Special Education Services

Special Education

Special education is specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents,to meet the unique needs of a student eligible for special education.Services may be adapted curriculum in reading, math, written language,speech/ language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision and mobility therapy as well as others to address delays in cognitive/academic, social/emotional, fine/gross motor, vision, hearing,self-help, and speech or language functioning.

Mission Statement

Our Special Education Staff is committed to providing specialized academic and behavioral support and services to students with exceptional needs in order to fully engage them in high quality learning environments that challenge and prepare them to be well-rounded, active members of a global society.

From the time the student enters the school environment, our network of staff members work diligently to help the student accept his or her own unique diversity. The Special Education staff may begin this process by working with the families after the birth of a special needs child and facilitating that process throughout the student’s school career. We emphasize mainstreaming activities in which the child participates. Involved professionals, parents and students develop a range of alternatives for a tailored student instruction. We work together in order to create concrete ideas, identify service level options, and clearly define how Special Education and Regular Education will work together to meet the needs of students in our programs.

A strong Special Programs Staff dedicated to the educational process for special needs children supports our vision. Our team consists of the services of school psychologists, speech and language pathologists,occupational and physical therapists as well as the teaching staff. This team model of service delivery is based on collaboration, communication and shared responsibility among all team members. Families are considered full team members with all assessments, reports and services integrated and carried out with the family’s participation.

The Port Townsend School District’s Special Education Department recognizes your child as an individual. Our objective is the student’s maximum participation in his/her academic environment as well as the community. All our staff supports this objective, which we believe, helps create an improved society accepting of everyone.

Curriculum and Programs Descriptions

Birth to Three Program - Location at Salish Coast Elementary School

The Birth to Three Program provides home-based early intervention services to children 0-3 years of age and their families. Our goal is helping children reach their optimal level of development. Parent/family support and education is a critical component of this program.

Pre-school Program- Location at Salish Coast Elementary School

Special Education at Salish Coast Preschool is designed to provide specialized preschool instruction and curriculum. Our program integrates typically developing children with those who have developmental needs, the families of students who will be acting as peers will be charged a monthly tuition which can be based on a sliding fee scale. We strongly believe children will increase their understanding of self and others by experiencing and learning about individual differences. We are committed to a child-centered, nurturing environment where each child is appreciated as a gift. We focus on the whole child through play and early intervention activities.

High Impact Program at Salish Coast Elementary

Special services are offered to students who have been highly impacted since birth with cognitive, motor, verbal, executive or physical skills. The students are given specialized instruction in core academics and social skills. The students are also integrated with their normally developing peers on a daily basis in the general education classroom, special programs (art, library, music and physical education), recess and lunch.

Special services are offered to student with needs in math, reading, spelling and writing. Support is given with the specialist working with the general education teacher in the classroom. There are also opportunities for small pull out groups to work with students who are identified at a tier 4 in academics.

Behavioral and social/emotional support - Salish Coast Elementary

Special services are offered for students who have been identified with a need for behavioral or social/emotional support throughout the school day. Special services staff work with the identified students in small groups, in general education classrooms and during recess. The special services instructor working with staff and parent/guardian develops a positive behavior plan especially designed for the student. This is to ensure success for the student on a daily basis and skills to help deal with challenges in the student's day.

Learning Support Services - Blue Heron (grades 6 - 8)

The Special Services program at Blue Heron  School is an inclusion-based program. Students are included to the maximum extent possible in the regular education program, and receive support in that setting to meet individual goals and objectives. Students also receive specially designed instruction on a daily basis in a small group setting. The Blue Heron staff works collaboratively to provide systematic instruction, adaptation of curriculum, and use of appropriate instructional strategies to meet the needs of individual students. 

Behavior and Social/Emotional Support - Blue Heron (grades 6- 8)

Blue Heron offers support to students who have been identified as needing instruction in how to act in a positive behavior as well as getting the needed social/emotional support. Blue Heron has teamed up with support staff  from Discovery Behavioral Healthcare to ensure that students are receiving direction and instruction on how to deal with problems that may hinder them in the instructional setting or on the Blue Heron campus. Students are integrated into the general education programs to ensure they are receiving instruction for their core academics.

Study Skills Class - Port Townsend High School (grades 9-12)

The emphasis of this program is to assist students in learning the skills they will need to complete the required classes at the high school. Modifications may be made to regular programming to meet the special needs of students. Students register for a full schedule of classes including Study Skills as an elective. These classes are team taught with a limited number of students accepted. Assistance is provided directly in classrooms and in the Study Skills room.

Academic Support Services - Port Townsend High School (grades 9 - 12)

Academic support services provides support to regular education classes that include the needs of individual students. Assistance may be given in organizational skills, study skills, reviewing for tests, counseling, nurturing, listening, role-playing with flexible scheduling based on needs. The objective is to assist students with disabilities so that they can be successful in the high school program and graduate.

Life Skills Program - Port Townsend High School and Blue Heron (Grades 6-12)

This important program provides each individual student with an educational curriculum that builds physical and motor development, independent living skills, functional academic skills, self-care skills, and social/emotional skills. A large part of the program focuses on community-based experiences with a goal for students to become successful citizens of our community. With direct guidance, students learn how to use community agencies and resources such as transit, library, post office and local shops.

For more information on the programs described on this website and our Special Education Programs, contact:

Shelby MacMeekin, Director of Special Services at (360) 379-4366 or (360) 379-4501 (ext. 4366),  [email protected]  

Kate Santerre, Learning Support Services Office Coordinator at (360) 379-4366 or 360-379-4501 (ext. 4366), [email protected]

Fax records requests to 360-379-5487

Last Modified July 1, 2020
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