The East Lycoming School District has developed policies in accordance with federal and state regulations and guidelines to ensure the provision of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all school-age children, including those with disabilities. The District provides appropriate special education programs, and related services programs that are:
- provided at no cost to parents.
- provided under the authority of a school entity
- directly by referral or by contact
- individualized to meet the educational needs of the child
- reasonably calculated to yield meaningful
- educational benefits and progress
- designed to conform to an Individual Education Program (IEP).
Special education is designed to meet the needs of each exceptional student including specially designed instruction conducted in the classroom, home, community settings, hospitals, institutions or other settings. Instruction also is provided in skill areas such as physical education, speech and vocational education. Students that have been determined by an IEP team, based upon recommendations resulting from a multidisciplinary team evaluation, are eligible to receive special education services. Special education services are available to children who have one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities:
- autism/pervasive developmental disorder
- serious emotional disturbance
- neurological impairment
- deafness/hearing impairment
- specific learning disability
- intelluctual disability
- multiple disabilities
- other health impairment
- physical disability
- speech and language impairment
- blindness/visual impairment
- students who have been determined by an IEP team, based upon recommendation in a multidisciplinary evaluation, to need special education, or who have been identified as gifted.
Related services available to students include developmental, corrective and other supportive services, including transportation, that may help an exceptional student succeed in school. Examples include: speech/language pathology and audiology, physical and occupational therapy, school health services, early identification and assessment, emotional/behavioral, vision/hearing, orientation/mobility and assistive technology services.
There are procedures to identify children needing special education, including “screening” and “evaluation”. If a disability is suspected, teachers, other school personnel, or parents may refer a child for screening or evaluation. Parents suspecting that a child may have a disability and needs special education or early intervention services can request a screening or an evaluation by contacting the teacher, building Principal or Director of Special Education.
- Prior to evaluation, parents are provided the following information:
- Who referred the child for the evaluation
- Why the child was referred
- How to review the child’s school records
- What procedures and types of evaluation will be used
- That parents’ involvement in any testing procedure is encouraged
- The schedule for the evaluation process
- The rights of the parent regarding consent for evaluation.
Evaluations are conducted by a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to determine such things as the child’s learning ability, behavior patterns, physical abilities and communication skills. The team is made up of the parents, a teacher, school principal and school psychologist. The team may include a special education teacher, director of special education, speech therapist, counselor and other staff as necessary. Methods used in the evaluation are reviewed by the team to determine if special education services are needed. If special education placement is recommended, parents are part of the team that determines exceptionality and develops an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the child. No evaluation may be conducted without written parental permission.Parents who do not consent to an evaluation may be asked to attend a conference with the teacher, principal, psychologist and possibly other special education staff.
The East Lycoming School District is required by law to keep records of all students receiving special education services.
- Included in these records are:
- Birth date, address, telephone number and other general information
- Achievement test results
- Teacher progress reports
- Comprehensive evaluation reports
- Routine medical records.
As a child is reevaluated, information is added to his or her file. All records are confidential. Only school personnel are permitted to see the child’s file. Anyone else must have written approval of the parent to see the file or to receive copies of information in the file. Parents may review the child’s file and challenge the validity of any record or report, or challenge the maintenance of information on file. All records are reviewed every summer by school personnel, and those no longer needed to plan the child’s education program are destroyed. However, parents are notified first and permitted to review or copy this information. Federal regulations give both natural parents access to their child’s educational records unless there is a court order, state statute or legally binding document prohibiting access.
Detailed printed information about available special education services and programs and school district policies is available from all school districts upon request. Anyone interested should contact the Director of Special Education or the building principal. Information and communications are in English, but will be provided in the native language or other mode of communication used by the parents, if appropriate.
Director of Special Education