Special Services

Our Belief
We believe that all students can be motivated to be lifelong learners and lead productive lives.

Our Mission
Our mission is to provide Specially Designed Instruction for those students eligible for Special Education Services and to be a resource for general education students, parents, and staff.

Our Vision
The Special Services community will work collaboratively with district general educators and the Tahoma Community to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn and lead productive lives.

Special Services Department
Annette Whittlesey, Special Services Director
Marianne Nafezi, Special Services Coordinator
Audrey Meyers, Special Services Coordinator
Liz Thibert, Wellness Coordinator
Katie Anthis, ELL Coordinator
Jennifer Lyons, Nurse Coordinator
Sarah Lindskov, Administrative Assistant

Central Services Center
Special Services Department
27520 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038

The Special Services Department comprises several areas that support students: Special Education (Age 3-21), Section 504, Wellness, ELL (English Language Learners), and Health Services. The focus of our department is to provide students with varying abilities, language barriers or health-related challenges the tools and resources to benefit from their educational program.

Special Education

Special education is not a “place.” It is a set of services.

We partner with families regarding the individual needs of their students.

Tahoma School District provides special education and related services to eligible children and youth with disabilities, from ages 3 to 21. We offer a continuum of services.

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).

Preschoolers and students are identified and provided appropriate special education services in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The student's parent(s) and a team of professionals together develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). We then place students in the program best suited to deliver the services specified in their IEP. Children and youth with IEPs receive specially designed instruction and accommodations for their disability and related services such as speech or physical therapy if needed.

We believe in educating students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Each student has access to an appropriate learning environment and an opportunity for education with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate at his or her chosen school or at a site as close as possible to his or her neighborhood school.

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