Continuum of Services



The Special Education program in the Northshore School District serves students from birth through twenty-one years of age. Children from birth through two years of age are served through contracts with community agencies. Instructional and support services are delivered by special education teachers, school psychologists, speech language pathologists, behavior specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and para-educators.  In compliance with federal and state law, students with disabilities are served in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent possible. All special education students at all district schools participate as appropriate in general education classrooms. Special education services include individualized specially-designed instruction in academic skills, adaptive skills (e.g. self-help; self-advocacy, community, independent living), communication and language skills, motor skills, social skills, behavior and vocational skills. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed at least annually for each special education student, and goals and objectives (where appropriate) are written based upon formal and informal testing and ongoing quantitative data.



Assistive Technology Team - Consults with teachers and classroom teams around selection, training and use of assistive technology devices students need to be successful in school.

Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) - Works with staff in the planning and implementation of programs for students on the autism spectrum or those who have similar learning or behavioral challenges.

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)- Works directly with student to support behavior interventions and increase student independence. 

Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) - Assists staff with implementation of district adopted curriculum, instruction, Danielson Framework, IEPs and Behavior Management.

Vision Specialist, Braillist and Vision/Mobility Specialist - Works with visually impaired students at all levels.

Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) - Works with students to improve deficient areas in communication skills

School Psychologist - Coordinates assessment activities for students referred for Special Education services or in need of a three year reevaluation. They assess in all academic areas, cognitive, behavioral and social/adaptive skill areas.

Occupational Therapist (OT) - Works with students to improve gross and fine motor skills.

Physical Therapist (PT) - Works with students to improve range of motion, gait and other gross motor skills.

School Nurse - Assists school staff in management of student medical needs.

Hearing Impaired Interpreter - Works with students with hearing impairments who need these services to access their educational program.

Paraeducator - Works with school staff in the classroom and the community to provide instructional programs.

Audiologist - Responsible for identifying students with significant hearing loss and working with educational staff.  Provides aural habilitation and rehabilitation services.

Mental Health Specialist - Works with students in the behavior support programs and provides counseling services as noted on their IEPs.



Northshore School District provides a continuum of services to ensure that all students eligible for special education have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living. As outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) – Students are provided services in the “Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) (WAC 392-172A-02050) to the maximum extent appropriate in general education environment with students who are nondisabled; and services provided in special classes, separate schooling or other removal of students eligible for special education from the general education environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in general education classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily”. Educational placement of a student eligible for special education is determined annually and made by a group of persons, including the parents, and other persons knowledgeable about the student, the evaluation data, and the placement options.


The following descriptions provide an overview of the district’s continuum of services. Students receive related services as identified through an evaluation and as determined by the IEP team. A special education case manager is assigned to each student who is responsible for coordinating the IEP process, the delivery of specially designed instruction (SDI), and monitoring and reporting of progress in each setting. The case manager serves as the contact person for parents regarding the provision of services and the needs of the student. Components of the various services options differ based on the population of students served however the goal of all service options is the same – “Ensure that all students eligible for special education have available to them a free and appropriate public  education (FAPE) that emphasizes  special education and related services  designed  to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further  education, employment, and independent living (WAC 392-172A-01005 (2)). Students are supported by the services outlined in the IEP. Staff receive professional development prescriptive to their position in addition to supports from school personnel/specialists; and parents participate in yearly IEP meetings and receive periodic updates and communication regarding student performance.



Early Childhood



Elementary Services

Secondary Services

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.