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Notice of Special Education Services and Programs

Child Find

To Parents who reside in one of the Twenty Constituent School Districts of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit

 

 

El contenido de esta nota se ha escrito en inglés. Si usted no entiende esta nota, debe contactar el distrito escolar (vea los contactos) y solicite una explicación.

 

The content of this notice has been written in English.  If a person does not understand any of this notice, he or she should contact the school district (see Contacts) and request an explanation.

 

Each school district, along with other public agencies in the Commonwealth, must establish and implement procedures to identify, locate and evaluate all children who need special education programs and services because of the child's disability.  This notice is to help find these children, offer assistance to parents and describes the parent's rights with regard to confidentiality of information that will be obtained during this process. 

 

Identification Activity

 

Child find refers to activities undertaken by public education agencies to identify, locate, and evaluate children residing in the State, including children attending private schools, who are suspected of having disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, and determine the child's need for special education and related services.  The purpose is to locate these children so that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) can be made available.  The types of disabilities that if found cause a child to need services are:  Autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment due to chronic or acute health problems, specific learning disabilities, speech or language, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment including blindness, and developmental delay for preschool age children.  Developmental delay is defined as a child who is less than the age of beginners and at least 3 years of age 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.  In addition, school age individuals with IEPs in correctional facilities are entitled to FAPE, as are “Gifted” students, within the Commonwealth. 

 

Each school district is required to annually provide notice describing the identification activities and the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of personally identifiable information.  This notice is intended to meet this requirement.

 

Identification activities are performed to find a child who is suspected as having a disability that would interfere with his or her learning unless special education programs and services are made available.  These activities are sometimes called screening activities.  The activities include: Review of group data, conducting hearing and vision screening, assessment of student's academic functioning, observation of the student displaying difficulty in behavior and determining the student's response to attempted remediation.  Input from parents is also an information source for identification.  Parents who suspect their child is eligible for special education services and programs may request an evaluation at any time through a written request to the building principal.  After a child is identified as a suspected child with a disability, he or she is evaluated, but is not evaluated before parents give permission for their child to be evaluated.

 

Confidentiality

 

If after screening, additional information is necessary, we will seek your permission to conduct further evaluations. A written record of the results is called an education record, which is directly related to your child and is maintained by the school district.  These records are personally identifiable to your child.  Personally identifiable information includes the child's name, the name of the child's parents or other family member, the address of the child or their family, a personal identifier such as social security number, a list of characteristics that would make the child's identity easily traceable or other information that would make the child's identity easily traceable.

The school district will gather information regarding your child's physical, mental, emotional and health functioning through testing and assessment, observation of your child, as well as through review of any records made available to the school district through your physician and other providers of services such as day care agencies.

The school district protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information by one school official being responsible for ensuring the confidentiality of the records; training being provided to all persons using the information and; maintaining for public inspection a current list of employees names and positions who may have access to the information.  The school district will inform you when this information is no longer needed to provide educational services to your child and will destroy the information at the request of the parent, except general information such as your child's name, address, phone number, grades, attendance record and classes attended, grade level completed, may be maintained without time limitation. 

 

As the parent of the child you have a number of rights regarding the confidentiality of your child's records.  The right to inspect and review any education records related to your child that are collected, maintained, or used by the school district.  The school district will comply with a request for you to review the records without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding planning for your child's special education program (called an IEP meeting), before a hearing should you and your school district disagree about how to educate your child who needs special education, and in no case, take more than 45 days to furnish you the opportunity to inspect and review your child's records.

 

You have the right to an explanation and interpretations of the records; to be provided copies of the records if failure to provide the copies would effectively prevent you from exercising your right to inspect and review the records and; the right to have a representative inspect and review the records. 

 

Upon your request, the school district will provide you a list of the types and location of education records collected, maintained, or used by the agency.  Additionally, the school district may charge a fee for copies of records made in response to your request for copies except it will not charge a fee if doing so will prevent you from inspecting and reviewing your child's records.    The district will not charge a fee to search or retrieve information.

 

You have the right to request the amendment of your child's education records that you believe are inaccurate or misleading, or violates the privacy or other rights of your child.  The school district will decide whether to amend the records within a reasonable time of receipt of your request.  If the school district refuses to amend the records you will be notified of the refusal and your right to a hearing.  You will be given at that time, additional information regarding the hearing procedures and; upon request, the district will provide you a records hearing to challenge information in your child's education files.

 

 

Parent consent is required before personally identifiable information contained in your child's education records is disclosed to anyone other than officials of the school district collecting or using the information for purposes of identification of your child, locating your child and evaluating your child or for any other purpose of making available a free appropriate public education to your child.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.  Additionally, the school district, upon request, discloses records without consent to officials of another school district in which your child seeks or intends to enroll.

  

A parent may file a written complaint alleging that the rights described in this notice were not provided:

 

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Bureau of Special Education

Division of Compliance

333 Market Street

Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

 

The Department of Education will investigate the matter, issue a report of findings and necessary corrective action within 60 days.  The Department will take necessary action to ensure compliance is achieved.

 

Complaints alleging failures of the school district with regard to confidentiality of personally identifiable information may also be filed with:

 

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

The following School Districts will provide ongoing screening services.  If you wish to learn more, have questions, or believe your child may need to be identified, please contact:

 

NEIU 19 District Contact Persons

 

Abington Heights/Mr. Sam Sica (570)585-8227

Blue Ridge/Mr. Chris Dyer (570)465-3141

Carbondale Area/Ms. Ann Boyle (570)282-4500

Dunmore/Ms. Frances Loughney (570)347-6794        

Elk Lake/Ms. Pamela Staats (570)278-1106

Forest City Regional/Ms. Donna Potis (570)785-2444

Lackawanna Trail/Ms. Jo Ann Radicchi(570)945-5184

Lakeland/Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones (570)254-9485

Mid Valley/Ms. Rose Ellen Skodacek (570)307-2165

Montrose Area/Dr. Donald Golden (570)278-6219

Mountain View/Ms. Mary Hvezda (570)434-2181

North Pocono/Ms. Carol Natitus (570)842-3957  

Old Forge/Ms. Donna Carey (570)457-6721

Riverside/Ms. Kristen Samsel (570)562-2880

Scranton/Ms. Lee Car (570)348-3438

Susquehanna/Ms. Joni Miller (570)853-4921

Valley View/Mr. David Angeloni (570)876-5080

Wallenpaupack Area/Ms. Gwyn Devendorf (570)226-4557

Wayne Highlands/Ms. Amanda Kerna (570)253-3402

Western Wayne/Dr. Lorna Johns (570)937-3192

Fell Charter School/Ms. Mary Jo Walsh (570)282-5199                                                         

NEIU 19/Dr. Clarence Lamanna (570)876-9215

NEIU 19 Non-Public/Mr. Ron Wilcha (570)876-9220

 

Early Intervention Identification

 

The PA Department of Education is responsible for providing EI programs and services to eligible young children under Act 212 of 1990, the EI Services System Act.  An “eligible young child” is a child age 3 to age of beginners, who has an identified disability or a developmental delay in the areas of speech/language, learning, motor, adaptive, social and/or behavioral and is in need of special education. 

Screening for thought-to-be eligible children is available through NEIU 19 Early Intervention Program.  To request a screening, call 1-800-228-1750, ext. 219 or 570-876-9219, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  An evaluation may be requested by submitting a written request to Mrs. Mary Murphy Fox, NEIU 19 Early Intervention Supervisor, 1200 Line Street, Archbald, PA  18403.  For additional information, contact Mrs. Fox at 570-876-9255.  There is no cost for programs and services.  All identification activities and rules of confidentiality apply to Early Intervention.