Special Education

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.

Richland School District Special Education Mission & Vision

Together, educating every student for lifelong success.

To achieve this mission, we are committed to:

  • Building a culture of inclusion with a student-first philosophy
  • Maximizing the strengths and supporting the needs of every student
  • Empowering students to become independent self-advocates
  • Providing quality education using inclusive evidence-based practices
  • Building partnerships with families and the community
  • Providing maximum access to the general education curriculum through a continuum of services 

The Special Education Department Core Beliefs

  • Special education is meant to minimize the impact of disability while maximizing the opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in general education within their natural community. 
  • Students should remain in the educational environment they would be in if they did not have a disability and removal from this environment must be justified.
  • Special education is a service, not a place.

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.


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.

Zac Carpenter
Executive Director, Elementary
(509) 967-6191

Robert Sorensen
Executive Director, Secondary
(509) 967-6065

Records Requests
(509) 967-6050

Family Survey Results

Fall 2021

Spring 2022