What Is Special Education?

Special education is specially designed instruction that addresses the unique needs of a student eligible to receive special education services. Special education is provided at no cost to parents and includes the related services a student needs to access her/his educational program.

Early Stages (ages 0 – 3): Early intervention services are available to children who have disabilities and/or developmental delays. The Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program provides services to eligible children and families in a variety of settings – in their homes, in child care, in preschool or school programs, and in their communities. Meridian has a developmental preschool located at Irene Reither Elementary.

School Age (ages 3 – 21): Students with disabilities who are determined eligible for special education and related services are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Services are provided to eligible students according to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in preschools, elementary, and secondary schools, or other appropriate settings. Special Education Teachers in Meridian provide services in classes as well as pull outs. We also have specialized programs such as life skills and autism.


Family Guidance

Meridian Special Education Data on a statewide level can be found at the following link http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Data/pubdocs/Perf_Data_Profiles_FFY2011.xlsx

An Excel spreadsheet will be downloaded. Enter Meridian’s code of 37505 in the 5-digit county code cell.

District Special Education Contacts

Name Position Phone E-Mail
Aaron Jacoby Special Services Director 360-398-7111


Leslie Pagnossin Special Services Secretary 360-318-2154 lpagnoss@meridian.wednet.edu
Darla Hostutler Psychologist  360-318-2259 dhostutl@meridian.wednet.edu
Catherine Hull Speech Pathologist 360-318-2460 chullgre@meridian.wednet.edu
Kristy McKay Developmental Pre-School Speech Pathologist 360-318-2512


Melissa Whitten Developmental Pre-School Teacher 360-318-2512 mwhitten@meridian.wednet.edu

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance….”

The following link: Section 504 information