Contact Information:

For additional information regarding Special Education and Student Services please contact:


Deb Cook Westfahl
Student Services Coordinator 
and School Psychologist

414/351-7380 x1061


Sue Berndt 

Student Services Assistant

414/351-7380 x1010


Special Education and Student Services

504 Plan

What is a 504 Plan?
Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met. Section 504 states that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)]. A Parents Guide to Section 504 (retrieved on July 2018)

Academic and Career Plan

Starting as early as kindergarten, students begin exploring different roles in the community and careers. Many of us recall wanting to be a firefighter, teacher, pro athlete, ballerina, or princess when we were younger. As students grow and learn, their experiences and interests change. As part of our work with sixth through eighth grade students, we use Academic and Career Planning (ACP) to focus on exploration - exploration of personal interests, skills, hobbies - and how these relate to potential careers or career clusters of interest (i.e. information technology, health sciences, or architecture and construction).

Guidance and Counseling

Guidance counselors support students in their social, emotional, behavioral and academic successes. In addition, counselors assist learners in making choices regarding their future by teaching college and career readiness skills. School counseling services include classroom instruction, small groups, and individual supports. Classroom instruction addresses academic and personal/social standards. Through the academic standards, students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and skills that contribute to successful learning in school and across the lifespan. Students will develop the skills necessary to make transitions between elementary and middle and middle to high school. Students will understand how their academic experiences prepare them for high school, college and career. Through the personal/social standards, students will acquire skills to understand themselves and appreciate the diverse background and experiences of others. Students will learn and develop effective interpersonal skills to successfully interact with others. Small groups meetings are facilitated to focus on common topics with same age peers. Small group topics may include friendship groups, study skills, group problem solving and family change. Individual meetings provide short-term counseling for any student at the request of a parent/guardian, student or staff member. Contact Jeff Bohacek - Guidance Counselor Email:


Learner Enrichment and Advancement Program (LEAP) MDIH LEAP Handbook (Nomination forms embedded in handbook).


Response to Intervention Handbook (in process)

School Psychology

School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. Contact Deb Cook Westfahl Candice Truesdell-Nokes

Social Emotional Well Being

Social-emotional well being and mental health is critical for student’s academic success. Mental Health is a dimension of overall health on a continuum from high-level wellness to severe illness. Universal strategies promote the social and emotional competence, well-being, and development of all students. Relationships; engagement; resiliency; mental health education; stigma reduction; safe, active, and positive school climate; and social and emotional learning are all important aspects of universal practice. (retrieved from the WI DPI on July 2018) The Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District provides a continuum of mental health services for students are supported by the student services team as part of the district’s service delivery model. Universal and selected mental health services are designed and implemented by school staff. Children with acute or chronic mental health needs are referred for community-based services. In addition, the District consults with outside clinical providers on an as-needed basis.

Special Education​

What is Special Education?
Special Education is the array of services that must be provided to address the unique needs of each student found eligible under federal and state special education law. Special education services are provided in accordance with a student’s IEP to support each student to access and participate and make progress in general education curriculum, environments, and activities. These services are provided through:
Specially designed instruction – adapting, as appropriate to the needs of a student with an IEP, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the student’s unique needs that result from the student’s disability and ensure the student’s access to the general curriculum, so the student can meet the educational standards that apply to all students (34 CFR 300.39(b)(3)). Specially designed instruction may be provided in special education or general education environments and is a unique set of supports provided to individual students based on learning needs to remove barriers that result from the student’s disability. The supports are reflected in the student’s individual education program (IEP) and are infused throughout the student’s learning experiences and environments as described in the IEP. Examples include: specially designed reading instruction, math instruction, social skills instruction, physical education, vocational education, speech and language therapy, etc. A student determined eligible under IDEA must be found to need specially designed instruction. If the student’s needs can be met within general education without specially designed instruction, the student is not eligible under IDEA. Related services - developmental, corrective, and other supportive services needed to assist a student with an IEP to benefit from special education. Examples include: transportation, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, audiology, sign language interpreting services, counseling, orientation and mobility, school nursing services, parent counseling and training, etc. (34 C.F.R § 300.34 and Wis. Stat. § 115.76 (14)). Supplementary aids and services - aids, services, and other supports provided in general education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings to enable a student with an IEP to be educated with students without IEPs to the maximum extent appropriate (34 C.F.R § 300.34 and Wis. Stat. § 115.76 (16)). These are also commonly referred to as general education modifications and accommodations. Examples include: adapted equipment, assistive technology, modified or supplemental curriculum materials, assignment and test modifications, preferential seating, adult support or supervision (including one-to-one assistance), extra time, sensory breaks, special behavior supports and strategies, and visual or verbal cues and reminders. Program modifications and supports for staff - services or activities needed by school personnel to meet the needs of the student (34 C.F.R § 300.320(a)(4) and Wis. Stat. § 115.787(2)(c)). These are services provided on behalf of a student with an IEP to enable the student to advance toward attaining annual IEP goals; be involved and make progress in the general education curriculum; participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities; and be educated and participate with other students with and without disabilities. Examples include: co-planning and co-teaching between general and special education teachers, assistance with curriculum modifications, disseminating information about a student’s disability and training for staff needed to work with specific students (such as training on autism or special health care needs). The Role of Special Education within a Equitable Multi-Level System of Supports (Retrieved on July 2018) MDIH Special Education Policies and Procedures Manual (pdf) Areas of Special Education Eligibility: The areas of special education disability include; educational autism, intellectual disabilities, emotional behavioral disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, significant developmental delay, speech/language impairments, specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury and visual impairments. Family Engagement: Parent Toolkit Parent Special Education Resources: Introduction to Special Education (DPI Link)

Child Find Annual Notice

Maple Dale - Indian Hill School District ANNUAL NOTICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION REFERRAL AND EVALUATION PROCEDURES Upon request, the Maple Dale - Indian Hill School District is required to evaluate a child for eligibility for special education services. A request for evaluation is known as a referral. When the district receives a referral, the district will appoint an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team to determine if the child has a disability, and if the child needs special education services. The district locates, identifies, and evaluates all children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private (including religious) schools, elementary schools and secondary schools located in the school district. A physician, nurse, psychologist, social worker, or administrator of a social agency who reasonably believes a child brought to him or her for services is a child with a disability has a legal duty to refer the child, including a homeless child, to the school district in which the child resides. Before referring the child, the person making the referral must inform the child's parent that the referral will be made. Others, including parents, who reasonably believe a child is a child with a disability may also refer the child, including a homeless child, to the school district in which the child resides. Referrals must be in writing and include the reason why the person believes the child is a child with a disability. A referral may be made by contacting [name], Student Services Coordinator, Maple Dale - Indian Hill School District, at 414-351-7380 x 1061, or in writing at 8377 N. Port Washington Road Fox Point, WI 53217.

Special Education Staff

Deb Cook Westfahl, Student Services Coordinator
and School Psychologist
Candice Truesdell-Nokes, School Psychologist
Kip Steinmetz, Special Education Teacher
Jenna DiNapoli Maura Shafer, Special Education Teacher
Maggie Mills, Special Education Teacher Laurie Kalonihea, Special Education Teacher
Caitlin Courtney, Speech Pathologist
Donna Kleiner, Speech Pathologist
Cathie Johnson, Occupational Therapist
Julie Sperry, Physical Therapist
Ellen Mauermann, Adaptive Physical Education Teacher

English Language Learners (ELL)

Partner District EL Program Plan Handbook

More Resources


Alcohol and Drug Prevention

The Partnership for

North Shore Health Department


County Services

Milwaukee County Resources

Family Resources During COVID-19 Closure

  • Family Resources:

  • How to Talk to Your Child/Family During the COVID-19 Pandemic:

    • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Supporting Children During Coronavirus (COVID 19) - This resource gives ideas of how to talk to your child about the virus and pandemic.

    • COVIBOOK - This is a resource that can be used with your elementary school child to learn more about the virus and how to stay safe. 

    • Coronavirus BrainPop - Video for intermediate age and older students

    • Coronavirus Video - Phoenix Children's Hospital - How to keep yourself safe

    • PBSKids - How you and your kids de-stress during Coronavirus

    • Bright Horizons - Parent and child talking points on COVID-19, developmentally appropriate, in “just right amounts.”

    • Resources to Support Social-Emotional Wellness and Coping - Developed by school psychologists in Florida in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  All resources are relevant EXCEPT for the crisis intervention information.  Our local emotional support links are included separately on the MDIH Parent / Caregiver Resource page.

    • Virtual Calming Room - Sometimes life can be overwhelming and it can be hard to work through difficult times. This Virtual Calming Room was designed by District 196 in Minnesota to assist in identifying different strategies for managing emotions. We hope these tools will provide helpful outlets and practices for when life gets tough.

  • Mental Health

    • Mental Health and COVID 19 

    • HeartMath - Emotional Understanding and Management is a (temporarily) free online, fun learning experience resource for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) activities for kids. The program is structured around six thematic adventures or units of instruction

      • ​Adventure 1: The Physical Heart

      • Adventure 2: Healthy Heart Habits

      • Adventure 3: Investigating Emotions

      • Adventure 4: Emotions and the Heart

      • Adventure 5: Getting Unstuck

      • Adventure 6: Sending Love and Care

    • Free SEL learning and support for adults

    • Crisis Intervention and Emotional Support:

      • Crisis and Suicide Prevention - Call 800/273-8255 or chat here

      • Veterans Crisis Line - Call 800/273-8255

      • Hopeline - Text "HOPELINE"  to 741741 - from anywhere, anytime, about ANY type of challenge or struggle. Help and hope is just a text away.  HOPELINE™’s purpose is to offer emotional support and resources before situations rise to crisis level. Texts received reflect struggles with breakups, relationship issues, job loss, bullying, LGBTQ issues, parental issues, school, friends, or any struggle a person is experiencing.  A live, trained specialist receives the text and responds quickly.  Each person that texts is important to us and we care about what they are dealing with.

    • Emotional Support 

      • COPE HOTLINE - 24-hour emotional support and crisis intervention from trained volunteers. Serving MKE, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Sheboygan counties. All calls are anonymous and confidential.    Spanish Support available 9:00 PM – 9:00 AM; 262/377-COPE (262/377-2673)

      • WARMLINE (Peer-run) - A non-crisis, peer run, support line for people with mental illness. Volunteer staff are available from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. most evenings; 414/777-4729 “Call us. We’ve been there.” 

How To Talk With Your Child About Violence

It’s always difficult to understand why such terrible things happen. Children might feel confused or worried. These are normal responses. So when/how do we talk to our children about the tragic events throughout the world?  Please trust your gut as to whether or not there is a need for a conversation with your child about such events. Monitor their behavior for any “out of the ordinary” behaviors.


When to have a conversation:

  • depends on the age of the child or their awareness of a situation 

  • monitor a child's behavior for any “out of the ordinary” behaviors


Children may worry:

  • that the event could happen to themselves or a loved one;

  • that they could be separated from someone they love or be left alone;

  • about their safety or that of their loved ones.


The Child Development Institute suggests five ways to talk about
violence with children:

  1. Let your child know that they are safe.

  2. Allow your child to ask questions.

  3. Turn off the news around your child.

  4. Explain that violence is never a solution.

  5. Tell your child ways they are safe.




Additional Resources:


HOPELINE  - Text “HOPELINE” to 741741

800/273-TALK (8255)   National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

Mental Health Resources

NASP Families

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  Facts for Families

North Shore Health Department

REDgen (local community action group, promoting balance and resiliency in the lives of youth and families)

National Alliance on Mental Illness  - NAMI Greater Milwaukee (414/344-0447)


Growing Wisconsin Readers

Resources for parents of children with special needs


School Safety

  • One of our district objectives is to provide a learning environment that is safe, supports learning, and attends to the social and emotional development of students.  We are deeply committed to examining the steps we need to take for student safety.  We have worked together to build strong practices and we remain committed to looking at areas for continuous improvement. Please reach out to us if you have questions or concerns so we can keep an open line of dialogue around school safety.  Click here to learn more about some specific measures we take as a district to provide safe, secure environments for our students, staff, families, and community.

Social-Emotional Development:

Social Emotional Learning: Parent Toolkit

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Information:

DPI-WI Youth Suicide facts

NASP - Preventing Youth Suicide: Parents and Educators

REDgen (local community action group, promoting balance and resiliency in the lives of youth and families)

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Prevent Suicide Wisconsin

American Association of Suicidology

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention




Who Can I Contact for Assistance?

Jeff Bohacek, Guidance and Counseling

414/351-7380 x1058


Deb Cook Westfahl, Student Services Coordinator
414/351-7380 x1061


Beth Fairchild, Indian Hill Principal   
414/351-7390 x2015  


Tom Holtgreive, Maple Dale Principal
414/351-7380 x1013