Special Education Program

  • Lemail Approximately 10% of the Mercer Island School District K-12 student population qualifies for one or more special education services. Special education is a federal and state mandated program that districts are obligated to provide.

    We are committed to all students on the continuum of learning and offer the following special education programs.

    Early Childhood Special Education

    Preschool students with disabilities such as developmental delays, communication delays, blindness, hearing impairments, autism, or health impairments are served in the District Preschool. Mercer Island School District offers regularly scheduled, free developmental screenings for children age 3-5 years old. These screenings, called CHILDFIND, provide an opportunity for early childhood professionals to look at your child's development and compare it to other children their age.  We can also assist you in arranging for screening of babies and toddlers under 3 years of age in cooperation with Boyer and Kindering.

       CHILDFIND Dates:
    September 21 - October 26 - November 30 - January 18 - February 22 - March 22 - April 26 - May 24 - June 14
    Contact: allison.seielstad@mercerislandschools.org

    Resource Rooms

    Students with specific learning disabilities and health impairments are most commonly seen in the Resource Rooms. At the elementary level, students usually receive 30 minutes or more per day of additional instruction. At the secondary level, students attend one or more classes in the Resource Room. Instruction is most often in reading, writing and math.

    Personalized Learning Programs

    These programs are for students who need to have most or all of their instruction in a separate classroom. Significant changes to content, methods and/or pacing of instruction are made. Students in these programs are also integrated into general education classes as much as possible. These programs may also provide instruction in life skills, recreation and leisure and vocational training.

    Adult Transition Program for Students from 18-21

    This program is for students who need instruction and guidance in preparing for living in the adult world (vocational training, life skills, recreation and leisure, and mobility). Students spend most of the day in the community and at work sites.


    Some students with disabilities may also require therapy, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy or physical therapy, in order to obtain benefit from education. These services are provided during the school day as per the individual student plans.

    Families and Parent Advocacy

    Mercer Island School District is committed to supporting parents in understanding special education processes and procedures. The case manager of the evaluation or IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is the parent’s direct point of contact for any questions related to the district’s processes for a child’s special education evaluation and/or IEP. Additionally, students or families who would like additional support in communicating with school district staff can learn more about OSPI Special Education Parent Liaisons and other publicly funded organizations for parent support at: http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Families/Assistance.aspx.

    Parent and student rights are also explained in the Procedural Safeguards. If students or parents require additional assistance in understanding the special education process, The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provides thorough guidance for families related to special education in Washington State which can be found by visiting http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Families/default.aspx