The cornerstone Federal legislation for the education of students with disabilities is the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). IDEA explains how students with disabilities will access a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
At the State level, Chapter 392-172A of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) requires that special education students access the general education curriculum in order to meet the educational standards of the school district.
Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that students whose disabilities adversely impact educational performance, and who require specially designed instruction, have potential for improving educational performance when they receive special education and related services tailored to fit their needs.
The District runs a full continuum of special education services/programs for students ages three to twenty-one who meet the requirements for eligibility.
The District participates in "childfind" - awareness and screening activities for the purpose of locating, identifying and evaluating children who are suspected of having disabilities and are in need of specially designed instruction and related services. Parents/guardians who have concerns about their child's development, or about the childfind process, are encouraged to call the Principal at their neighborhood school or the Special Education Office at 360-676-6458. A student may be referred for a special education evaluation by any source. The referral is to be made in writing and submitted to the building Principal or designee.