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.

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 Curriculum Committee

We are forming our first curriculum committee to explore and make recommendations on curricula for K-12 Life Skills students and for High School Transition Supports and we need parents to be part of this important work.

The committee will meet throughout the school year to study and recommend instructional materials that will be used in classrooms to help students receiving special education services develop valuable skills and prepare for their lives once they leave our schools. Learn more about the committee.

Two parents—one of an elementary SPED student and one of a secondary SPED student—will be selected for the committee. Applications are due to Tracy Blankenship, Assistant Director of Special Education, by Oct. 4.

Apply Today

Special Education Task Force

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

Learn more about the Task Force

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