Support Classes

Special Services and Programs

What Are Special Education and Related Services?

The University Place School District (UPSD) offers a full range of program options to serve all students identified with special education needs, ages birth to twenty-one. The district's philosophy is to provide an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student in the appropriate environment. Access to all special education programs is through a formal professional team evaluation process usually initiated at the student's home school. The evaluation team determines individual services and recommendations for eligible special education students. Each student's Individual Education Program is based on individual student needs and the recommendation of the evaluation team.

Once a student is identified as eligible for special education services, the school district provides a free and appropriate public education that includes special education, and may include related services and supplementary aids of services designated to meet their unique needs and prepare the student for employment and independent living.

Special Education

Special education is defined as specially designed instruction - instructional activities which are planned and organized to adapt the content, methodology, and/or delivery of instruction to meet the needs of the student. Special education is provided in order to:

  • Address the unique needs that result from the student's disability or disabilities and

  • Ensure the student's access to the general curriculum so he or she has an opportunity to meet the educational standards of the school district.

Special education instructional activities must be supervised by certificated special education staff with the necessary qualifications (e.g., special education teachers, occupational and physical therapists, speech/language therapists) and may be provided by them, by general education certificated personnel, or by trained classified staff. Student progress must be monitored and evaluated by the special education certificated staff.

Related Services

Related services are defined as those developmental, corrective, or supportive services required to assist an eligible student to benefit from special education. The extent of these services are determined by the IEP team and will be designated in the student's IEP. Services may be delivered by:

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Physical Therapist

  • Speech/language Therapist

  • Nursing Services

  • Counseling Services

  • School Psychologists

  • Vision services

English Language Learners/Title III

The major objective of transitional bilingual instruction is for students to develop competence in English language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). Instructional assistance is provided by a certificated staff member. The program is intended to provide temporary services until LEP (limited English proficiency) students can develop adequate language skills.

Eligible students are in grades K-12 with a primary language other than English. Their English language skills must be sufficiently deficient or absent to impair learning in an all-English classroom.

For more information about ELL services, please contact Angie Franklin in the Teaching and Learning Department via phone at (253)566-5600 ext. 3330 or email (