Jennifer Bollinger

Dr. Jennifer Bollinger - Special Services Director
Office Located at the Watertown High School
200 9th Street NE
Watertown, South Dakota 57201
Phone: 605-882-6398
Fax: 605-882-6327


Welcome to the Watertown School District Special Services Website. The Watertown School District has a variety of specialized programs across the district.

There is a transition day program. The Transition Campus is for students with disabilities who are between the ages of 18-21 and have completed their 12th grade year. This program offers a functional and vocational focus on skills necessary for independence at home, in the community, and the workplace. The district utilizes the north wing of the Middle School for our transition program. For further inquiry into the transition program, please contact Bobbi Jo Soupir at 605-882-6370.

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 McKinley Elementary School. For further inquiry into our Junior Kindergarten program please contact Shannon Knopf at 605-882-6350.

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 student's 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.

A preschool option for residents of Watertown is our district level Title I preschool at McKinley and Mellette Elementary Schools. 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 Elementary School at 882-6350.

One last program I would like to highlight is our SLC or Structured Learning Center located at Mellette Elementary for K-4 students in the Watertown School District. Students are identified for this program by their school team as needing a more restrictive setting to make progress on their individualized education plan goals. In this program our instructors and therapists have been trained in the TEACCHing principles. Their training has provided them with a theoretical foundation for hands-on learning and opportunities with their students that helps them to assess and teach students at an individual level in a demonstration classroom setting. Our team believes that if we can gain a better understanding of learning styles of the students we work with, we can then use teaching strategies to enhance their learning strengths. Areas of academics include literacy and numeracy, communication, independence, social and leisure, vocational, and relaxations and coping strategies. For more information on this program please contact Heather DeBoer at 605-882-6385. (For Info on TEACCH visit https://teacch.com/about-us/)

The Watertown School District has three school psychologists, one Behavior Specialist, and one special services coordinator. The Special Services Director is located at the Watertown High 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.


Dr. Jennifer Bollinger
Director of Special Services