TITLE 22 CHAPTER 14 § 14.121. CHILD FIND.
(a) In addition to the requirements incorporated by reference in 34 CFR 300.111 (relating to child find), each school district shall adopt and use a public outreach awareness system to locate and identify children thought to be eligible for special education within the school district’s jurisdiction.
(b) Each school district shall conduct awareness activities to inform the public of its early intervention and special education services and programs and the manner in which to request services and programs. Written information shall be published in the school district handbook and school district web site. The public awareness effort must include information regarding potential signs of developmental delays and other risk factors that could indicate disabilities.
(c) Each school district shall provide annual public notification, published or announced in newspapers, electronic media and other media, with circulation adequate to notify parents throughout the school district of child identification activities and of the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities or eligible young children in accordance with this chapter.
(d) Intermediate units are responsible for child find activities necessary to provide equitable services consistent with 34 CFR 300.130—300.144, regarding children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools.
Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs
Services for Gifted Students and Services for Protected Handicapped Students
(Updated July, 2014)
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, 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 web site. Children 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 member 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 considered 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 your educational agency.
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 which 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 the intermediate unit staff.
School entities cannot proceed with an evaluation or reevaluation, 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 or your educational agency. Once written parental consent is obtained, the district will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation, 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, or charter school staff will issue a notice of recommended educational placement/prior written notice. 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 SDs, IUs and CDs 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 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, the parent 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 the responsible school entity listed below. For preschool age children, information, screenings and evaluations requested may be obtained by contacting nearest public school in the Springfield School District or the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.
The school entity 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.
Notice of Special Education Services
All of the public schools in the Springfield School District (DELCO) provide special education and related service to resident children with disabilities who are ages three through twenty-one. Children that are between the ages of 3 and prior to starting kindergarten (school-aged) are provided services through the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (“DCIU”). The purpose of this notice is to describe (1) the types of disabilities that might qualify the child for such programs and services, (2) the special education programs and related services that are available, (3) the process by which the public schools screen and evaluate such students to determine eligibility, and (4) the special rights that pertain to such children and their parents or legal guardians.
What types of disability might qualify a child for special education and related services?
Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or “IDEA,” children qualify for special education and related services if they have one or more of the following disabilities and, as a result, need such services: (1) intellectually disabled (formerly mental retardation); (2) hearing impairments, including deafness; (3) speech or language impairments; (4) visual impairments, including blindness; (5) emotional disturbance; (6) orthopedic impairments, or physical disabilities; (7) autism, including pervasive developmental disorders; (8) traumatic brain injury, or neurological impairment; (9) other health impairment; and (10) specific learning disabilities. 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. Children with more than one of the foregoing disabilities could qualify for special education and related services as having multiple disabilities.
The legal definitions of these disabilities, which the public schools are required to apply under the IDEA, may differ from those used in medical or clinical practice. The legal definitions, moreover, could apply to children with disabilities that have very different medical or clinical disorders. A child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, for example, could qualify for special education and related services as a child with “other health impairments,” “emotional disturbance,” or “specific learning disabilities” if the child meets the eligibility criteria under one or more of these disability categories and if the child needs special education and related services as a result.
Under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, some school age children with disabilities who do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined above might nevertheless be eligible for special protections and for adaptations and accommodations in instruction, facilities, and activities. Children are entitled to such protections, adaptations, and accommodations if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program.
What programs and services are available for children with disabilities?
Public schools must ensure that children with disabilities are educated to the maximum extent possible in the regular education environment, and that the instruction they receive conforms as much as possible to the instruction that non-disabled students receive. This is generally referred to as the least restrictive environment or “LRE”. Programs and services available to students with disabilities, in descending order of preference, are (1) regular class placement with supplementary aides and services provided as needed in that environment; (2) regular class placement for most of the school day with itinerant service by a special education teacher either in or out of the regular classroom; (3) regular class placement for most of the school day with instruction provided by a special education teacher in a resource classroom; (4) part time special education class placement in a regular public school or alternative setting; and (5) special education class placement or special education services provided outside the regular class for most or all of the school day, either in a regular public school or alternative setting.
Depending on the nature and severity of the disability, the public school can provide special education programs and services in (1) the public school the child would attend if not disabled, (2) an alternative regular public school either in or outside the school district of residence, (3) a special education center operated by a public school entity, (4) an approved private school or other private facility licensed to serve children with disabilities, (5) a residential school, (6) approved out-of-state program, or (7) the home.
Special education services are provided according to the primary educational needs of the child, not the category of disability. The types of service available are (1) learning support, for students who primarily need assistance with the acquisition of academic skills; (2) life skills support, for students who primarily need assistance with development of skills for independent living; (3) emotional support, for students who primarily need assistance with social or emotional development; (4) deaf or hearing impaired support, for students who primarily need assistance with deafness; (5) blind or visually impaired support, for students who primarily need assistance with blindness; (6) physical support, for students who primarily require physical assistance in the learning environment; (7) autistic support, for students who primarily need assistance in the areas affected by autism spectrum disorders; and (8) multiple disabilities support, for students who primarily need assistance in multiple areas affected by their disabilities.
Related services are designed to enable the child to participate in or access his or her program of special education. Examples of related services include but are not limited to, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing services, audiologist services, counseling, and family training.
Children of preschool age are served by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit in a variety of home and school-based settings that take into account the chronological and developmental age and primary needs of the child. As with school age programs, preschool programs must ensure that to the maximum extent possible, children with disabilities are educated with non-disabled peers.
The public school, in conjunction with the parents, determines the type and intensity of special education and related services that a particular child needs based exclusively on the unique program of special education and related services that the school develops for that child. The child’s program is described in writing in an individualized education program, or “IEP,” which is developed by an IEP team consisting of educators, parents, and other persons with special expertise or familiarity the child. The parents of the child have the right to be notified of and to participate in all meetings of their child’s IEP team. The IEP is revised as often as circumstances warrant but reviewed at least annually. The law requires that the program and placement of the child, as described in the IEP, be reasonably calculated to ensure meaningful educational progress to the student at all times. IEPs contain, at a minimum, a statement of present levels of educational performance, an enumeration of the annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks established for the child, and a statement of the special education and related services that the child needs to make meaningful educational progress. For children aged fourteen and older, the IEP must also include an appropriate transition plan to assist in the attainment of post-secondary objectives. The public school must invite the child to the IEP team meeting at which the transition plan is developed.
How do the public schools screen and evaluate children to determine eligibility for special education and related services?
Multidisciplinary team evaluation
The public schools must conduct a multidisciplinary team evaluation of every child who is thought to have a disability. The multidisciplinary team is a group of professionals who are trained in and experienced with the testing, assessment, and observation of children to determine whether they have disabilities and, if so, to identify their primary educational strengths and needs. Parents are members of the multidisciplinary team. Public schools must reevaluate school-age students receiving special education services every three years and children with mental retardation and pre-school-age students receiving special education services every two years. By mutual agreement of the child’s IEP team and parents a reevaluation may be waived in some case; however, waivers are not permitted in the case of a child with mental retardation / intellectual impairment.
Parents may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation of their children at any time. The request may be submitted in writing to a school administrator, counselor, or staff member. Verbal requests may be presented to administrators, counselors and staff, as well. The Springfield School District has a procedure in place by which parents can request an evaluation. For information about the procedures that apply in your child’s school, contact the public elementary, middle, or high school to which children in your area attend. Telephone numbers and addresses for these schools can be found on the district website under each school’s respective pages or at the bottom of this notice. Parents of preschool age children, age three through five (pre-K), may request an evaluation through the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, DCIU Preschool Special Education Department (610-938-2830 ext. 6503).. If the public school denies the parents’ request for an evaluation, the parents have the right to challenge the denial through an impartial hearing or through voluntary alternative dispute resolution such as a pre-hearing conference or mediation.
Without enrolling the public schools, parents of children in private schools may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation of their children through the Delaware County IU (DCIU) or through the public school to which their children would attend if they were enrolled in the public schools. If, after an evaluation, the multidisciplinary team determines that the child is eligible for special education and related services, the public school must offer the parents an IEP and a public school-sponsored placement. If parents wish to take advantage of such an offer, they might have to enroll or re-enroll their child in the public schools to do so. In some cases, students may be eligible to receive special education services at the public school while still attending the private school. These services are generally provided in the district public school under dual enrollment and/or equitable participation.
Before the public school can proceed with an evaluation, it must notify the parents in writing of the specific types of testing and assessment it proposes to conduct, of the date and time of the evaluation,and of the parents’ rights. The evaluation cannot begin until the parent has signed the written notice indicating that he or she consents to the proposed testing and assessments and has returned the notice to the public school.
Public schools undertake screening activities before referring most children for a multidisciplinary team evaluation. When concerns raised either by school staff or parents warrant screening, the child is referred to an “instruction support team” (“IST”), sometimes called the “child study team” (“CST”). The IST/CST is responsible for assessing the current achievement and performance of the child, for designing school-based interventions to address concerns raised, and for assessing the effectiveness of those school-based interventions. If the concern that resulted in the referral can be addressed without special education services, or is the result of the lack of English proficiency or appropriate instruction, the IST/CST will recommend interventions other than multidisciplinary team evaluation. Parents nevertheless have the right to request a multidisciplinary team evaluation at any time, regardless of the outcome of the screening process.
For information about the dates of various screening activities in your local public school or to request screening activities for a particular child, contact the local public school directly. Parents of preschool age children, age three through five (pre-K), may obtain information about screening activities, or may request a screening of their children, by calling or writing the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.
Private school administrators, teachers, and parent groups, or individual parents of students in private schools, who are interested in establishing systems in those schools for locating and identifying children with disabilities who might need a multidisciplinary team evaluation may contact the DCIU directly for information and guidance.
Are there special rights and protections for children with disabilities and their parents?
Yes, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Federal law concerning the education of students with disabilities, requires the Local Education Agency (LEA) to provide parents of a child with a disability with this notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and the U.S. Department of Education regulations. A copy of this notice (procedural safeguards) must be given to parents only once a school year, or:
(1) upon initial referral or parent request for evaluation;
(2) upon filing by parents of their first State complaint under 34 CFR §§300.151 through 300.153 and upon filing by parents of their first due process complaint under §300.507 in a school year;
(3) when a decision is made to take a disciplinary action that constitutes a change of placement; and
(4) upon parent request. [34 CFR §300.504(a)]
The procedural safeguards notice (aka, children's & parents' rights concerning special education) is included in the Special Education tab of the Student Services website in PDF form. The document is found at the bottom of the page.
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, the public school nearest you or the DCIU.
Delaware County Intermediate Unit DCIU (#25)
Education Service Center
200 Yale Avenue
Morton, PA 19070
Phone: (610) 938-9000
SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICE
Springfield School District Office
111 W. Leamy Ave
Springfield, PA 19064
Jeffrey J. Zweiback
Director of Secondary Teaching & Learning
Dr. Kristin Nash
Director of Special Education
Mr. Anthony Simek
Supervisor of Special Education
Springfield High School
49 W. Leamy Ave
Springfield, PA 19064
Joe Hepp, Principal
Rich Mitchell & Monica Conlin, Assistant Principals
Main Office: 610-938-6100
E.T. Richardson Middle School
20 W. Woodland Ave
Springfield, PA 19064
Dan Tracy, Principal
Walter Hartshorn, Assistant Principal
Main Office: 610-938-6300
Harvey C. Sabold Elementary School
468 E. Thomson Ave
Springfield, PA 19064
Peter Brigg, Principal
Main Office: 610-938-6500
Scenic Hills Elementary School
235 Hillview Dr
Springfield, PA 19064
Dr. Madeleine O'Dowd, Principal
Main Office: 610-938-6600
Springfield Literacy Center
210 W. Woodland Ave
Springfield, PA 19064
Susan Trella, Principal
Main Office: 610-938-3100