Tacoma parents of special education students file complaint

Parents of special education students in Tacoma have filed a complaint about decisions the district has made during the coronavirus pandemic, asking the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to intervene.

Kristin Luippold and her husband are members of the Tacoma Special Needs PTA.

The citizen complaint sent through their attorney Monday to OSPI says they’re “representing the interests of all special education students in the Tacoma School District who are assigned a 1:1 paraeducator in their (individualized education programs), parents in the District who have received little to no communication about when their students’ special education services will be provided, and who have had decisions made cutting special education services outside of the IEP team process and without Prior Written Notice and procedural safeguards.”

Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel said the district received the complaint Tuesday and is reviewing it.

Voelpel also said in a statement that

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Tacoma kindergartners, special ed students return to classrooms Monday

Tacoma Public Schools kindergartners and special education students will return to the classroom Monday. Desks will be kept 6 feet apart.

TACOMA, Wash. — Students will return to the campuses of Tacoma Public Schools on Monday morning.

Approximately 1,700 kindergarteners and 700 special education students will resume in-person instruction with precautions based on recommendations by the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.

”I am getting ready for you to come back to class on Monday. I couldn’t be more excited,” Point Defiance Elementary kindergarten teacher Kelly King told her students during their Wednesday morning online class.

King, who has taught in Tacoma schools for 35 years, said she has enjoyed teaching online but said her students need to be back in the classroom.

”Everyday will be a challenge,” said King. “But a good challenge. We’re all going to be better because of this.”

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Josephine Peterson: Tacoma homeless shelter has new role in COVID-19 pandemic: Helping to educate kids

Returning to school is tricky for every family this year.

For families living in a shelter with limited Wi-Fi, the challenges can feel insurmountable.

“My biggest fear is that my daughter is going to fall through the cracks and not get the education she needs,” Felicia Drew said. “It’s touch and go. I don’t know what will happen.”

Drew and her 10-year-old daughter, Laurise Drew, are staying at the Tacoma Rescue Missions’ Adams Street Family Campus.

Laurise attends fifth grade at Tacoma School District’s Bryant Montessori School. She is in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) focused on English and math.

Her mother is concerned she won’t receive the specialized education she needs. At the end of the prior school year, Felicia said, they struggled with the laptop they were given, and class was generalized for all.

Felicia is meeting with her daughter’s IEP teacher to create a plan for

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Tacoma shelter becomes school in COVID-19 remote learning

Returning to school is tricky for every family this year.

For families living in a shelter with limited Wi-Fi, the challenges can feel insurmountable.

“My biggest fear is that my daughter is going to fall through the cracks and not get the education she needs,” Felicia Drew said. “It’s touch and go. I don’t know what will happen.”

Drew and her 10-year-old daughter, Laurise Drew, are staying at the Tacoma Rescue Missions’ Adams Street Family Campus.

Laurise attends fifth grade at Tacoma School District’s Bryant Montessori School. She is in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) focused on English and math.

Her mother is concerned she won’t receive the specialized education she needs. At the end of the prior school year, Felicia said, they struggled with the laptop they were given, and class was generalized for all.

Felicia is meeting with her daughter’s IEP teacher to create a plan for specialized

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