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    Special Education

    The Special Education department at John Hay Elementary has long been considered one of the very best in the district. Our experienced staff works collaboratively with school and district leaders, teachers, students, and families to provide the tools, guidance, supports, and services needed to ensure access and success for students with disabilities.

    At John Hay, we are adopting a Continuum program of services. With our new Focus program, we are able to offer a range of supports and environments for students to learn. This flexible approach allows our team of teachers to share skills and resources, and create opportunities that only a team-based delivery can provide. Rarely are a student's needs a perfect fit in one instructional specialty, and these needs flex and change over time. The Continuum approach allows us to serve students throughout the program that best fits their academic or behavioral needs.

    Descriptions of Service Models

    Resource: 1 Teacher - 22 Students
    Provides specially designed instruction to students with mild to moderate intensity in their special education instructional needs. 

    Access: 1 Teacher & 3 IA's - 10 Students
    Provides instruction to students with academic functional needs who spend most of their instructional time in the general education setting, able to access grade-level curriculum with targeted supports. 

    Focus: 1 Teacher & 2 IA's - 10 Students
    Provides instruction to students with more intensive academic needs. The student needs are such that instruction will be delivered in a small group setting and at a different pace or level than the general education setting. 

    Service Location

    Together, the IEP team will select the primary placement that best aligns with the student's IEP needs for the upcoming year. While placement defines the case manager for each student, it does not limit the supports to one specific program. The student will receive services throughout the continuum that best support the IEP goals. 

    Communication Only

    Our Speech-Language Pathologist provides services to students who require communication only services, such as articulation, fluency, or language. (SLP also provides specially designed instruction and related services for students in other programs.)

    Other Services

    Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Audiology

    Inclusion and Support

    In addition to our exceptional programs, the school's administration and staff have made significant progress in the past few years to create a thoroughly inclusive environment school wide. In 2016, a leadership position was created on the parent board to represent the interests of the Special Education students and staff. Working together, school events have been made truly accessible, featuring sensory friendly modifications for all students who require them. Our administration and staff have fully embraced this issue and the progress has been inspiring.

    In the fall of 2017, a group of dedicated Special Education parents founded John Hay Special Education Parents. This support/social group will give parents the opportunity to chat about our children and their needs, recommend services, ask questions, get support, learn from professionals in the field with targeted workshops, and just get to know each other and have a great time with other adults. Please be on the lookout for emails from your child's case manager for upcoming meeting dates. You can also contact the group leaders at

    For more information on Special Education district wide, please visit Seattle Public Schools Special Education website at:

    Upcoming Meetings of Interest

    SPS Meet and Greet
    John Hay Elementary
    Tuesday, September 4, 2018
    3pm – 4pm

    Join us for an opportunity to meet your child's team of teachers and IA's, see your classroom, and ask all your questions.

    Parent Education Night: Focus on Autism
    What is Autism and Why Inclusion Matters
    John Hay Elementary
    Tuesday, September 25, 2018
    Special Education is an integral but often misunderstood part of John Hay’s culture. Inclusion is our heritage and an important topic for parents of every child. Please join John Hay parents Charles and Jenn DiBona and experts Dr. Raphael Bernier and Dr. Gary Stobbe for an honest discussion about autism. We’ll explore what autism is, where research is focused, and how inclusion education benefits all students. Please bring your questions and
    an open mind as we talk about the wonders of all of our children. Read our event flyer here


    Resource teacher &
    Department Lead:
    Misa Nakamura

    Access K-2
    Kimberly Cook

    Access 3-5
    Anthony Williams

    Shawn McCulloch

    Handy Glossary

    AT - AssistiveTechnology

    FAPE - Free & Appropriate Public Education

    FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

    IA - Instructional Assistant

    IEP - Individualized Educational Plan

    LRE - Least Restrictive Environment

    OT/PT - Occupational/Physical Therapy

    SLP - Speech Language Pathologist

    SPED - Special Education

    The district has a comprehensive glossary on their Special Education page.