Special Programs

Our school offers a host of services to help your student get the support they need to thrive in school and beyond. Below is a list of specific services, providers, and contact information.

Roberta Polland

Lena Vitagliano

Dr. Melinda Browne

Dan Pierce & Heather Tyler

Dan Pierce & Heather Tyler

Lena Vitagliano

In accordance with federal and state regulations, Maine Virtual Academy will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of MEVA’s child find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities and determination of students’ service and support needs.

Families are encouraged to review the following information that describes these regulations. Information regarding Maine Virtual Academy’s internal practices to comply with these will be available in the Maine Virtual Academy Special Programs Manuals and Handbooks.

Maine Virtual Academy seeks to ensure that all students within its school are identified, located and evaluated who are school-age (5 through the school year in which they turn 20) and who are in need of special education and supportive assistance—including homeless children, state wards, state agency clients, students who have been suspended or expelled, students receiving home instruction, children incarcerated in county jails, children who have the equivalent of 10 full days of unexcused absences or 7 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during the school year, highly mobile children (including migrant or homeless), and children who are suspected of being disabled and in need of special education and supportive assistance even though they are advancing from grade to grade.

MEVA’s child find responsibility shall be accomplished through a school-wide process which, while not a definitive or final judgment of a student’s capabilities or disability, is a possible indicator of special education needs. Final identification of students with disabilities and programming for such students occurs only after an appropriate evaluation and a determination by the IEP Team.

The child find process shall include obtaining data on each child through multiple measures, direct assessment and parent information regarding the child’s academic and functional performance, gross and fine motor skills, receptive and expressive language skills, vision, hearing, and cognitive skills.

Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a “suspected disability” or identified as having a disability, Maine Virtual Academy will ask the student or the student’s Parent/Guardian for information about the child such as:

  • How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student’s learning?
  • What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student’s emerging learning deficits?
  • What educational or medical information relative to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the school?

If the child find process indicates that a student may require special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education, the student shall be referred to the IEP Team to determine the student’s eligibility for special education services. School staff, parents or agency representatives or other individuals with knowledge of the child may refer children to the IEP team if they believe that the student, because of a disability, may be in need of special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education. Such a referral should follow the school’s pre-referral and referral policy.

Statutory Reference: 34 CFR § 300.111 (2066)

Ch. 101, IV (2) (2007 (Me. Dept. of Educ. Regulations)

For students confirmed to present with special education needs, once the IEP team agrees on the IEP and the student’s educational placement, a Prior Written Notice (PWN) will sent to the parent/guardian for signature. This must be signed and returned to Maine Virtual Academy. MEVA can only proceed with implementing the student’s IEP (or 504 Plan) upon receipt of the signed PWN. Some students are found to present with one or more disability, but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined under IDEA (special education); however their disability may still require Maine Virtual Academy to develop a 504 Service Agreement (504 Plan) to outline the special provisions a student may require for adaptations and/or accommodations in school-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.

Parents/Guardians have the right to revoke consent for services after initial placement. Please note, a revocation of consent removes the student from ALL special services and supports outlined on the IEP or 504 Plan. Parents who request that their child be taken out of special education must provide the request in writing and will be provided a summary of their student’s current academic and functional performance. The case manager will complete the revocation process with the parent/guardian, which requires a signature. The completed paperwork, i.e., the signed revocation form and the summary of performance paperwork will be completed and filed in the student’s physical file. 


Translation Needs:

Maine Virtual Academy recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and MEVA families or students. Should this situation occur, the MEVA special education case manager will initiate an IEP team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the MEVA Special Education Team seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.

Disputes that are resolved at the local level may preserve and even strengthen the relationship between the school and the parent. While the parent always has the right to request Mediation or a Due Process Hearing and should always be informed of this right, many times issues can be resolved at a less intense level as system personnel and parents seek mutual understanding and agreement. The following four (4) step process may be used to resolve problems before they grow to the level requiring Mediation or a Due Process Hearing:

Step One: Contact the assigned Special Education Teacher or Special Education Manager via email and/or by phone.

Step Two: Hold an IEP team meeting to discuss concerns of the IEP team members.

Step Three: If ‘Step Two’ is unsuccessful, contact the MEVA Head of School via email and/or by phone. 

Step Four: If ‘Step Three’ is unsuccessful, contact the MEVA Governing Board Chair via email and/or phone.

Although the goal should always be to resolve disputes at the local level, sometimes situations require the assistance of persons not directly involved with the issues at hand.

  • IEP Facilitation – IEP facilitation is a voluntary process that can be utilized when all parties to an IEP meeting agree that the presence of a neutral third party would help facilitate communication and the successful drafting of the student’s IEP. This process is not necessary for most IEP meetings. Rather, it is most often utilized when there is a sense from any of the participants that the issues at the IEP meeting are creating an impasse or acrimonious climate.
  • Mediation – A voluntary process in which both parties seek to resolve the issues involved in the concern with an unbiased, third party mediator from the Maine Department of Education. The mediator will write up the details of the agreement that the parties come to through the mediation conference, the agreement is signed by both parties, and thus what the document states is mandated to be implemented; This process is overall less time-consuming, less stressful, and less expensive to complete than a due process hearing.