Special Services

Special Services Department

Welcome to the Special Services Department web page.  The Churchill County Special Services Office is located 690 S. Maine Street on the second floor (across from the Churchill County Credit Union).  You may stop by our office or call us at 775-423-5187.

There are several departments under the umbrella of Special Services, which include the Gifted & Talented Program, Nurses, and Early Childhood Education.

  • Parsons, Derild

    Director of Special Services

      Email  Parsons, Derild

  • Ames, Jordyn

    Speech Language Pathologist

      Email  Ames, Jordyn

  • Beach, Carly

    Occupational Therapist

      Email  Beach, Carly

  • Cole, Kaylene

    Inst. Consultation Team Facilitator

      Email  Cole, Kaylene

  • Dendauw, Becky

    Speech Language Pathologist

      Email  Dendauw, Becky

  • Fisk, Stacy

    Administrative Secretary

      775-423-5187 (Ext. 1142)
      Email  Fisk, Stacy

  • Harrington, Scott

    Behavior Spec

      Email  Harrington, Scott

  • Holcomb, Tessa

    Data Specialist

      Email  Holcomb, Tessa

  • Laurent, Laura

    School Psychologist

      Email  Laurent, Laura

  • Lewis, Traci

    Speech Language Pathologist

      Email  Lewis, Traci

  • Souza, Cori

    Speech Language Pathologist

      Email  Souza, Cori

  • Terry, Kim

    Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

      Email  Terry, Kim

  • Trappen, Ruby

    School Psychologist

      Email  Trappen, Ruby

  • Utz, Stefanie

    Chief School Nurse

      Email  Utz, Stefanie

  • Whitaker, Tanya

    School Psychologist

      Email  Whitaker, Tanya

  • Worthy, Justin

    Speech and Language Pathologist

      Email  Worthy, Justin

Nevada Special Education Rights of Parents and Children

Special Education Rights of Parents and Children Special Education Rights of Parents and Children (772 KB) 09-Nov-2015

Special Education Rights of Parents and Children (Word RTF Document) Special Education Rights of Parents and Children (Word RTF Document) (374 KB) 19-Jun-2017

If your child is not currently receiving special education services, you have been given this brochure either because you asked that your child receive special education services or because we believe that special education services may be necessary. Our common objective is to assure that your child receives the free appropriate public education program ("FAPE") he or she needs, if any. To realize this objective, we want to evaluate ("test") your child to identify and document whether your child has any disabilities and, if so, to determine whether and which special education programming and services are required. These tests will utilize materials and procedures selected specifically for your child and will not include basic tests or procedures used routinely for all students within a class, grade, or school. This evaluation will be conducted strictly according to the requirements of Federal and State law. Following the evaluation, we will provide you with the complete results and invite you to participate in an eligibility team meeting to determine whether your child is eligible for special education and related services. If your child is eligible, we will ask you to help us develop an individualized educational program ("IEP") and identify supportive services tailored to your child's needs. You may ask others to be present at the IEP meeting if you wish.

If your child is already receiving special education services, this brochure is being provided because we are required to do so at least once each year, because for the first time this school year you have requested a due process hearing or a State complaint investigation, because we are proposing a disciplinary change of placement, or because you have requested a copy.

This process anticipates your active participation and cooperation. No one has the opportunity to know your child better than you. The law also provides methods to help you assure that your input is considered. In addition, the law establishes means for you to object to our proposals or refusals and to have an impartial person resolve any disputes. This extensive and complex bundle of rights, conferred by Federal and State special education laws, generally are called the "procedural safeguards." The purpose of this brochure is to give you an overview of these rights. A more complete explanation is available from your local school district or the Nevada Department of Education.


Your local school district is the first stop for additional help and information. You should speak with your child's teacher or school principal, your local school district director of special education, or your school district superintendent. You can also contact:

Nevada Department of Education
Office of Special Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, and

School Improvement Programs
700 East Fifth Street, Suite 113
Carson City, Nevada 89701-5096
(775) 687-9171, Relay Nevada: 1-800-326-6888 or
Toll Free: 1-800-992-0900, Ext. 9171 This document is available electronically at:

Churchill County School Dist.
Derild Parsons, Director of Special Services
690 S. Maine St.
Fallon, NV 89406
Fax: 775-423-8680

Forms & Documents

OT Caseload Report 2015-2017 OT Caseload Report 2015-2017 (241 KB) 26-Oct-2017

OT Caseload Report 09-11 OT Caseload Report 09-11 (21 KB) 10-Oct-2015

OT Caseload Report 07-09 OT Caseload Report 07-09 (68 KB) 10-Oct-2015

NAC requirement for OT PT part1 NAC requirement for OT PT part1 (277 KB) 10-Oct-2015

NAC_requirement_for_OT_PT_part2.pdf NAC_requirement_for_OT_PT_part2.pdf (272 KB) 10-Oct-2015

PT Caseload Report 07-09 PT Caseload Report 07-09 (68 KB) 10-Oct-2015

PT Caseload Report 09-11 PT Caseload Report 09-11 (18 KB) 10-Oct-2015

Special Education Rights of Parents and Children Special Education Rights of Parents and Children (772 KB) 09-Nov-2015

IEP Questions & Answers

After the school has completed testing do I have to put my child in special education?
After the school talks to me about my child's scores and said he/she is eligible, do I have to put my child in special education.
Am I required to have my child tested?
Because a student is in "Special Education" that means they are going to spend all day in a special classroom, right?
Does my child have to go to one and only one special education classroom?
I've read my parents rights, but I still have questions.
What are my rights as a parent?
What is this IEP "stuff" ?
Who can refer a student to special education?

Gifted & Talented

This website provides the reader with information on the GATE program for the Churchill County School District. Below is our Program Overview and the Program Objectives. In addition to the information found through the navigation bar at the left, the reader can also find information regarding Characteristics of the Gifted That Tend to Screen Them Out of Programs. There is a Comparison between a Bright Child and a Gifted Learner.

Program Overview

The Gifted and Talented program in Churchill County serves students in grades three through five. The GATE program will be at individual school sites. G.A.T.E. students will receive enrichment pull out instruction one day of the week for 2 1/2 hours.

Program Objectives

Our goal is to tailor the program to meet individual needs. With this in mind, the objectives are:

  • To provide the opportunities for students to pursue independent study skills dictated by their personal interests.
  • To develop higher level thinking skills, especially analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
  • To develop critical thinking skills and reasoning abilities, both inductive and deductive through problem solving.
  • To provide opportunities for students to practice and develop creativity, especially fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration.
  • To provide opportunities for students to interact with like-ability peers and develop their leadership abilities.

For more information on gifted education visit our useful links section for other online resources.

You are welcome to call the G.A.T.E. teachers for specific information.

Characteristics & Definition


NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes) definition of Gifted and Talented:

Gifted and Talented means a person who possesses or demonstrates outstanding ability in one or more of the following:

  • General intelligence
  • Academic aptitude in a specific area
  • Creative thinking/fluency
  • Productive thinking
  • Leadership
  • The visual arts or
  • The performing arts


On this page is a list of some Common Characteristics of Gifted Children. This is followed by characteristics that tend to Screen Gifted Children out of Programs. Finally, there is a Comparison between the Bright Child and a Gifted Learner.

Common Characteristics of Gifted Children

  • Questions critically
  • Scores well on standardized tests
  • Learns rapidly and easily
  • Uses numerous words easily and accurately
  • Shows curiosity and originality
  • Has a wide range of interests
  • Solves problems and processes ideas in a complete way
  • Has a sense of humor
  • Sometimes comes up with unexpected, even "silly" answers
  • Is often asked by peers for ideas and suggestions
  • Anticipates outcomes
  • Is challenged by new ideas
  • Likes to improve and improvise
  • Shows ability to plan, organize, execute, and judge
  • Finds ways to extend ideas
  • Is sensitive to the feelings of others or to situations
  • Is persistent
  • Gets excited about learning new ideas

Characteristics of the Gifted That Tend
to Screen Gifted Children out of Programs

  • Bored with routine tasks, refuses to do rote homework
  • Difficult to get to move into another topic
  • Is self-critical, impatient with failures
  • Is critical of others, of the teachers
  • Limited English language
  • Often disagrees vocally with others, with the teachers
  • Makes jokes or puns at inappropriate times
  • Emotionally sensitive - may over react, get angry easily or cries when things go wrong
  • Not interested in details; hands in messy work
  • Low socio-economic status
  • Refuses to accept authority; nonconforming, stubborn
  • Tends to dominate others, may have few friends
  • Seems to avoid trying new activities to prevent poor performance; evidences perfectionism, afraid to fail.
  • Easily distracted, unable to focus attention
  • Does not function comfortably or constructively in a group of any size
  • Has an indifferent or negative attitude toward school

Comparison between the Bright Child and the Gifted Learner**

The Bright Child:
The Gifted Learner:
Know the answers
Asks the questions
Is interested
Is highly curious
Is attentive
Is mentally and physically involved
Has good ideas
Has wild, silly ideas
Works hard
Plays around, yet tests well
Answers the questions
Discussion is detail, elaborates
Top group
Beyond the group
Listens with interest
Shows strong feelings & opinions
Learns with ease
Already knows
6 - 8 repetitions for mastery
1 - 2 repetitions for mastery
Understands ideas
Constructs abstractions
Enjoys peers
Prefers adults
Grasps the meaning
Draws inferences
Complete assignments
Initiates projects
Is receptive
Is intense
Copies accurately
Creates a new design
Enjoys school
Enjoys learning
Absorbs information
Manipulates information
Good memorizer
Makes good guesses
Enjoys straight forward sequential presentation
Thrives on complexity
Is alert
Is keenly observant
Is pleased with own learning
Is highly self-critical
**by Janice Szabos, Challenge, Issue 34

Eligibility & Referrals

Referrals may be made by parents, teachers or counselors. Forms are submitted to the program coordinators who proceed with the testing and assessment process.

Please contact your child's teacher, counselor or GATE teacher for forms.

Once the referral forms are received, the GATE coordinators proceed with testing. Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence is administered as a screening. Students who score at or above 119 qualify to continue with evaluation.

The Peabody Individual Achievement Test will be given to students as the next step in the identification process. A student must score in the 98th percentile on one major subtest (reading, math, language, and general information) and have a composite score in the 90th percentile or above to qualify for placement in the GATE pullout program.

Parents Resources

Parents Can Help!

Postcards, calls, and letters are needed to let legislators know that you want them to support legislation impacting the education of gifted and talented children. In this time of budget cuts please take a moment to call or write.

Please take the time to write:

Washington Offices Reno Offices
Congressman Dean Heller
125 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Congressman Dean Heller
400 S. Virginia St., Suite 502
Reno, NV 89501
The Honorable John Ensign
364 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable John Ensign
400 S. Virginia St., Suite 738
Reno, NV 89501
The Honorable Harry Reid
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Harry Reid
400 S. Virginia St., Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501

Tips For Parents

Ten Things To Do To Make School More Cool
from The Gifted Kids Survival Guide by Judy Galbraith

  • Talk with your teachers about skipping over work you already know.
  • Working independently is a good way for you to study subjects in more depth than what usual classes allow. Ask your teacher to help you plan your study.
  • What's your bag? Is it art, music, drama? Find out if the special teachers in your school would be willing to accept your help in planning special events for fine arts activities.
  • Be a display-designer and produce unique displays for your classroom or school. Displays could be changed monthly, and you would be in charge of putting them up and taking them down.
  • If it's not on your school's menu, start your own recipe for mini-classes. For example, if you're interested in learning a foreign language find a few others who share your interest. Talk with your teacher and principal about your idea and have them help you figure out how, when, and where you could have the class.
  • Volunteer to help your teachers in creative and productive ways. Can you help plan units? Librarians and special teachers may welcome your help.
  • Start a journal for writing thoughts, poetry, movie-reviews, doodles or other creative jottings in your spare time.
  • Show what you learn in new and unusual ways such as a diorama, videotape, play, song, etc.
  • Be a regular customer of the library and learn as much as you can on your own.
  • Don't be afraid to talk with your teacher about opting out of work you already know how to do so that you can work on some of the projects we've told you about here.

Other Tips for Parents

Here are some helpful hints for parents whose children do things a little earlier, a little better, a little faster, and maybe a little differently from most other children.

  • It is a great big wonderful world. Show it to your gifted child in the form of trips, books, music, museums, fire stations, digs, interesting people, wiggly things, daisy chains and the magical chemistry that makes a cake rise.
  • Children don’t have to be gainfully engaged every waking minute. There should be time to daydream, to do baby things, and to lie on an unmade bed to contemplate the ceiling. Gifted children are usually creative children, and it’s hard to be creative on schedule.
  • Praise your gifted child because he needs all the encouragement he can get. Praise him for the wonderful things he does, and if the great experiment doesn’t work and the shaky tower of blocks comes tumbling down, praise him for trying. Inquiring minds must take intellectual risks, and risk-taking needs to be praised and supported.
  • Don’t expect your gifted child to live up to unfulfilled aspirations. You may dream of "my son, the doctor," but he may have other heroes.
  • Enjoy! Of all the problems children have, giftedness is the best one. Gifted children are curious, enthusiastic, excited about new things, and able to communicate early. So--ENJOY!!

(Gina Ginsberg, Ex. Dir., "Gifted Child Society")

Contact Us

We are located at 690 South Maine Street, Fallon, Nevada 89406
Phone: 775-423-5187
Fax: 775-423-8680