Special Education Programs

Meet our Team

Marcia Walker serves as the Director of Special Education for Discovery Charter School (DCS). Marcia is responsible for the supervision/oversight of special education programming and staff. Marcia also serves as the school’s 504 Coordinator.  Prior to joining DCS, Marcia worked as the Director of Special Education at Red Wing Public Schools and before that served as the Educational Support Coordinator for Columbia Heights Public Schools. Marcia has been working in the field of special education for 25+ years. Marcia has a passion for advocacy and embracing opportunities to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities.




Special Education Director/






Special Education Teacher

SPED Coordinator

Regina Collinson has been working as an educator for over thirty years. This is her fifth year as the Special Education Coordinator for Discovery Charter School, and her second year serving on the Board of Directors. She taught Music for the first half of her career, then earned a second Masters degree in Special Education fifteen years ago. Ms. Collinson worked as the Principal of a charter school in New York that served students with extreme special needs and multiple disabilities. She was awarded Minneapolis Teacher of the Year in 2002, and was one of twenty-seven finalists for the Minnesota State Teacher of the Year Award in 2001. Throughout her career, Ms. Collinson has always focused on reaching the children who need the most support. She is dedicated to helping both students and staff discover and develop their unique talents.

About our Program

About Special Education

Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the student at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Children must meet specific criteria set by the State of Minnesota and the Federal Government to receive special education services. Special Education is an instructional service, not a place.

Students Served

In order to qualify for special education services, a student needs to be evaluated and meet criteria for a specific disability area as outlined by the Minnesota Department of Education. In addition, the student needs to show that their disability impacts their academic achievement. Some students will have a medical diagnosis but will not demonstrate an educational need and would not qualify. Some students will qualify for an educational diagnosis but will not have a medical diagnosis.

The recognized disabilities in Minnesota currently are:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Blind or Visually Impaired
  • Deaf and Blind
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Developmental Adaptive Physical Education
  • Developmental Cognitive Disability
  • Developmental Delay (ages birth through 7)
  • Emotional or Behavioral Disorders
  • Other Health Disabilities
  • Physically Impaired
  • Severe Multiple Impairments
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

If you have concerns with your child’s development, you are encouraged to contact your child’s teacher.

Resource Documents

  •  DCS Restrictive Procedures Plan: a paper copy is available upon request.



         The Total Special Education Systems Manual outlines the policies and procedures for our special education department. It guides the special education department when making decisions on how to identify students, the steps in the evaluation process, steps to determining eligibility for special education services, and aspects of the Individual Education Plan (IEP).