Services for School-Age Students with Disabilities
The District provides a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) to eligible students. To qualify as an eligible student, the student must be of school-age, in need of specially designed instruction, and meet eligibility criteria for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in Pennsylvania State Regulations: Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability (formerly referred to as Mental Retardation), Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Visual Impairment including Blindness. Information regarding the appropriate developmental milestone descriptors for infants and toddlers may be found at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at cdc.gov. Information regarding the descriptors for disability categories may be found at the Center for Parent Resources website at parentcenterhub.org. For additional information regarding the signs of developmental delays or other disabilities, please contact the Coordinator of Special Education at 412-635-4109 or the School Psychologist assigned to your student’s building.
The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parent(s)/guardian(s), these services are provided in compliance with state and federal laws and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an on-going basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability, and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, physical, and speech/language screening; and review by the Elementary Student Assistant Program (ESAP) Team or Pupil Personnel Team (PPT). When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible for special education services, the District seeks parental/guardian consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parent(s)/ guardian(s) who suspect that their student is eligible for special education services may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time through a written request to the Building Principal, Coordinator of Special Education, or Supervisor of Special Education and Pupil Services.
Services designed to meet the needs of eligible students include the annual development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP), bi-annual or tri-annual multidisciplinary reevaluation, and a full continuum of services, which include Itinerant, Supplemental, or Full-Time Levels of Support. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the IEP team and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the level of intensity of the specified intervention. The District also provides related services, such as transportation, speech and language therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy required for the student to benefit from the special education program. Parent(s)/guardian(s) may obtain additional information regarding special education services and programs and parental due process rights by contacting the student’s Building Principal or the Coordinator of Special Education at 412-635-4109.