Special Education Programs

What is Special Education

Special education is specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a student eligible for special education. Services may be adapted curriculum in reading, math, written language, speech/ language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision and mobility therapy as well as others to address delays in cognitive/ academic, social/emotional, fine/gross motor, vision, hearing, self-help, and speech or language functioning.

Mission Statement

With the collaboration of teachers and families, our Special Education Program identifies students with disabilities. Once identified, students are educated through research-based instruction that is specially designed to promote their success. We work with the individual, the family and community members, to adapt an educational environment to meet each student's unique needs. This may be a lifelong process and the school will play an important role in each individual's life. The protection and honoring of the student's dignity and maintenance of human rights is an integral part of the entire school experience from birth to age 21. This is at the core of our work.

From the time the student enters the school environment, our network of staff members work diligently to help the student accept his or her own unique diversity. The Special Education staff may begin this process by working with the families after the birth of a special needs child and facilitating that process throughout the student’s school career. We emphasize mainstreaming activities in which the child participates. Involved professionals, parents and students develop a range of alternatives for a tailored student instruction. We work together in order to create concrete ideas, identify service level options, and clearly define how Special Education and Regular Education will work together to meet the needs of students in our programs.

A strong Special Programs Staff dedicated to the educational process for special needs children supports our vision. Our team consists of the services of school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists as well as the teaching staff. This team model of service delivery is based on collaboration, communication and shared responsibility among all team members. Families are considered full team members with all assessments, reports and services integrated and carried out with the family’s participation.

At the Port Townsend School District’s Special Education Department we recognize your child as an individual. Our objective is the student’s maximum participation in his/her academic environment as well as the community. All our staff supports this objective, which we believe, helps create an improved society accepting of everyone.

Notice of Special Education Procedural Safeguards for Students and Their Families

Click HERE to access a PDF version of the most recently issued Procedural Safeguards.
Please contact the Learning Support Services Office Coordinator (contact information below) if you would like to obtain a printed booklet of the Procedural Safeguards.

Curriculum and Programs Descriptions

Grant Street Elementary, Birth to Three Program

The Birth to Three Program provides home-based early intervention services to children 0-3 years of age and their families. Our goal is helping children reach their optimal level of development. Parent/family support and education is a critical component of this program.

Grant Street Elementary, Grant Street Preschool

Special Education at Grant Street Preschool is designed to provide specialized preschool instruction and curriculum. Grant Street Preschool is a community preschool based on a philosophy of inclusion. Our program integrates typically developing children with those who have developmental needs. We strongly believe children will increase their understanding of self and others by experiencing and learning about individual differences. We are committed to a child-centered, nurturing environment where each child is appreciated as a gift. We focus on the whole child through play and early intervention activities.

Grant Street Elementary Kindergarten Resource Support Services

The Kindergarten Special Education program is located at Grant Street Elementary School. It is strongly designed with an emphasis on an on-going collaboration between the kindergarten teachers and the children’s parents. The teacher assists students at established times of the school day to empower the students in their acquisition of academic skills or in dealing with routines and transitions.

Grant Street Elementary School, The Learning Academy Grades 1-3

The Learning Academy is based on a “School-within-a-School” model and is designed to deliver small group instruction to students in identified areas. The goal is to assist students in making the most progress possible and to empower them in their learning as members of the Grant Street Community.

Blue Heron Middle School Resource Room, Grades 4-8

The Special Education program at Blue Heron Middle School is an inclusion-based program. Students are included to the maximum extent possible in the regular education program, and receive support in that setting to meet individual goals and objectives. Students also receive specially designed instruction on a daily basis in a small group setting. The BHMS staff works collaboratively to provide systematic instruction, adaptation of curriculum, and use of appropriate instructional strategies to meet the needs of individual students.
Port Townsend High School Study Skills and Resource Room, Grades 9-12

The emphasis of this program is to assist students in learning the skills they will need to complete the required classes at the high school. Modifications may be made to regular programming to meet the special needs of students. Students register for a full schedule of classes including Study Skills as an elective. These classes are team taught with a limited number of students accepted. Assistance is provided directly in classrooms and in the Study Skills room.

The Resource Room provides support to regular education classes that include the needs of individual students. Assistance may be given in organizational skills, study skills, reviewing for tests, counseling, nurturing, listening, role-playing with flexible scheduling based on needs. The objective is to assist students with disabilities so that they can be successful in the high school program and graduate.

Essential Skills Program (Life Skills, Grades 6-12)

This important program provides each individual student with an educational curriculum that builds physical and motor development, independent living skills, functional academic skills, self-care skills, and social/emotional skills. A large part of the program focuses on community-based experiences with a goal for students to become successful citizens of our community. With direct guidance, students learn how to use community agencies and resources such as transit, library, post office, local shopping centers, recreational facilities and restaurants. We also encourage physical activities such as local walks, ball games, beach trips, and a swimming program several times per week designed to encourage physical fitness, motor skills and coordination, and personal hygiene. Parents are an integral part of the success of this program and their participation is encouraged throughout the school year. Respect, dignity, and caring are top priority to all who participate in Essential Skills.

For more information on the programs described on this website and our Special Education Programs, contact:

Patrick Kane, Director of Learning Support Services at (360) 379-4366,  email 
Jeanette Parker, Learning Support Services Office Coordinator at (360) 379-4366, email
Fax records requests to 360-385-3617
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