6/8/2020: UPDATED INFORMATION: A LETTER TO OUR FAMILES FROM KELLI EHRESMANN, DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL SERVICESHello,
Thank you for your flexibility and collaboration as we continue to work to meet student needs during this unprecedented time. I am sure you have many questions regarding your child’s special education services and any plans for ensuring that Tumwater School District students who are eligible for special education receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The Tumwater School District Special Services staff are working with state and local leadership to act in a manner that is safe, is in accordance with gubernatorial directives, and provides equitable services. Safety and health are our highest priority. We have consistently, and will continue, to act upon the guidance provided by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
The District continues to have multiple resources to support all students and families. Please see the TSD Website for additional information.
Specifically, we are doing the following in special education:
- Prioritizing the safety & health of our students and staff.
- Monitoring and responding to questions, comments and concerns on the department’s centralized email address (email@example.com).
- Focusing our efforts to fulfill timelines for evaluations and the development and review of IEPS while also following best practices for safety and health in collaboration with families.
- Developing an action plan for addressing any effects this school closure may have on students’ needs and present levels of performance. Individualized decisions related to the school closure will be addressed by each student’s IEP team, including the parent, as necessary.
- In accordance with guidance from OSPI, each student’s IEP team, including the parent, will make decisions about any necessary services when school reopens. The District is developing an action plan to coordinate team meetings to enable efficient decision making so that any necessary services can be provided as soon as possible.
- Developing an action plan to address staffing needs for the provision of any necessary compensatory services once public health circumstances allow the District to provide the type of in-person services that students have missed this spring.
Please know that our paramount concern is the health and safety for our students, staff and the public. We very much appreciate your flexibility and patience as we continue to navigate the current circumstances together. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your child’s program, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Please stay healthy!
Kelli Ehresmann, Director
Special Services School Closure-Updated 3.18.2020
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I connect with my child’s case manager during the school closure?
At this time, email is the best way to contact your child’s special education case manager. Please allow time for staff to respond. Also, we ask for your understanding in that your child's case manager might not have answers to your specific question. Please know they will be working with the District to provide up to date information as soon as possible.
If you have emailed your child's case manager, and have not heard back within 2-3 weekdays, please email using the link provided below. A staff member will respond as soon as possible.
Will my IEP meeting still occur during the school closure?
At this time all in person meetings are canceled. The District is currently developing an action plan to potentially offer IEP meetings and/or eligibility meetings remotely. This is still in development and you will be contacted as soon as viable and safe options for meetings are established.
Will there be school in the summer to make up my child’s special education services?
Each student’s IEP team, including the parent, will convene to determine the effects this school closure may have on students’ needs and present levels. Individualized decisions will be made on a case by case basis and will depend on multiple factors including the ultimate length of the closure, future capacity to provide remote educational services, and the effect of the closure on individual student’s needs and present levels. Please continue to review our Special Services Department web page for updates.
How can I help my child with their learning during the school closure? Resources?
Tumwater School District has compiled a list of optional resources for families to access at this time. You can click this link to find those resources on the TSD Website. Please feel free to contact the Special Services Department at the email address below if you have additional questions about services during the closure.
I’ve read that the District is working to get online learning in place for the duration of the closure. Will this option be available for children that qualify for special education?
Yes. The District is committed to ensuring that educational services provided during the closure can be provided equitably to all students. We are working diligently to have this happen as timely a manner as possible while prioritizing health and safety for our students and staff.
In the event that your specific question was not answered, you may contact the Special Services Department at