Special Education
 
Special Education Services in Haverford Township School District

The District is committed to working with parents to provide our students with quality
educational experiences that will encourage them to be successful life-long learners.
Procedures have been put in place to address the evaluation,identification,program and placement options for students who may qualify for special education interventions. These procedures are in compliance with federal and state mandates for eligible students.

CHILD STUDY TEAM/INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT:

Opportunities are in place for a student who is at risk in school to receive support services. The team in each building meets regularly to identify individual student learning difficulties, to develop strategies to implement in the regular education classroom, and to assign a case manager to monitor student responsiveness to the intervention(s) Parents are encouraged to be active members of the team. Examples of interventions are: curriculum modifications, testing accommodations, and options for
reading or math lab or Title 1 services as appropriate.There may be a student who is experiencing social interaction difficulties. The building's guidance counselor may provide some short term intervention services, or meet with a small group of students to foster friendships.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM EVALUATION:

Students who are recommended for formal psychoeducational evaluation will receive intensive assessment to determine cognitive abilities,achievement levels, and performance in other areas as determined by the School Psychologist. This procedure involves parents,teachers,counselors and evaluators, who, after testing is completed,meet to review the evaluation data at a formal meeting. All information collected is protected in accordance with State and Federal law as well as the District's policy for confidentiality of student records.The outcome of this process may qualify a student for either special education, gifted education or protected handicapped accommodations.

If you believe your child may be eligible:
Contact your child's guidance counselor, teacher, or you building principal to discuss your concerns. Discussion may follow to assist us in understanding your request and child's needs. Your child may be referred to the Child Study Team at your building so that you, working with the team can identify instructional or behavioral interventions and strategies that support you child.

The initial involvement of the Child Study team is an important first step in assessing the student's performance in the classroom setting prior to formal referral for evaluation, and allows team members to gather current levels of performance for the student.

If after this process, you or the team believes your child may have a disability and would like to pursue the evaluation process, we will issue a "Permission to Evaluate." This form will allow us to begin the evaluation process which may consist of,yet not limited to: review of records, intelligence testing, achievement test, parent input and teacher input. You may pursue an evaluation directly by requesting from your building principal a Permission To Evaluate- Evaluation Request Form.

Once the School District receives this PTE-Evaluation Request Form the school will either:
1.Send you within an reasonable amount of time the PTE-Consent Form that will describe the process and timeline that will be used for the evaluation, and ask for your consent for the evaluation to begin, OR

2.Send you a written notice, called a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior Written Notice that explains why the Local Educational Agency (LEA) is refusing to evaluate your child and a Procedural Safeguards Notice that explains how you can challenge the LEA's refusal to evaluate your child.

The Process:
Your child will be evaluated and you will receive an Evaluation Report(ER) within sixty(60) calendar days of our receipt of the signed Permission to Evaluate.After this, you will be invited to attend a meeting to determine if your child is eligible for special education services and if so to develop an Individualized Education Program(IEP). The IEP meeting must be scheduled within 30 calendar days of dissemination of the ER.

If your child is identified as exceptional:
The School District provides the programming and services required for each exceptional child. The programs and services will be developed based on each child's exceptionality and the need for special education and related services. The terms and procedures we use to determine if any particular child has such a need is defined, by IDEA and state regulations.

These programs and services are made available to children who meet the qualifications for one of the following Exceptionality Categories under the IDEA:
1. Autism(Pervasive Development Disorder
2. Deaf-Blindness
3. Deafness
4. Emotional Disturbance
5. Hearing Impairment
6. Intellectual Disabilities
7. Multiple Disabilities
8. Orthopedic Impairment
9. Other Health Impairments
10. Specific Learning Disability
11. Speech or Language Impairment
12. Traumatic Brain Injury
13. Visual Impairment including Blindness

Services are provided for the full range of exceptionalities listed above and maybe provided at various locations with the home school being given first consideration. Programs may include the services of other professionals beyond the classroom teacher.

The purpose of these procedures is to identify children with disabilities in order to provide them with a free appropriate public education.

Parents who have concerns about the development of their three to five year old child can call the Delaware County Intermediate Unit Early Intervention Office at (610)938-9000 to request a screening or an evaluation.


SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES:

The Haverford Township School District provides special education services for eligible students in Grades K-12. Programs are housed in our schools,or provided by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, or State Approved Private Schools. The student is identified with a primary disability through the evaluation process, which leads to the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which describes the special education services to be delivered. Included in the IEP will be any Related Services required for the student to support his/her primary special education program.

CONTINUUM OF SERVICES:

In Haverford, a student may receive the IEP service in an Itinerant setting in or outside of the classroom for up to 21% of the school day.Typically, the Itinerant teacher provides educational, social or emotional services to the student in ways which support the general education classroom, the student's ability to be successful,and/or requirements of the curriculum.

Some students receive Resource or Part Time classroom programming in our schools for one to four major content area subjects. These students receive modified content using the Board Approved general curriculum for regular education.

The School District of Haverford does not operate Full Time special education classes.
All students in our programs are included in regular education for, at minimum, special subjects, and in most cases, for at least one major subject.

Related Services include: transportation,speech-language and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, counseling services (provided by School District personnel such as guidance counselors, qualified social workers,psychologists,or other qualified personnel), orientation and mobility services, and some evaluative procedures such as medical evaluations as recommended by the team.

For students aged 14 and older, the IEP team must develop a Transition Plan to address post-secondary preparation and planning; leisure and recreation; and community based services needed.


CHAPTER 15/SECTION 504 EVALUATIONS:

A student with protected handicapped status that has a significant impact on major life functions may be eligible for a Service Agreement under Chapter 15 of the Pennsylvania Standards. The student may require accommodations or services to appropriately access the regular classroom or curriculum.There is formal consideration for Chapter 15 eligibility upon receipt of medical verification of condition, possible evaluation and team consensus that identifies specific strategies or modifications needed during the school day. Parents may request consideration for a Chapter 15 Service Agreement by writing to the Building Principal or Guidance Counselor. You can also send a request in writing to the Office of Pupil Services.

Students with a protected handicapped status may have conditions such as:physical disability that does not preclude student from participating in regular education; examples include Juvenile Diabetes; Spina Bifida;Cerebral Palsy.


EARLY INTERVENTION:

The District works in collaboration with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit to provide programs for Preschoolers who have been identified as eligible for special education IEP services. The Intermediate Unit works with agencies across the county which provide school services for these students aged three to five. When the student is age-appropriate for Kindergarten, the Intermediate Unit schedules and coordinates a Transition Meeting for parents, the IU and the School District to begin activities to transfer the student to District responsibility.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


Office of Pupil Services and Special Education:
Dr. Valerie L. Burnett, Director of Pupil Services and Special Education
610-853-5900, extension 7236

Amy Eisen, Assistant Director of Pupil Services and Special Education
610-853-5900, extension 7132

David Parker, Coordinator of Secondary Special Programs
610-853-5900, extension 7240

Jessica Gondek, Coordinator of Elementary Special  Programs
610-853-5900, extension 7224