Special Education



Freshwater provides a variety of services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special needs.  Children who are referred are evaluated with a comprehensive developmental assessment.  Upon qualifying children can receive early intervention services.

Infants and toddler are provided with home visits to work with families on how to incorporate activities for learning into their routines at home.  Service providers include Early Childhood Special Education teachers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech clinicians and any other special education services as necessary.

Preschool aged children generally attend a center based program that offers activities to encourage their development.  All of our sites are team taught with other preschool programs in their respective communities in inclusive sites.  Service providers work within these sites to individualize programs to meet the childrens’ specific needs.  These providers include ECSE teachers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech clinicians and any other special education services as necessary.

To make a referral for developmental testing or with concerns about a child’s development, call Freshwater Education District at 218-631-3505.



Leaf River Academy is an interagency, setting IV day treatment program collaborative between Wadena County Social Services, Freshwater Special Education Cooperative with Stellher Human Services providing mental health services. The program was established in Wadena in the fall of 1996 for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. It is a full day, structured, therapeutic and academic program, which provides services for students in Kindergarten through 10th grade. 

White Pine Academy is a setting IV behavioral program serving Emotional Behavioral Disorders and Other Health Disabilities in a small, structured setting. Students receive individualized instruction, and teachers are able to develop a close relationship with their students. Developing appropriate social and academic skills is a program priority.  White Pine Academy serves students in 8th through 11th grade.

For information, contact Jena Osberg at 631-3505 or josberg@fed.k12.mn.us.



Freshwater Special Education Services provides services to member districts that are needed to assist special education students achieve their individualized education goals.  These related service providers work with the special education instructors to provide comprehensive special education evaluations, modify programs and activities, adapt equipment, and give suggestions to increase function in the school environment.

These professionals also work with outside agencies to make referrals, collaborate on programming ideas and progress, and coordinate information with families.  Service providers include:  school psychologists, school social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, autism specialists, vision specialist, audiologist, deaf/hard of hearing specialist, physical/other health impaired and assistive technology specialist.

For more information, contact Lori Murdock at 631-3505 or lmurdock@fed.k12.mn.us



Freshwater has a variety of services to assist our member districts.  The Special Education Director, along with an Assistant Director and three special education coordinators, work to provide:

Quality staff development activities for special education instructors, paraprofessionals and administration

Monitoring of due process timelines and new legislative requirements

Assisting teams and districts with problem solving

Completing the IEP billing for the districts’

Assistance with tuition billing questions, special education finance and programming

Meetings for superintendents and principals to collaborate on ideas

Technology support for district staff on SPED forms questions/issues



Lori Murdock, Special Education Director, (218) 631-3505 or lmurdock@fed.k12.mn.us
Corlie Carter, Special Education Program Specialist, (218) 631-3505 or ccarter@fed.k12.mn.us
Cari Grenier, Assessment / Special Ed Program Specialist, (218) 631-3505 or cgrenier@fed.k12.mn.us

2222 Industrial Drive
 Wadena, MN  56482 
 Office: (218) 631-3505           
 Fax: (218) 631-3588
 Website: http://www.fed.k12.mn.us/