The Special Services Department
The Special Services Department is located on the bottom floor of the Downtown Library Building at 925 Felix Street. 816-671-4000 (Phone)
Special Services oversees all programming and compliance guidelines for students eligible for special education services and 504 plans. Additional areas supervised by this department include educational services for students that require homebound instruction, support for homeless students, English Language Learners, early childhood programs, Parents as Teachers, education for gifted students, and volunteer services.
Dr. Denise Colhour
Director of Special Services
Dr. Colhour began her career in 1993 as an educator in the field of special education and reading. She worked in SJSD from 1999-2001 as a special education teacher at Lake Contrary. For three years following, she was the director of a special education cooperative. She returned to SJSD in 2004 as the Coordinator of Special Education. She was appointed as the Assistant Director of Special Education Services in 2008, and in 2009 as the Director of Special Services.
Dr. Colhour received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Baker University and her Ed.S. in Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She earned her M.S. in Education and a B.S. in Education from the University of Central Missouri. Dr. Colhour holds certification in K-12 Learning Disabilities, K-12 Special Reading, 7-12 Social Studies and K-12 Special Education Administration.
Coordinator of Federal Programs
Marlena Walley began her career as a special education teacher in 1999. She worked in the Independence School District as a Special Education Process Coordinator from 2008-2013. Marlena was then appointed as the Coordinator of Special Services serving as assistant to the Director. She served in this capacity for two years prior to joining the St. Joseph School District.
Marlena received her Ed.S. in School Administration (K-8) and Special Education Administration (K-12) from the University of Central Missouri. She earned her M.S. in Education and a B.S. in Education from the University of Central Missouri.
Local Plan for Compliance
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
Paraprofessional / Teacher Guidebook
Parent Bill of Rights
Special Education Documents
Special Education Services available to Eligible Non-public students
Student Support Plans