Special Education Information and Resources
Deer Park Schools strive to provide equal educational opportunity, high-quality academic development, and a safe learning environment for ALL students – even those with disabilities. We work hard to foster a positive mindset regarding inclusive practices and provide strategies to ensure appropriate inclusion. Appropriate inclusion is characterized by practices and programs which provide for the following:
- A full continuum of placement options and services.
- Appropriate and ongoing professional development.
- Class sizes and supervision that are responsive to student needs.
- Active participation in school events and activities.
- Staff and technical assistance that is specifically appropriate to student and teacher needs.
- A system-wide understanding that inclusion is a process, not an event.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal special education law that requires districts to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students eligible for special education. FAPE means special education and related services necessary for your child to benefit from his or her education. Students are eligible for special education between the ages of three and twenty-one. Incarcerated youth in a state adult correctional facility and who are eligible for special education are entitled to a FAPE until age 18. These services will be provided to your child in the least restrictive environment as described in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The State Office of Public Instruction has put together a “Procedural Safeguards” handbook to answer many of the most frequently asked questions as well as providing a description of the services that school disticts provide for students with special needs.
For more information: District level contacts are generally the first stop for more information. There are a number of people in the district who can answer questions about your child’s education. You may contact your child’s general or special education teacher, the school principal, or the district’s special services director. If our Special Programs Director (Greg Swartz) is unable to answer you questions, your next level of support can be found at OSPI, which has program supervisors to assist you with questions about your child’s special education program. You may reach OSPI, Special Education Operations at (360) 725-6075, TTY (360) 586-0126, or by using OSPI’s contact form.
Resources for Parents
Office of the Education Ombuds
The Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) resolves complaints, disputes, and problems between families and Washington State elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning.
OEO is a statewide agency that functions independently from the public school system. The services are free, confidential and available to families and students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. OEO provides an alternative to costly lawsuits and administrative hearings, contributes to the improvement of the education system, the closing of the achievement gap and promotes family engagement in education. It is important to note that OEO is the only agency of its kind in the nation.
OEO intervenes in issues such as: bullying/harassment, cyber bullying, suspensions, expulsions, special education, enrollment, transportation, discipline, academic progress, truancy, transition from pre-school to Kindergarten. and more. The staff facilitates and/or mediates conversations between parents and school officials, and guides all parties towards resolution focusing on what is best for the student. OEO advocates for fair processes for students in public schools. OEO serves parents/legal guardians, students, and K-12 educators who need to resolve a problem affecting a student.
OSPI Special Education Parent Liaison
Of course, staff in our school district are always available to assist you in ensuring your student receives the proper supports and services. However, if you have questions about the special education process or experience difficulties finding agreement with the district and need additional help, OSPI has a Special Education Parent Liaison to assist you.
The OSPI Special Education Parent Liaison is available as a resource to parents in non-legal special education matters and serves as a neutral and independent advocate for a fair process. The Special Education Parent Liaison does not advocate on behalf of any one party. Rather, the Parent Liaison exists to address individual concerns about bureaucratic systems and act a guide for citizens attempting to understand and navigate various government processes and procedures.
To contact Scott Raub, the Special Education Parent Liaison, call (360) 725-6075 or submit a message through the Contact The Liaison web page.
These publicly funded organizations may also be able to provide additional information about special education services in Washington State:
Partnerships for Action Voices for Empowerment (PAVE)
6316 So. 12th St.
Tacoma, WA 98465
(800) 5-PARENT (v/tty)
Web site: http://www.wapave.org/
The Deer Park School District No. 414, an Equal Opportunity Employer, complies with all state and federal rules and regulations and does not discriminate with respect to race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, and equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. This holds true for all district employment and opportunities.
Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the school district’s Title IX and Affirmative Action Officer, and Section 504/ADA Coordinator:
Greg Swartz – (students and public)
Jill Christiansen – (applicants and employees)
Chris Snyder – (Title IX)
Or call 509-464-5500