Special Education in Ƶ

All of our comprehensive schools, Promise kindergarten through grade 12, offer special education services through a continuum of flexible services and supports. General education teachers, special education teachers, and paraeducators form a collaborative team to provide the services described in the student’s IEPs. Also joining these teams as needed are specialists such as speech language therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, audiologist, assistive technology specialist, teachers of the deaf and visually impaired, and others.

Historically in Ƶ, we have provided special education services to some students in special programs, which required that some students attend a school other than their neighborhood school, and receive a significant amount of their education in a special education setting, away from nondisabled peers. As we strive to create more equitable, inclusive learning environments that honor the diversity of our students, we are moving away from special programs in select schools towards a continuum of support in every neighborhood school. We strive to design learning environments that meet the needs of all of our students, and to educate students with disabilities alongside their peers to the maximum extent possible.

Transitioning from a segregated structure to one that emphasizes inclusion for all students involves systemic reform. While we are in the process of this reform, some of our schools continue to be staffed to provide special ed services for students who were previously placed in special programs outside of their neighborhoods, such as Life Skills, BRIDGES and AIMS. Even in these schools, with this designated staffing, our teams are working hard to reduce the use of labels and segregated programs, and increase a sense of belonging for all students with a continuum of supports. Our language is shifting to reflect our new learning. We are looking forward to a time when all eligible students will receive special education services in their neighborhood schools, without the need for labels to define any special programs. Along this journey, we will continue to meet students’ needs as described in their IEPs, partnering with families in the IEP process to make decisions unique to each child. For those families who are interested in exploring a return to their neighborhood schools, please request to meet with your child’s IEP team.

In addition to our services in our comprehensive K-12 schools, we provide services to students with disabilities in the following programs:

  • Birth to 2: Ƶ partners with community agencies to provide early intervention services through the Department of Early Learning (DEL) Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program. Children ages birth through 2 who have delays in their development or have a physical or mental condition that is known to cause a delay in development may be eligible for early intervention services. These services are provided in a child’s natural environment, which may include their home or childcare program.
  • Preschool: Early childhood preschool programs provide a language-based classroom to students ages 3-4 with developmental delays.
  • Community Transitions:Community Transitions is a post high school program that serves students 18-21 years of age who qualify through their evaluation to receive transition services. Students often encounter a new set of adult challenges which require different responses as they leave the high school setting. CT provides a full continuum of services intended to prepare students for a successful transition to independent living, employment and/or post-secondary training. Supports are individualized based on the student’s need. Staff, parents and the adult student work as a team to create and nurture partnerships with adult services, college staff and businesses in the local community to identify the best place to maximize each individual student’s potential for success.


Special Education Records Requests

Please fax requests to 360-676-2692 or email bps.spedrecords@bellinghamschools.org

Analisa Ficklin

Assistant Director
Bethany Verner

Administrative Assistants
Deanna Bannerman: 360-676-6458
Joy Rawls: 360-676-6470 ext. 2042

Program Administrative Assistants
Belinda Schacht: (360) 676-6470 ext. 4408
Vickie Tapparo: (360) 676-6470 ext. 6833
Julie Webster: (360) 676-6517


Assistive Technology

Special Olympics