Greetings from the Office of the Special Education Ombud (OSEO)!
My name is Michelle Tregembo, and I am the NM State Special Education Ombud. The 2022-2023 school year has begun, and I would like to take a moment to thank all the districts who welcomed me into IEPs, BIPs, re-entry meetings, wellness meetings, MDRs, and hearings. I have enjoyed the collaborative efforts of school and district staff in over 29 districts, 19 counties, and 9 out of 10 regions. I have switched from using the 6-region map, to the REC 10 region map for the foreseeable future. I look forward in continuing to support families navigating the special education system and the districts who serve them.
What is an OMBUD? (This is the gender-neutral term we are using in NM)
Ombudsman is a Swedish word. A representative of the people/public. A person who collects and investigates complaints. A person who helps people resolve their concerns with agency. A person who highlights systemic problems and solutions. Writes reports and makes policy recommendations and protects confidentiality.
Attached you will find the flyer for services from the Office of the Special Education Ombud. Last year the office was just me. I have added an Intake Coordinator, Clare Gallegos, contractors, Laura Speer, Jody Myers, Monica Miura, and Dr. Stephanie Mack. The office completed two initial trainings for district ombuds. Currently I have these ombuds covering regions: (This is NEW information since July)
Region 1: Felix Benavidez
Region 2: Kathy Romero
Region 3: Laura Speer
Region 4: Laura Speer
Region 5: Sandra Holguin
Region 6: Janet Ibarra, Christina Hastings
Region 7: Jody Myers
Region 8: Janet Ibarra
Region 9: Christina Hastings
Region 10: Jody Myers
I cover all the regions, and no district ombud is working cases independently. Laura Speer, Jody Myers, and Monica Miura are working cases independently, we consult as a group weekly. OSEO will continue training and support over the next year. Our next trainings are March 4th and 11th (8 hours each), and June 1, 2, 3, and 4 (4 hours each). As more people are trained the regions will get more support and numbers of districts will be reduced until we have one for every district.
“HB222 SECTION 9. [NEW MATERIAL] POSTING AND DISTRIBUTION OF
--Every public school providing special education services shall post in a conspicuous location in the public school a notice regarding the office that contains a brief description of the services provided by the office with the name, address, and phone number of the office, and shall post it online on the public school's website, if applicable. The public school providing special education services shall distribute information regarding the State Ombud at the beginning of every school year, in addition to providing the information as part of the annual individual education plan process prior to scheduling the first individual education plan meeting of each school year. The form of the notice shall be approved by the office.”
We have found when a district places my contact information in their parental resources, or special services section of their district website parents can readily find my information and reach out for support. There are also several special education directors who have a link to my flyer in their signature. That is not necessary, but very helpful for parents. I do understand this is the second email to those who have been in your position since July 1, 2022.
Thank you for allowing me to send out an updated email. If you need other sources of contact information beyond my flyer, parents can also go directly to the Developmental Disabilities Council website: www.nmddc.org
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Michelle.Tregembo@state.nm.us or (505) 274-3885.
Michelle Tregembo, NBCT
Special Education State Ombud
Office: (505) 841-4565