Southmoreland School District
Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs,
Services for Gifted Students, and Services for Protected Handicapped Students
(Revised Fall 2016)
Notice to Parents
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 (SDs), intermediate units (IUs) and charter schools (CSs) 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, parents 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, parents 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 web site. Children, ages three through twenty-one, can be eligible for special education programs and services. If parents believe that their child may be eligible for special education, the parent should contact the staff member identified for their school district of residence, listed 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 3 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 you may contact Brandi Binakonski, Early Intervention Administrator, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7, at (724) 836-2460. You may also contact Jessica Morgan, Early Intervention Service Coordinator, at (724) 836-2460.
Each school district, intermediate unit, and charter school has a procedure in place by which parents can request an evaluation. For information about procedures applicable to your child, contact the school that your child attends. Telephone numbers and addresses can be found at the end of this notice. Parents of preschool age children, age three through five, may request an evaluation in writing by addressing a letter to Brandi Binakonski, Early Intervention Administrator, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7, 102 Equity Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601.
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, www.Pattan.net. Once written parental consent is obtained, the district will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.
Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified professionals and parents determine whether the child is eligible. If the child is eligible, the Individualized Education Program team meets, develops the program, and determines the educational placement. Once the IEP team develops the program and determines the educational placement, school district staff, intermediate unit staff, and/or charter school staff will issue a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior Written Notice (NOREP/PWN). Your written consent is required before initial services can be provided. The parent has the right to revoke consent after initial placement.
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. Your 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 age 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 can refer to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
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 more information or to request evaluation or screening of a public or private school child, contact your responsible school entity.
Southmoreland School District
Mr. Alexander Novickoff, Director of Special Education, Southmoreland School District, 2351 Rte. 981 Box A, Alverton PA, 15612
For preschool age children, information may be obtained and screenings and evaluations may be requested by contacting:
Brandi Binakonski, Early Intervention Administrator, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7, 102 Equity Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601 (724) 836-2460
In compliance with the following statutes and regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Americans With Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA), and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (ACT), the Southmoreland School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or age in its admissions, educational programs, activities, or employment practices. The district commits itself to take whatever remedial action is necessary to rectify proven instances of discrimination where Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, ADA, and ACT are applicable. District Contact
Inquiries concerning special education services and programs, due process rights, Section 504, Title VI, Title IX, ADA, and ACT may be referred to: Mr. Ron Heitchue, Director of Student Services K-12, Southmoreland School District, 2351 Rte. 981 Box A, Alverton PA, 15612 (724) 887-2009.