At Assumption-St. Bridget School, All Are Welcome, including students who have documented disabilities. Assumption-St. Bridget School has a long tradition of serving diversified learners, who come to us with a variety of academic, communication, social, emotional, medical, or executive functioning needs. We believe that diversified learners are individuals who can improve the teaching process, positively impact the classroom community, and enrich our school climate.
To most effectively educate a broad range of student skills and abilities, Assumption-St. Bridget School implements a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) that allows each student to get what they need out of their educational experience. Our classroom teachers, specialist teachers, and instructional aides work to provide an exceptional Tier 1 classroom experience for all of our students, including our diversified learners. Our highly-qualified staff believes in the inclusive education of diversified learners as a cornerstone of our Catholic faith, and routinely improves upon their experience and expertise in the classroom with ongoing professional development in special education best practices, effective instructional strategies, brain-based research for educators, social/emotional development, and executive functioning coaching.
Assumption-St. Bridget School further supports diversified learners through the Student Success Team, consisting of the Assumption-St. Bridget School Principal, Vice Principal of Academics and Math Coach, Director of Student Success, Learning Specialist, and School Counselor/School Psychologist, who together actively manages and supports Tier 1 programming, provides Tier 2 interventions, and collaborates regarding Tier 3 supports for students.
The first point of contact for each parent is his or her child’s homeroom teacher. The homeroom teacher manages your child’s educational experience, and you will want him or her to know right away that you have received a diagnosis for your child.
You will also want to include our Director of Student Success, Elee McCarthy, on your communications regarding the diagnosis. Ms. McCarthy oversees the education and plans of our diversified learners, and can support you in making decisions about your child’s education following his or her diagnosis.
When a student receive a diagnosis through evaluation, our staff can become even better prepared to assist that student and his or her parents in ensuring their child receives a meaningful and appropriate educational experience. Diagnostic information allows us to understand the unique and complex learning profile of your child, including how their brain or body works, what types of experiences and instructional approaches will work best, and accommodations or modifications that will enrich their educational experience.
Although diagnostic information will improve your child’s educational experience, it does not mean that your child will have a completely individualized or unique education. We want to support students in understanding their diagnoses, learning compensatory strategies, and becoming well-versed in self-advocacy in the hopes that all of our students, including our diversified learners, come to function with independence and achievement in the general education classroom. A documented disability, therefore, does not result in a sacrificing of rigor or a lowering of expectations: all students, even those with disabilities, are capable of achieving great feats and making a positive difference in our community and world.
When a student receives a medical, neurodevelopmental, language, learning, or psychological diagnosis, the Assumption-St. Bridget Student Success team uses that diagnostic information, in collaboration with the student and his or her parent, to determine an educational plan that is tailored to the strengths and educational needs of the student. This plan, however, is not a 504 Plan or an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Both of these plans of support are provided by and federally required in public schools in the United States. These plans are not written by or put in place by any private school, including Assumption-St. Bridget School.
Working as a team, the Assumption-St. Bridget School Student Success Team will create an internal support document, called a Student Support Plan, that highlights the student’s diagnosis and the professional recommendations made to support the student in making adequate progress. This internal document is reviewed by the student’s support team, including parent, teachers, and Student Success Team members, at least three times per academic year to ensure that the plan continues to provide relevant and meaningful suggestions and guidelines. We encourage all students to participate in discussion about their Student Support Plan, and strongly recommend students in grades 3-8 actively participate in Student Support Plan Meetings.
Although Assumption-St. Bridget School attempts to meet the needs of all students, at times, diagnostic recommendations include the enlistment of support from private providers, such as Speech and Language Pathologists, Learning Specialists, Tutors, Executive Functioning Coaches, Primary Care Physicians, Therapists, and Behavioral Specialists. When a student requires outside and additional support, the Assumption-St. Bridget School staff are committed to ongoing communication and collaboration that best supports the student’s progress. Members of the Assumption-St. Bridget Student Success Team can provide you with lists of private providers that have worked successfully with other Assumption-St. Bridget School families. Some providers serve students outside of the school day and off campus, while other providers arrange to provide services to students on the Assumption-St. Bridget campus and during the school day.
Families also have the option of receiving free services through Seattle Public Schools. Students are required to qualify for services as a result of a Seattle Public Schools evaluation in the areas of suspected disability. If a student qualifies for services, families can select from two options to receive services that support the child’s ongoing education at Assumption-St. Bridget School:
- Dual-enrollment: In this case, the student would become dually-enrolled in both Seattle Public Schools and Assumption-St. Bridget School. With this option, the student would receive an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that would legally require Seattle Public Schools to provide agreed-upon services in the areas of disability. The student would participate in general education classes at Assumption-St. Bridget School, and travel to a Seattle Public School to receive services in special education for a portion of time each week during the vast majority of the academic year, transportation provided. Special education services are provided in either a small group setting, or one-on-one depending on the student and need. The student would likely still spend the vast majority of their time in their classroom at Assumption-St. Bridget School.
- Seattle Public Schools Service Plan: In this case, the student and family would decline to receive services through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and would instead opt to receive on-site services in one area of disability at Assumption-St. Bridget School. In example, if the student qualified to receive support in both math and reading, the family would have to select math or reading as the one area in which to receive support. In this situation, the student would be assigned a contracted tutor who would travel to Assumption-St. Bridget School, and provide one-on-one services to the student. These sessions typically occur once or twice per week, most of the academic year.
For additional information on the rights of private school students in special education, please click here.
For information on applying for a Seattle Public Schools evaluation, please click here.
During your child’s enrollment at Assumption-St. Bridget School – for some children from age 4 to 14! – your child will change a great deal. Although an evaluation provides invaluable information about your child, that information often proves as completely relevant and appropriate for any a period of time during these years of rapid development. Best practice recommendations suggest that an evaluation can be considered appropriate for three years from the time of evaluation. After three years of time has elapsed, a new evaluation may indicate that your child still qualifies for his or her diagnoses, may qualify for additional diagnoses, or no longer qualifies for any diagnoses. This information, again, supports us in creating the most meaningful and appropriate education we can for your child. If your evaluation was through Seattle Public Schools, the school district team is required to evaluate your child again within that three year window of time. If your evaluation was through a private provider, it will be your family’s decision if and when you would like to undergo a reevaluation.
Prospective high schools require that an evaluation is “current” (conducted within the last three years) at the time of application, fall of the 8th grade year. We highly recommend getting any reevaluations completed during your child’s 7th grade year to ensure that you have the updated diagnostic information and recommendations prior to the start of the 8th grade year.
If you have any additional questions about the evaluation process or evaluation results that you’ve received, please contact Elee McCarthy, Director of Student Success at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to serving you!