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    June 10, 2020


    Dear Shoreline Families of Students in Special Education,

    As we move into the final days of this school year, we are incredibly grateful to all of you. We recognize the challenges, fears, and anxiety the pandemic and the resulting school closure and community challenges have had on all of us. Despite this, parents and staff across our system have continued to provide feedback, work incredibly hard to meet students' needs, to keep each other safe and connected, and to remain positive. We are proud, humbled and honored to lead this community and will continue to do the work needed to meet each and every student's needs as we move forward.

    There have been significant impacts over the last three months that we want to acknowledge as we near the end of the 2019-2020 school year:

    • The school closure has not been predictable and has disrupted everyone’s sense of safety and what is “normal”. Communication has been particularly challenging in this remote environment and we are working to get better at that.
    • Special needs families have been working extremely hard to meet not only the learning needs of their students, but also their medical, social/emotional, child care, and respite needs during this pandemic.
    • Our teacher, SLP, OT/PT, vision, hearing, specialist, behavior technician and paraeducator staff have been working remotely with and for students with IEPs. The district’s Special Education Continuous Learning Plan provided the overall foundation for each individual student’s Continuous Learning Plan that providers collaborated on with families to outline the support provided during this time.
    • Annual IEP and 3-year reevaluation meetings that could be held remotely occurred to the greatest extent possible.
    • Students requiring ESY (Extended School Year) services through their IEPs have been contacted regarding the remote ESY services. This parallels Shoreline’s remote learning plan for summer school.

    Our next steps in planning for the reopening of schools will be under the guidance of OSPI and the Department of Health. We are capturing the strategies that have benefited students and families and are seeking additional supports in our efforts to provide special education services to our students. As we gain clarity on the guidelines for the safe reopening of school, we will share that information with families and staff members. Our planning will address the instruction needed to allow students to make progress on IEP goals, address evaluation needs, and begin the rescheduling of any delayed meetings. IEP teams will be using the student Continuous Learning Plans from this spring to inform their work upon return in assessing student needs.

    We are absolutely committed to doing our very best in meeting student and family needs in whatever environment we return to this fall.  We endeavor to improve services and outcomes, despite the barriers brought on by remote learning.  Please contact your service providers or a director if you have a question that has not been addressed or input in regard to Continuous Learning Plans and the reopening plans for the district.

    Thank you for your continued partnership and support throughout these challenging times.

    Amy Vujovich, Director of Student Services                                                   

    Scott Irwin, Director of Secondary Student Services

    Hillery Clark, Director of Early Learning



    Click here for previous School Closure Family Communication from the Shoreline Special Education Department

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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

    Birth to Three

    Preschool (Three-Five)

    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 [insert link to continuum of services] 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.

    Transfer students:

    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.