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Service Animal - Serna Center Letter

Dear Families,

Serna Center is pleased to announce that we have hired a new qualified employee who will serve as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) in our classrooms and participating in trainings at the district office. The district has approved her use of an assistive animal as a reasonable accommodation under

applicable legal standards and Sacramento City Unified School District policy. A service animal

performs a task or tasks for a person with a disability. In this case, her service animal is trained

to assist in walking, balancing, and alerting to impending dangers. The service dog, whose name

is Espresso, is intuitive in assisting and alerting Yvonne when the need arises.

Mrs. Telles has partnered with this service dog to assist her with her needs. They are both highly

trained to work together and have successfully passed all follow-up and certification

requirements. They have worked together on school campuses and care facilities for over 10


Yvonne and Espresso will be always together while they are on campus. This service animal is

not a pet. He is a “working animal” with specialized training to the specific needs of his human.

The dog is trained to avoid distractions so that he can focus on his service duties to his handler.

He is fully trained to work in partnership with Yvonne. He is accustomed to the presence of

students and adults in an educational environment, both in the classroom and throughout the

school site.

Staff and students will be instructed that they should not touch the dog when he is with her and

should avoid any direct encounters with the dog to prevent interference with the role he plays for

his handler. We ask for cooperation from all school staff, students, parents, and other visitors to

assure that the campus remains a safe and healthy environment for everyone on campus.

The District has determined that neither the employee nor the animal pose any safety concern for

the classroom in which the employee and dog are working, or for any other areas of the campus.

This service animal has professional habits and hygiene and should not pose health risks to any

person who is in proximity or on the school campus.

If you have questions or concerns about this matter, please contact Ms. Telles ( or her supervisor, Conor Kelly (

We are delighted to welcome Yvonne and Espresso, as a working team to our campus and look

forward to their joining the SCUSD school community, as the school year commences.

Serna - SAC CITY letter to staff and parents on assistive animal
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