Services and Accommodations

Placement and Primary Service Types

What defines placement?

Placement defines the setting, intensity, and instructional content of each student’s services.Placement is a specific term used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA), so it means the same thing across the United States, within a special education context. Placement will impact your student’s SPS primary service type, which can also affect your student’s assignment. Having a specific placement or primary service type does not guarantee or imply attendance at a particular school.

Placement is a fundamental part of the IEP team process. Your student’s placement can be found in their Individualized Education Program (IEP),documented as setting , intensity of services, and instructional content .

Setting

Setting describes the location where a student receives instruction. Setting does not refer to a specificschool.

Every student should learn in their least restrictive environment (LRE) . The general educationsetting is the default LRE. However, some students have specific learning needs that make an alternative settingtheir LRE. A student’s LRE can vary throughout their school day, across instructional content and settings.

In a student’s IEP, their setting is often summarized as the percentage of time spent in the general educationsetting.

Intensity of Services

Intensity describes how complex a student’s services are.

Intensity of services is documented in the IEP with quantitative and qualitative measures. Both are factors indescribing the intensity of a student’s services.

Quantitative measures describe information that can be measured with numbers. This can include:

  • how many areas of special education instruction and related services
  • how many minutes of instruction and related services
  • how many accommodations, etc.

Qualitative measures describe information about qualities and are captured in narrative sections ofthe IEP, including:

  • present levels of academic achievement
  • functional performance, etc.

Instructional Content

Instruction describes what the services are.

Instructional content is the scope of what is being taught beyond the general education curriculum. Under IDEA it is called SpeciallyDesigned Instruction (SDI) .

Primary Service Types

The concept of a continuum of alternative placements applies to special education in all school districts in the state of Washington. The ContinuumApproach is how services are delivered within Seattle Public Schools.

A Primary Service type categorizes a student’s placement for the purpose of assignment within Seattle PublicSchools. (This is sometimes called a Seattle Public Schools Primary Service type or SPS Primary Service type.) Each student’s IEP team selects the PrimaryService type that best aligns with the student’s IEP. A student’s primary service type may change through the IEP process due to significant progress, or lack of progress.

Having a specific Primary Service type does not guarantee assignment to a particular school. The Primary Service typedefines the student’s admissions pathway, a process that leads to a specific assignment for a student.

Special Education Service Pathways

These Primary Service type descriptions apply to students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools, grades K–12, and students receiving special education transition services (up to 21 years old). For preschool service descriptions, please see Early Learning SpecialEducation.

Select a Primary Service type below to learn more about it.

Students with the Primary Service type of Resource receive specially designed instruction (SDI)addressing the mild to moderate differences in their instructional needs for specific academic needs and socialskills. Instructional content varies, based on each student’s IEP.

These students spend the majority of their instructional time in general educational settings with targeted support.Services may be provided in any setting, based on the student’s IEP.

This Primary Service type is available to students who qualify in any IDEA disability category.

Students with the Primary Service type of Access have more intensive service needs. They receivespecially designed instruction (SDI) addressing their moderate to intensive academic and functional needs.Instructional content varies, based on each student’s IEP.

These students are able to make progress on their IEP goals while spending the majority of their instructional timein general education settings with a full range of supports needed. These students may also benefit from a varietyof specialized instruction, including smaller group instruction and intervention, for part of the day. Services maybe provided in any setting, based on the student’s IEP.

This Primary Service type is available to students who qualify in any IDEA disability category.

Students with the Primary Service type of Focus receive specially designed instruction (SDI)addressing their intensive academic and functional needs.

Students have opportunities to participate in the general education curriculum through specially designed instructionat their present level of performance. Instructional content varies, based on each student’s IEP.

These students benefit from spending a majority of their instructional time in a smaller group setting as their leastrestrictive environment (LRE), but this can vary by IEP.

This Primary Service type is available to students who qualify in any IDEA disability category.

Students with the Primary Service type of Social/Emotional (or SELreceive specially designed instruction (SDI) supporting the development of their social/emotional skills, function, and understanding. Students may receive some or all of the academic instruction through SDI, as determined by the student’s IEP. Instructional content varies, based on each student’s IEP.

Services are frequently delivered within a small group setting, but this can vary by IEP.

This Primary Service type is available to students who qualify in any IDEA disability category.

Students with a Primary Service type of Distinct benefit from a curriculum which differssignificantly from the general education curriculum. specially designed instruction (SDI) can include academic,communication, life and functional skill components.

Services are frequently delivered within a small group setting, but this can vary by IEP.

This Primary Service type is available to students who qualify in any IDEA disability category.

Students with a Primary Service type of Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) receive specially designed instruction (SDI) in their least restrictive environment (LRE), as determined by their IEP team.

Instructional content provides students with opportunities to participate in general education curriculum throughspecially designed instruction with accommodations, modifications and interpreter services. It also varies, based oneach student’s IEP.

Students may benefit from a concentration of support services or specialized facilities outside their assignmentarea.

This service is open to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Students with a Primary Service type of Blind/Visually Impaired (also called Vision) receive specially designed instruction (SDI) in their least restrictive environment (LRE) as determined by their IEP team.

Instructional content provides students opportunities to participate in general education curriculum throughspecially designed instruction with accommodations and modifications. It also varies, based on each student’s IEP.

Students may benefit from a concentration of support services or specialized facilities outside their assignmentarea.

This service is open to students who are blind or visually impaired.

Students with a Primary Service type of Medically Fragile receive specially designed instruction(SDI) in their least restrictive environment (LRE) as determined by their IEP team.

Instructional content provides students opportunities to participate in general education curriculum throughspecially designed instruction at their present level of performance. It also varies based on each student’s IEP.

Students may benefit from a concentration of support services or specialized facilities outside their assignmentarea.

Services are frequently delivered within a small group setting, but this can vary by IEP.

This service is open to students with intensive medical care needs from all IDEA disability categories.

18–21 Transition Services is intended to provide specially designed instruction (SDI) to students,18–21 years of age, with intensive functional special education needs.

This service is open to students ages 18–21 years old, who qualify for any IDEA disability category.

Early Learning Placements and Programs

Preschool options are designed to offer a continuum of services in an effort to meet a variety of student developmental needs:

Therapy Services Only

Individual or small group services are provided to eligible children who can make progress in one or two developmental areas when provided with one to two therapy sessions a week. The sessions occur at local schools.

Itinerant Services

Services provided to students enrolled in a childcare/preschool located within a Seattle school or Head Start who can make progress in that environment with the support of a Special Education Teacher working within that classroom context one to two times per week.

Developmental Preschool

Preschools provide morning or afternoon sessions Monday through Thursday for 2 1/2 hours. They provide high quality early childhood environments where activities are designed by Special Education Teachers and Therapists to meet the individual developmental needs of students. Typically developing preschoolers from the community are included in many of the programs.

Extended Day Services

Students with autism who are enrolled in a preschool program may be considered by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team for more intensive services in addition to their preschool day in order to accomplish specific goals in their IEP.

Developmental Preschool

Learn more about Developmental Preschool in Seattle Public Schools