Welcome to the Watertown Special Services Website

  • Jennifer Heggelund

    Jennifer Heggelund - Special Services Director



    Welcome to the Watertown School District Special Services Website. The Watertown School District has a variety of specialized programs across the district. The district special services office is currently located at the Watertown Intermediate School.

    The junior kindergarten program serves children that are school age, but may be young for their grade or have attention or academic needs. The students in junior kindergarten make so many gains and are well prepared for kindergarten by the spring time. The junior kindergarten program is currently located at Mellette Elementary School. For further inquiry into our Junior Kindergarten program please contact John Decker at 605-882-6385.

    Another specialized program is our elementary alternative education program. This program currently serves students in grades KG through 6 at the Watertown Intermediate School. This specialized program is also available at both the Middle School and High School level. These programs work to provide individualized positive behavioral intervention supports. Social skill training and positive behavior management become a strong focus, as well as both individual and group counseling. Programs at all levels implement the Girls and Boystown Specialized Classroom Management System to monitor the student's progress. This program is available for those students currently identified as needing special education services. The studen'ts individualized education plan and team support and feedback are a critical component in deciding if a more restrictive placement such as our alternative education program is what is needed to make progress.

    The district's reverse inclusion preschool program is located at Roosevelt Elementary School. The preschool teachers and therapists work closely with outside agencies, local preschools, and parents to provide services to students who require specialized instruction. Reverse Inclusion Preschool is a concept of having an equal amount of students with identified disabilties with students who are typically developing.The program has preschool classrooms for 3 and 4 year olds and classrooms for 4 and 5 year olds. If you are interested in your child attending as a general education student the cost is $45 per month during the school year. Also,  if you have a child who is age 3 to 5 and are concerned about their development with their langage, articulation, cognitive, social, fine motor, gross motor or really anything that concerns you developmentally with your child, simply give us a call for to set up an appointment for a monthly screening.  Whether you want your child to participate in our reverse inclusion preschool program as a general education student or have concerns developmentally for your child please call Kara Schleusner at 882-6360 for further inquiries. Kara Schleusner is our Early Childhood Coordinator who is located at Roosevelt Elementary.

    Another preschool option for residents of Watertown is our district level Title I preschool at McKinley Elementary School. Preschool students must be four years of age on or before September 1st. Qualifications for the preschool program are based on developmental screening scores, family income, and other environmental criteria. The preschool curriculum is based on SD Early Learning Guidelines and Head Start Standards. While attending preschool, students have the opportunity to attend library, SAFE, and participate in a language group taught by a district speech therapist. Additional program highlights include informational sessions for parents, home visits, and educational consulting. Our program provides an opportunity, for students that qualify, to start strong. Parents interested in obtaining more information about this preschool program may contact Shannon Knopf located at McKinley School at 882-6350.

    Lastly, three district's school psychologists, special education director, and special education coordinator can be found in the Special Services Department located at the Watertown Intermediate School.  As you can see, we have a diverse population of students and programs in our district.  Our main focus is unified, to educate the children of the district in the manner that is best for each individual.

    Thank you for visiting the Watertown School District's Special Services Webpage. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the services and programs we offer within the Watertown School District.



    Jennifer Heggelund

    Director of Special Services

  • Watertown Special Services
    601 11th St NE
    Watertown, SD  57201
    Fax:  605-882-6395