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Special Education

Programs & Services

The Novi Community School District offers a full continuum of program/service options designed to meet the individual needs of eligible students with disabilities from birth through age 26.  Novi Community Schools’ Special Education programs operate in accordance with all state and federal guidelines.  Novi’s special education programs assist students with a variety of social, emotional and learning impairments.  Emphasis is placed on educating all students in traditional classrooms in their neighborhood school, to the maximum extent appropriate based on their individual needs.  All decisions regarding programs and placement are made by an Individualized Educational Planning Team.  Parental involvement in the development as well as implementation is an integral part of programming.

Links to Documents


Shailee Patel, Novi Community School District’s special education director, was honored with the 2024 Gwisdalla Award for her dedication and work in the special education field at Oakland Schools Main Campus in Waterford.

Shailee Patel holding an award from Oakland Schools in May 2024.







The recognition is given out annually by the Special Education Administrators of Oakland County (SEAOC). The Gwisdalla Award was created in honor of Gregory Gwisdalla, the director of Special Education at Oakland Schools from 1997 to 2001.
“Shailee is the consummate advocate for children, particularly those who need something to help them access something new within their learning. I have seen how she works with families and truly partners to give them the best educational experience possible,” said Novi Community School District Superintendent Benjamin Mainka. “Shailee is a great example of high expectations paired with an unwavering vision for student success that can change the outcome for so many students. It is an honor and a privilege to be her colleague and watch her go!” 
Over the last eleven years in Novi, Shailee's innovative ideas have generated numerous new opportunities for students from birth to age 26. She has played a pivotal role in expanding the continuum of services for students in Novi, notably creating and expanding the adult transition program. This includes the introduction of a Mobile Market, a fixture at Novi events, and raising funds for the program. 

Shailee has strongly supported Unified Sports teams and was instrumental in introducing therapy dogs to the Novi Community School District. Additionally, she has been at the forefront of integrating Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) into schools to support the growing population of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Patel’s educational achievements include an education specialist degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Oakland University. She also holds a master of arts in Teaching from Miami University. Additionally, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Special Education and Teaching from Ohio Dominican University and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Cincinnati.

Headshot of Shailee Patel
Shailee Patel
Director of Special Education Programs and Services

Contact Us:
Department Phone: (248) 449-1413
Fax: (248) 449-1215

Headshot of Amanda Squires
Amanda Squires
Supervisor of Special Education
Headshot of Mary DePotter
Please send special education records requests to:
Mary DePotter
Administrative Assistant
Fax: 248.449.1215
U.S. mail: 25345 Taft Road, Novi, MI  48374
Amal Elhage