggan Williams, Speech and Language Pathologist
Kelly Jones, Parent Resource Center Coordinator
Stacy Gerke, Diagnostician
Regan Gifford, Social Worker
Julie Pinkard, Psychologist

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