Eastern Panhandle Shared Services Arrangement
A growing desire to provide special education services to students with special needs across the Texas Panhandle gave birth to a new entity.
On March 16, 1973, in Shamrock, Texas, Eastern Panhandle Special Education Plan A Cooperative was founded. During the first board meeting, Shamrock ISD was designated as the fiscal agent and Mr. James Stavenhagen was named as the first Director of Special Education. The co-op began with 5 area school districts and gradually expanded to surrounding schools to grow to include thirteen districts by 1978. The name changed in 1974 to Eastern Panhandle Special Education Cooperative (EPCO) and again in 1996 to Eastern Panhandle Shared Services Arrangement (EPSSA). In 1989, Mrs. Joline Wilson became the second Director of Special Education, and served in the capacity of Director for fifteen years, until her retirement in 2004.
EPSSA (Eastern Panhandle Shared Services Arrangement) is proud to be a part of eleven school districts in the Eastern Texas Panhandle including Canadian, Clarendon, Fort Elliott, Hedley, Higgins, Kelton, McLean, Miami, Shamrock, Wellington and Wheeler. The SSA currently employees 22 people and through the course of existence has employed many quality professionals with literally thousands of hours of experience. EPSSA coordinates efforts with the SSA schools to identify and serve students with disabilities ages 3 – 21, according to the procedures established by state and federal law. Some of the services provided include speech, occupational and physical therapy, as well as assessment and educational support. EPSSA can also provide vision therapy and orientation and mobility to visually impaired students. Our motto is "Doing our best for children."
Special Education instruction and related services are provided to students who have the following conditions according to state and federal criteria: