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    A special education teacher, leading an IEP team, creates an Individualized Education Program (IEP), with individual and meaningful goals, modifications, and adaptations for each student being served in special education. Members of the team who may attend include: parent or other family member, principal, school psychologist, occupational therapist, speech-language therapist, school nurse, reading specialist, classroom teacher, inclusion specialist, and/or resource room teacher.  In addition, we welcome other IEP team members who would help create the best IEP possible.

    These IEPs are what drive the education and support that each student receives in special education and general education, in academic, social, and/or behavioral growth, and may include modifications and accommodations. These may be received in a general education or special education setting, depending upon the better fit for the student’s needs and IEP goals.  Input from all members of the IEP team help create the IEP. 

    Special Education Resource Room

    The Resource Room is a collaboration between general education, parents, students, special education, and support staff, so that the student can best progress at their educational level.  Instruction is based on the Washington State’s Essential Academic Learning Requirements and grade level expectations, both through general education and special education curricula.

    In sum: 

    • Resource services are intended to provide specially designed instruction to students with mild to moderate intensity in their special education instructional needs.

    • These services support students who benefit from spending most of their instructional time in general education settings with targeted support. But, services may be provided in any setting, based on the individual IEP.
    • Instructional content varies, based on each student’s IEP.
    • This service is open to all disability categories.

    Special Education Access Program

    The second special education program at Montlake is the Access program. The program provides varied, meaningful opportunities for students to learn at their level and make progress academically, socially, and behaviorally – while achieving the highest possible level of independence. The Access program provides a variety of individualized supports designed to meet each child’s needs as identified in their Individual Education Plan. Many, but not all, of the students have been diagnosed with characteristics on the autism spectrum (not all students necessarily have “Autism”).  

    Access students spend as much time in the general education environment as possible. Depending on individual need, some students are pulled out for specialized academic/social instruction, speech services and/or occupational therapy.  When possible and appropriate, this specialized instruction is given in the general education classroom. 

    The special education room serves as a place for pull-out academic/social/ organization instruction, a place to take breaks and interact socially, a place to be reinforced with incentives for appropriate targeted behavior, and a cool-down place for escalated students. 

    In the general education classrooms, students are provided with individualized supports, accommodations, and modifications to help them succeed. These supports may include: schedules, checklists, incentive systems, visual cues, social stories, peer buddies, AlphaSmarts, scribes, instructional assistant prompting, and modified assignments.

    Many students work on social skills as natural opportunities occur during the school day, and in more formalized social groups run by the Speech Language Pathologist and the sp ed staff.  Access staff also run social skills groups that often include neuro-typical peers, as well.   

    Our program is individualized, teaching students to ‘fit in’, while also teaching other students to accept differences.  We recognize that all students don’t learn exactly the same things, in exactly the same ways, or at exactly the same time, but all our students are able to learn and make gains towards their individual goals.

    In sum:

    • Access services are intended to provide specially designed instruction to students with more intensive academic and functional special education needs.
    • These services support students who are able to make progress on their IEP goals while spending most of their instructional time, including specially designed instruction, in general education settings with a range of supports. But, services may be provided in any setting, based on the individual IEP.
    • Instructional content varies, based on each student’s IEP.
    • This service is open to all disability categories.


    Student Intervention Team (SIT)

    All of us at Montlake Elementary believe that every child can be successful, and we are committed to each child’s success.  Each SIT meeting provides an opportunity for a team of family and school personnel to come together as a team to discuss an individual student’s strengths, progresses, and challenges. Members of the team who may attend include: parent or other family member, principal, school psychologist, occupational therapist, speech-language therapist, school nurse, reading specialist, classroom teacher, inclusion specialist, and/or resource room teacher.

    Resource Teacher 
    Mary Chandler
    mmchandler@seattleschools.org 

    Access and Special Education Department Lead:
    Cathy Patnoe

    cjpatnoe@seattleschools.org 

    Handy Glossary

    AT - AssistiveTechnology
    FAPE - Free & Appropriate Public Education
    FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
    IA - Instructional Assistant
    IEP - Individualized Educational Plan
    LRE - Least Restrictive Environment
    OT/PT - Occupational/Physical Therapy
    SLP - Speech Language Pathologist
    SPED - Special Education

    The district has a comprehensive glossary on their Special Education page. 

    For more information on Special Education district wide, please visit Seattle Public Schools Special Education website.