• Southmoreland School District

    Special Education

    Continuum of Services
    *updated August 2016


    Special Education Overview: The Southmoreland School District offers special education services to students with disabilities in a variety of service delivery options.  These services are described below. 


    District Operated Programs


    Learning Support: Provides academic support


    Speech and Language Support: Provides support to students who have difficulty with articulation, fluency, voice, or language.


    Levels of Intervention


    The district operates resource rooms, supplemental, and itinerant level classes in a variety of settings.  The designation of a classroom is dependent on the average amount of time most students spend in the special education setting (separated from their non-disabled peers).  The student’s IEP, and not the type of classroom, determines the amount of time a student is seen by a special education teacher.  The following words and terms have the following meanings with respect to interventions provided in the various classrooms that are operated by the Southmoreland School District, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:


    Inclusion—All classes are in the regular classroom with non-disabled peers and with support from a special education teacher in the classroom.


    Itinerant Level —Special education supports and services provided by special education personnel for 20% or less of the school day.


    Supplemental Level – Special education supports and services provided by special education personnel for more than 20% but less than 80% of the school day.



    Full-time Level—80% or more of school time in a special education setting.  The Southmoreland School District does not operate any full-time special education classrooms. 


    Location of Special Education Services



    Southmoreland High School



    •          Inclusive Academic Classes

    •         Learning Support Classes (Itinerant and Supplemental)

    •      Vocational Training through Central Westmoreland Career & Technology Center (CWCTC).

    •       Co-operative Work Experience

    •        Vocational Training through Goodwill Industries

    •           Speech and Language Support

    • Southmoreland Middle School
    •         Inclusive Academic Classes
    •          Itinerant Hearing Support (IU 7) 
    •     Autistic Support Classroom (6-8)
    •          Learning Support Classes (Itinerant and Supplemental)

    •     Speech and Language Support


    Southmoreland Primary Center


    ·         Inclusive Academic Classes

    ·         Learning Support Classes (Itinerant and Supplemental)

    ·         Speech and Language Support


    ·         Autistic Support Classroom (Grades K-1)

    Southmoreland Elementary School

    •         Autistic Support Classroom (Grade 2-5)
    •     Elementary Life Skills Classrooms 
    •     Inclusive Academic Classes
    •        Learning Support Classes (Itinerant and Supplemental)
    •     Speech and Language Support

    Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7


    Intermediate units are regional educational service agencies created by the Pennsylvania State Legislature in 1970 to provide support to local school districts, to expand educational services, and to provide cost savings to taxpayers by eliminating duplication of services and taking advantage of economy of scale. 


    Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7 serves students from Westmoreland County’s  seventeen school districts in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, Clairview School, three Westmoreland County Career and Technology Centers, and Greensburg Partial Hospitalization Program, under the direct supervision of its board of directors and central administration.  The Intermediate Unit also operates a variety of classrooms in school district buildings throughout the county. 


    The Southmoreland School District utilizes the services of the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit to provide services to students with severe disabilities.  The classes operated by the Intermediate Unit are located in school districts throughout the county, as well as at the center-based program at Clairview School.  At Southmoreland, the Intermediate Unit operates one life skills classroom at Southmoreland Primary Center. A Hearing Support classroom, also sponsored by the Intermediate Unit, is located in the Southmoreland Middle School. Southmoreland students also attend a variety of classes operated by the Intermediate Unit in nearby districts.  Occasionally, a student may be placed in a classroom operated by a neighboring Intermediate Unit.



    Services available at various locations in and out of the Southmoreland School District


    Life Skills Support – for children whose greatest need is to learn skills that will allow them to work independently of their families.


    Hearing Impaired Support -- for children who require help in dealing with hearing impairments. 


    Physical Support — for children who need programs that consider their physical disabilities.


    Multi-handicapped Support – for children with more than one disability, the combination of which results in needs requiring many services and much support.


    Blind and Vision Services – for children with limited or no vision.


    Occupational Therapy – therapy to improve fine motor skills.


    Physical Therapy – therapy to improve gross motor skills.



    Licensed Private Academic Schools, Partial Hospitalization Programs, Residential Treatment Facilities
     and Day Treatment Programs


    The Southmoreland School district utilizes a variety of licensed private academic schools, partial hospitalization programs, and day treatment programs for students whose educational, emotional, or behavioral needs cannot be met in programs run by the District or the Intermediate Unit.  The Southmoreland School District has access to programs operated at the following facilities.


    Clelian Heights School            Greensburg Partial Hospitalization


                 Adelphoi Alternative Education Program


    Robert Ketterer                       New Directions Partial Hospitalization
    Charter School                       

    Northwest Human Services     Pressley Ridge Day School



    Outside In Day Treatment       Southwood Residential Treatment Facility

    ITES Program IU #7 at West Hempfield      NHS School, Greensburg


    Approved Private Schools (APS)


    The Approved Private Schools are private schools, licensed by the State Board of Private Academic Schools.  Approved Private Schools are approved by the Secretary of Education to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with severe disabilities.  The schools are eligible to receive funds from the school districts and/or the Commonwealth for the education of these students.  Pennsylvania currently has 29 APSs for which the Department approves funding.  These schools provide a program of special education for over 4,000 day and residential students.


    Approved private schools are an important and necessary part of the Southmoreland School District’s special education delivery system.  These schools provide some students with what may be the only appropriate educational program available.  In the Western Pennsylvania area, the Southmoreland School District has access to the following APS sites.



    Children’s Institute


    Craig Academy


    DePaul Institute


    Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind


    Pace School


    Wesley Highlands School


    Easter Seals


    Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf







    To make progress in school, a child may need special help that is not required by other children in the classroom.  Your child may be exceptional if he or she has a physical, sensory, mental, or emotional disability and is in need of special education services as determined by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT).  Children who are eligible for classification as disabled students have a right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). 


    Some indicators that your child may have a disability include:



    ·         Difficulty in academic subjects

    ·         Repeatedly receiving failing grades

    ·         Repeating a grade

    ·         Exhibition of a serious emotional disturbance over a long period of time which affects your child’s ability to learn.

    ·         Consistent problems in getting along with others.

    ·         Difficulty communicating

    ·         Lack of interest in age-appropriate activities

    ·         Resistance to change

    ·         Difficulty seeing or hearing that interferes with the ability to communicate or learn

    ·         Health problems that interfere with educational performance





    If you believe that your child is in need of special help in order to make progress in school, contact your child’s principal, guidance counselor, or the Director of Student Support Services K-12 at (724) 887-2009.


    All requests for evaluation must be made in writing.  District forms are available through the Office of the Supervisor of Special Education.  Office hours are 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday during the school term and 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. when school is not in session.  All information will be kept confidential.  Upon request, evaluations and or tests will be given in your child’s native language or mode of communication unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.


    Southmoreland School District

    Compliance Policy Statement

    Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, A.D.A., and Age Discrimination


    In compliance with the following statutes and regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title IV), 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.  Inquiries concerning the above may be directed to: Mr. Ron Heitchue, Title VI, IX and Section 504 Coordinator, Southmoreland School District, 2351 Route 981 Box A, Alverton PA 15612.  Phone (724) 887-2009.

Last Modified on August 10, 2016