Student Support in Olympia School District coordinates programs for students with disabilities (special education or Section 504), as well as school-wide programs funded under Title 1 and Learning Assistance Programs (LAP).
Special Education provides services to students with certain disabilities that are specified in state and federal laws. Services are free of charge to the parent. Anybody may refer a student for an evaluation to determine if the student qualifies for services. The referral needs to be in writing and should be directed to the student’s principal or Social Service Coordinator. If you suspect that your child has a disability and might require special education services and your child is not currently enrolled you may direct the referral to the Student Support Services office.
Eligibility for special education services requires that an evaluation be conducted. The result of the evaluation needs to show that the child has a disability as defined in Chapter 392-172 of the Washington Administrative Code AND that this disability impacts the child's progress and participation in their general education classroon. If the child is a preschooler, the disability would need to cause the child to fall behind in activities that children without a disability are able to do.
Services that eligible students receive address their individual needs. These services are outlined in an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) that school staff and parents jointly develop. The district offers a continuum of services and placement options in order to address unique individual needs.
There is a multitude of legal rules and regulations that determine what happens in special education. They are outlined in WAC 392-172A and are written in legal language. Please feel free to contact one of us at the Student Support Services office or the Social Service Coordinator at your child’s school for some plain language interpretation. Another source of help for interpretation of these rules is an organization called PAVE at 1-800-5-PARENT. Further information may also be obtained from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
Child Find Notice
Olympia School District is committed to addressing the unique needs of students with disabilities ages birth through 21 residing within the boundaries of the Olympia School District. This includes children with disabilities enrolled in private, including religious schools, as well as children who are homeless. Disabilities can be in any one of several areas that ultimately affect a child’s learning, such as the ability to think, to express oneself, to see or hear clearly, to get around, or understand instructions given. If you have a child who you think might have a disability requiring special education instruction or significant accommodations at school, or if you know of such a child, please feel free to call the Olympia School District, Student Support Services office at 596-7530.
Notice Concerning Educational Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") the following rights with respect to the student's education records. As a parent you have to be informed of these rights every year. For additional FERPA information visit this website.