Special Education Day School

in Phoenix, Arizona

Serving Students With Severe Language / Communication, Learning & Behavioral Needs

The Hi-Star Center for Children is a private special education day school, serving students with severe language/communication, learning and behavioral needs. Hi-Star is an academically based program which incorporates language acquisition skills into the daily curriculum, along with a structured behavior management program. Hi-Star works with students in Kindergarten through Middle School.

Hi-Star was established in August 1990, and began with two classrooms, 15 students and 7 employees. In June of 2004, Hi-Star moved into its current building located on the southeast corner of 43rd Ave & Bethany Home Rd. Hi-Star currently works with over 20 local school districts, provides elementary special education instruction, and employees 25 staff members. Many of the staff members have worked together for over 35 years, including the owners/directors Kristin Texada, MA, SLP, CCC and Susan Sorgen-Jones, MS.


Educational Categories

Hi-Star is certified by the Arizona Department of Education for the following educational categories:




SLI (speech-language impaired)


MIID (mild intellectual disability)


MOID (moderate intellectual disability)


ED (emotional disability)


SLD (specific learning disabilities)


MD (multiple disibility)

Educational Program

Hi-Star has an overall program for children between the ages of 5 ad 14. For more information, please follow the links above. Hi-Star incorporates many evidence-based practices into the students' daily educational program. These may include, but not be limited to: Prompting, Reinforcement (verbal/tangible), Time Delay/Fading, Task Analysis and Chaining, Shaping, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Parent Training, Differential Reinforcement, Pivotal Response Training, Response Interruption & Redirection, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support, Extinction and Social Skills groups. We also feel the daily classroom schedule is an integral component of the educational program; along with the personal relationships that develop between the teacher and student, and student to student relationships.


Hi-Star is a highly structured, language-based program, with speech/ language/ communication opportunities being provided to our students throughout the day. Language activities are embedded in the students entire day at Hi-Star. Students are exposed to high levels of vocabulary and language; being cued, modeled, prompted and encouraged to use this vocabulary when speaking using complete sentences, phrases, word utterances/approximations, pictures, sign language, and/or communication devices. We work with the student's current language/communication skills and abilities; while also having high expectations for their skills and abilities to improve and increase. This is done in a classroom integrated model, which allows for constant and continued exposure to language/communication; allowing for more opportunities for language instruction, practice, remediation, and generalization.


Additional Enrichment Services

Masterpiece Music / Art


Music / Choir


Occupational Therapy


Speech / Language Therapy


Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness

This program introduces students to great composers and artists, allowing them an opportunity to see, listen, and appreciate their works and compositions through hands-on activities.

General music classes are provided once a week. Students have the opportunity to learn new songs, practice rhythms and beats, and learn about various instruments. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Hi-Star Choir.

A registered therapist is available to provide group therapy sessions and consultative services.

A certified speech pathologist is on staff, and provides consultation services for small group instruction within the classroom settings; pull-out therapy is considered on individual student needs. In general, speech and language therapy is set up on an integrated classroom model at each level.

This program is provided twice weekly to each classroom level with opportunities to participate in small group directed exercise classes, yoga activities, age appropriate board games, and simplified team sports. It is designed to develop and expand overall motor skills and social interaction skills.