Special Education

Early Childhood

Early On Oakland (Birth - 3 Years)


Early On® Oakland is a system of services for families of children birth to three years who have an established health condition and/ or a developmental delay.

The system includes a collection of activities, supports, services and resources provided by many different agencies and programs. Early On® Oakland helps you find the individual support that your child and family needs.

Developmental Screening

Developmental screenings are one way of gathering information to determine if extra support is needed.


Please note that it is necessary to complete the full developmental screening (ASQ-3) before completing the social/emotional screening (ASQ-SE2).

Parent & Family Resources


Check out the links below for information about free preschool programs and eligibility, free family events, and other great resources for parents and families of 0-5-year-old children.

Parent & family resources

Free family and child (0-5 years) event calendar

Ferndale Early Childhood Special Education 

Ferndale Public Schools has a full continuum of special education programs, services and supports available to meet the individual needs of students ages 0-5 years, including Early On and Early Intervention special education services provided in natural settings such as the home and/or other community settings, early childhood special education teacher services in regular preschool settings, an early childhood special education program classroom for students who are not able to make progress in a regular preschool setting with supports and services and who require a separate setting, and the full range of ancillary/ support services such as S/L therapy, school social work, school psychologist services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and low incidence disability teacher consultant and support services via Oakland Schools. 

*Please note, early childhood (0-5 years) special education services are available to Ferndale Public Schools district residents only; School of Choice is not available at this level.

Meet the Admin Team

Stefanie Hayes

Director of Special Education

Email Stefanie Hayes

Phone: (248) 586-8614

Valencia Cade

Special Education Supervisor

Email Valencia Cade


Tamara Foster

Administrative Assistant

Email Tamara Foster

Phone: 248-586-8659

Tamara Foster is the Special Education Administrative Assistant for Ferndale Schools. Ms. Foster provides essential administrative support to parents/ families and staff in areas such as Medicaid billing, special education pupil accounting, department budgeting and purchase orders, MISTAR documentation/ data entry, and scheduling/ coordination of staff development and training events.

Documents and Links

Child Find Procedures

Child Find is a component of Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) that requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children/ persons ages 2 years 6 months through 25 years with disabilities who are in need of special education programs and/or services. To receive special education services, children must meet eligibility guidelines according to the IDEA and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE). 

Ferndale Public Schools engages in a variety of efforts to locate and identify students who may need special education services.  We try to reach and inform the community in the following ways:

  • Informational flyers available in school entrances/ offices/ community locations and/or at school community and parent & family events hosted by the district

  • District and school newsletters sent to the families of currently enrolled students

  • Information posted on the district website

If you suspect that your child has a disability that impedes educational performance and requires special education programs and/or services, please contact your child's teacher, counselor, principal, or you may also contact Stefanie Hayes, Director of Special Education at (248) 586-8693 or at Email Stefanie Hayes.

Ferndale Public Schools Special Education Programs & Services, 2023-24 School Year

Ferndale Public Schools provides an array of special education programs and services to meet the needs of students with a disability.  The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) team, including parents, determines which program and/or services are appropriate for each student based on individual student needs and circumstances.  Per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), IEP teams must ensure that every student is educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent possible, with supplementary aids and supports provided.  

District Programs

Center-Based Programs Outside the District

Some students with a very significant level of needs and/or low incidence disabilities will need programs and services not available within Ferndale Public Schools.  Additional center-based programs are available throughout the county and placement is determined by the Individualized Education Program Team (IEPT). 

The Oakland Intermediate School District (ISD) is a valuable resource to Ferndale Public Schools and parents, especially in the area of training, support services, and evaluation.  It serves 28 school districts and many public school academies of Oakland County.  As an ISD, Oakland Schools can provide clinical, consultative, and instructional services.  Additionally, its Educational Resource Center provides library, media, and film services to educators.  Pupil and support services include the following: 

  • Instructional Services

  • Curriculum management  

  • Center Program management  

  • Teacher consultants  

  • Speech and hearing clinic  

  • Technology and information services

District Map

Parent & Family Resources

District Resources

Section 504

Annual Notification

The School District is required, by law, to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities, including children with disabilities attending private schools located within the School District, as well as homeless children. The process of locating, identifying, and evaluating children with disabilities is known as child find.

Child find extends both to children who may be eligible for special education under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and those who may be eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).

If you believe your child may qualify under either the IDEA or Section 504, please contact the FPS Special Education Director/ 504 Coordinator at (248) 586-8614.