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Special Education / Pupil Services Leadership

Licensing requirements

Director of Special Education and Pupil Services. (a) Except as specified under par. (b), a director of special education and pupil services license is required of a person to administer a special education program or a pupil services program, or both. For a license under this subsection, the applicant shall have completed an approved program leading to licensure as a director of special education and pupil services. (b) Persons who hold a current special education supervisor-level A license may be issued a license under this subsection. PI 34.32 (5), Wisconsin Administrative Code.

The special education leadership staff person who holds a current 80 or 81 license is the primary contact for the DPI Special Education Team. When an LEA does not employ an individual with an 80 or 81 license, the responsible staff person is the district administrator.

The department provides additional support to special education leadership personnel through the WI Regional Special Education Network (RSN) - an alliance of CESA special educators who promote continuous school improvement to support full educational opportunities for children and youth with disabilities.

Special Education Leadership Directory 

2023-24 Special Education & Pupil Services Leadership Academy


2023-24 Special Education Calendar (Coming Soon)

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Departments of Student Services/Prevention and Wellness and Special Education teams partner with the Regional Special Education Network (RSN) and the Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS) to provide ongoing learning opportunities for directors of Special Education/Pupil Services through the Special Education/Pupil Services Leadership Academy.

The Special Education/Pupil Services Leadership Academy for 2023-24 will consist of a series of virtual sessions specifically designed for Special Education Directors and Pupil Services Leaders in their first three years of leading, but anyone is welcome to attend. The purpose of these sessions is to build awareness and understanding on technical topics related to those new to the field of Special Education/Pupil Services. Most sessions will run approximately two hours in length from 10 AM- 11:30 AM/12:00 PM. Four of the offerings will be three hours in length to allow for additional learning from 9 AM- 12PM. Registration is free and is required for each individual event.

2023-24 Special Education & Pupil Services Virtual Academy- October/November/December

The October session will take place on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 from 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM and the following guests will be covering the corresponding topics:

Seth Bishop- Data- Snapshot Count

Barb Novak- Equitable Multi-Level Systems of Supports Project

Paul Sherman- Section 504

October 11, 2023 Registration Link

On November 8, 2023 from 9 AM-12 PM we will have Barb Van Haren sharing information on the Attract & Retain Teacher Induction Program and followed by Carlynn Higbie and Dawn Merth-Johnson who will discuss Workload Guidance Considerations- Practical Tips & Tools.

November 8, 2023 Registration Link

December 6, 2023 Jen Demrow from DPI will be sharing information on Open Enrollment followed by Improvement Monitoring consultants from DPI who will be sharing information on the release of the Joint Federal Notifications Packet.

December 6, 2023 Registration Link

Leadership Virtual Academy Recordings


Agenda Topics

Recording Link

August 16, 2023*

Special Education Calendar Review

DPI Updates- Marge Resan & Michael Hickey

Addressing the Behavioral Needs of Students with Disabilities- Tim Peerenboom & Eva Shaw

Fiscal Reminders- Rachel Zellmer


September 13, 2023

1% Participation Threshold Notifications - Iris Jacobson

New Directors Panel


October 11, 2023

Snapshot Count/Data- Seth Bishop


Section 504- Paul Sherman



November 8, 2023*

Attract & Retain- Teacher Induction Program- Barb Van Haren


Workload Guidance Considerations, Practical Tips & Tools- Carlynn Higbie & Dawn Merth Johnson



December 6, 2023

Open Enrollment- Jen Demrow


Joint Federal Notifications- Packet release- Courtney Jenkins, Jeremiah Jackson, Seth Bishop & Mai Choua Thao


January 10, 2024*

Coming Soon


February 7, 2024

Coming Soon


March 6, 2024

Coming Soon


April 10, 2024*

Coming Soon


May 8, 2024

Coming Soon


*Three hour sessions

Information and recordings from the 2021-22 school year are archived on the 2021-22 leadership webpage.

Information and recordings from the 2022-23 school year are archived on the 2022-23 leadership webpage.