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Special Education

The Tukwila School District Special Education programs serve students with disabilities from birth through 21 years who reside within district boundaries. As specified in federal and state law, students with disabilities are served in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent possible. Thus, at all schools in the district, there are students with special needs participating as appropriate in general education classrooms and general education curriculum.

Special education services include individualized, specially-designed instruction in academic, self-help, communication, motor, vocational and social skill areas. Individual Education Programs (IEPs) are developed at least annually. IEP goals are written for each student based on the results of formal and informal testing and observations. We work in concert with support services, school psychologists, various therapists, nurses and interpreters to help students have objectives for each goal. The district carefully sequences instruction and maintains data about student progress.

To request Special Education records email

Special Education Staff

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Jennifer Jones

Director of Special Education

Jane De Mello-Long

Administrative Assistant, Special Education

Melissa Aar

Speech Language Pathologist

Andrew Bacha

Physical Therapist

Noreen Bucknum

Speech Language Pathologist

Melinda DeBolt

Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

Daylene Gustafson

Registered Behavior Tech

Ashley Lacy

Special Education Teacher

Vanhphenh Leong


Beth Lord

Occupational Therapist

Special Education Identification & Process

Child Find

The Tukwila School District’s Child Find Program is designed to locate and offer assistance to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children, between the ages of birth and 21, who may have developmental delays or learning problems. Early identification of problems can make a big difference in a child’s future school success.

Identification for 3- to 5-year-olds

Free screenings are provided for children between the ages of three and five to identify preschoolers with possible delays in speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive/concept development, adaptive skills, and behavior. Child Find evaluations for preschool-aged children are held at Cascade View Elementary.

Call 206-901-8090 to make an appointment.

Identification for school-aged students, grades K-12

Contact your building principal, school psychologist or the school counselor if you have concerns with your school age child’s school performance. The building Guidance Team group works to problem-solve issues related to a student’s school performance. Areas of concern may be academic, behavioral, social-emotional, physical, or communication.

District Special Education Programs

Birth to Three. Infants and toddlers with disabilities are provided early intervention assistance through agencies such as Children's Therapy Center and Northwest Center.

Early Childhood. Children, ages 3 to 5, with developmental delays in communication, cognition, social-emotional, adaptive, and motor skills areas receive specially-designed instruction at one of three schools in the district. This is a half day program. (Location: Cascade View Elementary and Tukwila Elementary)

Extended Day. Children, ages 3 to 5, with a medical diagnosis on the autism spectrum or an educational disability category of autism, and a demonstrated need based on data for early intervention may be eligible to receive additional services that address the unique communication, social, and behavioral needs of this disability. (Location: Cascade View Elementary)

Learning Resource Center I (LRC I). School-age students receive specially-designed instruction in academic, behavior, and social areas as indicated on their evaluation from the LRC I staff/classroom and/or related service therapists. (Location: all schools)

Learning Resource Center II (LRC II). School-age students with moderate to severe disabilities receive specially designed instruction in all areas as indicated on their evaluations from the LRC II staff/classroom and/or related services. Opportunities for participation in the general education class will occur as designated in the IEP. (Location: Thorndyke Elementary, Showalter Middle School, and Foster High School)

Graduation Date

Before age 16 the student must have an anticipated graduation date declared. This date is entered into the student’s IEP the year in which the student turns 16. This date will remain the graduation cohort date throughout the remainder of his/her school career. This date may not be changed once it is established.

Transition. Students, ages 18 to 21, with significant disabilities receive ongoing specially designed instruction in the areas of community living and work training. (Location: Highline Community College ACHIEVE Program.)

Outside Agencies. Students, ages 3-21, receive specially-designed instruction in a setting outside of the District if the District is unable to provide an appropriate program to meet the student’s needs.