Special Education


A full continuum of services are provided through the combination of the Springfield School District, Delaware County IU 25, Approved Private Schools and other facilities licensed to serve special education students. This continuum serves students who demonstrate the following: Autism/Pervasive Development Disorder; Emotional Disturbance; Neurological Impairment; Deafness/Hearing Impairment; Specific Learning Disability; Mental Retardation; Multi-handicap; Other Health Impairment; Physical Disability; Speech and Language Impairment; Blindness/Visual Impairment.

Dr. Kristin Nash
Director of Special Education
(610) 938-6017

Ms. Marnie Lorah
Supervisor of Special Education
(610) 938-6014



Educational Services Overview

Learning Support

The district provides learning support for students whose cognitive ability falls within normal limits but have a significant deficiency in one or more of the following areas.

  1. Oral expression
  2. Listening comprehension
  3. Written expression
  4. Basic reading skills
  5. Reading comprehension
  6. Mathematics calculation
  7. Mathematics reasoning

Typically, students requiring learning support are those experiencing a specific learning disability. However, it is provided to all students with a disability on an as-needed basis, e.g., life skills and emotional support.

Life Skills

This type of service is provided primarily for students who demonstrate significant developmental and social adaptive delays or differences. Classroom support consists of an adapted or modified general education curriculum with an emphasis on functional academics and life skills.

Emotional Support

Emotional support is provided to students who demonstrate behaviors that have an adverse effect on their academic performance to a marked degree over a long period of time. Programmatic emphasis is based on conducting functional behavioral assessments and developing related behavioral support plans that will facilitate learning.

Autistic Support

This type of support is provided for students having a developmental delay that significantly affects verbal and non-verbal communications and social interaction. Programmatic emphasis is on the verbal, sensory, and social behaviors that adversely impact their educational performance. The key factors defining Autistic Support are the student's global need for specifically designed instruction that falls in the areas of Communication, Social Skills, Behavior Regulation, Academic Support, and Functional Skills.

Multiple Disabilities Support

This type of support is provided for students with two or more coexisting disabilities such as orthopedic impairments and Intellectual Disability. The educational emphasis is geared to the nature and severity of their disability. PHYSICAL SUPPORT This support may be provided as an ancillary service to meet the needs of students with orthopedic or other health impairments. It comes in the form of Physical Therapy (PT-gross motor) and Occupational Therapy (OT-fine motor). In the educational setting these therapies are provided to students who require them to benefit from special education.

Speech and Language Support

Speech Therapy (Sp.T) consists of diagnosis, appraisal, and therapy. These services are available for all students having difficulty with speech sound production, and/or language based problems that impact classroom performance. Speech and language therapy is unique in that it may be a related service, like PT and OT or a primary disability.

Vision and Hearing Support

The Delaware County Intermediate Unit provides itinerant support services for students with vision, hearing, or motor problems that are severe enough to impact upon a child's learning. Some students will need direct support on a weekly basis, while some students might need indirect support services such as consultation between the classroom teacher and the specialist. Students can be referred for these services by either their teacher or parents by contacting the Director of Special Education. Itinerant services are only available to students who have a specific handicapping condition.

Transition from High School to Post-Secondary / College

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, and the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) are pleased to announce the "Pennsylvania Secondary Transition Guide". (Link is below) A website designed to be a central information hub for youth and families navigating the transition from secondary education to adult life.

The website is organized by secondary transition topics that cover key areas, including post-secondary education and training, employment and community living. Information on the website is designed to highlight important subjects and activities based on a student's age. The website links to other Pennsylvania agencies and departments that support secondary transition. Materials for youth and families are added to the web portal frequently, so be sure to add the website to your favorites and return to the site often!

For more information regarding the website, please contact David Berquist, Educational Consultant - PaTTAN Pittsbugh via phone 1.800.446.5607 x6869


Early Intervention

For pre-school children (3 – 5) district residents may contact the Early Intervention Program operated by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) if there are concerns regarding their child’s development. In these cases any parent who suspects that their child may be demonstrating a developmental delay or disability may contact: DCIU directly (610-938-2800). Early Intervention Programs and services may be either center-based or service based, e.g. child will go to a location to receive a service. Center-based programs are located at various sites throughout Delaware County. Parents and teachers having academic and/or behavior concerns can seek assistance for their child by contacting the DCIU Early Intervention program directly for a multidisciplinary evaluation. The district participates in the transition of the students who are turning 5, Kindergarten Eligible and identified through the Early Intervention process.

Other Related Services Available

Related services are such developmental, corrective, and other support services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. As indicated, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/language therapy are among them. Additionally, it includes audiological, psychological, counseling, and mobility services. It may also include certain medical, health, and social work services.

Student Records Request

The Student Records Request Form can be found at the bottom of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) page.

Programs and Placement

Springfield School District is committed to providing Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) to all students with disabilities that meet their unique needs. IEPs are designed and implemented so as to confer meaningful educational benefit as measured by progress toward meeting their annual goals. The district is equally committed to educating our IEP students in the most integrated learning environment that is appropriate. To this end we provide a continuum of services that involve both in and out of district placement. We have a strong preference for in-class supports and services within the district, whenever appropriate.

Medical Assistance / Access

Medical Assistance (also known as Medicaid) is a public insurance system with eligibility based on income and other criteria, including health status. It is jointly funded by the federal and state governments and administered by state governments. It is not “welfare” and does not provide its beneficiaries with cash assistance.

The links included here will assist families in determining eligibility, learning about services, and provide them with on-line access to the application. You can also appear in-person at one of the addresses listed below to get personal assistance with the process. (**Please call in advance of showing up at one of the offices listed below to insure that someone will be available to assist you.)

Delaware County Assistance
Office Headquarters
Crosby DistrictDarby District
701 Crosby Street, Suite A

Chester, PA 19013-6099

Phone: 610-447-5500
LIHEAP 610-447-3099
FAX: 610-447-5399

701 Crosby Street, Suite A

Chester, PA 19013-6099

Phone: 610-447-5500
LIHEAP 610-447-3099
FAX: 610-447-5399

845 Main Street

Darby, PA 19023

Children with identified educationally based disabilities are eligible for a vast array of support and services through Medical Assistance. Financial criteria for eligibility is still requested as a portion of the application for assistance; however, children receiving special education services are eligible regardless of family income level. Your building's guidance counselor can assist you if you have questions regarding the process; however, the information requested must be supplied by the family in the application form in order for services to be initiated.

Along with medical, dental, and co-pay assistance, Medical Assistance also provides a program consisting of family-based mental health services that assist families in caring for children or adolescents with emotional problems. It is designed to prevent hospitalization or residential placement of a child or adolescent, and to reunite families with children who have already been removed from their homes for treatment. An essential aspect of the program is the emphasis on families as partners and resources in treatment. The family-based program uses an intensive approach, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Treatment teams, consisting of two mental health professionals, provide services directly in the home. Services are free to families that have Medical Assistance and available statewide.


This program is designed for families:

  • with children or adolescents age 0-21 who have serious emotional or behavioral problems.
  • with children or adolescents at risk of psychiatric hospitalization or residential placement.
  • with at least one adult member who agrees to participate in the program.
  • who are registered with their local Base Service Unit or mental health center

Important Links and Documents

Child Find

Springfield School District is committed to finding all children with disabilities residing in the district, including those attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability. We seek to identify, locate, and evaluate any child (3 – 21) who is in need of special education and related services. For school age children, the district has provided Instructional Support Teams in grades K – 6 and secondary pre-referral teams in grades 7 – 12 for this purpose. These teams have been created and maintained to implement a comprehensive screening process for any child who may be experiencing learning and or behavioral problems. Any parent, teacher, or counselor can make a referral to those teams should they wish to utilize this assessment / intervention process. All students receiving special education services must be found eligible by the district, as a disabled student.

For more information, please see the Child Find Public Notice announcement.

Important Phone Numbers

Dr. Anthony Barber, Superintendent 610.938.6004
Ms. Cynthia Mattei, Director of Elementary Teaching & Learning 610.938.6118
Dr. Jeffrey J. Zweiback, Director of Secondary Teaching & Learning 610.938.6009
Dr. Kristin Nash, Director of Special Education 610.938.6017
Ms. Marnie Lorah, Interim Supervisor of Special Education 610.938.6014
Mr. Joseph Hepp, Principal High School 610.938.6100
Mr. Daniel Tracy, Principal E.T.R Middle School 610.938.6300
Dr. Peter Brigg, Principal Sabold Elementary 610.938.6500
Dr. Madeleine O'Dowd, Principal Scenic Hills Elementary 610.938.6600
Ms. Susan Trella, Principal Springfield Literacy Center 610.938.3150
Sarah Brodrick, Psychologist Springfield High School 610.938.6108
Marissa Morelli, Psychologist E.T. Richardson Middle School 610.938.6471
Jill Boyle, Psychologist Scenic Hills School 610.938.6584
Sara Judge, Psychologist Sabold School 610.938.6516
Peggy Katsouros, Psychologist Springfield Literacy Center 610.938.3164
Counseling Office High School 610.938.6130
Counseling Office ETR Middle School 610.938.6330
Rebecca Murray, Counselor Sabold Elementary 610.938.6569
Tamara Speakes-Brown, Counselor Scenic Hills Elementary 610.938.6630
Bethany Coover, Counselor Springfield Literacy Center 610.938.3164
DCIU/EI Program 610.565.0618

Important Links & Documents

Some of the links below direct you to the state's PaTTAN website; PaTTAN warehouses all of the documents that pertain to special education supports and services. PaTTAN is an initiative of the Bureau of Special Education (BSE), Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), PaTTAN works in partnership with families and local education agencies, to support programs and services to improve student learning and achievement.


If you require any further information concerning the programs, offerings, or eligibility for special education supports and services, please contact your child's building principal or school psychologist.