Special Education


Cindy Maas

Special Education Coordinator, Autism



Susan Effler

Special Education Coordinator, Autism



David Gudgridge

Elementary Special Education Director


Susan Snowdon

Elementary Special Education Director



Frances Woolery-Jones

Secondary Special Education Director


Approach to Programming for Students with Autism

In Cherry Creek, programs designed to meet the educational needs of children with autism provide a structured teaching approach to learning. As with any student qualifying for special education services, the Individual Education Plan (IEP) will direct the program. Long term goals for our students with autism include the development of functional skills, communication and independence. Special attention is paid to skills in the following domains: communication, social, academic, daily living, independence, sensory motor, and vocational.
Services are provided in a continuum of environments ranging from self-contained to full inclusion settings, based upon the needs of each student.
Intensive early intervention is a priority. Programming for preschool age children reflects the research regarding the need for intensity at this age. School staff and parents combine efforts to deliver increased hours of service consistent with recommended practices.
Continued staff development is necessary to provide staff with the skills needed to provide quality programming for children with autism. Cherry Creek will continue to examine all in-service opportunities that focus on autism and keep staff trained in methodologies and/or strategies found successful for children with autism.


Elementary / Secondary
  • Parent registers child at CCSD Admissions.
  • Parent contacts home school.
  • School principal notifies special services staff who schedules an IEP meeting.
  • An IEP meeting is held at the home school with other district staff in attendance as needed.
  • Information is gathered about child's needs in these areas: Social, Academies, Sensory Motor, Cognitive, Behavior, Health, Self Care Areas. Any further assessments needed are scheduled or requested from outside providers/agencies.
  • Placement is finalized and discussed with parents through the IEP process. A start date is agreed upon.
  • As needed, transportation department is notified of recommended start date. Parent is notified of pick-up / drop-off times, if applicable.
Early Childhood
  • Parent contacts CHILD FIND at
    Red Hawk Ridge Elementary School
    16251 E. Geddes Ave., Centennial, CO 80016
  • CHILD FIND staff will gather information and work with the parents to develop an appropriate placement plan.

Autism Team

The Cherry Creek Schools Autism and Severe Needs Support Team is a group of professionals, employed by the school district, who have special training and expertise in assessments and programming for children with autism and severe needs.
The team acts as an internal consultant to special education teams within the district. The team provides a range of services to home school staff, including team intake, record review, play based assessment or interview if appropriate of students suspected of having an autism-spectrum disorder, development of teaching plans to meet the child's IEP goals and objectives, and collaborative problem solving of difficult behavioral and instructional issues.
Members of the Autism and Severe Needs Support Team are:
  • Susan Effler, Secondary Coordinator 
  • Jim Baroffio, Psychologist
  • Connie Egleston, Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Cindy Maas, Elementary Coordinator
  • Tyra Vickers, Psychologist
  • Jenny Marette, Speech/Language Pathologist



Colorado Department of Education
Laura Freppel, Director
Special Education Services Unit
201 E. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80203
Tri-state Austism webinars
The ARC of Aurora
1342 S. Chambers Rd
Aurora, CO 80017
The ARC of Arapahoe & Douglas County
6538 S. Racine Cir., Centennial, CO 80111
Autism Society of America
Autism Society of America - Colorado Chapter
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Department of Justice
Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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