You are here

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

2024-25 Save the Date Flyer

2023-24 Special Education Calendar 

2023-24 Academy for New Directors of Special Education and Pupil Services Resource Guide

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- April/May

Join us for the last two learning opportunities of the school year at the 2023-24 Special Education/Pupil Services Leadership Virtual Academy!

April 10, 2024- 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM

April 10 Registration Link


  • Supporting Neurodiverse Students- SNS and ES3- Eva Shaw & Katie Berg
  • Universal Design for Learning- Missy Elmer
  • Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative (WSPEI)- Caroline Rossing

May 8, 2024- 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM

May 8 Registration Link


  • Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WCBVI) - Dawn Soto
  • Act 20 and Special Education- Tim Peerenboom

Save the Date Flyer for the 2024-25 School Year

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


November 20, 2023

IDEA Fiscal Application Q&A- Will Cannon

FBA Questions- Eva Shaw & Tim Peerenboom


December 6, 2023

Open Enrollment- Jen Demrow

Joint Federal Notifications- Packet release- Jeremiah Jackson, Seth Bishop & Mai Choua Thao & Gloria Roschke


January 10, 2024*

Mental Health Services/IEPs- Tim Peerenboom, Eva Shaw

Related Services - Carlynn Higbie & Dawn Merth Johnson


February 7, 2024

Specially Designed Instruction Q &A- If you have questions about SDI that you would like to be reviewed please submit questions here by the end of January.

Updates/Resources for Supporting LGBTQ+ Students

ES3 Grant Application

Early Childhood - Early Learning Technical Assistance and Improvement Project Overview


March 6, 2024

Mandated Reporting

Transition Improvement Grant (TIG)


April 10, 2024*

Supporting Neurodiverse Students- SNS and ES3

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative (WSPEI)-


May 8, 2024

Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WCBVI)- Presentation

Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WESP-DHH)- Presentation

Act 20 and Special Education-Presentation


*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.