Skip To Main Content

Special Education Vision & Principles

Special Education Vision and Guiding Principles


The Shoreline School District's vision of special education is to provide high-quality, individualized, equitable, inclusive education to all students. All students will learn the academic and work-life skills to achieve student-centered post-secondary success.

Guiding Principles


  • The school community addresses and learns about how systemic racism and ableism impact student progress, engagement and belonging, and have steps in place to disrupt systems of racism and ableism.
  • Dismantle segregated special education classrooms to ensure a culture of belonging for all students in the least restrictive environment.
  • Acknowledge implicit biases and eliminate attitudes and stereotypes associated with disabilities.
  • Actively seek and incorporate student voice as it relates to special education services.
  • Students and families see themselves represented in the schools through materials, communications, and curriculum.
  • School personnel and families understand and use the least dangerous assumption when making educational decisions.

Inclusive Education

  • All students, regardless of their designation to receive special education services, will be provided with targeted services, supports, and accommodations; allowing them to learn in the general education classroom, interact with peers, and engage in the core curriculum.
  • All school cultures and environments prioritize the meaningful inclusion, access, support and participation of all students.
  • Differences are valued as assets that strengthen our learning community
  • All students and families have a sense of belonging and are respected members of the learning community.
  • All students are provided the resources and experiences to develop an understanding of the broad range of post-secondary opportunities.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

  • Develop and implement Multi-Tiered Systems of Support to consistently meet every student’s needs and accelerate student academic, social, emotional, and behavioral learning.
  • Provide high-quality core instruction using evidence-based curriculum
  • Ensure all instruction is individualized to be responsive, and flexible models of intervention are provided.
  • Provide professional development and collaboration in research-based practices (i.e. Universal Design for Learning, Positive Behavior Intervention and Support, Specially Designed Instruction etc.) to all staff ensuring they are equipped to provide instruction to all students regardless of disability, in the least restrictive environment.
  • Opportunities have been identified to embed or target IEP goals within the context of general education.


  • Students, families and caregivers, staff, and communities are valued and engaged in planning for student success.
  • Culturally responsive communication is utilized to facilitate authentic collaboration.
  • Students are given intentional opportunities to be involved, provide input and/or lead their IEP meetings.

Student Outcomes

  • Instructional programs are student-centered, build autonomy and prepare each graduate for a successful transition to post-secondary life, work and learning.
  • Students will build skills and confidence to navigate an interdependent world and develop a sense of belonging throughout educational settings and the larger community.
  • Students will successfully transition throughout the various levels of the education system (preschool, elementary, middle, high school, and transition programs) and into post-secondary pursuits including higher education, vocational schools, and employment.

Download the vision and guiding principles as a printable two-page PDF.