Special Education Services and Programs: Annual Notice
Warrior Run School District is committed to providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. The District must annually provide notice to the public about special education services and procedures to identify, locate, and evaluate all students who may be eligible for and in need of special education.
The District operates learning support, life skills, emotional support, autistic support and multiple disabilities programs at the various building levels and it provides space for the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit to operate an elementary emotional support/day treatment program. Warrior Run School District also maintains two speech language pathologists on staff. The District contracts with Intermediate Unit 16 for related services that students may need including occupational and physical therapy, vision and mobility services, itinerant autistic support, behavioral support, hearing support services and social worker support.
Warrior Run School District works in collaboration with the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, local school districts, and agencies to identify appropriate placements for students who demonstrate a need for educational programs that are not offered within the boundaries of the school district. The District makes arrangements and pays the cost of transportation for children to access these programs.
Identification (Child Find) Activities:
The Warrior Run School District works in collaboration with the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit to identify young children who may need special education services upon transition from early intervention programs to kindergarten. A parent meeting is scheduled in late winter of each school year to inform parents about the district’s special education services and to obtain permissions to evaluate to determine continued eligibility as t he child transitions to school age prograqmming. Evaluations are completed, and IEP meetings are conducted in the spring of the year prior to entry into kindergarten from early intervention programs.
Kindergarten screening is conducted annually in the early spring. The elementary principals schedule pre-registration meetings in all elementary buildings and explains district services. Specific dates for kindergarten screening are published in the school calendar. More details are published in notices sent home and in local newspapers prior to the screening activities. Speech language pathologists are members of the screening team. They also screen kindergarten, first and second grade students annually to identify potential articulation and/or language delays.
Building level teams meet regularly at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels to monitor concerns about student progress, to develop intervention strategies, and to identify students who may need multidisciplinary evaluations. The teams consider a variety of academic, behavioral, speech language, and motor development information. Teachers within the district are trained in referral procedures. Guidance counselors, working in collaboration with their district colleagues at all levels are also important front line personnel in child find procedures.
Warrior Run School District has an assessment plan which specifies the type of evaluations that are administered to all students at various grade levels. The analysis of assessment results is an important child find strategy, and students may be referred to the school psychologist for further, indepth evaluation in an effort to determine eligibility for special edcuaiton services.
Potential Signs of Developmental Delays and Other Risk Factors for Disabilities
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) lists 13 disabilities categories. The following contains excerpts from the definitions:
- Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction usually evident before the age of three.
- Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments.
- Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing with or without amplification.
- Emotional disturbance is a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance 1). Inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors 2). An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers 3). Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances 4). A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression 5). A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
- Hearing Impairment means an impairment in hearing whether permanent or fluctuating that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included in the definition of deafness.
- Intellectual Disability means a significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.
- Multiple Disabilities means concomitant impairments the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.
- Orthopedic Impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’ educational performance.
- Other Health Impairment means 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 1) is due to chronic or acute health problems 2) adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
- Specific Learning Disability is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoke or written that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.
- Speech Language Impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
- Traumatic Brain Injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’ educational performance.
- Visual Impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that even with correction adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Initiating an Evaluation
Parents who suspect that their child may need special education services should contact the appropriate building principal, school guidance counselor, or the Special Education Office (649-5138 ext 228) to request screening and/or evaluation. A parental request for a multidisciplinary evaluation should be made in writing. Written parental requests will be followed by the formal Permission to Evaluate.
Confidentiality of Student Records:
If a screening procedure finds evidence of a possible disability and a multidisciplinary evaluation is recommended, the district must issue a Permission to Evaluate to parents or guardians. Written consent is required prior to conducting the evaluation. An evaluation report is prepared after the assessments are completed. The written record of the results is called an educational record and is maintained by the District. The record contains information that personally identifies a child’s name, name of parents or other family members, address, and other traceable information. The school district protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information according to the district’s Student Records policy and FERPA (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
Further information about special education is available from building principals or the supervisor of special education at 649-5138.