• Children with Disabilities

    Children with disabilities (birth to age 21) have a wide range of programs available based on their particular need. Special education services are delivered in regular classrooms, and in self-contained and resource room settings. Services are available at all schools including but not limited to: speech/language therapy, occupational and physical therapy, psychological assessment, and home-bound instruction. Programs may be on a Tumwater District site or at another educational location.

    Every student who receives special education must have an Individual Education Program (IEP) developed by teachers, parents, and other professionals. For more information, contact Special Services at 360-709-7040.

    Children with Disabilities FAQs

    Often times a parent of a child with a problem or challenge that interferes with his or her ability to be successful in school will be unsure of who to talk with about those concerns. This is often because they don't know where to go to ask questions about Special Education, they don't know who to ask, or even what to ask.

    The following information is intended to cover the basics.  A copy of your rights under the law is available at:  http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Families/Rights.aspx  In addition, you will receive a copy of your rights upon the completion of a referral on your child.

    We recognize that the process can feel overwhelming, and want to do all we can to make the process clear and understandable to you, the concerned parent. With that goal in mind, the questions below represent the most commonly asked questions at Special Services. 

    If your questions are not answered below, please feel free to talk with your child's teacher or call (360) 709-7040 and get additional information.

    Who is eligible to receive the services provided by Tumwater School District Special Services? 

    Any qualified individual from birth to age twenty one (21) or until the student graduates from high school.

    What determines if my child is eligible for Special Education Services?

    The law defines the evaluation criteria and certain handicapping conditions which have been established for eligibility.

    What are the handicapping conditions?

    There are 14 different handicapping conditions. They are:

    Intellectual Disability

    Hearing Impairment (including deafness)

    Speech or Language Impairment

    Visual Impairment (including blindness)

    Emotional Disturbance

    Orthopedic Impairment


    Traumatic Brain Injury

    Other Health Impairment

    Specific Learning Disability


    Multiple Disabilities

    Developmental Delay (for students three through eight)

    How does a student become eligible for special education services?

    A referral must be made which may lead to an evaluation.  If an evaluation occurs the team, including the parent, determines if the data supports eligibility qualification.

    How does the referral process work?

    A student whether or not enrolled in school, may be referred for a special education evaluation by parents, district staff, a public agency, or other persons knowledgeable about the student. Referrals are required to be in writing unless the person referring is unable to write. Once a referral is made, the district referral team, including the parent and general education teacher, must decide within 25 school-days whether or not to evaluate the student to determine if they qualify for special education services.

    Who determines if my child is eligible for Special Education Services?

    The team involved (which may include a psychologist, occupational therapist, speech language therapist, nurse, general education teacher, parent or others) has 35 school days to complete the evaluation, once signed consent has been received from the child’s parent or guardian. If the student qualified to receive services either a special education teacher or a therapist will contact the parents to develop an Individual Educational Program (IEP) within 30 calendar days.

    How often must an IEP be developed?

    The law requires the development of a new IEP at least once every year (365 days).

    How often must an evaluation be done?

    The law requires a new evaluation (re-evaluation) be completed every three (3) years. If there are concerns that need to be addressed before this amount of time has elapsed, a reevaluation can be requested.

    What happens if a qualified special education student moves to another school district?

    It is a very good idea, before moving, to get a copy of the current IEP and Evaluation for your records.  Once your child has been registered, the new district will contact the previous district for an official copy of the current Evaluation and IEP.