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    Special Services

    Transition Room students smiling while working on an assignment.

    Serving students with disabilities and special needs, as well as their families

    Special Services Department
    The Special Services Department is comprised of three specific areas that support students: Special Education, 504, and Health Services. The focus of the department is to provide students with disabilities or health-related challenges the tools and resources to benefit from their educational program.

    Special Education
    Special education is not a “place:” rather, it is a set of services. The district’s goal is to partner with families regarding the individual needs of children. The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal legislation that helps guide school teams and families in the qualification of students and the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEP). LWSD has a continuum of services to meet the needs of our diverse student population.

    Procedural Safeguards: Parent and Student Rights
    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide parents/guardians of students who are eligible or referred for special education with a full explanation of their rights. School districts must provide a copy of the Procedural Safeguards (Español) at least once each school year, or when the parent/guardian or others, including the district, request that a student be evaluated to determine eligibility for special education services; the first time you file a citizen complaint in a school year; the first time you request a due process hearing in a school year; when a decision is made to remove a student for more than 10 school days in a year as part of a disciplinary action and that removal constitutes a change of placement; or upon request.

    Section 504 Services
    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) is a federal civil rights law. It is designed to eliminate disability discrimination in programs and activities that receive federal funds. Since all public school districts receive federal funds, all public school districts must comply with Section 504. Under Section 504, denying a disabled student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) is disability discrimination.

    Health Services
    Health services in LWSD are designed to ensure schools have the resources and systems to provide students with the health-related care needed to access school. Duties of Health Services include medication management, health care collaboration, monitoring of life-threatening emergency care plans, and general oversight of student medical related needs.

    Programs and Services
    The Lake Washington School District offers a continuum of service and placement options for students qualified for Special Education. The district’s goal is for children to be educated in their neighborhood school and in the general education setting to the greatest extent possible. The district believes there is inherent benefit for qualified and non-qualified students to learn with their community peers. At times students are placed in programs that may not be located at their neighborhood school.

    Continuum of Services and Placement Options:

    • General Education Class Instruction
    • Resource Settings
    • Learning and Transition Centers
    • Intervention Centers
    • Transition Academy

    Services are provided to students based on their Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP is developed based on evaluation results and in collaboration with both educators and parents/guardians.

    District Program Locations


    OSPI's Washington Integrated System of Monitoring Onsite Visit

    Contact Us

    Dr. Shannon Hitch
    Director, Special Services
    shhitch@lwsd.org
    425-936-1201

    Michelle Tiegs
    Associate Director, Special Services
    Redmond and Eastlake Learning Communities - Elementary
    mtiegs@lwsd.org
    425-936-1288

    Stacey McCrath
    Associate Director, Special Services
    Redmond and Eastlake Learning Communities - Secondary
    smccrath@lwsd.org
    425-936-1337

    Debbie Wagner
    Associate Director, Special Services
    Juanita amd Lake Washington Learning Communities - Elementary
    dewagner@lwsd.org
    425-936-1247

    Paul Vine
    Associate Director, Special Services
    Juanita and Lake Washington Learning Communities - Secondary
    pvine@lwsd.org
    425-936-1221

    Kim Brenner
    Associate Director, Early Childhood Learning
    kbrenner@lwsd.org
    425-936-2766

    Molly Houtchens
    Health Services Supervisor
    mhoutchens@lwsd.org
    425-936-1242

    Special Education Student Records
    sscomplianceoffice@lwsd.org