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Student Services » Special Education Services

Special Education Services

All students are general education students first.
All students should be within the general education classroom to the maximum extent.
All students should remain in their neighborhood schools.
Services should be based on student needs.
Parents are valued members of the team.
All students will have access to quality Specially Designed Instruction.
The Forest Grove School District (FGSD) is seeking assistance in locating children with disabilities (birth through age 21) who have not graduated from high school and currently are not attending nor receiving other special services from public schools.
Oregon and federal law mandate educational services for children with disabilities. FGSD provides educational programs and services for eligible children from kindergarten through age 21. Services provided are appropriate to each child's disability.
The Northwest Regional Education Service District provides educational services for eligible children from birth to kindergarten.  For children younger than kindergarten, please telephone the NWRESD at 503-614-1446.
Parents, guardians, or anyone who knows of a child (age five through 21) with a disability currently not receiving educational services are asked to notify the special education contact person in the child's home school or contact the District Student Services Department at 503-359-2403.
For students enrolled in private schools within the Forest Grove School District, please contact the Student Services Department at 503-359-2403 and refer to the Private School Plan information below.
Each school in the Forest Grove School District has a system of intervention in place to identify and address the learning needs of every child from the moment they enter school.  These systems help to determine if your child needs additional support to make expected gains.  The data gathered through these systems help to identify if a child may be experiencing a disability.  Please contact your child's principal or classroom teacher if you have concerns about your child's academic progress.
What is Special Education?
To qualify for special education services, a child must have one of the identified disabilities AND the disability must adversely impact their educational performance AND they need specially designed instruction in order to make adequate progress. Every school district has the legal responsibility to identify, locate and evaluate children who are in need of special education services.  The law calls this Child Find.
Referral for Special Education Services
At any time, anyone concerned about the progress of an individual student who suspects the student may be experiencing a disability, that person may make a referral for special education services.  You may contact your child's teacher, principal or school counselor if you suspect your child may be experiencing a disability.  
Special Education Evaluation
At the Referral Team meeting, a decision will be made as to whether or not there is enough information to suspect your child may have a disability. The team may decide there is not enough information to move forward with an evaluation, refer the student back to the RtI team or proceed with an evaluation for special education services.
Determining Eligibility
After the evaluation process has been completed, an eligibility determination will be conducted.  The team will use the available information and the established eligibility criteria for the disability category(ies) being considered to determine if the student is eligible to receive special education services.  A reevaluation of services is conduced every three years for students that are eligible for services.
Once a student is found eligible, the team will create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that addresses the students present levels of performance, the skills and goals that  he/she needs to learn,  the services that will be provided, as well as the accommodations or modifications the student needs to access curriculum.  A student's IEP is reviewed annually although a team member (includes parents) can call a meeting at any time by notifying the student's case manager.  
The Forest Grove School District (FGSD) is committed to serving students whose parents have enrolled them in private schools that are located within the district boundaries. 
When parents or private school staff members suspect that a child may have a disability, a referral is made.  Forest Grove Special Education staff members convene a team that includes the parent and private school teacher to review the concerns and determine whether an evaluation is warranted.  If the team determines that an evaluation for special education eligibility is necessary, FGSD Special Education staff members will complete the evaluation after gaining written parent consent.  The team reconvenes to consider the results of the evaluation and determine whether the child meets Federal and State guidelines for eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 
“Child Find”, the process described above, is available at no cost to parents or private schools and applies to all schools (for profit and non-profit) within the FGSD attendance boundaries. 
For students attending non-profit private schools that are found eligible for special education services, a Service Plan is developed.  The Service Plan specifies what FGSD staff members will do to support the child’s learning in the private school setting.  The menu of options is determined each year after consultation with private school representatives. For 2019-2020, that menu includes the following:
  • Up to 120 minutes/month of direct service from a Speech Language Pathologist.
  • Up to 60 minutes/month of consultative services from a licensed special education teacher.
Child Find referrals from concerned parents and private school staff members can be made by calling Student Services at 503-359-2403.
Recovery Services
The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to educate students in new ways. Most students will enter schools for in-person instruction this year. All students will have unfinished learning. The services the school provides to support all students will be enough for many students. Some students who experience disability may need more support. 
The District plans to discuss individualized COVID-19 recovery services at each student's annual IEP meeting, as required by OAR 581-015-2228. You will have the opportunity at your child's IEP to discuss this. If you would like to schedule an IEP meeting prior to the annual IEP to discuss if your child is eligible to receive individual COVID-19 recovery services, please contact your child's case manager or school. 
Face Covering Accommodations/Modifications

Last school year, the Oregon Department of Education required districts to provide a Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) option for students. At that time, we provided special education services in an online or hybrid setting. This school year, the ODE has not imposed this requirement and has prioritized in-person learning. 


One thing we have learned from this past year is that most students, especially those with special education services, make more meaningful progress with in-person instruction. Therefore, students enrolled in the online program will receive special education services at their home school building. We have developed layered protection protocols to provide special education services in a safe environment for students, including personal protective equipment, staff vaccinations, physical distancing, and enhanced ventilation and air purification.


Each case manager with students enrolled in the online program will be scheduling an IEP review meeting to determine which services a student may need while engaged in the online setting, including transportation if needed. The case manager will then develop a schedule of how services will be provided at the home school. 


We know that COVID has had a significant impact on families, especially families who have a student who experiences a disability. We appreciate your patience as we work through this dynamic environment. As we move through this school year, we will continue to evaluate the need and capacity for us to provide online special education services. 



Kimberley Shearer, Ed.D.

Director of Student Services




Q: I completed the online district enrollment form. How do I know if my student is enrolled?
Please contact your child's home school secretary to verify registration and enrollment.
Q: Is the district's online program the same as Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) during the school closure last year?
A: No. Last year CDL was a state requirement due to statewide closures. This school-year the Oregon Department of Education is prioritizing in-person learning. The District's online program is designed for students who flourished in the online environment.
Q: What is the special education process when I enroll my student in the district online school?
A: Your child's case manager will schedule an IEP meeting to determine what services your child needs while attending online.
Q: Will my child receive special education services online?
A: Students will receive special education and related services in their brick and mortar home school.
Q: Why isn't the district providing special education services online?
A: We believe students make the most progress from in-person special education services. The impact of the school closures and required distance learning provided us with data that it is extremely challenging to provide equitable services for students who experience a disability. 
Q: What if my child has a health condition that prevents him/her to participate in person due to COVID-19?
A: With any health condition that prevents a student from safely accessing in-person services, you and your child's IEP team will review pertinent medical information and make a determination about how and where services will be provided. 
Q: What are you doing to protect my child during in-person services?
A: We have developed layered protection protocols to provide special education services in a safe environment for students, including personal protective equipment, face coverings, staff vaccinations, physical distancing, and enhanced ventilation and air purification.
Q: If I have questions about the regular education online options, who do I speak to?
A: For all non-special education questions, please contact your building administrator or your child's school counselor. 
Students in grades K-6 receive general education literacy, math, and STEAM live instruction for 2.45 hours per day. Depending on the grade level, the other part of the day students receive asynchronous lessons on the Canvas platform. If students choose to participate in specials, they will do so at their neighborhood school. Special Education services will be delivered on-site at the student's neighborhood school, and transportation will be provided if necessary. 
For more detailed information please reference the Back to school night presentation.
Students in grades 9-12 receive general education core instruction in a variety of courses offered. Lessons and assignments will be posted to the Canvas platform. Students will not receive live core instruction but will access office hours from their teacher where they can receive additional support for assignments. Special Education services will be delivered on-site at the student's neighborhood school, and transportation will be provided if necessary. 
Forest Grove School District provides both district and contracted services. For contracted services we partner with the Northwest Regional ESD (NWRESD).
Any child who is eligible for special education in Oregon because of a hearing impairment (see Oregon Administrative Rule 581-015-0051 for criteria) is potentially eligible to receive services at the Oregon School for the Deaf.