The McKeesport Area School District employs the following procedures for locating, identifying and evaluating the needs of school age students requiring special education programs and/or services. These procedures, as required by state regulation, are as follows: as prescribed by section 1403 of the school code, the district routinely conducts health screenings for kindergarten (K) through 12th grade students: vision (K-8, 10); hearing (K-3, 7); height / weight (K-12); mandated physical exams (K, 6, 11) and sport physicals; dental screenings (K, 1, 3, 7, 10); scoliosis screening (6, 7). Academic screenings will be conducted at each elementary building throughout the district for all kindergarten students. Speech and language skills are screened in kindergarten and on a referral basis by the speech clinicians. Gross-motor and fine-motor skills, academic and social-emotional skills are assessed by the teachers and support staff on an ongoing basis. Various screening activities, evaluated on an ongoing basis, include a review of group-based data such as cumulative enrollment and health records, report cards and ability and achievement test scores. Identified needs from these screening sources, as well as information obtained from parents and outside agencies, are assessed, noted within the student’s record, and discussed with parents. If appropriate,
a referral process is initiated at each building level and the assessment data is used by the student’s school to meet his or her specific needs by recommending modifications or adaptations to the regular education program or to document the need for further evaluation. If it is determined that a student may be eligible for special education services, the student is referred for a multidisciplinary team evaluation. After the evaluation is completed, an evaluation report is prepared with parent involvement and includes specific recommendations for the types of intervention necessary to deal with the needs of the student. When the evaluation report is completed and in accordance with state regulations, an IEP team meeting with parental involvement is scheduled to develop an appropriate individualized education program plan (IEP) for the student. Parents of students who suspect their child is exceptional and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation of their child through a written request to the building principal or Coordinator of Special Education Angela Cale at 412-664-3622.
Developmental delay is defined as a child who is less than the age of beginners and at least 3 years of age and is considered to have a developmental delay when one of the following exists: (i) The child’s score, on a developmental assessment device, on an assessment instrument which yields a score in months, indicates that the child is delayed by 25% of the child’s chronological age in one
or more developmental areas. (ii) The child is delayed in one or more of the developmental areas, as documented by test performance of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on standardized tests. Developmental areas include cognitive, communicative, physical, social/emotional and self-help.
SERVICES FOR SCHOOL AGE EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS
The McKeesport Area School District provides a free, appropriate public education to exceptional students according to state and federal mandates. To be eligible, the child must be of school age, need specially designed instruction and meet eligibility criteria for mentally gifted and/or one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in the Pennsylvania State Standards: autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment including blindness. Following an evaluation, if a parent disagrees with the evaluation, the parent can request an independent evaluation (IEE) at the public’s expense. Services designed to meet the needs of eligible students include the annual development of an individualized education program (IEP), multidisciplinary reevaluation, supportive intervention in the regular class, supplemental intervention in the regular class or in a special education resource program, placement in a part-time or full-time special education class in a regular school or placement in a full-time special education class outside of the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the parents and staff at the IEP team meeting and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age and the level of intensity of the specified intervention. The school district also provides related services, such as transportation, physical therapy and occupational therapy that are required to enable the student to derive educational benefits. Prior to the initiation of services, parents are presented a “Notice of Recommended Educational Placement” (NOREP) with which they may agree or disagree. If parents disagree with the program being recommended, they have the right to request a pre-hearing conference, mediation and/or a due process hearing.
SERVICES FOR STUDENTS IN NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS
Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect that their child is in need of auxiliary services should contact the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Nonpublic Schools Program at 412-394-5964 or the McKeesport Area School District Special Education Department at 412-664-3622.
SERVICES FOR PROTECTED HANDICAPPED STUDENTS
The school district will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school programs and extracurricular activities to the extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. To qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability, which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. Services and protections for protected handicapped students are different from those applicable to all eligible students enrolled in special education programs. Additional information about the evaluation procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students is available by contacting Ms. Cale at 412-664-3622.
SERVICES FOR PRESCHOOL AGE CHILDREN
Act 212, the Early Intervention System Act, entitles all preschool age children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services. Young children experiencing developmental delay or physical or mental disabilities are eligible for early intervention services. The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, defined as children from birth through two years of age. Contact The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers, 2801 Custer Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15227, (412) 885-6000. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to preschool age children from ages three through five. Contact Project DART, 1400 Penn Ave., Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, (412) 394-5736. The district will provide a survey to the parents of all students who transition into the district to determine the effectiveness of child find.
In accordance with 34 CFR § 300.624, please be advised of the following retention/destruction schedule for the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), and Keystone Exam related materials:
PSSA, Keystone Exam, and PASA test booklets will be destroyed one year after student reports are delivered for the administration associated with the test booklets.
PSSA and Keystone Exam answer booklets and PASA media recordings will be destroyed three years after completion of the assessment.
This amendment to the Annual Notice will be in effect at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
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