The Susquehanna Township School District (STSD) takes great pride in the highly qualified staff that makes up the special education department. Special education teachers hold valid certificates and are currently highly qualified for all subjects in which they are the teacher of record. Our department is committed to educating all of its students with disabilities in quality programs.
The District is committed to educating students in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Supplementary aids and services are used K-12 to ensure that students are accessing and deriving meaningful benefit from the general education curriculum. The District provides a full continuum of service for each student based on the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Para educators support the classroom instruction provided to students. Para educators participate in professional development opportunities at the building and district level and are trained in specific programs used in various buildings/grade levels.
- Parent Information
- Continuum of Services
- Early Intervention
- Post-Secondary Transition
- Special Education Plan
- Policies and Procedures
Parents are a crucial part of their student's education and IEP team.
- The ARC promotes human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- CAIU Provides support and services in partnerships with schools, families, and communities
- Student page to take responsibility for your education, your goals, and your future
- Parent pages to assist students in developing self-determination skills
Keystone Human Services
- A holistic approach to support individuals in the community
- OVR provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment
PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS NOTICE
BUREAU OF SPECIAL EDUCATION’S CONSULTLINE, A PARENT HELPLINE 800-879-2301
ConsultLine personnel are available to parents and advocates of children with disabilities or child thought to be disabled to explain federal and state laws relating to special education; describe the options that are available to parents; inform the parents of procedural safeguards; identify other agencies and support services; and describe available remedies and how the parents can proceed.
Additional Resources appear at the end of this notice.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Federal law concerning the education of students with disabilities, requires the Local Education Agency (LEA) to provide parents of a child with a disability with this notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and the U.S. Department of Education regulations. A copy of this notice must be given to parents only once a school year, or:
(1) upon initial referral or parent request for evaluation; (2) upon filing by parents of their first State complaint under 34 CFR §§300.151 through 300.153 and upon filing by parents of their first due process complaint under §300.507 in a school year; (3) when a decision is made to take a disciplinary action that constitutes a change of placement; and (4) upon parent request. [34 CFR §300.504(a)]
This procedural safeguards notice must include a full explanation of all of the procedural safeguards available under §300.148 (unilateral placement at private school at public expense),
§§300.151 through 300.153 (State complaint procedures), §300.300 (consent), §§300.502 through 300.503, §§300.505 through 300.518, and §§300.530 through 300.536 (procedural safeguards in Subpart E of the Part B regulations), and §§300.610 through 300.625 (confidentiality of information provisions in Subpart F). This model form provides a format that LEAs may choose to use to provide information about procedural safeguards to parents.
- General Information
- Confidentiality Information
- State Complaint Procedures
- Due Process Complaint Procedure
- Hearings on Due Process Complaints
- Child's Placement Pending Mediation and Due Process
- Exclusion due to Discipline Issues
- Services when Parentally Placed in Private School
Who Is A Parent? (34 CFR §300.30)
THIS SECTION DESCRIBES WHO IS ABLE TO ACT AS A PARENT FOR PURPOSES OF SPECIAL EDUCATION DECISION MAKING.
A parent is a biological or adoptive parents of a child; a foster parent; a guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent, or authorized to make educational decision for the child; an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare; or a surrogate parent.
A surrogate parent must be appointed when no parent can be identified; the public agency, after reasonable efforts, cannot locate a parents; the child is a ward of the State under the laws of Pennsylvania, or the child in an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 11434a(6). Public agencies must ensure that a person selected as a surrogate parent is not an employee of the SEA, the LEA or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child; has no personal or professional interest that conflicts with the interest of the child the surrogate parent represents; and has knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child. The surrogate parent may represent the child in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child and the provision of FAPE to the child. The public agency must make reasonable efforts to ensure the assignment of surrogate parent not more than 30 days after a public agency determines that the child needs a surrogate parent.
What is Prior Written Notice? (34 CFR §300.503)
THIS SECTION EXPLAINS WHAT, HOW, AND WHEN AN LEA MUST TELL YOU ABOUT ACTIONS IT PROPOSES OR REFUSES TO TAKE.
When Notice Is Required
Your local education agency (LEA) – the entity responsible for providing a free appropriate public education to your child – must notify you in writing whenever it:
- Proposes to initiate or to change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to your child; or
- Refuses to initiate or to change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child, or the provision of FAPE to your child.
- Change of placement for disciplinary reasons.
- Due process hearing, or an expedited due process hearing, initiated by LEA.
- Refusal of LEA to agree to an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense.
- Parents’ revocation of consent for special education and related services.
In Pennsylvania, prior written notice is provided by means of a LEA Prior Written Notice Form/Notice of Recommended Educational Placement. You should be given reasonable notice of this proposal or refusal so that if you do not agree with the LEA you may take appropriate action. Reasonable Notice means ten days.
Content of Notice
The prior written notice must:
- Describe the action that your LEA proposes or refuses to take;
- Describe the parents’ action for the revocation of special education and related services;
- Explain why your LEA is proposing or refusing to take the action;
- Describe each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report your LEA used in deciding to propose or refuse the action;
- Include a statement that you have protections under the procedural safeguards provisions in Part B of IDEA;
- Tell how you can obtain a description of the procedural safeguards if the action that your LEA is proposing or refusing is not an initial referral for evaluation;
- Include resources for you to contact for help in understanding Part B of the IDEA;
- Describe any other choices that your child’s IEP Team considered and the reasons why those choices were rejected; and
- Provide a description of other reasons why your LEA proposed or refused the action.
Notice in understandable language
The notice must be:
- Written in language understandable to the general public; and
- Provided in your native language or other mode of communication you use, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
- If your native language or other mode of communication is not a written language, your LEA must ensure that:
- The notice is translated for you orally or by other means in your native language or other mode of communication;
- You understand the content of the notice; and
- There is written evidence that 1 and 2 have been met.
What is Native Language? (34 CFR §300.29)
Native language, when used with an individual who has limited English proficiency, means the following:
The language normally used by that person, or, in the case of a child, the language normally used by the child’s parents;
- In all direct contact with a child (including evaluation of a child), the language normally used by the child in the home or learning environment.
For a person with deafness or blindness, or for a person with no written language, the mode of communication is what the person normally uses (such as sign language, Braille, or oral communication).
Notice by Electronic Mail (34 CFR §300.505)
If your LEA offers parents the choice of receiving documents by e-mail, you may choose to receive the following by e-mail:
Prior written notice;
- Procedural safeguards notice; and
- Notices related to a due process complaint.
What is Parental Consent? (34 CFR §300.9)
THIS SECTION EXPLAINS WHAT INFORMED PARENTAL CONSENT IS AND WHEN YOU NEED TO PROVIDE IT, SO AN LEA MAY PROCEED AS PROPOSED IN THE NOTICE.
What is Parental Consent?
You have been fully informed in your native language or other mode of communication (such as sign language, Braille, or oral communication) of all information about the action for which consent is sought;
- You understand an agree in writing to that action, and the consent describes that action and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and
- You understand that the consent does not negate (undo) an action that has occurred after you gave your consent and before you withdrew it.
Can the Parent Revoke Consent?
Yes. You must submit written documentation to the LEA staff revoking consent for special education and related services;
When you revoke consent for special education and related services, the LEA must provide you with Prior Written Notice;
- Special education and related services cannot cease until the LEA provides you with Prior Written Notice;
- Prior notice is defined as ten calendar days;
- LEA staff cannot use mediation or due process to override your revocation of consent;
- The LEA will not be considered in violation of the requirement to make FAPE available to the child because of the failure to provide the child with further special education and related services;
- The LEA is not required to amend the child’s educational records to remove any references to the child’s receipt of special education and related services because of the revocation of consent.
- The LEA is not required to convene an IEP team meeting or develop and IEP for the child for further provision of special education and related services.
When is Parental Consent Needed?
Initial Evaluations (34 CFR §300.300)
- General Rule: Consent for initial evaluation
Your LEA cannot conduct an initial evaluation of your child to determine whether your child is eligible under Part B of the IDEA to receive special education and related services without first providing you with prior written notice of the proposed action and without obtaining your consent as described under the heading Parental Consent.
Your LEA must make reasonable efforts to obtain your informed consent for an initial evaluation to decide whether your child is a child with a disability. Your consent for initial evaluation does not mean that you have also given your consent for the LEA to start providing special education and related services to your child. If your child is enrolled in public school or you are seeking to enroll your child in a public school and you have refused to provide consent or failed to respond to a request to provide consent for an initial evaluation, your LEA may, but is not required to, seek to conduct an initial evaluation of your child by utilizing the Act’s mediation or due process complaint, resolution meeting, and impartial due process hearing procedures. Your LEA will not violate its obligations to locate, identify and evaluate your child if it does not pursue an evaluation of your child in these circumstances.
- Special rules for initial evaluation of Wards of the State
Under Pennsylvania law, if a child is designated a ward of the state, the whereabouts of the parent are not known or the rights of the parent have been terminated in accordance with State law. Therefore, someone other than the parent has been designated to make educational decisions for the child. Consent for an initial evaluation should, therefore, be obtained from the individual so designated.
Ward of the State, as used in the IDEA, encompasses two other categories, so as to include a child who is:
- A foster child who does not have a foster parent;
- Considered a ward of the State under State law; or
- In the custody of a public child welfare agency.
Consent for Initial Placement in Special Education (34 CFR §300.300) Parental consent for services
Your LEA must obtain your informed consent before providing special education and related services to your child for the first time. The LEA must make reasonable efforts to obtain your informed consent before providing special education and related services to your child for the first time.
If you do not respond to a request to provide your consent for your child to receive special education and related services for the first time, or if you refuse to give such consent, your LEA may not use the procedural safeguards (i.e. mediation, due process complaint, resolution meeting, or an impartial due process hearing) in order to obtain agreement or a ruling that the special education and related services as recommended by your child’s IEP Team may be provided to your child without your consent.
If you refuse to give your consent for your child to start receiving special education and related services, or if you do not respond to a request to provide such consent and the LEA does not provide your child with the special education and related services for which it sought your consent, your LEA:
- Is not in violation of the requirement to make FAPE available to your child for its failure to provide those services to your child; and
- Is not required to have an IEP meeting or develop an IEP for your child for the special education and related services for which your consent was request.
Consent for Reevaluations (34 CFR §300.300)
Your LEA must obtain your informed consent before it reevaluates your child, unless your LEA can demonstrate that:
It took reasonable steps to obtain your consent for your child’s reevaluation; and
- You did not respond.
What is Documentation of Reasonable Efforts to Obtain Parental Consent? (34 CFR §300.300)
Your LEA must maintain documentation of reasonable efforts to obtain parental consent for initial evaluations, to provide special education and related services for the first time, to reevaluation and to locate parents of wards of the State for initial evaluations. The documentation must include a record of the LEA’s attempts in these areas, such as:
Detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls;
- Copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received; and
- Detailed records of visits made to the parent’s home or place of employment and the results of those visits.
When is Consent Not Required Related to Evaluation? Your consent is not required before your LEA may:
- Review existing data as part of your child’s evaluation or a reevaluation; or
- Give your child a test or other evaluation that is given to all children unless, before that test or evaluation, consent is required from all parents of all children.
What If I Refuse to Consent to a Reevaluation?
If you refuse to consent to your child’s reevaluation, the LEA may, but is not required to, pursue your child’s reevaluation by using the mediation, due process complaint, resolution meeting, and impartial due process hearing procedures to seek to override your refusal to consent to your child’s reevaluation. As with initial evaluations, your LEA does not violate its obligations under Part B of the IDEA if it declines to pursue the reevaluation in this manner.
Your LEA may not use your refusal to consent to one service or activity to deny you or your child any other service, benefit, or activity.
If you have enrolled your child in a private school at your own expense or if you are home schooling your child, and you do not provide your consent for your child’s initial evaluation or your child’s reevaluation, or you fail to respond to a request to provide your consent, the LEA may not use its consent override procedures (i.e., mediation, due process complaint, resolution meeting, or an impartial due process hearing) and is not required to consider your child as eligible to receive equitable services (services made available to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities).
What If I Disagree With An Evaluation?
Independent Educational Evaluations (34 CFR §300.502)
As described below, you have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of your child if you disagree with the evaluation of your child that was obtained by your LEA. If you request an IEE, the LEA must provide you with information about where you may obtain an IEE and about the LEA’s criteria that apply to IEEs.
- Independent educational evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the LEA responsible for the education of your child.
- Public expense means that the LEA either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to you, consistent with the provisions of Part B of the IDEA, which allow each State to use whatever State, local, Federal and private sources of support are available in the State to meet the requirements of Part B of the Act.
Parent right to evaluation at public expense
You have the right to an IEE of your child at public expense if you disagree with an evaluation of your child obtained by your LEA, subject to the following conditions:
- If you request an IEE of your child at public expense, your LEA must, without unnecessary delay, either: (a) File a due process complaint to request a hearing to show that its evaluation of your child is appropriate; or (b) Provide an IEE at public expense, unless the LEA demonstrates in a hearing that the evaluation of your child that you obtained did not meet the LEA’s criteria.
- If your LEA requests a hearing and the final decision is that your LEA’s evaluation of your child is appropriate, you still have the right to an IEE, but not at public expense.
- If you request an IEE of your child, the LEA may ask why you object to the evaluation of your child obtained by your LEA. However, your LEA may not require an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the IEE of your child at public expense or filing a due process complaint to request a due process hearing to defend the LEA’s evaluation of your child.
- You are entitled to only one IEE of your child at public expense each time your LEA conducts an evaluation of your child with which you disagree.
- LEA criteria:
If an IEE is at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria that the LEA uses when it initiates an evaluation (to the extent those criteria are consistent with your right to an IEE).
Except for the criteria described above, a LEA may not impose conditions or timelines related to obtaining an IEE at public expense.
If you obtain an IEE of your child at public expense or you share with the LEA an evaluation of your child that you obtained at private expense:
- Your LEA must consider the results of the evaluation of your child, if it meets the LEA’s criteria for IEEs, in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE to your child; and
- You or your LEA may present the evaluation as evidence at a due process hearing regarding your child.
Requests for evaluations by hearing officers
If a hearing officer requests an IEE of your child as part of a due process hearing, the cost of the evaluation must be at public expense.
Consent For Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (34 CFR §300.622)
Unless the information is contained in education records, and the disclosure is authorized without parental consent under FERPA, your consent must be obtained before personally identifiable information is disclosed to parties other than officials of participating agencies. Except under the circumstances specified below, your consent is not required before personally identifiable information is released to officials of participating agencies for purposes of meeting a requirement of Part B of the IDEA.
Your consent, or consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under State law, must be obtained before personally identifiable information is released to officials of participating agencies providing or paying for transition services.
If your child is in, or is going to go to, a private school that is not located in the same LEA you reside in, your consent must be obtained before any personally identifiable information about your child is released between officials in the LEA where the private school is located and officials in the LEA where you reside.
II. CONFIDENTIALITY INFORMATION
Who Has Access To Confidential Information Related To My Child? (34 CFR §300.611)
- Related to the confidentiality of information, the following definitions apply:
- Destruction means physical destruction or removal of personal identifiers from information so that the information is no longer personally identifiable.
- Education records means the type of records covered under the definition of “education records” in 34 CFR Part 99 (the regulations implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g (FERPA)).
- Participating agency means any LEA, agency or institution that collects, maintains, or uses personally identifiable information, or from which information is obtained, under Part B of the IDEA.
B. Personally identifiable (34 CFR §300.32) means information that has:
- Your child’s name, your name as the parent, or the name of another family member;
- Your child’s address;
- A personal identifier, such as your child’s social security number or student number; or
- A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make it possible to identify your child with reasonable certainty.
C. Access Rights (34 CFR §300.613)
a. Parent Access
The LEA must permit you to inspect and review any education records relating to your child that are collected, maintained, or used by your LEA under Part B of the IDEA. The participating agency must comply with your request to inspect and review any education records on your child without unnecessary delay or before any meeting regarding an IEP, or any impartial due process hearing (including a resolution meeting or a hearing regarding discipline), and in no case more than 45 calendar days after you have made a request.
- Your right to inspect and review education records includes:
- Your right to a response from the participating agency to your reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records;
- Your right to request that the participating agency provide copies of the records if you cannot effectively inspect and review the records unless you receive those copies; and
- Your right to have your representative inspect and review the records.
- The participating agency may presume that you have authority to inspect and review records relating to your child unless advised that you do not have the authority under applicable State law governing such matters as guardianship, or separation and divorce.
- If any education record includes information on more than one child, the parents of those children have the right to inspect and review only the information relating to their child or to be informed of that specific information.
- On request, each participating agency must provide you with a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained, or used by the agency.
b. Other Authorized Access (34 CFR §300.614)
Each participating agency must keep a record of parties obtaining access to education records collected, maintained, or used under Part B of the IDEA (except access by parents and authorized employees of the participating agency), including the name of the party, the date access was given, and the purpose for which the party is authorized to use the records.
Each participating agency may charge a fee or copies of records (34 CFR §300.617) that are made for you under Part B of the IDEA, if the fee does not effectively prevent you from exercising your right to inspect and review those records.
A participating agency may not charge a fee to search for or to retrieve information under Part B of the IDEA.
E. Amendment of Records at Parent’s Request (34 CFR §300.618)
If you believe that information in the education records regarding your child collected, maintained, or used under Part B of the IDEA is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the privacy or other rights of your child, you may request the participating agency that maintains the information to change the information.
The participating agency must decide whether to change the information in accordance with your request within a reasonable period of time of receipt of your request.
If the participating agency refuses to change the information in accordance with your request, it must inform you of the refusal and advise you of the right to a hearing for this purpose.
F. Opportunity for a Records Hearing (34 CFR §300.619)
The LEA must, on request, provide you an opportunity for a hearing to challenge information in education records regarding your child to ensure that it is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of your child.
a. Hearing Procedures (34 CFR §300.621)
A hearing to challenge information in education records must be conducted according to the following procedures for such hearings under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. Section 1233g (FERPA):
- The educational agency or institution shall hold the hearing within a reasonable time after it has received the request for the hearing from the parent or eligible student.
- The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student notice of the date, time, and place, reasonable in advance of the hearing.
- The hearing may be conducted by any individual, including an official of the educational agency or institution who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
- The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student a full and fair opportunity to present evidence to challenge the content of the student’s education records on the grounds that the information contained in the education records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy rights of the student. The parent or eligible student may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of his or her own choice, including an attorney.
- The educational agency or institution shall make its decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing.
- The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
b. Result of Hearing (34 CFR §300.620)
If, as a result of the hearing, the participating agency decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child, it must change the information accordingly and inform you in writing. If, as a result of the hearing, the participating agency decides that the information is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of your child, you may place in the records that it maintains on your child a statement commenting on the information or providing any reasons you disagree with the decision of the participating agency.
Such an explanation placed in the records of your child must:
- Be maintained by the participating agency as part of the records of your child as long as the record or contested portion is maintained by the participating agency; and
- If the participating agency discloses the records of your child or the challenged portion to any party, the explanation must also be disclosed to that party.
c. Safeguards (34 CFR §300.623)
Each participating agency must protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages.
One official at each participating agency must assume responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information.
All persons collecting or using personally identifiable information must receive training or instruction regarding your State’s policies and procedures regarding confidentiality under Part B of the IDEA and FERPA.
Each participating agency must maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the agency who have access to personally identifiable information.
d. Destruction of Information (34 CFR §300.624)
Your LEA must inform you when personally identifiable information collected, maintained, or used is no longer needed to provide educational services to your child, and the information must be destroyed at your request.
However, a permanent record of your child’s name, address, and phone number, his or her grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year completed may be maintained without time limitation.
III. STATE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES (34 CFR §§300.151-153)
A. Difference Between Due Process Hearing Complaint And State Complaint Procedures
The regulations for Part B of IDEA set forth separate procedures for State complaints and for due process complaints and hearings. As explained below, any individual or organization may file a State complaint alleging a violation of any Part B requirement by a LEA, the State Educational Agency, or any other public agency. Only you or a LEA may file a due process complaint on any matter relating to a proposal or a refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a child with a disability, or the provision of FAPE to the child. While staff of the State Educational Agency generally must resolve a State complaint within a 60-calendar day timeline, unless the timeline is properly extended, an impartial due process hearing officer must hear a due process complaint (if not resoled through a resolution meeting or through mediation) and issue a written decision within 45-calendar days after the end of the resolution period, as described in this document under the heading Resolution Process, unless the hearing officer grants a specific extension of the timeline at your request or the LEA’s request. The state complaint or due process complaint, resolution and hearing procedures are described more fully below.
B. How Can I File A State Complaint? (34 CFR §300.153)
An organization or individual may file a signed written State complaint. The State complaint must include:
- A statement that a LEA or other public agency has violated a requirement of Part B of the IDEA or its regulations;
- The facts on which the statement is based;
- The signature and contact information for the complainant; and
- If alleging violations regarding a specific child, the name of the child and address of the residence of the child;
- The name of the school the child is attending;
- In the case of a homeless child or youth, available contact information for the child, and the name of the school the child is attending;
- A description of the nature of the problem of the child, including facts relating to the problem; and
- A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to the party filing the complaint at the time the complaint is filed.
The complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than one year prior to the date that the complaint is received as described under the heading Adoption of State Complaint Procedures.
The party filing the State complaint must forward a copy of the complaint to the LEA or other public agency serving the child at the same time the party files the complaint with the State Educational Agency.
Complaints should be sent to:
Chief, Division of Compliance, Monitoring and Planning Bureau of Special Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education 333 Market Street, 7th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
1) Time limit of 60 calendar days after a complaint is filed to:
- Carry out an independent on-site investigation, if the State Educational Agency determines that the investigation is necessary;
- Give the complainant the opportunity to submit additional information, either orally or in writing, about the allegations in the complaint;
- Provide the LEA or other public agency with the opportunity to respond to the complaint, including, at a minimum:
- at the option of the agency, a proposal to resolve the complaint; and
- an opportunity for a parent who has filed a complaint and the agency to agree voluntarily to engage in mediation
- Review all relevant information and make an independent determination as to whether the LEA or other public agency is violating a requirement of Part B of the IDEA; and
- Issue a written decision to the complainant that address each allegation in the complaint and contains:
- findings of fact and conclusions; and
- the reasons for the State Educational Agency’s final decision.
2) Time extension; final decision; implementation
- An extension of the 60 calendar day timeline may be granted only if:
- exceptional circumstances exist with respect to a particular State complaint; or
- the parent and the LEA or other public agency involved voluntarily agree to extend the time to resolve the matter through mediation or alternative means of dispute resolution, if available in the State.
- The State Educational Agency’s final decision shall contain effective implementation procedures, if needed, including:
- technical assistance activities;
- negotiations; and
- corrective actions to achieve compliance.
3) Remedies for denial of appropriate services
In resolving a State complaint in which the State Educational Agency has found a failure to provide appropriate services, the State Educational Agency must address:
- The failure to provide appropriate services, including corrective action appropriate to address the needs of the child; and
- Appropriate future provision of services for all children with disabilities.
4) State complaints and due process hearings
If a written State complaint is received that is also the subject of a due process hearing as described below under the hearing Filing a Due Process Complaint, or the State complaint contains multiple issues of which one or more are part of such a hearing, the State must set aside the State complaint, or any part of the State complaint that is being address in the due process hearing until the hearing is over. Any issue in the State complaint that is not a part of the due process hearing must be resolved using the time limit and procedures described above. If an issue raised in a State complaint has previously been decided in a due process hearing involving the same parties (you and the LEA), then the due process hearing decision is binding on that issue and the State Educational Agency must inform the complainant that the decision is binding.
A complaint alleging a LEA’s or other public agency’s failure to implement a due process hearing decision must be resolved by the State Educational Agency according to the above described procedures.
IV. DUE PROCESS COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
A. How Can I Request A Due Process Hearing?
1. Filing a Due Process Complaint (34 CFR §300.507) General
You or the LEA may file a due process complaint on any matter relating to a proposal or a refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of your child, or the provision of FAPE to your child.
The due process complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than two years before the date you or the LEA knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the due process complaint.
The above timeline does not apply to you if you could not file a due process complaint within the timeline because:
- The LEA specifically misrepresented that it had resolved the issues identified in the complaint; or
- The LEA withheld information from you that was required to be provided to you under Part B of the IDEA.
Information for parents
The LEA must inform you of any free or low-cost legal and other relevant services available in the area if you request the information, or if you or the LEA file a due process complaint.
B. Contents Of Due Process Complaint (34 CFR §300.508)
In order to request a hearing, you or the LEA (or your attorney or the LEA’s attorney) must submit a due process complaint to the other party. That complaint must contain all of the content listed below and must be kept confidential. At the same time you or the LEA – whichever filed the complaint – provides the due process complaint to the other party, a copy must be filed with the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR).
2. Content of the complaint
The due process complaint must include:
- The name of the child;
- The address of the child’s residence;
- The name of the child’s school;
- If the child is a homeless child or youth, the child’s contact information and the name of the child’s school;
- A description of the nature of the problem of the child relating to the proposed or refused action, including facts relating to the problem; and
- A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to you or the LEA at the time.
3. Notice required before a hearing on a due process complaint
You or the LEA may not have a due process hearing until you or the LEA (or your attorney or the LEA’s attorney), files a due process complaint that includes the information listed above.
4. Sufficiency of complaint
In order to proceed to a due process hearing, the complaint must be considered sufficient. The due process complaint will be considered sufficient (to have met the content requirements above) unless the party receiving the due process complaint (you or the LEA) notifies the hearing officer and the other party in writing, within 15 calendar days of receiving the complaint, that the receiving party believes that the due process complaint does not meet the requirements listed above.
Within five calendar days of receiving the notification the receiving party (you or the LEA) considers a due process complaint insufficient, the hearing officer must decide if the due process complaint meets the requirements listed above, and notify you and the LEA in writing immediately.
5. Complaint amendment
You or the LEA may make changes to the complaint only if:
- The other party approves of the changes in writing and is given the chance to resolve the due process complaint through a resolution meeting, described below; or
- At any time, but no later than five days before the due process hearing begins, the hearing officer grants permission for the changes.
If the complaining party (you or the LEA) makes changes to the due process complaint, the timelines for the resolution meeting (within 15 calendar days of receiving the complaint) and the time period for resolution (within 30 calendar days of receiving the complaint) start again on the date the amended complaint is filed.
6. LEA response to a due process complaint
If the LEA has not sent a prior written notice to you, as described under the heading Prior Written Notice, regarding the subject matter contained in your due process complaint, the LEA must, within 10 calendar days of receiving the due process complaint, send to you a response that includes:
- An explanation of why the LEA proposed or refused to take the action raised in the due process complaint;
- A description of other options that your child’s IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected;
- A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the LEA used as the basis for the proposed or refused action; and
- A description of other factors that are relevant to the LEA’s proposed or refused action.
Providing the information in items 1-4 above does not prevent the LEA from asserting that your due process complaint was insufficient.
7. Other party response to a due process complaint
Except as stated under the sub-heading immediately above, LEA response to a due process complaint, the party receiving a due process complaint must, within 10 calendar days of receiving the complaint, send the other party a response that specifically addresses the issues in the complaint.
C. Resolution Process (34 CFR §300.510)
1. Resolution meeting
Within 15 calendar days of receiving notice of your due process complaint, and before the due process hearing begins, the LEA must convene a meeting with you and the relevant member or members of the IEP Team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in your due process complaint. The meeting:
- Must include a representative of the LEA who has decision-making authority on behalf of the LEA; and
- May not include an attorney of the LEA unless you are accompanied by an attorney. You and the LEA determine the relevant members of the IEP Team to attend the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is for you to discuss your due process complaint, and the facts that form the basis of the complaint, so that the LEA has the opportunity to resolve the dispute.
- The resolution meeting is not necessary if:
- You and the LEA agree in writing to waive the meeting; or
- You and the LEA agree to use the mediation process, as described under the heading
2. Resolution period
If the LEA has not resolved the due process complaint to your satisfaction within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the due process complaint (during the time period for the resolution process), the due process hearing may occur.
The 45-calendar day timeline for issuing a final decision begins at the expiration of the 30-calendar day resolution period, with certain exceptions for adjustments made to the 30-calendar day resolution period, as described below.
Except where you and the LEA have both agreed to waive the resolution process or to use mediation, your failure to participate in the resolution meeting will delay the timelines for the resolution process and due process hearing until you agree to participate in a meeting. If after making reasonable efforts and documenting such efforts, the LEA is not able to obtain your participation in the resolution meeting, the LEA may, at the end of the 30-calendar day resolution period, request that a hearing officer dismiss your due process complaint.
Documentation of such efforts must include a record of the LEA’s attempts to arrange a mutually agreed upon time and place, such as:
- Detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls;
- Copies of correspondence sent to you and any responses received; and
- Detailed records of visits made to your home or place of employment and the results of those visits.
If the LEA fails to hold the resolution meeting within 15 calendar days of receiving notice of your due process complaint or fails to participate in the resolution meeting, you may ask a hearing officer to order that the 45-calendar day due process hearing timeline begin.
3. Adjustments to the 30-calendar day resolution period
If you and the LEA agree in writing to waive the resolution meeting, then the 45-calendar day timeline for the due process hearing starts the next day.
After the start of mediation or the resolution meeting and before the end of the 30-calendar day resolution period, if you and the LEA agree in writing that no agreement is possible, then the 45-calendar day timeline for the due process hearing starts the next day.
If you and the LEA agree to use the mediation process, at the end of the 30-calendar day resolution period, both parties can agree in writing to continue the mediation until an agreement is reached. However, if either you or the LEA withdraws from the mediation process, then the 45-calendar day timeline for the due process hearing starts the next day.
4. Written settlement agreement
If a resolution to the dispute is reached at the resolution meeting, you and the LEA must enter into a legally binding agreement that is:
- Signed by you and a representative of the LEA who has the authority to bind the LEA; and
- Agreement review period – If you and the LEA enter into an agreement as a result of a resolution meeting, either party (you or the LEA) may void the agreement within 3 business days of the time that both you and the LEA signed the agreement.
V. HEARINGS ON DUE PROCESS COMPLAINTS
A. Impartial Due Process Hearing (34 CFR §300.511)
Whenever a due process complaint is filed, you or the LEA involved in the dispute must have an opportunity for an impartial due process hearing, as described in the Due Process Complaint and Resolution Process sections. In Pennsylvania, the due process system is administered by the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR). (listed under Resources)
2. Impartial hearing officer
At a minimum, a hearing officer:
Must not be an employee of the State Educational Agency or the LEA that is involved in the education or care of the child. However, a person is not an employee of the agency solely because he/she is paid by the agency to serve as a hearing officer;
- Must not have a personal or professional interest that conflicts with the hearing officer’s objectivity in the hearing;
- Must be knowledgeable and understand the provisions of the IDEA, and Federal and State regulations pertaining to the IDEA, and legal interpretations of the IDEA by Federal and State courts; and
- Must have the knowledge and ability to conduct hearings, and to make and write decisions, consistent with appropriate, standard legal practice.
Each SEA must keep a list of those persons who serve as hearing officers that includes a statement of the qualifications of each hearing officer.
3. Subject matter of due process hearing
The party (you or the LEA) that requests the due process hearing may not raise issues at the due process hearing that were not addressed in the due process complaint, unless the other party agrees.
4. Timeline for requesting a hearing
a. Time Limitations
You or the LEA must request an impartial hearing on a due process complaint within two years of the date you or the LEA knew or should have known about the issue addressed in the complaint. The due process complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than two years before the date you or the LEA knew and should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the due process complaint.
Exceptions to the timeline
The above timeline does not apply to you if you could not file a due process complaint because:
- The LEA specifically misrepresented that it had resolved the problem or issue that you are raising in your complaint; or
- The LEA withheld information from you that it was required to provide to you under Part B of the IDEA.
B. Hearing Rights (34 CFR §300.512)
Any party to a due process hearing (including a hearing relating to disciplinary procedures) or an appeal, as described under the sub-heading Appeal of decisions; impartial review has the right to:
Be accompanied and advised by a lawyer and/or persons with special knowledge or training regarding the problems of children with disabilities;
- Present evidence and confront, cross-examine, and require the attendance of witnesses;
- Prohibit the introduction of any evidence at the hearing that has not been disclosed to the other party at least five business days before the hearing;
- Obtain a written, or, at your option, electronic, word-for-word record of the hearing; and
- Obtain written, or, at your option, electronic findings of fact and decisions.
2. Additional disclosure of information
At least 5 business days prior to a due process hearing, you and the LEA must disclose to all other parties all evaluations completed by that date and recommendations based on those evaluations that you or the LEA intend to use at the hearing.
A hearing officer may prevent any party that fails to comply with this requirement from introducing the relevant evaluation or recommendation at the hearing without the consent of the other party.
3. Parental rights at hearings
You must be given the right to:
- Have the child who is the subject of the hearing present;
- Open the hearing to the public; and
- Have the record of the hearing, the findings of fact and decisions provided to you at no cost.
C. Hearing Decisions (34 CFR §300.513)
1. Decision of hearing officer
A hearing officer’s decision on whether your child received FAPE must be based on substantive grounds.
- In matters alleging a procedural violation, a hearing officer may find that your child did not receive FAPE only if the procedural inadequacies:
- Interfered with your child’s right to FAPE;
Significantly interfered with your opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding the provision of FAPE to your child; or
Caused a deprivation of an educational benefit.
- Construction clause
None of the provisions described above can be interpreted to prevent a hearing officer from ordering a LEA to comply with the requirements in the procedural safeguards section of the Federal regulations under Part B of the IDEA (34 CFR §§300.500 through 300.536). None of the provisions under the headings: Filing a Due Process Complaint; Due Process Complaint; Model Forms; Resolution Process; Impartial Due Process Hearing; Hearing Rights; and Hearing Decisions (34 CFR §§300.507 through 300.513), can affect your right to file an appeal of the due process hearing decisions with a court of competent jurisdiction.
2. Separate request for a due process hearing
Nothing in the procedural safeguards section of the Federal regulations under Part B of the IDEA (34 CFR §§300.500 through 300.536) can be interpreted to prevent you from filing a separate due process complaint on an issue separate from a due process complaint already filed.
3. Findings and decision to advisory panel and general public
The SEA after deleting any personally identifiable information, must:
- Provide the findings and decisions in the due process hearing or appeal to the State Special Education Advisor Panel (SEAP); and
- Make those findings and decisions available to the public.
D. Finality Of Decision; Appeal; Impartial Review (34 CFR §300.514) Finality of hearing decision
A decision made in a due process hearing (including a hearing relating to disciplinary procedures) is final, except that any party involved in the hearing (you or the LEA) may appeal the decision to a court of competent jurisdiction.
E. Timelines And Convenience Of Hearings (34 CFR §300.515)
The SEA must ensure that not later than 45 calendar days after the expiration of the 30- calendar day period for resolution meetings or, as described under the sub-heading Adjustments to the 30-calendar day resolution period,
A final decision is reached in the hearing; and
- A copy of the decision is mailed to you and the LEA.
2. Extensions of Time
A hearing or reviewing officer may grant specific extensions of time beyond the periods described above (45 calendar days for a hearing decision and 30 calendar days for a review decision) if you or the LEA make a request for a specific extension of the timeline. Each hearing involving oral arguments must be conducted at a time and place that is reasonably convenient to you or your child.
F. Civil Actions, Including The Time Period In Which To File Those Actions (34 CFR §300.516)
Any party (you or the LEA) who does not agree with the findings and decision in the SEA’s decision has the right to bring a civil action with respect to the matter that was the subject of the due process hearing (including a hearing relating to disciplinary procedures). The action may be brought in a district court of the United States without regard to the amount in dispute or in a State court of competent jurisdiction (a State court that has authority to hear this type of case). In Pennsylvania, the court of competent jurisdiction is the Commonwealth Court.
2. Time limitation
The party (you or the LEA) bringing the action in a district court of the United States shall have 90 calendar days from the date of the decision of the SEA to file a civil action. The party bringing the action in the Commonwealth Court shall have 30 calendar days from the date of the decision of the SEA to file a civil action.
3. Additional procedures
In any civil action, the court:
Receives the records of the administrative proceedings;
- Hears additional evidence at your request or at the LEA’s request; and
- Bases its decision on the preponderance of the evidence and grants the relief that the court determines to be appropriate.
4. Rule of construction
Nothing in Part B of the IDEA restricts or limits the rights, procedures, and remedies available under the U.S. Constitution, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), or other Federal laws protecting the rights of children with disabilities, except that before the filing of a civil action under these laws seeking relief that is also available under Part B of the IDEA, the due process procedures described above must be exhausted to the same extent as would be required if the party filed the action under Part B of the IDEA. This means that you may have remedies available under other laws that overlap with those available under the IDEA, but in general, to obtain relief under those other laws, you must first exhaust the available under the IDEA, but in general, to obtain relief under those other laws, you must first exhaust the available administrative remedies under the IDEA (i.e., the due process complaint, resolution meeting, and impartial due process hearing procedures) before going into court unless some specific judicial exception is available which renders exhaustion of administrative remedies futile.
G. Attorney’s Fees (34 CFR §300.517)
In any action or proceeding brought under Part B of the IDEA, the court, in its discretion, may award reasonable attorneys’ fees as part of the costs:
To you if you are considered the prevailing part.
- To a prevailing State Educational Agency or LEA, to be paid by your attorney, if the attorney: (a) filed a complaint or court case that the court finds is frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation; or (b) continued to litigate after the litigation clearly became frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation; or
- To a prevailing State Educational Agency or LEA, to be paid by you or your attorney, if your request for a due process hearing or later court case was presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, to cause unnecessary delay, or to unnecessarily increase the cost of the action or proceeding.
2. Reasonable Fees
A court awards reasonable attorneys’ fees consistent with the following:
- Fees must be based on rates prevailing in the community in which the action or hearing arose for the kind and quality of services furnished. No bonus or multiplier may be used in calculating the fees awarded.
- Fees may not be awarded and related costs may not be reimbursed in any action or proceeding under Part B of the IDEA for services performed after a written offer of settlement to you if:
- The offer is made within the time prescribed by Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or, in the case of a due process hearing or State-level review, at any time more than 10 calendar days before the proceeding begins;
- The offer is not accepted within 10 calendar days; and
- The court or administrative hearing officer finds that the relief finally obtained by you is not more favorable to you than the offer of settlement.
- Notwithstanding these restrictions, an award of attorneys’ fees and related costs may be made to you if you prevail and you were substantially justified in rejecting the settlement offer.
- Fees may NOT be awarded relating to any meeting of the IEP Team unless the meeting is held as a result of an administrative proceeding or court action. A resolution meeting, as described under the heading Resolution meeting, is not considered a meeting convened as a result of an administrative hearing or court action, and also is not considered an administrative hearing or court action for purposes of these attorneys’ fees provisions.
- Fees also may not be awarded for a mediation as described under the heading Mediation.
3. Reduction in Fees
The court reduces, as appropriate, the amount of the attorneys’ fees awarded under Part B of the IDEA if the court finds that:
- You, or your attorney, during the course of the action or proceeding, unreasonably delayed the final resolution of the dispute;
- The amount of the attorneys’ fees otherwise authorized to be awarded unreasonably exceeds the hourly rate prevailing in the community for similar services by attorneys of reasonably similar skill, reputation, and experience;
- The time spent and legal services furnished were excessive considered the nature of the action or proceeding; or
- The attorney representing you did not provide to the LEA the appropriate information in the due process request notice as described under the heading Due Process Complaint.
However, the court may not reduce fees if the court finds that the State or LEA unreasonably delayed the final resolution of the action or proceeding or there was a violation under the procedural safeguards provisions of Part B of the IDEA.
H. Model Forms (34 CFR §300.509)
While the State Educational Agency (SEA) has developed model forms to help you file a due process complaint and a State complaint. The SEA or the LEA may not require you to use these model forms. In fact, you can use this form or another appropriate model form, so long as it contains the required information for filing a due process complaint or a State complaint.
VI. MEDIATION (34 CFR §300.506)
The SEA must make mediation available to allow you and the LEA to resolve disagreements involving any matter under Part B of the IDEA, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint. Thus, mediation is available to resolve disputes under Part B of the IDEA, whether or not you or the LEA have filed a due process complaint to request a due process hearing as described under the heading Filing a Due Process Complaint.
B. Procedural Requirements
The procedures must ensure that the mediation process:
- Is voluntary on your part and the LEA’s part;
- Is not used to deny or delay your right to a due process hearing, or to deny any other rights you have under Part B of the IDEA; and
- Is conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who is trained in effective mediation techniques.
- The SEA must maintain a list of people you are qualified mediators and are knowledgeable in the laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education and related services. The SEA must select mediators on a random, rotational, or other impartial basis.
- The State is responsible for the cost of the mediation process, including the costs of meetings.
- Each session in the mediation process must be scheduled in a timely manner and held at a place that is convenient for you and the LEA.
- If you and the LEA resolve a dispute through the mediation process, both parties must enter into a legally binding agreement that sets forth the resolution and that:
States that all discussions that happened during the mediation process will remain confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding; and
- Is signed by both you and a representative of the LEA who has the authority to bind the LEA.
- A written, signed mediation agreement is enforceable in any State court of competent jurisdiction (a court that has the authority under State law to hear this type of case) or in a district court of the United States.
- Discussions that happened during the mediation process must be confidential. They cannot be used as evidence in any future due process hearing or civil proceeding of any Federal court or State Court of a State receiving assistance under Part B of IDEA.
C. Impartiality Of Mediator
- May not be an employee of the SEA or the LEA that is involved in the education or care of your child; and
- Must not have a personal or professional interest which conflicts with the mediator’s objectivity.
A person who otherwise qualifies as a mediator is not an employee of a LEA or SEA solely because he or she is paid by the agency to serve as a mediator.
VII. THE CHILD’S PLACEMENT PENDING MEDIATION AND DUE PROCESS (34 CFR §300.518)
The Child’s Placement Pending Mediation And Due Process (34 CFR §300.518)
Except as provided below under the heading Procedures When Disciplining Children With Disabilities, once a due process complaint is sent to the other party, during the resolution process time period, during mediation, and while waiting for the decision of any impartial due process hearing or court proceeding, unless you and the State or LEA agree otherwise, your child must remain in his or her current educational placement.
If the due process complaint involves an application for initial admission to public school, your child, with your consent, must be placed in the regular public school program until the completion of all such proceedings.
If the due process complaint involves an application for initial services under Part B of the IDEA for a child who is transitioning from being served under Part C of the IDEA to Part B of the IDEA and who is no longer eligible for Part C services because the child has turned three, the LEA may be required to provide the Part C services that the child has been receiving. Children are entitled to pendency – that is, the continuation of the services set forth in their IFSP – when a dispute arises when they are transitioning into the preschool Early Intervention program at age three (3) and the family requests a formal hearing to resolve the dispute. If the child is found eligible under Part B of the IDEA and you consent for the child to receive special education and related services for the first time, then, pending the outcome of the proceedings, the LEA must provide those special education and related services that are not in dispute (those which you and the LEA both agree upon).
VIII. WHAT IF MY CHILD IS EXCLUDED FROM SCHOOL BECAUSE OF DISCIPLINE ISSUES?
THIS SECTION OUTLINES PROCEDURES FOR DISCIPLINARY EXCLUSION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES.
There are special rules in Pennsylvania for excluding children with disabilities served by LEAs for disciplinary reasons. Unless indicated otherwise, children in charter schools follow the same procedures:
A. Authority Of School Personnel (34 CFR §300.530)
School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis, when determining whether a change of placement, made in accordance with the following requirements related to discipline, is appropriate for a child with a disability who violates a school code of student conduct.
To the extent that they also take such action for children without disabilities, school personnel may, for not more than 10 consecutive school days, remove a child with a disability (other than a child with an intellectual disability) who violates a code of student conduct from his or her current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension. School personnel may also impose additional removals of the child of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement (see Change of Placement Because of Disciplinary Removals for the definition, below) or exceed 15 cumulative school days in a school year. Once a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for a total of 10 school days in the same school year, the LEA must, during any subsequent days of removal in that school year, provide services to the extent required below under the sub-heading Services.
3. Additional authority
If the behavior that violated the student code of conduct was not a manifestation of the child’s disability (see Manifestation determination, below) and the disciplinary change of placement would exceed 10 consecutive school days, school personnel may apply the disciplinary procedures to that child with a disability in the same manner and for the same duration as it would to children without disabilities, except that the school must provide services to that child as described below under Services. The child’s IEP Team determines the interim alternative educational setting for such services. Under PA special education regulations (22 Pa. Code Sec. 14.143), a disciplinary exclusion of a student with a disability for more than 15 cumulative school days in a school year will be considered a pattern so as to be deemed a change in educational placement (explained under Change of Placement Because of Disciplinary Removals). The LEA is required to issue a NOREP/Prior Written Notice to parents prior to a removal that constitutes a change in placement (removal for more than 10 consecutive days or 15 cumulative days).
The services that must be provided to a child with a disability who has been removed from the child’s current placement may be provided to an interim alternative educational setting. A LEA is only required to provide services to a child with a disability who has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days or less in that school year, if it provides services to a child without disabilities who has been similarly removed. Students may have the responsibility to make up exams and work missed while being disciplined by suspension and may be permitted to complete these assignments within guidelines established by their LEA.
A child with a disability who is removed from the child’s current placement for more than 10 consecutive school days must:
- Continue to receive educational services, so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child’s IEP; and
- Receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not happen again.
After a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days during one school year, or if current removal is for 10 consecutive school days or less, and if the removal is not a change of placement (see definition below), then school personnel, in consultation with at least one of the child’s teachers, determine the extent to which services are needed to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child’s IEP.
If the removal is a change of placement (see definition below), the child’s IEP Team determines the appropriate services to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child’s IEP.
5. Manifestation determination
Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct (except for a removal that does not constitute a change in educational placement i.e., is for 10 consecutive school days or less and not a change of placement), the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the LEA) must review all relevant information in the student’s file, including the child’s IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine:
- If the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; or
- If the conduct in question was the direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the child’s IEP.
If the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the child’s IEP Team determine that either of those conditions was met, the conduct must be determined to be a manifestation of the child’s disability.
If the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the child’s IEP Team determine that the conduct in question was the direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the IEP, the LEA must take immediate action to remedy those deficiencies.
6. Determination that behavior was a manifestation of the child’s disability
If the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team determine that the conduct was a manifestation of the child’s disability, the IEP Team must either:
- Conduct a functional behavioral assessment, unless the LEA had conducted a functional behavioral assessment before the behavior that resulted in the change of placement occurred, and implement a behavioral intervention plan for the child; or
- If a behavioral intervention plan already has been developed, review the behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior.
Except as described below under the sub-heading Special circumstances, the LEA must return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the district agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.
7. Special circumstances
Whether or not the behavior was a manifestation of the child’s disability, school personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting (determined by the child’s IEP Team) for up to 45 school days, if the child:
- Carries a weapon (see the Definitions below) to school or has a weapon at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the LEA:
- Knowingly has or uses illegal drugs (see the Definitions below), or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, (see the Definitions below), while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the LEA; or
- Has inflicted serious bodily injury (see the Definitions below) upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the State Educational Agency or a LEA.
- Controlled substance means a drug or other substance identified under schedules I, II, III, IV, or V in section 202 (c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)).
- Illegal drug means a controlled substance; but does not include a controlled substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under that Act or under any other provision of Federal law.
- Serious bodily injury has the meaning given the term “serious bodily injury” under paragraph (3) of subsection (h) of section 1365 of title 18, United States Code.
- Weapon has the meaning given the term “dangerous weapon” under paragraph (2) of the first subsection (g) of section 930 of title 18, United States Code.
On the date it makes the decision to make a removal that is a change of placement of the child because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the LEA must notify the parents of that decision, and provide the parents with a procedural safeguards notice.
B. Change Of Placement Because Of Disciplinary Removals (34 CFR §300.536)
A removal of a child with a disability from the child’s current educational placement is a change of placement requiring a NOREP/prior written notice if:
- The removal is for more than 10 consecutive school days; or
- The removal is for 15 cumulative school days total in any one school year;
- The child has been subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern because:
- The series of removals total more than 10 school days in a school year;
- The child’s behavior is substantially similar to the child’s behavior in previous incidents that resulted in a series of removals;
- Of such additional factors as the length of each removal, the total amount of time the child has been removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another; and
Whether a pattern of removals constitutes a change of placement is determined on a case-by- case basis by the LEA and, if challenged, is subject to review through due process and judicial proceedings.
C. Determination Of Setting (34 CFR §300.531)
The IEP must determine the interim alternative educational setting for removals that are changes of placement, and removals under the headings Additional authority and Special circumstances, above.
D. Appeal (34 CFR §300.532)
The parent of a child with a disability may file a due process complaint (see above) to request a due process hearing if he or she disagrees with:
- Any decision regarding placement made under these discipline provisions; or
- The manifestation determination described above.
The LEA may file a due process complaint (see above) to request a due process hearing if it believes that maintaining the current placement of the child is substantially likely to result in injury to the child or to others.
2. Authority of hearing officer
A hearing officer that meets the requirements described under the sub-heading Impartial Hearing Officer must conduct the due process hearing and make a decision.
The hearing officer may:
- Return the child with a disability to the placement from which the child was removed if the hearing officer determines that the removal was a violation of the requirements described under the heading Authority of School Personnel, or that the child’s behavior was a manifestation of the child’s disability; or
- Order a change of placement of the child with a disability to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days if the hearing officer determines that maintaining the current placement of the child is substantially likely to result in injury to the child or to others.
These hearing procedures may be repeated, if the LEA believes that returning the child to the original placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the child or to others.
Whenever a parent or a LEA files a due process complaint to request such a hearing, a hearing must be held that meets the requirements described under the headings Due Process Complaint Procedures, Hearings on Due Process Complaints, except as follows:
- The SEA must arrange for an expedited due process hearing, which must occur within 20 school days of the date the hearing is filed and must resulting a determination within 10 school days after the hearing.
- Unless the parents and the LEA agree in writing to waive the meeting, or agree to use mediation, a resolution meeting must occur within 7 calendar days of receiving notice of the due process complaint. The hearing may proceed unless the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties within 15 calendar days of receipt of the due process complaint.
A party may appeal the decision in an expedited due process hearing in the same way as they may for decisions in other due process hearings (see Appeals, above).
E. Placement During Appeals (34 CFR §300.533)
When, as described above, the parent or LEA has filed a due process complaint related to disciplinary matters, the child must (unless the parent and the State Educational Agency or LEA agree otherwise) remain in the interim alternative educational setting pending the decision of the hearing officer, or until the expiration of the time period of removal as provided for and described under the heading Authority of School Personnel, whichever occurs first.
Special Rules for Students with an Intellectual Disability
The disciplinary removal of a child with an intellectual disability attending either a LEA or a charter and cyber charter school for any amount of time is considered a change in placement under 22
Pa. Code Sec. 14.143 and requires NOREP/prior written notice (if the disciplinary event does not involve drugs, weapons and/or serious bodily injury). A removal from school is not a change in placement for a child who is identified with an intellectual disability when the disciplinary event involves weapons, drugs, and/or serious bodily injury.
According to certain assurances the Commonwealth entered into related to the PARC consent decree, an LEA may suspend on a limited basis a student with an intellectual disability who presents a danger to himself or others upon application and approval by the Bureau of Special Education and only to the extent that a student with a disability other than an intellectual disability could be suspended.
F. Protections For Children Not Yet Eligible For Special Education And Related Services (34 CFR §300.534)
If a child has not been determined eligible for special education and related services and violates a code of student conduct, but the LEA had knowledge (as determined below) before the behavior that brought about the disciplinary action occurred, that the child was a child with a disability, then the child may assert any of the protections described in this notice.
2. Basis of knowledge for disciplinary matters
A LEA must be deemed to have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability if, before the behavior that brought about the disciplinary action occurred:
- The parent of the child expressed concern in writing that the child is in need of special education and related services to supervisory or administrative personnel of appropriate educational agency, or a teacher of the child;
- The parent requested an evaluation related to eligibility for special education and related services under Part B of the IDEA; or
- The child’s teacher, or other LEA personnel expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the child directly to the LEA’s director of special education or to other supervisory personnel of the LEA.
A LEA would not be deemed to have such knowledge if:
- The child’s parent has not allowed an evaluation of the child or refused special education services; or
- The child has been evaluated and determined to not be a child with a disability under Part B of the IDEA.
4. Conditions that apply if there is no basis of knowledge
If prior to taking disciplinary measures against the child, a LEA does not have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability, as described above under the sub-headings Basis of knowledge for disciplinary matters and Exception, the child may be subjected to the disciplinary measures that are applied to children without disabilities who engaged in comparable behaviors.
However, if a request is made for an evaluation of a child during the time period in which the child is subjected to disciplinary measures, the evaluation must be conducted in an expedited manner.
Until the evaluation is completed, the child remains in the educational placement determined by school authorities, which can include suspension or expulsion without educational services.
If the child is determined to be a child with a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation conducted by the LEA, and information provided by the parents, the LEA must provide special education and related services in accordance with Part B of the IDEA, including the disciplinary requirements described above.
G. Referral To And Action By Law Enforcement And Judicial Authorities (34 CFR §300.535)
The state and federal regulations do not:
- Prohibit an agency from reporting a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities; or
- Prevent State law enforcement and judicial authorities from exercising their responsibilities with regard to the application of Federal and State law to crimes committed by a child with a disability.
Subsequent to a referral to law enforcement, an updated functional behavior assessment and positive behavior support plan are required.
2. Transmittal of records
If a LEA reports a crime committed by a child with a disability, the LEA:
- Must ensure that copies of the child’s special education and disciplinary records are transmitted for consideration by the authorities to whom the agency reports the crime; and
- May transmit copies of the child’s special education and disciplinary records only to the extent permitted by FERPA.
IX. WHAT SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE FOR MY CHILD, IF PARENTALLY PLACED IN A PRIVATE SCHOOL?
This Section Addresses The Special Education Services Available To Children Placed By Their Parents In Private School.
A. General Rule (34 CFR §300.148)
Part B of the IDEA does not require a LEA to pay for the cost of education, including special education and related services, of your child with a disability at a private school or facility if the LEA made FAPE available to your child and you choose to place the child in a private school or facility. However, the IU where the private school is located must include your child in the population whose needs are addressed under the Part B provisions regarding children who have been placed by their parents in a private school under 34 CFR §§300.131 through 300.144.
Reimbursement for private school placement
If your child previously received special education and related services under the authority of a LEA, and you choose to enroll your child in a private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school without the consent of or referral by the LEA, a court or a hearing officer may require the agency to reimburse you for the cost of that enrollment if the court or hearing officer finds that the agency had not made FAPE available to your child in a timely manner prior to that enrollment and that the private placement is appropriate. A hearing officer or court may find your placement to be appropriate, even if the placement does not meet the State standards that apply to education provided by the State Educational Agency and LEAs.
2. Limitation on reimbursement
The cost of reimbursement described in the paragraph above may be reduced or denied:
- At the most recent IEP meeting that you attended prior to your removal of your child from the public school, you did not inform the IEP Team that you were rejecting the placement proposed by the LEA to provide FAPE to your child, including stating your concerns and your intent to enroll your child in a private school at public expense; or
- At least 10 business days (including any holidays that occur on a business day) prior to your removal of your child from the public school, you did not give written notice to the LEA of that information;
- If, prior to your removal of your child from the public school, the LEA provided prior written notice to you, of its intent to evaluate your child (including a statement of the purpose of the evaluation that was appropriate and reasonable), but you did not make the child available for the evaluation; or
- Upon a court’s finding that your actions were unreasonable.
3. Exceptions to Limitation on Reimbursement
The cost of reimbursement:
- Must not be reduced or denied for failure to provide the notice if:
- The school prevented you from providing the notice;
- You had not received notice of your responsibility to provide the notice described above; or
- Compliance with the requirements above would likely result in physical harm to your child; and
- May, in the discretion of the court or a hearing officer, not be reduced or denied for the parents’ failure to provide the required notice if:
- The parent is not literate or cannot write in English; or
- Compliance with the above requirement would likely result in serious emotional harm to the child.
C. Equitable Participation (34 CFR §300.138)
It is Pennsylvania Department of Education policy that the Intermediate Unit (IU) must locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, elementary schools and secondary schools located within IU service area.
In circumstances when parents place their children in private schools, when FAPE is not an issue, the IUs must make provision, to the extent consistent with the number and location of children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools, located in IU service area, for the participation of those children in the program assisted or carried out under the IU plan, by providing them with special education and related services, including direct services determined in accordance with regard to equitable participation (EP) agreement between private schools and IUs. A service plan must be developed and implemented for each private school child with a disability who has been designated by the IU in which the private school is located to receive special education and related services as determined by EP agreement.
No parentally-placed private school child with a disability has an individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services that the child would receive if enrolled in a public school. Due Process and State Complaints are not applicable, except for a suspected failure by the IU to meet child find requirements.
- Specific Learning Disability
- Intellectual Disability
- Other Health Impairment
- Emotional Disturbance
- Multiple Disabilities
- Speech and Language Impairment
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Visual Impairment
- Hearing Impairment
Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
IDEA defines a specific learning disability as “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations “.
A learning disability, learning disorder, or learning difficulty is a condition in the brain that causes difficulties comprehending or processing information and can be caused by several different factors.
How SLD Affects Student Learning:
- Ability to process new information
- Ability to apply new information with previously learned information
- Difficulty in reading comprehension (understanding what you read)
- Difficulty in reading fluency (reading words fluently and smoothly without errors at a certain speed based upon expectation for student’s grade level)
- Difficulty in mathematics calculation (number facts and operations)
- Difficulty in mathematics problem solving and/or reasoning (problem solving with story problems or when Difficulty in writing (organizing thoughts, using grammar and mechanics, spelling of words)
- Note that students can have Specific Learning Disability in more than of the above areas (example: Math calculation and reading fluency).
Supports for SLD diagnosis provided by the school can include:
- Extended time to finish assignments or tests
- Directions read aloud to the student or broken down into steps
- "Chunking”, that is “sectioning” each part of a longer assignment into manageable parts
- ·Additional instruction by the learning support teacher to reinforce classroom instruction by the general education teacher
- Preferential seating close to where the instruction is taking place
- Breaks between instructional time for the student to not become “overwhelmed”
Supports for the student are placed into the Specially Designed Instruction section of the IEP and are agreed upon at the IEP team meeting. Progress is then monitored to determine if the supports are helping the student succeed, and for what changes may be necessary.
IDEA defines Autism as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.”
Characteristics of Autism can include:
- Social Interaction Impairment
- Difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication
- Restricted and repetitive behavior (such as moving in circles or lining up objects a certain way)
- Difficulty with transition (switching activities, or a change in schedule)
- Sensitivity to noise, light, taste, smell, or certain textures
- Food intolerance or restricted preference
- Co existing academic difficulties due to another disorder such as intellectual or learning disability
- High Functioning Autism (previously known as Asperger’s) may have high intelligence but still struggle socially and have restricted interests or other sensory sensitivity
How this Affects Learning:
- Impaired ability to make and keep friends
- Lack of interest in nonpreferred activities
- Difficulty with demands of school day (level of activity and expectations)
- Difficulty asking for help or communicating needs
- Limited coping tools for frustration can result in behavioral instances
- Impaired coordination for activities easily completed by typical age group peers
- May struggle with speech and language (speaking and communicating)
- Difficulty processing or listening, or reciprocally conversing (such as asking someone else how they are doing, instead of just talking about what they are interested in)
- Difficulty with self-care (grooming) skills, and/or little motivation to learn these
Ways that School can support These students
- Teach advocacy
- Teach social skills
- Teach coping skills for when frustrated
- Support for any academic difficulties
- Speech and language (if communicative difficulties)
- Transportation (if needed)
- Preferential seating to help with focus
- Incentivize to complete non preferred task (first then)
- Concise directions
- Integrate their interests into subject matter wen possible
- Nurture areas of “sevant” talent, such as a keen interest in computers, or taking things apart
- Enrichment for high functioning students, since they sometimes excel academically but struggle in other areas
- Provide emotional support from the special education teacher in conjunction with the general education teacher and IEP team
- Do not adopt a one size fits all approach as autism is different for everyone
These supports will be placed into the specially designed instruction section of the IEP, and/or related services section (OT, PT). This will be decided at the IEP team meeting. Progress monitoring will then take place and determine any need for changes for student to be successful.
IDEA defines intellectual disability as “significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently [at the same time] with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.” Deficits are seen in the two areas of intellectual functions and adaptive behavior. This affects every day, general living and educational performance of the student. Full Scale IQ is measured as being under 70 on an evaluation.
Intellectual functions are defined as areas such as:
- Reasoning (to problem solve, or draw conclusions)
- Abstract thinking (when an answer is not specifically available, or more than one answer is possible)
- ·Judgment (is this a good idea?)
- Academic learning
- Learning from instruction and experience (Example: When I did ___this happened, so if I am in this situation again, I know to do ____).
- Practical understanding (ability to follow directions and do what you are being asked to do)
Adaptive behavior is defined as areas such as:
- Conceptual skills (processing information and applying it in multiple environments, knowing which choice to make in a situation)
- Social skills (interacting with peers and community) and communication
- Practical skills (caring for oneself in daily living tasks)
How This Affects Learning
- Difficulty with multiple step directions and tasks
- Limited vocabulary acquisition
- Limited ability to process and utilize new information and connect to previous information in comparison to typical same age peers
- Difficulty with memory and executive functioning
- Difficulty with social situations
- Difficulty asking for help or knowing what help they may need
- Difficulty with self-care activities (dressing, eating, toileting)
- Difficulty with motor functions (examples: gross motor skills such as jumping or kicking a ball, or with fine motor coordination such as is needed for handwriting)
How Schools Support These Students:
- Concise directions (1-2 steps at a time, especially with complex tasks)
- Social skills instruction (how to interact with others, express emotions appropriately, ask for help and understand directions)
- Explicit instruction and modeling of each process to be taught (Example: zippering a coat)
- Occupational and/or physical therapy (OT/PT) if needed for motor and coordination difficulties (to help with movement and physical play skills, or cutting with scissors)
- Support Staff for assistance if needed with basic living skills (grooming, toileting)
- Speech therapy (if language/speaking difficulties)
- Modified curriculum (such as focusing on math calculations instead of algebra)
- Extra time on assignments
- Smaller assignments (example: modified spelling list with simpler or fewer words)
- Functional curriculum towards life skills such as self-care, vocational and career building skills (basic reading and math, cooking, domestic and household tasks)
- Transportation services if needed (van or bus, depending on student need)
These supports will be placed into the specially designed instruction section of the IEP, and/or related services section (OT, PT, Speech, and/or transportation). This will be decided at the IEP team meeting. Progress monitoring will then take place and determine any need for changes for student to be successful.
Other Health Impairment
IDEA defines Other Health Impairment “having limited strength, vitality, or alertness including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment that-is due to a Chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourettes’ syndrome And adversely affects a child’s educational performance”.
How this Affects Learning
- Focusing to task
- Staying awake
- Sitting still
- Completion of work
- Following directions
- Organizing materials and planning to begin a task
- Processing of new information and retaining (remembering) it
- Application of new information to previously learned information
- Impaired social function (ability to make and keep friends, participate in school activities due to characteristics of the disorder)
- Communication issues such as failure to attend to social cuing or appropriate social interaction
- Frequent absences due to physical ailments connected with the disorder
- Nonattendance to task unless it is of interest to the student
- Behaviors manifest due to academic and social frustration and limited coping tools
Note that a student can have OHI and a concurrent Learning Disability or other eligible disorder.
How Schools Support These Students
- Social skills instruction
- Chunking of tasks that is segmenting them into manageable parts
- Extended time for assignments and tests
- Teaching coping tools for frustration
- Teaching advocacy (how to ask for help and how to do so appropriately)
- Hands on activities
- Brain breaks where movement is incorporated into the student’s schedule
These supports will be placed into the specially designed instruction section of the IEP. This will be decided at the IEP team meeting. Progress monitoring will then take place and determine any need for changes for student to be successful.
IDEA defines an emotional disturbance as “one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects educational performance-“
- Inability to learn not related to other factors
- Inability to build or maintain satisfactory peer and teacher relationships
- Inappropriate feelings or behavior under normal circumstances
- Frequently unhappy or depressed
- Often fearful of taking risks
- Not just social “maladjustment” (such as due to a single event like moving to a new place)
How this Affects Learning
- Unable to make and keep friends
- Inability to interact in a way that is “socially appropriate’ for the situation
- Can have larger reaction to an “everyday” instance such as a change to schedule
- Difficulty focusing on academic tasks due to mood reactivity
- Inability to appropriately ask for help when frustrated
- Limited coping tools for when angry or frustrated that may manifest physically or otherwise inappropriately for student’s age and situation
Supports that the School may Utilize for Emotional Disturbance include:
- Frequent breaks
- Social skills instruction
- Teaching of coping tools for when frustrated
- Supports for any concurrent academic difficulties
- Support in classroom with special education teacher or in the regular classroom with special education teacher supports in place
- Behavioral intervention (work for) incentives in place
- Crisis plan if necessary
- Positive Behavioral Support Plan as part of student’s IEP if Functional Behavioral Assessment has been conducted
- Counseling for outside issues that may contribute to the student’s behavior
These supports will be placed into the specially designed instruction section of the IEP, and/or related services section (counseling). This will be decided at the IEP team meeting. Progress monitoring will then take place and determine any need for changes for student to be successful.
IDEA defines multiple disabilities as concomitant [simultaneous] impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness. In other words, a student whose special needs are categorized under multiple disabilities requires coinciding adaptions for more than one disability. The exception is the combination deafness and blindness, as this pair of impairments has its own classification under IDEA.”
What This Can Look Like
- Impaired speech and communication skills,
- Challenges with mobility such as movement and flexibility
- A need for assistance in performing everyday activities.
- Medical conditions such as seizures and “water on the brain” (hydrocephalus) can accompany multiple disabilities.
How This Affects Learning
- A student may be lacking in functional skills such as grooming or caring for one’s basic needs
- Functional curriculum can be beneficial as can assistive technology
How Schools Can Support These Students
- Providing accommodations for making environment functional and comfortable for the student (seating, type of seat, accessibility of materials)
- Providing curriculum in functional living skill
- Providing physical therapy to improve coordination
- Providing occupational therapy to improve fine motor skills acquisition
- Providing social skills education
- Providing speech and language instruction if appropriate
Support to School Personnel
- Checking amplification technologies (hearing aids, FM systems, and cochlear implant function)
- Training with assistive technology (amplification technology, video relay)
- Supports for instructional strategies and academics
- Communication strategies
- Materials support and adaptations
- Sign language skill development
- Orientations with school staff to assist with understanding the child’s profile, amplification use, and learning strategies
- Providing information on the impact of hearing loss for students with additional disabilities
- Periodic student observations with recommendations to staff
These supports will be placed into the specially designed instruction section of the IEP, and/or related services section (OT, PT). This will be decided at the IEP team meeting. Progress monitoring will then take place and determine any need for changes for student to be successful.
Speech and Language Impairment
IDEA defines a speech and language impairment as "a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance."
How It Affects Learnings
- Communicating effectively with classmates and teachers
- Understanding and/or giving oral presentations
- Participating in classroom discussions
- Attaining normalcy within a group
Supports that the School may Utilize for Speech and Language Impairment include:
- Addressing issues and concerns early to lessen difficulties later
- Model slow, clear speech
- Allow students to record a presentation instead of presenting in class
- Promote use of Assistive Technology if part of the student's IEP
These supports will be placed into the specially designed instruction section of the IEP, and/or related services section (OT, PT). This will be decided at the IEP team meeting. Progress monitoring will then take place and determine any need for changes for student to be successful.
IDEA defines Orthopedic Impairment as “a bone-, joint-, or muscle-related disability that is so severe that it negatively affects a child’s educational performance.”
- Club Foot
- Bone or Joint abnormality
- Bone Tuberculosis
- Absence of limb caused by disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Spina Bifida
- Spastic (tight) muscle groups which affect coordination and balance
- Any damage to brain or spinal cord that affects bone and muscle groups
- Degenerative diseases such as muscular dystrophy
- Fractures and Burns that affect usage of muscles or bones in the body
How this Affects Learning
- Ability to perform tasks that use certain (or all, or main) muscle groups
- Frequent fatigue or pain due to condition which can lead to poor school attendance
- Can co exist with another condition which also requires support and makes school expectations difficult to complete
How the School Supports these Students:
- Physical Therapy (PT)
- Occupational Therapy (OT)
- Mobility support and accommodations (motorized chair, elevator instead of stairs, limit traveling student must do in a school day, computer instead of handwritten work)
- Frequent breaks to encourage attention to task during instruction time due to minimizing fatigue
- Ergonomic supports to help student perform tasks such as flexible keyboards, and universally designed equipment that they are able to reach and use
- Modified curriculum and activities to help student comfortably participate
IDEA defines deaf blindness as “refers to concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for students with deafness or students with blindness.”
Deaf blindness is a combination of sight and hearing loss that affects a person's ability to communicate, access information and get around.
How this Affects Learning
- Compensatory skills acquisition needed
- Social skills interaction may be limited
- Information processing is affected
This May Look Like
- The student has difficulty with communication
- The student may have distorted perceptions. It is difficult to see the whole picture or relate one element to the whole.
- The student may have difficulty anticipating what is going to happen.
- Clues from the environment or from the faces/actions of others may be difficult to read.
- The student-may be somewhat unmotivated. Things may not be seen or heard enough to be desirable.
- The student needs to learn mainly through first hand experiences.
- The lack of vision and hearing make it hard to learn through incidental or group learning experiences.
- Problems communicating
- Problems navigating the environment
It is important to note that assessments for both hearing and vision need to be administered by a qualified professional.
How Schools Can Support These Students-information from CAIU 15 service page:
- “General speech, language, and auditory training from a specialist
- Amplification systems
- Services of an interpreter for those students who use manual communication
- Favorable seating in the class to facilitate speech reading
- Captioned films/videos
- Assistance of a note-taker, who takes notes for the student with a hearing loss, so that the student can fully attend to instruction
- Instruction for the teacher and peers in alternate communication methods, such as sign language; and counseling. (NEC Foundation of America).”
“The student with deaf blindness will need additional help with special equipment and classroom and test modifications in the general curriculum to emphasize listening skills, communication, orientation and mobility, vocation/career options, and daily living skills.”
Functional curriculum will be best for these students. These services will be placed into the specially designed instruction section of the IEP and the related services section of the IEP. Progress will be documented to determine any needed changes.
IDEA defines visual impairment as “an impairment to vision and sight, that even with correction, adversely affects a student’s academic performance.” It can be an impairment up to, and including, blindness.
How this affects Learning
- Inability to see clearly to benefit from traditional instruction
- Difficulty observing and connecting with peers and environment
- Frequent Headaches
- Feeling isolated or like they “miss out” on experiences that others may have
- Feeling different because they need a significant amount of help for daily tasks
How Schools Can Support These Students
- Partnership with community agencies to provide vision specific supports and consultation and examination
- Braille or similar accommodation such as audio recordings for reading of text
- Enlarged font and vision assistive technology reader options
- Canes for students to help walk or seeing eye dogs
- Assistant to help them with daily living tasks
- Advocacy skills such as asking for help and accepting the help
- Promoting independence as much as possible
- Social skills instruction to help them learn “cuing” when to speak in conversation due to not seeing visual cues
From CAIU 15 website services page:
- “Braille reading and writing with integration of Braille into the curriculum using the appropriate Braille code, including literary, math, music, foreign language, and computer
- Adapted materials for tactile or visual learners
- Expanded Core Curriculum for Visually Impaired Students that includes any of the following: Independent Living, Recreation & Leisure, Self-determination, Transition to Adult Life, Social Interaction, Technology, Visual Efficiency, and use of Compensatory Skills due to limited vision
- High and low technology and/or adapted software
- Use of adapted materials for tactile or visual learners
- Ongoing Learning Media Assessment
- Provision of unique classroom supplies and equipment for short-term use
- Temporary loan of recommended equipment, technology, and/or software
- Advance material adaptations per needs of the student for participation in any curriculum; hardware and/or software modifications, and PSSA/PASA coordination and administration.
- Acquisition of all materials within a 5-day turn-around, including audio, large print, Braille, tests, quizzes, books, and/or worksheets, to meet the requirements of the law”
Hearing Impairment including Deafness
IDEA defines Hearing Impairment as "an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance." Deafness is defined as "a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification."
How this Affects Learning
- Difficulty participating in interactive instruction or social interaction
- Inability to process sensory cues in environment
- Difficulty asking for help or knowing how to complete a task
- Technology may or may not be successful
- Speech may be affected or student can also be nonverbal and not speak or be able to
- Coordination may be affected in other areas which makes it hard to complete tasks
How Schools Can Support These Students
- Provide FM radio to instructor to “amp” instruction volume
- Provide additional hearing amplification equipment (Hearing aids)
- Assistive technology for communicative purposes
- Speech and language instruction
- Social skills instruction
- Cuing for gaining students’ attention prior to speaking to them
- Sign language proficient instructors or translators
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech and Language Therapy
- School Nursing Services
- Counseling Services
- Transportation Services
- Personal Care Assistants
These services generally address a child’s posture, muscle strength, mobility, and organization of movement in educational environments.
Offered to students who demonstrate a need for instruction in the areas of orientation and mobility, and positioning in space regarding completion of these types of tasks. Determined by the IEP team and evaluation data.
Examples of what this can look like include:
- Helping them sit and balance in classroom chair
- Balancing and sitting correctly on the floor during circle time,
- Helping child play games on the playground like ball or climbing
Occupational therapy is defined as “therapy based on engagement in meaningful activities of daily life (such as self-care skills, education, work, or social interaction) especially to enable or encourage participation in such activities despite impairments or limitations in physical or mental functioning.”
Occupational therapy is offered to students who demonstrate a need for instruction in the areas of fine motor skills coordination, and tasks such as related to self-care and completing school tasks that utilize these parts of the brain and body. Determined d by the IEP team and evaluation data.
Examples of what this can look like include:
- Self-care routines like getting dressed (fine motor skills and motor planning)
- Writing and copying notes (fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination)
- Holding and controlling a pencil, using scissors (fine motor skills, motor planning)
- Throwing and catching (gross motor skills like balance and coordination)
- Organizing a backpack (motor planning, organization skills)
- Reacting to sensory input (self-regulation skills)
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language services as are offered to children with speech or language impairments; including but not limited to:
(ii) Diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments;
(iii) Referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech or language impairments;
(iv) Provision of speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communicative impairments; and
(v) Counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.
Offered to students who demonstrate a need for instruction in the areas of fluency, articulation, voice, and language. Determined by IEP team and evaluation data.
Fluency-how smooth speech is when someone is talking (ie stuttering)
Articulation-difficulty pronouncing sounds clearly so someone is able to understand
Voice-abnormal quality or pitch
Language-expressing needs and communicating with others
Examples of what this can look like include
- Helping students speak clearly
- Modeling social interactions
- Reteaching word pronunciation or sound pronunciation
School Nursing Services
School Nursing services are defined as health services that are designed to enable a child with a disability to receive FAPE as described in the child’s IEP. School nurse services are services provided by a qualified school nurse. School health services are services that may be provided by either a qualified school nurse or other qualified person.
Offered to students who demonstrate a medical need that cannot be safely or correctly performed by school staff, such as administration of diabetic insulin, or other service that requires qualified personnel.
Examples of what this can look like include:
- medication management,
- personal cares
- health condition monitoring such as for diabetes
Note that if medication has been prescribed to the student it must be first written into the student’s IEP to be permitted to be dispensed
Counseling services are services provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel.
Counseling services are intended to help all children in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development and career development.”
This can include helping children with personal and social concerns such as developing self-knowledge, making effective decisions, learning health choices, and improving responsibility.
Counselors may also help children with future planning related to setting and reaching academic goals, developing a positive attitude toward learning, and recognizing and utilizing academic strengths.
Examples can include
- Parent counseling and training
- Rehabilitation counseling (that is, counseling specific to career development and employment preparation)
This is not the same as psychological counseling but a student can receive this as well.
Offered to students and families who are in need of coping strategies for adjusting to situations both inside and outside of school. Performed by school district counselor up until approximately 6-8 weeks, then referred to outside agency forthcoming.
IDEA defines transportation services as
- travel to and from school and between schools;
- travel in and around school buildings
- specialized equipment (such as special or adapted buses, lifts, and ramps)
Offered to students who demonstrate a need for assistance arriving to and from school to home, in the form of either a bus or van, determined by the IEP team and evaluative data. Transportation must be provided to allow the student to take part in nonacademic and extracurricular activities in the manner necessary to afford the student an equal opportunity for participation in those services and activities to the maximum extent appropriate, and it must be provided during Extended School Year (ESY) as well. The IEP must set forth when transportation is needed and how transportation services will be executed.
Transportation can also include:
- Transportation between schools (or another location where services are delivered) and
- Travel in and around school buildings.
- Supports that are in place for the student for the remainder of the time must participate in transportation services with the student, for example:
1. Aide or personal care assistant
2. Bus stop monitors if this is designated in the IEP for the student
IDEA defines personal care assistant as “an individual who provides one-to-one support and assistance to a student, including support and assistance in the use of medical equipment, for example; augmentative communication devices; activities of daily living; and monitoring health and behavior.”
They can provide support to more than one student in the district and are usually an employee of the district.
These are assistants to students who demonstrate assistance need with self-care, grooming and ambulatory and/or feeding and toileting needs, necessitated by data to determine times of service and how often it is required.
Examples of what this can look like include:
- Providing emotional support to students
- Assisting them with traveling to class
- Helping them focus on their work
- Acting in an emergency or crisis situation
- Providing other supports listed in the IEP as able and as appropriate
Early Intervention to School Age Services
Susquehanna Township School District (STSD) works closely with the CAIU to plan for the arrival of our students who received early intervention services. Planning for your child’s transition will start the year before your child is old enough to enroll in kindergarten. At this point, the CAIU and STSD will begin working together to identify children who are old enough to transition to a school-age program. We will also be gathering information to share with you and preparing for upcoming transition meetings.
At an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, the preschool early intervention team will begin talking with you about your child’s transition to a school-age program. With your help, a transition plan for your child will be developed. This transition plan may include dates for upcoming meetings, activities in your local area for children who are entering a school-age program, as well as timelines for meetings and other activities.
The early intervention preschool team will hold meetings for the parents/guardians of school age eligible children. The purpose of these meetings is for parents/guardians to meet members of the Sara Lindemuth Special Education team, discuss options for your child, and determine next steps. By February 1, you will receive a letter from your preschool early intervention program about this meeting. It is called the Notice of Your Child’s Transition to School Age Meeting. This letter will have information about the school age transition meeting, options for registering your child for school-age programs, school-age evaluations, and contact information.
After you receive this letter, a preschool early intervention team member will contact you with a date, time, and location for a transition meeting with STSD. This meeting will be held by the end of February. As a parent, you are very important to the planning process. You are encouraged to attend this transition meeting and any additional planning activities even if you are not sure your child will transition to kindergarten or first grade.
At the transition meeting, you will meet STSD staff. The preschool early intervention staff will talk with you about your plans for your child in the upcoming school year. You will be asked to complete the Intent to Register form. The form will ask you whether or not you intend to register your child with your local school district or charter school. For some parents/guardians who are thinking about other options for their child, for example, private school or home education program, additional discussions will occur regarding these options. If you decide to have your child go to kindergarten at STSD, you will indicate this on the Intent to Register form. At that time, the preschool early intervention staff will share your child’s most recent preschool evaluation and IEP with STSD.
To receive school age special education services, your child must be eligible to receive special education services, and be enrolled at STSD.
Dates for kindergarten and school registration/enrollment will be provided to you. It is important that you register your child for school. Attending the transition meeting does not mean that your child is officially registered.
If your child will be kindergarten age during the upcoming school year and you do not know if your child should move on to kindergarten, you can discuss this during the meeting. If your child is kindergarten age and your child will not be going to the school district or charter school, your child can continue to receive preschool early intervention services (as long as he/she remains eligible) during the upcoming year. While parents have the option of having their child remain in early intervention, the preschool early intervention program staff will discuss the advantages of having your child transition to school-age programs with children of the same age.
IEP’s for School-Age Students
All children currently eligible for special education services in preschool early intervention and registered with STSD remain eligible for special education unless the school district completes a reevaluation that determines the child is no longer eligible for special education. All eligible children must have an IEP in place by the beginning of the school year. STSD will work collaboratively with parents to develop IEPs for children that are appropriate and provide educational benefit.
Early Intervention Transition: Preschool Programs to School-Aged Programs
DATE OF ISSURANCE: July 1, 2003
DATE OF REVIEW: October 19, 2009, June 30, 2006
- Replaces: Early Intervention Transition: Preschool Programs to School-Aged Programs, 11 P.S. §875-304, issued July 1, 2003
The purpose of this announcement is to clarify the procedures concerning the transition of children from Preschool Early Intervention programs to the kindergarten or first grade programs of their school districts of residence or local charter school. Act 212 of 1990, the Early Intervention Systems Act, established Early Intervention services in Pennsylvania for eligible children from age three to the “age of beginners”. Age of beginners is defined as the minimum age established by each school district’s board of directors for admission to the school district’s first grade under 22 Pa. Code 14 §14.101. A transition, without interruption in program, and with appropriate procedural protections, is required under 20 U.S.C. §1419 (IDEA). All children who are not provided with the transition procedures described in this circular will remain eligible for the Early Intervention services described in their preschool Individual Education Program (IEP) when they enter kindergarten or first grade. Moreover, violations of a child’s right to procedural protections or pendency may result in a child’s eligibility for compensatory services.
The Bureau of Special Education (BSE) and the Bureau of Early Intervention Services (BEIS) intend to facilitate the smooth transition of preschool children from Early Intervention programs to the school district or charter school program, while respecting parental choices. This will require Preschool Early Intervention programs and school districts or charter schools to work cooperatively and be flexible in planning in order to accommodate the implementation of these procedures. To assist in this process, BSE and BEIS have developed standardized procedures and forms to be utilized by the Preschool Early Intervention programs and school districts or charter schools throughout the transition process.
While parents have the option of having their child remain in Early Intervention when their child is eligible for kindergarten, it is incumbent on the IEP team to fully inform the parents of the advantages of transitioning to school age programming with same age peers. In the event that the child will remain in Early Intervention an additional year, the child’s evaluation must reflect that the team will be providing an additional year of Early Intervention at the request of the family.
Beginning the Transition Process
22 Pa. Code Chapter 14.154(e) requires the IEPs of children in Early Intervention who are within one year of transition to a school age program, to include goals and objectives which address the transition process.
By February 1 of each year, Preschool Early Intervention programs must identify the children in their programs who are approaching the age for kindergarten or first grade in their districts of residence and must send their parents a letter explaining the transition process. The Notice of Your Child’s Transition to School Age Meeting (Attachment 1 - pdf), should be utilized by Preschool Early Intervention programs when notifying parents of the transition to school age process. This letter includes information for parents on the meeting to discuss transition to school age, explains the parents’ option to register their child in a kindergarten program or have their child remain in Preschool Early Intervention programming for another year; and informs parents that their children cease to be eligible for Early Intervention services when they reach the age for first grade, regardless of whether the parents actually enroll their children in the district program or charter school. The Early Intervention records of children who are no longer eligible for special education services cannot be shared with school districts or charter schools without parental consent (§301(14) of Act 212 of 1990). It is recommended that the records of children who will be transitioning to the local school district or charter school be transferred from the Preschool Early Intervention program to the local school district or charter school at the time of the transition meeting. If a transition meeting is not held, the records transferred upon the child being registered with the local school district or charter school or when the child is no longer receiving Preschool Early Intervention services The Transition Meeting The Preschool Early Intervention program must convene transition meetings by the end of February for all children approaching the age for kindergarten or first grade. This transition meeting may need to be held earlier if the child’s school district of residence registers children for kindergarten between February 1 and the end of February. If the IEP team has already decided that a child approaching kindergarten age will remain in an Early Intervention program, then the parents and Preschool Early Intervention program can agree that a transition meeting is not necessary. For those children whose parents are uncertain, or who have decided that the child should move on to kindergarten or first grade, a transition meeting must be held, in which the school district of residence or charter school representative must participate. (Note that transition meetings are not necessarily IEP meetings, but they may also serve as such if the necessary participants are present.) At the transition meeting, the Preschool Early Intervention program must provide to parents the appropriate Intent to Register form, (Attachment 2 (pdf) for children who are kindergarten age eligible or Attachment 3 (pdf) for children who are eligible for first grade). This form enables parents to indicate whether they intend to register their child with the school district of residence or charter school. The Preschool Early Intervention program should review the available options on the form with parents during the transition meeting. If the parents decide that a child approaching the age for kindergarten should move into a school age program, or if the child is approaching the age for first grade, the parents must indicate on the Intent to Register form that they intend to register the child in the school district or charter school for the next school year. School districts’ or charter schools’ responsibilities for the transition process for the new school year commence with receipt of the parents’ Intent to Register form. School districts or charter schools may conduct a re-evaluation and develop individualized education programs (IEP) in accordance with the timelines mandated in 22 Pa. Code Chapter 14. The school district or charter school, and the parent may agree to waive a required reevaluation that is allowed under 34 CFR Sec. 300. 303(b)(2) or may agree to implement the existing evaluation or IEP. Re-evaluations and IEPs During the transition meeting, if the parents intend to register their child with the school district or charter school, the Notice of Options For Your Child’s Transition (Attachment 4 - pdf) must be reviewed with parents by the school district or charter school. The following options should be considered by the parents and the school district team or charter school team: (1) The parents and the school district or charter school can agree to adopt and implement the child’s Preschool Early Intervention IEP for the new school year and, if so, the school district or charter school would then issue the Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) indicating this recommendation. (2) Parents and the school district or charter school can decide to adopt the Preschool EI IEP with revisions. The school district or charter school and parents would discuss the proposed revisions. The school district or charter school would then issue the revised IEP and NOREP indicating this recommendation. (3) Parents and the school district or charter school will decide if a reevaluation is necessary. The school district or charter school may conduct a reevaluation consisting of a review of existing data and information prior to the development of an IEP. The district or charter school is not required to issue the Permission to Reevaluate – Consent Form to obtain parental consent prior to a reevaluation limited to a review of existing data. The school district or charter school will notify the parent in writing within a reasonable amount of time after receipt of the Intent to Register that a reevaluation, which will consist of a review of existing data and information will be conducted. The school district or charter school may notify the parent using a letter/notice developed by the school district or charter school. If the team is meeting to review existing evaluation data, the Invitation to Participate in the IEP Team Meeting or Other Meeting notice can be used, noting that the meeting is to review data as part of a reevaluation. This review of existing data should commence within a reasonable amount of time after receipt of the Intent to Register. The Reevaluation Report will summarize the data reviewed during reevaluation, the decision about whether additional evaluation data are needed, and a determination about the child’s continued eligibility for special education services. (4) If, through the review of existing evaluation data the IEP team as described above determines that additional data are needed, the school district and charter school will issue the Permission to Reevaluate – Consent Form to obtain parental consent to collect the additional data. Within 60 days of the date the school district or charter school receives parental consent (not including summer days) to collect additional data; the parent will receive a copy of the Reevaluation Report. The Reevaluation Report will summarize the data reviewed during reevaluation, the decision about whether additional evaluation data are needed, and make a determination about the child’s continued eligibility for special education services. (5) Waiving the reevaluation is not part of the reevaluation process. Waiving the reevaluation is recommended by the school district or charter school, not the IEP team. The parent must be in agreement with the determination to waive the reevaluation. Parent signature is required on the Agreement to Waive Reevaluation form. An IEP meeting will be held within 30 calendar days of the Reevaluation Report, and a new IEP and NOREP will be issued. Within a reasonable period of time from the receipt of the signed Intent to Register form, but no later than April 15, the school district or charter school will notify the parent in writing and initiate one of the options as noted above. Regardless of which option is chosen, an IEP will be implemented no later than 10 school days after its completion, in order to ensure that the special education programs of young children with disabilities are not interrupted when they transition from Preschool Early Intervention programs to school-age programs. All children currently eligible for special education in Preschool Early Intervention and registered with the school district or charter school remain eligible for special education in their school districts or charter schools unless the school district, charter school or Preschool Early Intervention Program completes a reevaluation that determines the child is no longer eligible for special education. If no longer eligible for special education services, school district, charter school, or Preschool Early Intervention programs must issue a NOREP. If parents disagree with the IEP offered by their school districts or charter schools and initiate a due process hearing or both parties agree to mediation, the children who will transition into kindergarten or school age programs must continue to receive the services described in their preschool IEP (ensuring “status quo”) pending completion of dispute resolution options of mediations or due process hearings REFERENCES: Purdon’s Statutes 11 P.S. §875-101 – §875-502 State Board of Educational Regulations 22 Pa. Code Chapter 14 Federal Law Act 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. (IDEA) Federal Regulations 34 CFR Part 300 BUREAU/OFFICE CONTACT: Bureau of Special Education Pennsylvania Department of Education 333 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333 Voice: 717.783-6134 Fax: 717.783.6139
Secondary transition is the process of preparing students for life after they leave high school, including participation in post-secondary education or training, employment, and/or independent living. These three areas are often referred to as "post-school outcomes" and are the driving force behind Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) written for students in high school. Transition planning begins at age 14, in middle school or early high school, as students explore what they want their post-school outcomes to be through career awareness exploration activities. Planning continues through high school as instruction and community experiences support these outcomes. By beginning and continuing to discuss transition prior to and during high school, the IEP team can work with each student and the student's family to select courses of study that will be meaningful to the student's future and motivate the student to complete his or her education.
Parent’s/Caregiver’s Active Role in Transition Planning
- Attend all IEP meetings for your son/daughter.
- Have your son/daughter attend his/her IEP meeting.
- Openly share with your son/daughter what his/her disability is so that he/she can begin to self-advocate for himself or herself now and as an adult.
- Attend transition planning events offered by your district or community.
- Help your son/daughter and the IEP team identify his/her strengths/needs.
- Discuss with your son/daughter job-related skills such as the importance of attendance, being on time, appropriate attire for work (even jobs as teens), professionalism, and self-advocating for assistance.
- Provide other self-advocacy opportunities such as making appointments, managing money, shopping skills, and arranging transportation.
- Become familiar with agencies that may provide services for your son/daughter.
- Employment Resources
- Post-Secondary Education
- Agency Support
- Independent Living
- Printable Resources
- Additional Resources
- HACC has multiple programs regarding transition from high school
- Program provided through HACC to provide readiness skills to high school students
- CMU provides community-based programs for those with intellectual disabilities or mental health.
- Supporting children and families with in home services
- OVR provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment
Changes designed for equity to level the playing field for a student (presentation, response, setting, etc)
|Achievement Test||Instrument designed to efficiently measure the amount of academic knowledge/skill a student has acquired.|
Tests that gather information on the standards-based performance and progress of students whose disabilities do not allow them to participate reliably in general assessments
Developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction
Concomitant hearing and visual impairments
Hearing impairment so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing with or without amplification that adversely affects a child's educational performance
Child with a disability means they were evaluated and have an educational disability and require special education and related services
Exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics: inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships; inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; tendency to develop physical symptoms/fears associated with personal or school problems
An impairment in hearing whether fluctuating or permanent that affects educational performance
Educating students with disabilities in regular classrooms to maximum extent possible
significantly subaverage intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior
Least Restrictive Environment
To the maximum extent possible, students are educated in regular education classrooms with appropriate aids and supports
Process conducted when considering the exclusion of a student with a disability that constitutes a change of placement
Change to testing condition, procedures, or formatting that the intended construct is no longer valid and scores cannot be aggregated with scores under standard conditions
IDEA requires people with different roles, expertise, and professional qualifications to attend meetings
Concomitant impairments with such severe educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments
Severe orthopedic impairment that affects a child's educational performance
Other Health Impairment
Limited strength, vitality, or alertness that results in limited alertness with respect to the environment
Supportive services required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from a special education program
Specifically designed instruction at no cost to the parents to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability
Specific Learning Disability
Disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language that manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical functions
Speech and Language Impairment
Communication disorder that adversely affects a child's educational performance
Coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability to focus on movement from school to post-school activities
Traumatic Brain Injury
Acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in total or partial functional disability
Including blindness, an impairment in vision that adversely affects a child's educational performance even with correction
Americans with Disabilities Act
Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder
Community Based Instruction
Curriculum Based Assessment
English Language Learner
Extended School Year
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Free and Appropriate Education
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Individualized Education Program
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Least Restrictive Environment
Life Skills Support
Local Education Agency
Multi-Tiered System of Supports
Notice of Recommended Educational Placement
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Orientation and Mobility
Other Health Impairment
Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Pennsylvania System of State Assessment
Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
Permission to Evaluate
Permission to Re-Evaluate
Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Positive Behavior Support Plan
School Supports for Personnel
Specific Learning Disability
Specifically Designed Instruction
Speech Language Pathologist
Speech or Language Impairment
Traumatic Brain Injury