Special Education

In anticipation of welcoming our students with disabilities back to school in the fall, we want to share the following resources to help parents prepare their children for some of the public health requirements that may be in place.

For Younger Students

We Wear Masks - A Social Story (Video)

Seeing Other People Wear Masks

Wearing A Mask To School

For Older Students

Wearing Masks

Special Education Task Force Report

Our Special Education Task Force, a 32-member group made up of parents, teachers, district staff and community members, met during the 2019-20 school to help craft recommendations to shape the future of our special education programs.

View The Report

Learn more about the Task Force

Washington Integrated System of Monitoring (WISM) Review

As part of the Washington Integrated System of Monitoring (WISM) accountability system that OSPI has in place, RSD is participating in a WISM review during the 2019-20 school year that includes a parent survey component. OSPI has contracted with Washington State University (WSU) to complete the parent survey. WSU will send the survey out to parents via mail. It will come with a cover letter on OSPI letterhead. The surveys are scheduled to go out in late January or February. The survey window will be open for approximately 6-8 weeks. The survey will consist of 26 questions. If you have a student receiving Special Education services in the Richland School District, we encourage you to complete and return the survey after you receive it. Your feedback as parents is important to our district.

We have a strong commitment to providing quality services to our students with disabilities.

Our community is passionate about providing the best support possible for students and supportive in working with school district staff to achieve this goal. Our Special Education Department works with teachers, paraeducators, educational staff, parents, and community partners to help students with disabilities access and make progress in their education. Our staff provide individualized services and supports for each student as well as involving them in their school community.

Identification Of Students Eligible For Special Education Services

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to have procedures in place to ensure all children with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated and that the services they receive are documented. Our district has these procedures in place to locate, identify, and evaluate students between the ages of 3 and 21 who are suspected of having a disability and may be eligible for special education and related services. If your student may need special education services, contact the Special Education Department at (509) 967-6050 to request that your student be evaluated for special education.

Learn more about referrals for special education

Available Programs & Services

  • Therapy Services – Communication, fine motor, and gross motor services
  • Preschool Age Services – drop-in therapy, inclusive preschool support (ECEAP, Head Start), Developmental Preschool
  • Specially Designed Instruction — Cognitive, Reading, Written Expression, Math, Social, Behavior, Adaptive and Executive Functioning services.
  • Consultant Services – Service is provided by a special education certificated staff member to assist the general education teacher in adjusting the learning environment and/or modifying his/her instructional methods to meet the needs of a student with a disability who attends the general education class.
  • Co-Teaching – Specially designed instruction and academic instruction are provided collaboratively by both a special and general education teacher to a group of students with disabilities in a general education setting with their non-disabled peers. Students receive core academic instruction with general education materials. The special and general education teacher share responsibilities for the delivery of primary instruction, planning, and evaluation for all students. The special and general education teacher must have the same planning period. The percentage of students with disabilities in the class must be less than 50%. At this time, co-teaching in RSD is only offered in ELA and math courses at the secondary level.
  • Push-In Services – Service is provided by a special education teacher (or paraeducator) to support students with disabilities in a general education classroom. Specially designed individualized or group instruction is provided to students with disabilities which provide support in the student’s general education class.
  • Pull-Out Services – These are most often Resource Room services. Pull-out services are for the purpose of supplementing the general education instruction of students with disabilities who are in need of supplemental instruction. Students receive specially designed instruction from a special education teacher (or paraeducator) in small groups in a separate location.

Special Education Parent Meetings

Special Education staff work collaboratively with other community partners and provide monthly informational meetings for parents of students receiving special education services. These meetings cover a variety of topics aimed at helping parents support their students in their education. Meetings begin in the fall and run through the following spring. 

Special Programs Review

In the Richland School District’s ongoing efforts to make its schools even better, the district pursued an independent review of its special education programs during the spring of 2018. This review was conducted by an independent, third-party professional organization known for its expertise and ability to show school districts how they can better serve students requiring extra support to succeed in the classroom.

The review made recommendations to help our special programs better identify and provide services to our students with special needs. All are aimed at ensuring every student has access to high quality instruction and support so they can have fulfilling lives upon graduation. 

The Richland School Board and district officials this fall will plan the multi-year process to implement those recommendations necessary to ensure our schools are truly “Educating Every Student for Success.” This winter we will begin working with school staff members to put those plans in place and move our schools and students forward.

Special Programs Review Report