Special Education

Jill Condo, Director of Special Education

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Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services sand Programs, Services for Gifted Students, and Services for Protected Handicapped Students

Notice to Parents
Each school district, along with other public agencies in the Commonwealth, must establish and implement procedures to identify, locate and evaluate all children who need special education programs and services because of the child’s disability. This notice is to help find these children, to offer assistance to parents, and to describe the parent’s rights with regard to confidentiality of information that will be obtained during this process.
The content of this notice has been written in English. If a person does not understand any of this notice, he or she should contact the school district (see Special Education contacts and request an explanation).

Identification Activity

Child find refers to activities undertaken by public education agencies to identify, locate, and evaluate children residing in the State, including children attending private schools, who are suspected of having disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, and determine the child’s need for special education and related services. The purpose is to locate these children so that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) can be made available. The types of disabilities that, if found, may cause a child to need services are: Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other health Impairment due to chronic or acute health problems, Specific Learning Disabilities, Speech or Language impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury and Visual Impairment including blindness. In the case of the child who has a classification Developmentally Delay, the team will convene and complete an evaluation within a timely manner.

Each school district is required to annually provide notice describing the identification activities and the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of personally identifiable information. This notice is intended to meet this requirement.

Identification activities are performed to find a child who is suspected as having a disability that would interfere with his or her learning unless special education programs and services are made available. These activities are sometimes called screening activities. The activities include: review of group data, conducting hearing and vision screening, assessment of student’s academic functioning, observation of the student displaying difficulty in behavior, and determining the student’s response to attempted remediation. Input from parents is also an information source for identification. After a child is identified as a suspected child with a disability, he or she is evaluated, but is not evaluated before parents give written permission for their child to be evaluated. Regardless of screening activities, parents who think their child is a child with a disability may request in writing, at any time or verbally and the school district will respond within a timely manner.  An evaluation can be conducted to determine if the child is eligible to receive special education services. Written request should be sent to the school district/charter school Special Education Contact Person, as listed in this notice.

Educational Records/Confidentiality

All records that are directly related to an individual child are called educational records and are maintained by the local school district. Information contained in these records such as the child’s name, the name of the child’s parents or other family member, the address of the child or their family, a personal identifies such as social security number or a list of characteristics or information that would make the child’s identity easily traceable is called personally identifiable information.

Each school district, in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 and other applicable federal and state laws, protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information regarding students that are identified as children with disabilities and eligible for special education services and protected handicapped students. The school district protects the personally identifiable information by one school official being responsible for ensuring the confidentiality of the records; training being provided to all persons using the information, and maintaining for public inspection a current list of employees’ names and positions who may have access to the information. The school district will inform you when this information is no longer needed to provide educational services to your child and will destroy the information at the request of the parent, except general information such as your child’s name, address, phone number, grades, attendance record, classes attended, and grade level completed may be maintained without time limitation.

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 Assessment (PSSA), and the 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.

For additional information related to student records, parents can refer to the Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA)

As the parent of the child you have a number of rights regarding the confidentiality of your child’s records; for example, the right to inspect and review any education records related to your child that are collected, maintained, or used by the school district. The school district will comply with request for you to review the records without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding planning for your child’s special education program (called and IEP meeting), before a hearing should you and your school district disagree about how to educate your child who needs special education, and in no case, take more than 45 days to furnish you the opportunity to inspect and review your child’s records.

You have the right to an explanation and interpretation of the records; to be provided copies of the records if failure to provide the copies would effectively prevent you from exercising your right to inspect and review the records and; the right to have a representative inspect and review the records.

Upon your request, the school district will provide you a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained, or used by the agency. Additionally, the school district may charge a fee for copies of records made in response to your request for copies, except it will not charge a fee if doing so will prevent you from inspecting and reviewing your child’s records. The district will not charge a fee to search or retrieve information.

You have the right to request the amendment of your child’s education records that you believe are inaccurate or misleading, or violates the privacy or other rights of your child. The school district will decide whether to amend the records within a reasonable time after receiving your request. If the school district refuses to amend the records you will be notified of the refusal and your right to a hearing. You will be given at that time, additional information regarding the hearing procedures and, upon request, the district will provide you a records hearing to challenge information in your child’s education files.

Parent consent is required before personally identifiable information contained in your child’s education records is disclosed to anyone other than officials of the school district collecting or using the information for purposes of identification of your child, locating your child and evaluating your child or for any other purpose of making available a free appropriate public education to your child. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.  Additionally, the school district, upon request, discloses records without consent to officials of another school in which your child seeks or intends to enroll.

School districts may establish a policy for disclosure of some types of student information know as directory information. Directory information is not subject to access or disclosure rules under FERPA. Directory information is that portion of an educational record which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. This information may include but is not limited to the student’s name and school activities, local and permanent address, family members’ names, addresses and telephone numbers, major fields of study, names of previous school attended and enrollment status. Parents may refuse to allow the school district to designate any or all of their child’s records as directory information. Parents should contact their local school district if they do not want directory information released about the child.

When a child reaches age 18, the rights of the parent with regard to confidentiality of personally identifiable information is transferred to the student.

A parent may file a written complaint alleging that the rights described in this notice were not provided to the following:

Pennsylvania Department of Education
Bureau of Special Education
Division of Compliance
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

The Department of Education will investigate the matter; issue a report of findings and necessary corrective action within 60 days. The Department will take necessary action to ensure compliance is achieved.

Complaints alleging failures of the school district with regard to confidentiality of personally identifiable information may also be filed with:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D. C. 20202-4605

Early Intervention Identification
In Pennsylvania, a child between 3 years of age and the school district’s age to begin school who has a developmental delay or one or more of the physical or mental conditions as listed on page 1, is identified as an “eligible young child.” The parents of these children have the same rights described previously in this document.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing programs and services to eligible young children under Act 212 or 1990, the Early Intervention Services System Act. Screening for preschool children is available from the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU). To schedule an appointment for screening, or for additional information, please call Eric Bostick, CAIU Preschool Program Supervisor, at 717-732-8400 ext. 8619.

Special Education Services/ School-Age Exceptional Students
Carlisle Area School District provides a free, appropriate public education to exceptional students and to students identified as gifted. To qualify as a gifted or exceptional student, the child must be of school age, in need of specially designed instruction and meet eligibility criteria for mentally gifted and/or one or more or the following physical or mental disabilities as defined by the Pennsylvania State standards: Autism/pervasive developmental disorder, Blindness/Visual impairment, Deafness/Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury, Other Health Impairment, Physical Disability, Emotional Disturbance, Specific Learning Disability and Speech/Language Impairment.

The School District utilizes identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress.

To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, physical and speech/language screening; and review by a building-level  When screening results suggest that a student might be exceptional, the School District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. The district cannot move forward without this consent. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found on the PaTTAN website, www.Pattan.net. Parents who suspect their child is exceptional may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time through a written request to the school principal. 

Services designed to meet the needs of exceptional students include the annual development of an Individual Education Program, multidisciplinary re-evaluation, supportive intervention in the regular class, supplemental intervention in the regular class or in a special education resources program, placement in a supplemental, Itinerant  or full-time special education class in a regular school, or placement in a full-time special education class at a location other that the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the IEP team and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age and the level of intensity of the specified intervention. The School district provides related services, such as transportation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, required for the student to benefit from the special education program.

Parents who suspect their child is gifted may make one request for evaluation per school term.

Services designed to meet the needs of gifted children include the initial evaluation and development of a gifted individual education plan (GIEP). Carlisle Area School District provides supportive intervention in the classroom through differentiated instruction and curriculum enrichment. Students may receive advanced coursework and/or resource room support provided by a teacher of gifted. The extent of gifted services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the child’s GIEP team and are based on each child’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age and the level of intensity of the specified intervention.

Parents may obtain additional information regarding gifted education services and programs and parental due process rights by contacting the child’s school counselor or principal.

Parents may obtain additional information regarding gifted or special education services and programs and parental due process rights by contacting the child’s school principal or the Office of Special Education at 717-240-6800 ext. 17813.

Services for Protected Handicapped Students
Students  who are not eligible to receive special education programs and services may qualify as protected handicapped students and therefore be protected by other federal and state laws intended to prevent discrimination. The school district must ensure that protected handicapped students have equal opportunity to participate in the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with state and federal law, the school district will provide to each protected handicapped student without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodation which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program.

These services are protections for “protected handicapped students” may be distinct from those applicable to exceptional or thought-to-be exceptional students. The school district or the parent may initiate an evaluation if they believe a student is a protected handicapped student. For further information on the evaluation procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students, parents should contact the Special Education Contact in the accompanying listing. That number is 717-240-6800 extension 17815.