The Exceptional Student Services Unit (ESSU) supports personnel serving students with exceptional educational needs. Technical assistance and programming support are available for students who have disabilities, are gifted and talented, and/or who are culturally or linguistically diverse. This unit administers both the state's Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for children with disabilities. 

Colorado Department of Education ESSU is comprised of three offices:  Office of Special Education, Office of Facility Schools and the Office of Gifted Education. This category Special Education is home to the courses offered through ESSU's primary office of Special Education. 

Please contact Amanda Timmerman,, with any questions regarding course in the Special Education section.  

Imagen del curso On-Demand Protection of Individuals From Restraint and Seclusion Act (PPRA)
Special Education

(5) The Department of Education shall create and implement rigorous standards for training school staff and administrators on the "Protection of individuals from Restraint and Seclusion Act", 
Sections 26-20-101 to 26-20-111.  

Questions, please email:  Bill Brown at

Imagen del curso Emotional Regulation and Distress Tolerance Through a DBT (Dialectal Behavior Therapy) Lens
Special Education

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan to help better treat borderline personality disorder. Since its development, it has also been used for the treatment of other kinds of mental health disorders.

Goal of DBT (Linehan, 2015) & (Pederson, 2017) is to help increase resilience and build a life experienced as worth living through helping individuals change behavioral, emotional, cognitive and interpersonal patters that cause problems in their daily life

Imagen del curso Social Emotional Learning, Fall 2022
Special Education

This 8 week online course is offered in both fall and spring semesters, The purpose of the course is to support participants in the development of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) plans and instruction based on identified building-level and student-specific needs. Individual course participants will explore the evidence-based practices and competencies involved in effective SEL planning and intervention. Assessment for lagging skills and data collection opportunities will be provided. Participants will be able to identify specific skill deficits and needs to plan for effective SEL instruction and support. Instruction will be given via the online course shell and discussion boards for collaboration with colleagues will be provided. No face-to-face opportunities or scheduled meetings are included in this course.

This course will open Fall, 2022.  The course will run from Sunday, September 18, 2022 to Sunday, November 20, 2022.

Please contact Anna Vick with any questions.