Special Education Services
ANNUAL PUBLIC NOTICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES & PROGRAMS,
SERVICES FOR GIFTED STUDENTS & SERVICES FOR PROTECTED HANDICAPPED STUDENTS
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, intermediate units and charter schools 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 22PA 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 procedure in IDEA and Chapter 14 shall take precedence.
This notice shall inform parents throughout the Northwestern School District 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, Northwestern School District publishes written information in the handbook and on the website. Children ages 3-21 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 Northwestern School District or the Director of Special Education for the NW Tri-County Intermediate Unit 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 defined as a child who is less than the age of beginners and at least three 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 percent of the child’s chronological age in one or more developmental areas, or (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 the Early Intervention Department at the Intermediate Unit. (See Evaluation Process below for contact information)
The Northwestern School District and the Intermediate Unit have 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. Parents of preschool age children, age three through five, may request an evaluation in writing by addressing a letter to the Early Intervention Supervisor, NW Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5, 252 Waterford Street, Edinboro, PA 16412 or call 1-800-677-5610, Ext. 8461.
School entitles 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 at www.pattan.net. Once written parental consent is obtained, the School District or Intermediate Unit 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 the parents determine whether the child is eligible. If the child is eligible, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) 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 or intermediate unit 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 Northwestern School District and/or Intermediate Unit 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 FERPA at the following URL: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
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 preschool or school aged child, public or private, contact the school where your child attends.
Additionally one may contact the name and number or e-mail listed below:
Kristen Rutkowski • Director of Special Education • Northwestern School District • 100 Harthan Way • Albion, PA 16401 • 1(814) 756-9400 x 2262 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Carucci • Director of Special Education • Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5 • 252 Waterford Street • Edinboro, PA 16417 • 1(814) 734-5610 • email@example.com
The school district, intermediate unit and charter school 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 Northwestern School District or Intermediate Unit 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.
Annual Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the Local Education Agency (LEA) receives a written request for access. The supervisor of student records will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. The parents or eligible students should write the supervisor of student records, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the LEA decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the LEA will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. 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. The LEA maintains a list of these school officials. Another exception permits the disclosure of LEA educational records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. It is the policy of the LEA to not release directory information except as specified in the above statements or without providing parents an opportunity to deny such releases.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the LEA to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520
Or call 1-800-872-5327