“We cannot be content to live by the past, but must be ready to face the challenges of the future.”
North East School District offers a wide array of programs, supports, and services for students with disabilities aimed to meet the needs of all students. Special education services are available at no cost to parents for students ages 3-21 who meet the eligibility requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Parents/guardians who may have concerns regarding their student are encouraged to contact their student’s teacher(s), the building principal, or the Director of Special Education.
- Why the student has been referred for an evaluation.
- What procedures and types of evaluation will be used.
- The proposed evaluation date.
- Includes a copy of the Procedural Safeguards.
Parent signature on the Permission to Evaluate must be obtained before the evaluation process can begin.
A school psychologist will evaluate the student using a variety of assessment tools that may include:
- Developmental assessments
- Screening tests
- Intelligence quotient assessments
- Academic achievement tests
- Adaptive behavior scales
- Behavior rating scales
- Curriculum-based assessments
- Teacher/school psychologist observations
- Parent information
- Review of existing academic and behavioral records
After the evaluation, a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meets to discuss the results and recommendations. Along with the parents/guardians of the child, this team may include a special education teacher, regular classroom teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, school mental health professional, and school principal. If the student is found to have a disability and is in need of specially designed instruction, the team will then develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Independent Education Evaluations - North East School District Procedures
The parents of a child with a disability have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense, one time, if they do not agree with the results of the individualized evaluation of their child conducted by the District. If you are a parent of a child with a disability and would like to request an IEE, please follow the steps below:
- Send your request in writing to the Director of Special Education: Brianne Hodges (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Upon receipt of the request, the District will provide the parents a formal letter explaining the IEE process and listing the professionals the district has approved to conduct such an evaluation.
- If the parent does not agree to one of the area professionals, the parent must obtain another qualified/certified psychologist on their own and get approval from the District to move forward.
- A Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior Written Notice (NOREP/PWN) must be signed agreeing to the right to obtain the IEE by the certified psychologist.
- Once the signed NOREP is received, the parent can have the evaluation conducted at any time. The parent is responsible for setting up the evaluation with the agreed-upon psychologist.
- A copy of the completed evaluation must be provided to the school. The District will then issue the Permission to Evaluate/Reevaluate to consider the findings. If necessary, a new or revised IEP will be developed and a new NOREP will be issued.
Every student in a special education program has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) written by the IEP team that identifies goals and objectives for the year and details the supports the District will provide to the student. The IEP team will meet at least once a year to review the student’s strengths and needs and adjust the program as needed. Each student within the special education program will be assigned a case manager within the district. This case manager is responsible for ensuring that the program listed in the IEP is provided. Parents/guardians may contact the student’s case manager if there are questions or concerns.
Approval for special education services is given by the parent/guardian’s signature on the Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior Written Notice (NOREP/PWN). This document will be issued to the parents whenever there is a change to the student’s IEP. The NOREP is kept in the student’s permanent school record along with the student’s Evaluation Report and IEP.
North East School District offers a wide array of services for students with special education needs. Some of these services are available in the DIstrict while others are joint programs that are located in other districts within our region. The type and level of support a student receives is based on the individual needs of that student and may include one or more of the following supports:
- Learning Support - Learning support programs are for students who show weaknesses in reasoning, thinking, reading, writing, spelling, or math skills but are of average or above-average intelligence. The level of support will be determined by the individual student needs with a focus on providing as much support as possible within the regular education classroom.
- Autistic Support - Autistic support is offered for students diagnosed along the Autism Spectrum, with classrooms based in E. C. Davis Primary, North East Intermediate, and the North East Middle School. Programming for students is focused on academic, functional, and behavioral needs both in and out of the classroom.
- Emotional Support - Emotional support programming is available for students with long-term, significant behaviors that impede the learning of the student. Emotional support focuses on teaching skills that support positive behavior through a variety of means including social skills instruction, social-emotional learning activities, and behavior contracting.
- Life Skills Support - Life skills support is offered for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Life skills support focuses on functional living skills and academics with the goal of helping students to live as independently as possible. Students receiving life skills support participate in an alternative curriculum that is designed to address educational and functional needs.
- Speech/Language Support - Speech and language support is available for students with communication problems affecting their learning. Students with expressive and receptive language deficits may participate in individual or group therapy with the Speech-Language Pathologist.
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing Support - Students who are deaf or hard of hearing will receive services through this type of support. Supports can range from one-on-one sessions with a Deaf/Hard of Hearing teacher to assistive technology integration to accommodations within the classroom.
- Visual Support - Visual support is offered for students with visual impairments. Through coordination with Intermediate Unit 5, students are provided with instruction and accommodations based on their individual needs.
- Physical Support - Physical support is available to students with physical disabilities. Supports may include sessions with a physical therapist or accommodations made to the classroom to assist in accessing the educational environment.
- Multiple Disabilities Support - Students who have a combination of two or more disabilities may receive multiple disabilities support. This support aims to identify the individual needs of the student and address them through an adaptive curriculum.
North East School District contracts the following services through the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5:
- Occupational Therapist
- Physical Therapist
- Speech Therapist for Low-Incidence classrooms
- Teacher of the Hearing Impaired
- Teacher of the Vision Impaired
- Behavior Consultant
- Assistive Technology Consultant
Parents are also advised that in Pennsylvania, special programming for students who are mentally gifted is available through the North East School District. Parental rights of access to these programs are governed by Chapter 16 of the School Code. If parents feel their child is gifted, they should contact the principal of the school in which their child attends to initiate the evaluation process. More information on programming for gifted students can be found using the link to the left.
Parents are also advised that in Pennsylvania, children with disabilities who do not require special education are protected by the regulations of Chapter 15 of the School Code. Parents who feel their child may be a “protected handicapped student” should contact the principal of the school in which their child attends for more information. Additional information on Chapter 15/504 Service Agreements can be found using the link to the left.
Preschool children, ages 3 through 5, with developmental delays or disabilities can receive early intervention services provided through the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5. Screenings and evaluations occur throughout the year. For more information on Early Intervention services, please contact the IU5 at (814) 734-8461.
Special Education Requests:
Please contact Brianne Hodges or Tim Baronner at the phone numbers listed below.