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Phone Number

(425) 456-4149

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The purpose of Child Find is to locate, evaluate and identify children with suspected disabilities in need of special education services. The Bellevue School District has a comprehensive Child Find process to ensure all residents and private schools within the district are made aware of the special education and related services offered by the district.

Child Find is a process designed to locate children, birth through age 21, with a suspected disability to evaluate and identify a need for special education and related services.

Early Intervention Program

Birth to Age 3

Kindering Center, located in Bellevue, offers free evaluations for infants and toddlers (birth through 3 years) that will help you determine if your child is following a typical pattern of development. If appropriate, Kindering Center will provide early intervention help for your child.

Eligible infants, toddlers, and their families are entitled to individualized, quality early intervention services in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C. Bellevue School District partners with Kindering Center to transition students to the district at age 3, when appropriate.

For evaluations call Kindering Center at (425) 747-4004, or visit their website at

Preschool Program

Ages 3 to 5

The Child Find team provides a free developmental screening and/or special education evaluation for all children (ages 3 to 5) suspected of having a developmental delay or disability.

The purpose of the screening is to identify any developmental delays, such as adaptive, cognitive, communication, motor, or social/emotional delays that may potentially affect a child’s functional or pre-academic performance.

Upon completion of the screening, the Child Find team will explain the results and determine if a special education evaluation is needed.
Eligible preschool students are entitled to individualized, quality early intervention special education services in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.

Preschool Child Find Intake Form:
English (PDF)Español (PDF)

For preschool screenings, evaluations, or questions call (425) 456-4149 or email [email protected].

School Age Program

Kindergarten to 21 years

The referral process begins when a teacher, parent, and/or agency identifies a student who is perceived as having difficulties that interfere with learning. To refer a student attending a Bellevue School District school, contact your school counselor. Requests for special education evaluations need to be in writing.

Child Find activities are extended to students who are home-schooled or attending private schools located within the Bellevue School District boundary.

If your child attends a private school within the Bellevue School District call (425) 456-4149 or email [email protected].

Private/Home School Referral Form:
English (PDF)Español (PDF)

When should a child be referred to Child Find?

  • When birth complications or a medical disorder interferes with development and/or learning
  • When a child seems to have difficulty hearing or seeing
  • When you or others outside the family don’t understand a child’s speech
  • When a child appears to be learning more slowly than other children their age
  • When a child appears to have social emotional difficulties that affect their ability to learn
  • When a child has motor difficulties (moving , jumping, using their hands, etc.) that interferes with their ability to keep with other children

Evaluation Process

To qualify for special education:

  • A student must have a disability as defined by the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA)
  • That disability must adversely impact their education
  • That adverse impact must require specially designed instruction.

This is determined through the evaluation.

See below to learn more about each step in the process

1) Referral for Special Education:

Children may be eligible for special education services at birth. Identification of school-age children is usually based on the child’s performance in school.

Pre-referral: Before referring a school-aged child for an evaluation, the classroom teacher may plan strategies to see if his or her performance improves with simple changes in curriculum or environment. These are called “pre-referral interventions.” At least two pre- referral interventions must be tried and documented. If your child’s performance improves, an evaluation may not be needed. If problems continue, an evaluation will help identify more specific ways to help your child learn. A pre-referral intervention does not require parent permission. It is important for parents to know what interventions are to be tried and the amount of time that they will be attempted before it is decided if they are working or not.

Referral: When classroom interventions are not successful, the classroom teacher may make a referral for a Child Study Team to consider whether the child should receive further evaluation. This team decides the areas to be evaluated and the types of evaluation(s) to be completed.

The referral is the starting point of the special education process. A referral is simply a written document requesting an evaluation. This referral can be made by a parent or guardian, the classroom teacher, any member of the school district (public or private), a judicial officer, or a student (18 years or older, or an emancipated minor). A meeting may be scheduled to voice concerns.

Parents may initiate a request for an evaluation. In order to do this, you should submit a written request for an evaluation to the school. One copy of the letter should go to the school principal and school psychologist and one should be kept for your files. This document should include the reason for the referral and details describing academic or behavioral concerns.

You also may be asked to provide additional details regarding concerns about school performance. Once the request is made, the team will determine if interventions need to be implemented or if the assessment process should begin.

A referral does not mean the student has a disability. It is the first step to determine if concerns are due to a disability. Following the referral, the school district will invite you to an evaluation-planning meeting. You will work with the school team to determine what areas will be evaluated, what tests will be used and who will do the testing. The evaluation cannot take place without your written consent.

2) 25 school days to decide:

Once a request is made, the school team has 25 school days to determine if they will move forward with a special education evaluation. During this time, the team will review data, talk with people who know the student (you, teachers, etc.), and review any outside relevant reports about the student. The school will notify you of the decision.

3) Written parental consent:

The school must obtain written parental consent before an evaluation can begin. This consent can be revoked at any time by the legal guardian.

4) 35 school days to complete evaluation:

The special education evaluation is conducted by the school psychologist. School psychologists have a variety of standardized tests that are used to determine eligibility. Tests are chosen based on identified areas of concern. During the evaluation, other data will also be reviewed such as classroom observations, grades, state testing results, and input from teachers/providers who are familiar with the student. Rating scales may also be used and parents may be asked to complete one about their child. The team has 35 school days to complete this.

5) Review evaluation results

After the evaluation, the case manager or school psychologist assigned to your child will contact you. This person will coordinate a date and time for you to discuss the results of your child’s evaluation with members of the evaluation team along with at least one classroom teacher. The student’s participation is determined on an individual basis and is up to you.

The assessment results will be summarized in an evaluation report. You should receive a draft of the report prior to the meeting. You will be able to have input into the final report.  Your child’s eligibility for special education services is determined by very specific criteria outlined by State and Federal Law.

If your child is found to meet the eligibility criteria for any of the identified educational disabilities the evaluation team can recommend moving on to the development of an Individualized Education Plan or IEP.

If your child does not qualify for special education and still struggles in school, there are other options that may be available to him or her. General education supports including:

  • title services
  • student advocates
  • guidance counselors
  • 504 Plans
  • reading/math interventionists

6) 30 calendar days to develop IEP:

The IEP team has 30 calendar days to develop an Individual Education Program (IEP). Learn more about IEPs here (insert link). It is important to note that parent(s) must be notified and offered an opportunity to participate in all meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and provision of free and appropriate education for the student. Interpreters are available, if needed

7) As soon as possible, services begin:

The school will seek your consent for the initial provision of services either before or at the initial IEP team meeting. Your initial consent is for services only, not necessarily for what is in the IEP.

You can watch a past information session about the evaluation process presented by BSD school psychologists

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.