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Special Education

Port Angeles School District Special Education staff members consider providing appropriate services and educational opportunitiesto the children of the District as their primary responsibility. Each student’s educational needs are unique.  Those specific individual needs which are more extensive than can be met by the regular program may be provided for by Special Education programs. These programs are a supplement to, not a replacement for, the regular school program.

What is common school age?

A child between the ages of 5 and 21 is considered common school age, as defined by Washington State law.  The Port Angeles School District provides special education to students with disabilities between the ages of birth to age 21.

What support services are available to my child in the Port Angeles School District?

The following support services are available:

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • School Nurse
  • School Psychologist
  • Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Referral Services

How are a student’s special needs determined?

Upon the analysis of assessment information, if a child is found to have a cognitive, academic, physical, or adjustment disability which makes it impossible to achieve up to his/her capacity in the regular classroom, he/she may be eligible to receive Special Education program assistance when specially designed instruction is required.

Degrees of disabilities which meet eligibility criteria are defined in the Rules and Regulations as set forth in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Chapter 392-172.

What will an assessment include?

An assessment may include a review and evaluation of the student’s intellectual, physical, scholastic and social skills under the coordination of the Special Education office.  The assessment is one of the services provided by the Port Angeles School District.  There is no charge for this service.

What special needs are provided for in the Port Angeles School District?

Special Education programs provide appropriate programs, services, or referral services for the following individual disabilities:

  • Behaviorally Disabled
  • Communication Disorders
  • Gross Motor and Orthopedically Impaired
  • Health Impaired
  • Learning Disabled
  • Developmentally Disabled Birth to Age 21
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Visually Impaired

Who may refer a child for Special Education assessment?

If a child is believed to have a disability, the following individuals may make the initial referral:

  • Parent
  • Student
  • Teacher
  • Administrator
  • School Psychologist
  • School Nurse
  • Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Counselor
  • Social Agencies
  • Physician
  • Any Concerned Adult

Who will assess my child?

The Port Angeles School District Special Education assessment team will include all or part of the following personnel:

  • School Psychologist
  • Speech/Language Pathologist
  • School Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Counselor
  • Other Specialists as needed

With the authorization of the parent or legal guardian, current medical information will be obtained from the child’s physician.

What programs are available to my child in the Port Angeles School District?

The program options available to children include:

  • General Education Classroom
  • General Education Classroom with Support Services
  • General Education Classroom with support in a Resource Room Program
  • Self-Contained Program with or without Support Services
  • Home/Hospital Instruction

How is the placement of my child determined?

In determining the most appropriate placement for eachchild, the IEP team (Individual Education Plan), which includes the parent(s), considers a variety of options and determines which is best suited to meet the individual needs of the child, as identified in his/her IEP goals/objectives. Placement decisions must be aligned with and supportive of the goals and objectives of the IEP.

What support services are available to my child in the Port Angeles School District?

The following support services are available:

  • School Psychologist
  • Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • School Nurse
  • Referral Services

How will my child get to school?

Children in Special Education programs attend classes, when possible, in their attendance area schools; therefore, in most instancesthey may not require special arrangements for transportation.

Special transportation will be provided for all special education students with that need noted on their IEP. Otherwise,students may ride general education buses if transportation is needed.

How do I make a referral?

Make an appointment for a meeting with a Port Angeles School District staff member.  At the elementary level, this would be the building principal. At the middle school and senior high level, this would be a counselor.

If your child is enrolled in the District, but not in the Special Education program, it would be helpful to have the following information available:

  • Names and addresses of clinics or agencies which have seen your child.
  • A description of special medical and/or substantiating information giving evidence of a suspected disability.

If you feel a child may need a special program, there will need to be evidence of a suspected disability.

Written parent/guardian permission is necessary before a formal assessment for Special Education can proceed.  Written parent/guardian permission is also necessary again before program placement is made.  You may also be asked to sign a release for current medical information.

Whether a family resides within the Port Angeles School District or plans on moving into the District, parents or other concerned adults, may contact the Special Education office, 360.565.3740, to receive information regarding how to initiate a referral for assessment.

As mandated by state and federal law, and consistent with IDEA guidelines, the Port Angeles School District provides full access to educational opportunities for students with identified disabilities. For requests regarding the review of applicable policies and procedures, and/or Port Angeles School District LEA funding applications, please contact the Director of Special Services at 360.565.3740.

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