Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs
Notice to Parents
Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs
Child Find Notice
According to state and federal special education regulations, Annual Public Notice to parents of children who reside within a school district is required regarding Child Find responsibilities. School Districts, Intermediate Units, and Charter Schools are required to conduct Child Find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For additional information related to Section 504/Chapter 15 Services, the parent may refer to Section 504, Chapter 15, and the Basic Education Circular entitled “Implementation of Chapter 15.” Also, school districts are required to conduct Child Find activities for children who may be eligible for Gifted Services via 22 PA Code Chapter 16. For additional information regarding Gifted Services, the parent may refer to 22 PA Code Chapter 16. If a student is both gifted and eligible for Special Education, the procedures in IDEA and Chapter 14 shall take precedence.
This Notice shall inform parents throughout the School District, Intermediate Unit, and Charter School of the child identification activities and of the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities or eligible young children. In addition to this Public Notice, each School District, Intermediate Unit, and Charter School shall publish written information in the handbook and on the website. Children of ages three through twenty-one can be eligible for special education programs and services. If parents believe that the child may be eligible for special education, the parent should contact the appropriate staff members identified at the end of this public notice.
Children age three through the age of admission to first grade are also eligible if they have developmental delays and, as a result, need special education and related services. Developmental delay is defined as a child who is less than the age of beginners and at least three years of age and 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. For additional information, parents may contact Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8.
In accordance with federal and state law, the Portage Area School District has established systems of screening activities designed to identify students who may be eligible for special education programs and services and/or meet the criteria as a “protected student with disabilities”.
Intermediate Unit 8 and each school district in Bedford, Blair, Cambria and Somerset counties has established and implemented procedures to locate, identify, and evaluate students and young children suspected of being exceptional. These procedures include screening activities which include but are not limited to:
Review of group‑based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, and report cards)
Hearing screening (at a minimum of kindergarten, special ungraded classes, first, second, third, seventh, and eleventh grades)
Vision screening (every grade level)
Motor screening (Ongoing basis by classroom teachers)
Speech and language screening (Prior to entering kindergarten and on a referral basis)
Regular universal screenings of academic skills
In schools which have a Pre-Referral/Educational Support Team, the above screening activities may lead to consideration by the team to move the next level of screening activities.
Except as indicated above or otherwise announced publicly, screening activities take place in an ongoing fashion throughout the school year. Each educational agency has a system for annually evaluating the effectiveness of its screening process.
A multi-tiered, pre-referral process is utilized to screen for and identify students who demonstrate at-risk academic and/or social/emotional/behavioral concerns. Along with teacher input and classroom assessments, the data from formative assessments are used to determine which students may be at-risk for learning difficulties. Screening information may be used by the instructional and support staff to plan, implement, and monitor appropriate interventions and to assist the student's progress in the general curriculum.
Special Education Evaluation
When screening procedures and activities indicate that a student may be a child with a disability that needs specially designed instruction in the form of an IEP, the school district will seek parental consent to conduct an evaluation. Evaluation means procedures used in the determination of whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs. The term means procedures used selectively with an individual child and do not mean basic tests administered to or procedures used with all children.
This evaluation is conducted by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) that includes the parent and a group of qualified professionals. The process must be conducted in accordance with specific timelines and must include protection‑in‑evaluation procedures. For example, tests and procedures used as part of the evaluation may not be racially or culturally biased.
The evaluation process results in a written evaluation report. This report specifies a student's eligibility for special education based on the presence of a disability and the need for specially designed instruction. Students who are found to be eligible for special education services are found to be eligible under one or more of the following educational disability categories:
*Specific learning disability
*Other health impairment
*Orthopedic Impairment due to chronic or acute health problems
*Speech and language impairment
*Visual impairment including blindness
*Traumatic Brain Injury
The evaluation report also makes recommendations for educational programming. Once parental consent for evaluation is obtained, the school district has timelines and procedures specified by law which it must follow.
Parents also have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation. The school district must provide to parents, on request, information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained. Under certain circumstances, such an independent educational evaluation may be obtained at public expense.
School entities cannot proceed with an evaluation or with the initial provision of special education and related services without the written consent of the parents. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found at the PaTTAN website, at www.Pattan.net . After written parental consent is obtained, the district will proceed with the
evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation, the parent can then request an independent education evaluation at public expense.
When a student is found to be exceptional, the IEP team develops a written education plan called an IEP. The IEP is based on the results of the evaluation. Required members include at least one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment), at least one special education teacher, or where appropriate, at least one special education provider, a local educational agency, the child, whenever appropriate, or beginning at age 14. Parents may agree, in writing, to excuse a team member or members.
An IEP describes a student's current educational levels, goals, objectives (when required), and the individualized programs and services that the student will receive. IEP’s are reviewed on an annual basis. The IEP team will make decisions about the type of services, the level of intervention, and the location of intervention. Types of services include:
Blind and Visually Impaired Support
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support
Life Skills Support
Multiple Disabilities Support
Speech and Language Support
Level of support options include:
*Itinerant – Special Education supports and services provided by special education personnel for 20% or less of the school day.
*Supplemental – Special Education supports and services provided by Special Education personnel for more than 20% but less than 80% of the school day.
*Full‑time - Special Education supports and services provided by Special Education personnel for 80% or more of the school day.
Placement must be made in the least restrictive environment in which the student's needs can be met with special education and related services. All students with disabilities must be educated to the maximum extent appropriate with children who are not disabled.
Confidentiality of Information
The School Districts, Intermediate Units, and Charter Schools maintain records concerning all children enrolled in the school, including students with disabilities. All records are maintained in the strictest confidentiality. Parental consent, or consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under State law, must be obtained before personally identifiable information is released, except as permitted under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The age of majority in Pennsylvania is 21. Each participating agency must protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages. One official at each participating agency must assume responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information. Each participating agency must maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the agency who have access to personally identifiable information.
For additional information related to student records, parents may refer to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Retention/Destruction of Student Records- Special Education
In accordance with state and federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), this notice is hereby given that in accordance with 24CFR 300.573, the School Districts, Intermediate Unit and Charter Schools listed below may destroy the special education records of students who exited from any special education program.
Special education records, which have been collected by the School Districts, Intermediate Unit and Charter Schools listed below related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of the Special Education in the district, IU or charter school must be maintained under state and federal law for a period of seven (7) years after Special Education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student no longer is eligible for services, graduates, completes his or her educational program at age 21, or moves from the School District, Intermediate Unit, or Charter School.
After seven (7) years, the records are no longer useful to the School District, Intermediate Unit or Charter School and will be destroyed in accordance with state and federal law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student contacts the responsible district that the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student wishes to maintain the information as a personal record. These records may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student when applying for post-secondary education/training, benefits or social services.
Records including student’s name, address, grades, attendance, dates attended, grade level completed and year completed may be destroyed after seven (7) years have passed from the student’s 21st birthday.
If you wish to request records or need additional information you may contact the responsible school entity.
Destruction will proceed where parents/guardians or eligible (adult) students have not requested records in accordance with the responsible school district’s, Intermediate Unit’s or Charter School’s Notice of Destruction of Special Education Records.
Retention/Destruction of Student Records- PA State Assessments
In accordance with 34 CFR § 300.624, please be advised of the following retention/destruction schedule for the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), and Keystone Exam related materials:
- PSSA, Keystone Exam, and PASA test booklets will be destroyed one year after student reports are delivered for the administration associated with the test booklets.
- PSSA and Keystone Exam answer booklets and PASA media recordings will be destroyed three years after completion of the assessment.
This notice is only a summary of the Special Education services, evaluation and screening activities, and rights and protections pertaining to children with disabilities, children thought to be disabled, and their parents. For information or to request evaluation or screening of a public or private school child, contact the responsible school entity listed below. For preschool age children information, screenings, and evaluations requested may be obtained by contacting the Intermediate Unit 08.
Special Education Contacts
Dr. Amy Woomer
4500 Sixth Ave.
Altoona, Pa 16602
1-800-228-7900 Ext. 1320
Portage Area School District:
Mrs. Olivia Kudlawiec
84 Mountain Ave.
Portage, Pa 15946
814-736-9636 ext. 1605
Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8
Dr. Amy Woomer, Contact Person
4500 Sixth Avenue Altoona, PA 16602
Bedford Area School District
Dr. Paul Ruhlman, Contact Person
330 East John Street Bedford, PA 15522
814-623-4260, ext. 1510
Bellwood-Antis School District
Carol A. Beard, Contact Person
400 Martin Street Bellwood, PA 16617
814-742-7605 Ext 5153
Cambria Heights School District
Robert Diamond, Contact Person
426 Glendale Lake Road, Patton, PA 16668
814-674-3601 ext. 4007
Central Cambria School District
Melissa Shaffer, Contact Person
208 Schoolhouse Road Ebensburg, PA 15931
814-472-4492 ext. 288
Conemaugh Township Area School District
Jane Jugan, Contact Person
1516 Tire Hill Road, Johnstown, PA 15905
814-479-4080, ext. 3758
Everett Area School District
James Hollis, Contact Person
427 East South Street Everett, PA 15537
814-652-9114, ext. 2109
Forest Hills School District
Special Education Contact Person
PO Box 158 Sidman, PA 15955
Hollidaysburg Area School District
Laura Koehle, Contact Person
405 Clark Street
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
North Star School District
Suzie St. Clair, Contact Person
1200 Morris Avenue Boswell, PA 15531
Northern Cambria School District
Robert Truscello, Contact Person
601 Joseph Street Northern Cambria, PA 15714
814-948-5880, ext. 2664
Portage Area School District
Pete Noel, Contact Person
Ralph Cecere, Contact Person
84 Mountain Avenue Portage, PA 15946
814-736-9636, ext. 1605 or 1304
Rockwood Area School District
Mary Gosnell, Contact Person
437 Somerset Avenue Rockwood, PA 15557
814-926-4688 ext. 1116
Shade-Central City School District
Amy Pierce, Contact Person
235 McGregor Avenue Cairnbrook, PA 15924
Somerset Area School District
Erick Fish, Contact Person
645 South Columbia Avenue, Suite 130 Somerset, PA 15501
Turkeyfoot Valley School District
Nicole Dice, Contact Person
172 Turkeyfoot Road Confluence, PA 15424
814-395-3621, ext. 409
Tyrone Area School District
Kourtney Klock, Contact Person
701 Clay Avenue Tyrone PA 16686
814-684-4240, ext. 4136
Williamsburg Community School District
Lisa Murgas, Contact Person
515 West Third Street
Williamsburg, PA 16693
Windber Area School District
Richard Lucas, Contact Person
2301 Graham Avenue Windber, PA 15963
814-467-4567 ext. 810
Bedford County Technical Center
Mark Bollman, Contact Person
195 Pennknoll Road Everett, PA 15537
814-623-2760, ext. 4800
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center
Dr. John Augustine, III, Contact Person
445 Schoolhouse Road Johnstown, PA 15904
814-266-6073, ext. 400
Central Pennsylvania Digital Learning Foundation
Dina Morrissey, Contact Person
580 Foot of Ten Road Duncansville, PA 16635
814-682-5258, ext 105
Bedford County Prison
Brad Theys, Contact Person
425 Imlertown Road Bedford, PA 15522
Cambria County Prison
Brad Theys, Contact Person
425 Manor Drive Ebensburg, PA 15931
Altoona Area School District
Michele Sanders, Contact Person
1415 Sixth Avenue Altoona, PA 16602
814-946-8252 Ext 6100
Berlin-Brothersvalley School District
Maria Murphy, Contact Person
1025 Main Street Berlin, PA 15530
Blacklick Valley School District
Heather Rhine, Contact Person
555 Birch Street Nanty-Glo, PA 15943
814-749-9211, ext. 223
Chestnut Ridge School District
Dr. Amy D. Miller, Contact Person
3281 Valley Road Fishertown, PA 15539
814-839-4195, ext. 4441
Claysburg-Kimmel School District
Brian Helsel, Contact Person
531 Bedford Street Claysburg, PA 16625
814-239-5141 ext. 1318
Conemaugh Valley School District
Michael Chappie, Contact Person
1342 William Penn Avenue Johnstown, PA 15909
Ferndale Area School District
Jessica Maxwell, Contact Person
100 Dartmouth Avenue Johnstown, PA 15905
Greater Johnstown School District
Amie Lumadue, Contact Person
1091 Broad Street Johnstown, PA 15906
Meyersdale Area School District
Angela Boutiller, Contact Person
309 Industrial Park Road Meyersdale, PA 15552
814-634-5123, ext. 304
Northern Bedford County School District
Lindsay Cherry, Contact Person
152 NBC Drive Loysburg, PA 16659
814-766-2221, ext. 4718
Penn Cambria School District
Carrie Conrad, Contact Person
201 Sixth Street Cresson, PA 16630
814-886-4785 ext. 1004
Richland School District
Jennifer Shuman, Contact Person
321 Schoolhouse Road Johnstown, PA 15904
Salisbury-Elk Lick School District
Kala Loya, Contact Person
PO Box 68 Salisbury, PA 15558
Shanksville-Stonycreek School District
Reno Barkman, Contact Person
PO Box 128 Shanksville, PA 15560
814-267-4649, ext. 252
Spring Cove School District
Harry Gregg, Contact Person
1100 East Main Street Roaring Spring, PA 16673
Tussey Mountain School District
Denelle Diehl, Contact Person
199 Front Street Saxton, PA 16678
Westmont Hilltop School District
Nicole Cramer, Contact Person
222 Fair Oaks Drive Johnstown, PA 15905
Admiral Peary Area Vocational-Technical School
Angela Hudak, Contact Person
948 Ben Franklin Highway
Ebensburg, PA 15931
814-472-6490, ext. 310
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
Mike Selvenis, Contact Person
1500 Fourth Avenue Altoona, PA 16602
Somerset County Technology Center
Matthew Danel, Contact Person
281 Technology Drive Somerset, PA 15501
814-443-3651, ext. 6128
Hope for Hyndman Charter School
Stephanie Holliday, Contact Person
130 School Drive Hyndman, PA 15545
814-842-3918, ext. 305
Blair County Prison
Brad Theys, Contact Person
419 Market Square Alley Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
Somerset County Prison
Brad Theys, Contact Person
127 East Fairview Street
Somerset, PA 15501
The Intermediate Unit, School Entity, or Charter School will not discriminate in employment, educational programs, or activities based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, handicap, creed, marital status, or because a person is a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. No preschool, elementary, or secondary school pupil enrolled in a School District, Intermediate Unit, or Charter School program shall be denied equal opportunity to participate in age and program appropriate instruction or activities due to race, color, handicap, creed, national origin, marital status, or financial hardship.