Special Education Overview
What if I am concerned about my student?
First, talk to your student’s classroom teacher about your concerns. Every school has a process in place to provide help when there are concerns about student learning. You may also talk to the counselor, psychologist, or administrator from your school. One outcome of that process might be a referral for a special education assessment.
If you have concerns about a student who is not yet school age, please contact Early Childhood Education at 206.393.4250.
Accessing Special Education Services
School Aged (K-12th grade):
The referral process begins when a teacher, parent and/or agency suspects a student in the general education program has a disability that may be impacting their learning. Members of the SST Team have 25 school days to determine whether to evaluate.
It is important to note that parent(s) must be notified and offered an opportunity to participate in all meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and provision of free and appropriate education for the student. Interpreters are available, if needed.
The Evaluation Process:
Parent consent is required to conduct an evaluation to determine whether the student requires special education services. The evaluation will be completed within 35 school days from receipt of your written consent. All areas of suspected disability are assessed using a variety of assessment tools. The evaluation team, including parents, then meets to discuss the results and determine eligibility. Eligibility is based on whether the student has a disability, whether it has an adverse educational impact, and whether the student needs specially designed instruction. Parents will be provided a copy of the evaluation report. Students eligible for special education are reevaluated at least every three years. A reevaluation occurs to determine continuing need for special education services.
The Individual Education Plan (IEP):
An annual Individual Education Plan will be developed for each student determined eligible for special education services. The IEP team consists of parents, at least 1 general education teacher, special education teacher and other service providers, a school district representative, and the student whenever appropriate. The initial IEP will be developed within 30 calendar days of initial eligibility. Parents will be provided a copy of the IEP. IEPs are reviewed and updated at least once a year.
A continuum of special education services is available to meet individual student needs. Students are educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE) in which they will be able to progress toward their IEP goals. This means that students with disabilities will be educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent possible given their unique learning needs.
Private School Students:
Students attending a private school can be referred for special education through the school district in which the private school is located. IEP services are provided in the school district of residence. Additionally, in certain circumstances, private school students with disabilities can access an ISP (Individual Services Plan). Please contact the Student Services Coordinator, 206-393-4361 if you suspect your child attending a private school in Shoreline has a disability and may be in need of services.
When you move to Shoreline from another district, please notify your new school if your child has an IEP. The School Psychologist will request records from your previous district and process the transfer. The team will determine most appropriate services and placement based on information from the previous school district.