Adapted PE Team
Kelly McMahan (top right), Ryan Gough (bottom), Liz Ayers (lower right), Carissa Ott (upper center), Amanda Grotzinger (left)

Adapted Physical Education (APE) is diversified program of developmental activities, games, sports, and rhythmical movements suited to the interests, capacities, and abilities of students with disabilities, who may not safely or successfully engage in unrestricted participation in the activities of the general physical education program.

Provision of APE is based on the same process of referral, assessment, and individual program planning that other special education services follow. An assessment and evaluation of motor skills performance is considered by the IEP team in determining how adapted physical education is to be delivered.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide a physical education program in which activities and teaching methods are adapted to the specific strengths and needs of students with disabilities, who cannot safely and successfully participate in the general education physical education program without modifications. We strive to provide students with the skills and experiences to live healthy, active lives.

Ultimately, our desire is that each student’s life be enriched by participation in lifetime movement, recreation, leisure, and sport activities at home and in the community. We strive to give our students the skills and experiences to make that happen.

Adapted PE Teachers

Kelly McMahan

Coach McMahan
Coach Mac

Coach Mac is the Adapted PE Team Lead. She is in her 18th year with Leander ISD as an Adapted PE teacher. Kelly is originally from Pennsylvania, but has taught Physical Education in Texas for 30 years. She is married and has two sons, one a Longhorn and one an Aggie.

Current Schools Coach Mac services:

  • Block House Creek Elementary
  • Giddens Elementary
  • Knowles Elementary
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary
  • Winkley Elementar
  • Wiley Middle School
  • Rouse High School

Contact: Kelly.Mcmahan@leanderisd.org

Ryan Gough

Coach Gough
Coach Ryan

Coach Ryan is in her 9th year with Leander ISD and her 8th year as an Adapted PE teacher. She is also the Head of Delegations for the Leander Lazers, the LISD Special Olympics team. Coach Ryan is a proud Lumberjack and graduate from Stephen F. Austin University. Her husband is also an Adapted PE teacher for Pflugerville ISD, and together they have a very moody cat Charlie.

Current schools Coach Ryan services:

  • Grandview Elementary School
  • Laura W. Bush Elementary School
  • River Place Elementary School
  • River Ridge Elementary School
  • Rutledge Elementary School
  • Steiner Elementary School
  • Canyon Ridge Middle School
  • Four Points Middle School
  • Vandegrift High School

Contact: Ryan.Gough@leanderisd.org

Liz Ayers

Coach Ayers
Coach Liz

Coach Liz is in her 20th year with Leander ISD and her 4th year as an Adapted PE teacher. Prior to APE, Coach Liz taught PE for 13 years and 5th grade for three years. She is married and has three sons. Coach Liz enjoys hiking, boating and refinishing furniture.

Current Schools Coach Liz services:

  • Akin Elementary School
  • Cox Elementary School
  • Cypress Elementary School
  • Larkspur Elementary School
  • Mason Elementary School
  • Parkside Elementary School
  • Tarvin Elementar School
  • Henry Middle School
  • Stiles Middle School
  • Leander High School
  • Vista Ridge High School

Contact: Elizabeth.Ayers@leanderisd.org

Carissa Ott

Coach Ott
Coach Ott

Coach Ott is in her fourth year with Leander ISD and her second year as an Adapted PE teacher. Coach Ott is married to Coach Donny Ott, Head Coach of the Cedar Park Lady Timberwolves Basketball Team. The Otts have two daughters, ages 5 and 7.

Current schools Coach Ott services:

  • Deer Creek Elementary School
  • Faubion Elementary School
  • Naumann Elementary School
  • Reagan Elementary School
  • Reed Elementary School
  • Westside Elementary School
  • Cedar Park Middle School
  • Running Brushy Middle School
  • Cedar Park High School

Contact: Carissa.Ott@leanderisd.org

Amanda Grotzinger

Coach Grotzinger
Coach Amanda

Coach Amanda is in her fifth year with Leander ISD and her second year as an Adapted PE teacher. Coach Amanda grew up in Cedar Park and was a student in Leander ISD. She attended Texas A&M University (Whoop!) and taught ICAP for three years at Mason Elementary. She married an Aggie and together they have the goofiest dog, Finn.

Current schools Coach Amanda services:

  • Bagdad Elementary School
  • Camacho Elementary School
  • Mason Elementary School
  • Plain Elementary School
  • Whitestone Elementary School
  • Danielson Middle School
  • Leander Middle School
  • Glenn High School

Contact: Amanda.Grotzinger@leanderisd.org

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does my child/student receive Adapted Physical Education (APE) Services?

APE services are initiated through the referral process. Parents can request a referral for an assessment for their child at an Individual Education Plan Committee (IEP) meeting/ARD. Consent to conduct an assessment must be obtained from a parent or guardian.

Assessment of a student’s gross motor capabilities may include gathering information from a variety of sources: observations, standardized tests, consultation with other service providers, and review of records. Assessments are conducted by Adapted Physical Educators. After the assessment, the ARD committee determines eligibility and appropriate placement.

How long will my student receive APE services?

A student may be eligible for Adapted PE until evaluation determines that there is not a need for services, or if they have received the required Physical Education credit in high school.

Does LISD provide direct services to students in the General Education setting?

Direct service can be provided in the general education physical education setting when the assessment determines that this is the appropriate setting for learning skills, and when the student needs are being met in this environment.

What is the difference between direct APE services and indirect (consult) APE services?

Direct service is when an adapted physical educator works with the student directly in the classroom or in small group instruction. Indirect service is when an adapted physical educator works with the student’s teachers and staff to best serve the student in the least restrictive learning environment.

If my child receives APE services, will they still go to General Education PE?

Yes, our students who receive any type of APE service will still typically go to general education PE. There are special circumstances where general education PE is not the appropriate placement for a student.

What is the difference between APE and PE and why does my child go to both?

In APE we typically work with a small group of students and work on the individual skills your child may need in PE. In PE they may work on individual skills but focus more on whole group games. Most students attend both so they can get more practice with the individual skills and work on their social skills and skill generalization.

What are the responsibilities of the APE Teacher?

  • Complete comprehensive motor assessments of individuals with disabilities and making specific program recommendations
  • Provide direct services to students who are eligible and in need of APE
  • Consult with physical education staff providing physical education instruction for individuals with disabilities
  • Consult with other IEP team members about student need in the area of APE
  • Serve as an IEP member at IEP meetings
  • Monitor student progress

Is APE a instructional service or a related service?

The APE teacher is an instructional service provider, not a related service provider, because physical education for children with disabilities is a federally mandated component of special education services [U.S.C.A. 1402 (25)]. This means that physical education needs to be provided to the student with a disability as part of the special education services that child and family receive. This is contrasted with physical therapy and occupational therapy, which are related services. These therapies are provided to the child with disabilities only if he/she needs them to benefit from instruction.

What is the service model for APE services?

Adapted Physical Education is delivered on a service continuum, with service in the least restrictive environment as a priority.

The service continuum can be as follows:

  • GPE: Student attends general physical education with peers. (No APE services are necessary for student success in this setting.)
  • GPE with APE consult: APE consults with staff to monitor student progress and to address GPE concerns regarding possible curriculum/activity modifications.
  • APE direct service in GPE: Student attends GPE with direct assistance from APE. Student participates within his/her ability.
  • APE: Student participates in APE in a self-contained setting with students of similar ability.