Special Education

  • Who is the program for?

    Special Education services are available for qualified students ages 3 to 21 who require specially designed instruction to meet their individual needs. Staff members work with students and families to develop an individual education program to meet the unique educational needs of students with disabilities.

    How is the program funded?

    State and Federal funds are allotted to the district based on the number of students who have been identified as needing special education services. Some special needs are eligible for Medicaid reimbursements.

    What services does the program provide?

    Specially designed instruction (SDI) is based on goal areas identified in individual student evaluations. The most common goal areas include academic, social/behavioral, motor, speech, daily living skills, vocational skills, and organization/study skills. An IEP (individual educational plan) will be developed annually to plan the student’s instruction and related services. At Chautauqua, services are typically scheduled during times when the student is “pulled out” of the general education class. At McMurray and Vashon High School, students are typically scheduled for special education services one or more periods a day.

    Preschool: For younger children, Vashon Island School District provides a preschool program for students ages 3-4, which serves children with disabilities as well as their typically developing peers.  Tuition is charged for students without disabilities.

    Related Services such as speech/language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, transportation, and other services needed to allow the student to make progress are offered by the district.

    Accommodations and Modifications are changes in teaching practice or learning goals that allow children with disabilities to access general education curriculum.

    Accommodations are alterations in the way assignments are presented and completed that allow students on IEPs to complete the same assignments as other students and demonstrate their knowledge of the curriculum or content mastery, without being impeded by a disability.

    Accommodations are changes in the presentation, setting, timing of and/or response to curriculum and/or instruction.

    Accommodations do not alter the content of the assignment, change what an assessment measures, or give the accommodated student an unfair advantage.

    Examples of accommodations include preferential seating; taped or Brailed books; posted daily class schedule; instructions presented both orally and in writing; use of a calculator; tape recorder or computer; shortening of repetitive worksheets; extra time for assignments; study carrel.

    Modifications are major, fundamental and substantive changes to the curricular expectation (level of difficulty) in order to meet the needs of the student. Modifications are made when the expectations are beyond the student’s level of ability. Generally, modifications result in a modified grade and, at high school level, a modified diploma.

    Child Find is the process of referral, screening, evaluation and identification of students in need of special education services. The child find process serves children from birth through 21 years of age.

    Vashon Island School District Child Find Screenings

    Free developmental screenings for children ages birth to five years of age who live in the Vashon Island School District and are suspected of having developmental delays are offered monthly on Thursday mornings at Chautauqua Elementary. This is not a general kindergarten screening, but is for students with suspected developmental delays.

    Children who may have delays will be screened in language, motor, concepts, adaptive self-help, and social-emotional developmental areas to determine if further evaluation is warranted to determine their need for special education services.

    Contact Tory Gateman, Administrative Assistant for Student Services, at (206) 463-8528 to make an appointment for screening of children between three and five years of age who may have suspected developmental delays. 

    Vashon Island School District contracts with Boyer Clinic in Seattle for birth to three services. To schedule a screening for children of birth to three years of age with suspected developmental delays, please call Boyer Clinic at (206) 325-8477.