Tulare City School District Office

Student Services

It is the intent of our committed staff to help every child succeed as students come first in Tulare City School District.  Our dedicated staff is here to assist each student in achieving his or her full potential.


The Tulare City School District supports gifted and talented students by providing advanced learning opportunities within the regular classroom.  Students may also participate in Honors Math and ELA classes at the Middle School level.  The District also provides after school STEM activities and GATE/Extended Learning resources on our learn.tcsdk8.org site. These activities are designed to encourage bright, talented students to become analytical thinkers, creative producers, and practical problem solvers. 

If a parent believes his or her student is in the top 3% of intellectual ability when compared to his or her peers, the parent should contact the school principal for more information about the GATE referral process.

Special Education

What is special education?

The California Education Code (section 56031) defines special education as:

  • Specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs, whose educational needs cannot be met with modification of the general instruction program; and
  • Related services that help individuals with special needs to benefit from specially designed instruction. Special education is an integral part of the total public education system. Other features of special education are: 
    • Provided in a way that promotes maximum interaction between students with and without disabilities in a manner, which is appropriate to the needs of both;
    • Services are no cost to parents;
    • It provides a full range of program options to meet the educational and service requirements of individuals with exceptional needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The LRE is generally the setting that is most similar to those attended by general education students. 

What do special education services look like?

Each student who receives special education services has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) based on their unique needs. The IEP team develops goals based on a student’s educational functioning and determines the appropriate services and placement. These services may include specialized academic instruction, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.  

Who is eligible for special education services?

A student, between ages three and twenty-two, having one or more of the 13 federally defined disabling conditions that adversely affect his or her educational performance, may be eligible to receive special education services. Conditions include autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, hearing impairment (hard of hearing), intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, health impairment, serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech and language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment.

Not all students who are struggling will require special education services. We may also meet student needs through the Response to Intervention (RTI) program. The RTI program provides interventions for struggling learners at increasing levels of intensity within the general education setting.     

For additional information about special education, Response to Intervention, and other related services, please contact your school principal. 

Special Education Contacts

Michelle Zavaleta
Director II Psychological Services/Special Education
[email protected] 
(559) 685-7240
Alyssa Baker
Special Education Coordinator

Kristen Evans
District Secretary, Special Education
[email protected] 

(559) 685-7235



Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)

What is SELPA?
School districts and County Offices of Education (referred to as Local Educational Agencies, or ELAs) joined together in geographical regions in order to develop a regional special education service delivery system. 

Support Services

School Counselors
Each middle school in the Tulare City School District has a school counselor five days a week. Under the direction of the middle school principals, the school counselors provide the following:

  • educational, career, and behavioral counseling to individuals and small groups of students in a school setting; 
  • assist students in understanding and seeking solutions to academic, social, emotional problems and issues; 
  • serve as a resource pertaining to student behavior management strategies, welfare, and attendance problems and concerns; 
  • consult and train teachers, parents, and staff regarding needs of middle school students; 
  • refer parents and their children with problems to special programs, specialists, and outside agencies; 
  • participate and facilitate in the intervention team process; 
  • and to do other related functions as required.  

If you need assistance from a school counselor, please contact your child’s school. 

Social Worker 
Tulare City School District has two licensed social workers on staff. Under the supervision of the Director of Psychological Services, the social worker will:

  • assist students with personal and psychological issues that affect school performance, behavior and socialization;  
  • conduct individual, small group, classroom or school-wide sessions; 
  • serve as an advocate with all community populations utilizing skills that respect issues of  cultural, ethnic diversity, and equity for every student and family; 
  • provides specialized consultative services to families, school staff, community agencies, and other professionals, which allows students to reach their highest educational, developmental and social potential.

If you need assistance from the district social worker, please contact your child’s school. 

School Psychologists
Tulare City School District has ten school psychologists on staff, who are itinerant employees assigned to multiple schools. School psychologists work with students to:

  • provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems;
  • increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning;
  • promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism;
  • enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds.

See Parent Resources for additional information

Special Friends Program
The Special Friends program is designed to help at-risk grade K-3 students adjust within the school setting. The Special Friends staff member provides a welcoming environment for one-to-one non-directive play sessions in which students can express their feelings and ideas through creative play. The Special Friends program offers at-risk students the opportunity to develop social and emotional skills to reduce school adjustment problems.


Jennifer Marroquin
Assistant Superintendent Educational Services
504 Coordinator / Title II Coordinator
600 N. Cherry St. - Tulare, CA 93274
[email protected]
(559) 685-7241

Kathleen Urias
Administrative Assistant, State/Federal Programs & Systems 
[email protected] 
(559) 685-7221

Michelle Zavaleta
Director II
Psychological Services/Special Education
[email protected] 
(559) 685-7240

Kristen Evans
District Secretary, Special Education
[email protected] 
(559) 685-7235