Educational Services

This page contains information about Title I, Special Education Services, and the Student Assistance Program

TITLE I Schoolwide Programs

Title I Coordinator: Ms. Yvonne Teed

Phone: 814-756-9400 Ext. 4351 • yteed@nwsd.org • Administrative Office • 100 Harthan Way • Albion, PA 16401

What is the purpose of a Schoolwide Program?

A schoolwide program is a comprehensive reform strategy funded with Federal grants designed for the entire educational program in a Title I school; its primary goal is to ensure that all students, particularly those who are low-achieving, demonstrate proficient and advanced levels of achievement on local and State academic achievement standards.

What is a Title I Schoolwide Program?

  • The program is built on schoolwide reform strategies, rather than separate, add-on services.
  • Serves all children in the building.
  • Focuses on results.
  • A federally funded program to provide additional instruction for students having difficulty with reading and/or math.
  • Title I teachers have specialized training and materials for effective intervention.
  • Based on a schoolwide plan that is written yearly in conjunction with teachers and parents.

How does our Title I Program help children?

Title I schools work to:

  • identify students most in need of educational help (students do not have to meet income standards to qualify).
  • set goals for improvement.
  • measure student progress using performance goals set in the Title I plan.
  • develop programs that supplement regular classroom instruction in math and reading.
  • involve parents in all aspects of the program.

How can you help?

Participate in your child’s education by:

  • attending school events.
  • talking about homework with your child.
  • showing your child how homework relates to daily life.
  • joining the school’s Parent Teacher Organization.

Be aware of your child’s performance by:

  • attending parent-teacher conferences.
  • requesting additional meetings, if needed.
  • keeping teachers informed about events and issues that may affect your child’s work or behavior.

Parent involvement is a vital component of our Title I program.

Below you will find draft forms for the 2018-2019 school year. As an integral part of the Title I program, we encourage parents and family members to support the planning and implementation of our activities and procedures. Upon review of our Title I documents or the Program itself, please feel free to email Ms. Teed or your building principal with questions, concerns, and suggestions.

Title I Documents

Special Education Services

ANNUAL PUBLIC NOTICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES & PROGRAMS,

SERVICES FOR GIFTED STUDENTS & SERVICES FOR PROTECTED HANDICAPPED STUDENTS

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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)

Evaluation Process

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.

Consent

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.

Program Development

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 • krutkowski@nwsd.org

Christine Carucci • Director of Special Education • Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5 • 252 Waterford Street • Edinboro, PA 16417 • 1(814) 734-5610 • christine_carucci@iu5.org

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Student Assistance Program

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What is the Student Assistance Program (SAP)?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program (SAP), which is administered by the PA Department of Education’s Safe Schools Office in partnership with the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ Division of Prevention and Intervention, and the PA Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program (SAP) is to help students overcome these barriers in order that they may achieve, remain in school, and advance. While Student Assistance Programs exist in other areas of the country, the structure and operation of the program in Pennsylvania is a unique expression of an integrated model serving the needs of Pennsylvania families and their students.

SAP is a systemic process using techniques to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. The core of the program is a professionally trained team, including school staff and liaisons from community alcohol and drug and mental health agencies. SAP team members are trained to identify problems, determine whether or not the presenting problem lies within the responsibility of the school and to make recommendations to assist the student and the parent. When the problem lies beyond the scope of the school, the SAP team will assist the parent and student so they may access services within the community. The student assistance team members do not diagnose, treat or refer to treatment; but they may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment.

There are four phases to the student assistance process:

  • Referral - Anyone can refer a student to SAP when they are concerned about someone’s behavior -- any school staff, a student’s friend, a family member or community member. The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. The SAP team contacts the parent for permission to proceed with the SAP process.
  • Team Planning – The SAP team gathers objective information about the student’s performance in school from all school personnel who have contact with the student. Information is also collected from the parent. The team meets with the parent to discuss the data colleted and also meets with the student. Together, a plan is developed that includes strategies for removing the learning barriers and promoting the student’s academic and personal success to include in-school and/or community-based services and activities.
  • Intervention and Recommendations – The plan is put into action. The team assists in linking the student to in-school and/or community- based services and activities. The team might recommend a drug and alcohol or mental health assessment.
  • Support and Follow-Up – The SAP team continues to work with and support the student and their family. Follow-up includes monitoring, mentoring, and motivating for academic success.

It is the parent’s right to be involved in the process and to have full access to all school records under the applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Involvement of parents in all phases of the student assistance program underscores the parents’ role and responsibility in the decision– making process affecting their children’s education and is key to the successful resolution of problems.

The student assistance process is based upon state guidelines, professional standards and policies, and procedures adopted by the local school board of directors. Professional training for team members in all phases of the student assistance process, which is consistent with state guidelines and conducted by a Commonwealth approved training provider, is required to ensure the appropriateness of the recommended services, effective interagency collaboration and compliance with state and federal laws protecting the privacy rights of parents and students.

The training of team members by a Commonwealth approved training provider, ensures the board of school directors, school administrators, parents, students, and the public that team members have received up-to- date professional training consistent with accountable standards and appropriate procedures. Guidelines for the Commonwealth Student Assistance Program training system contain training standards and competencies for SAP team professionals.

For those students receiving treatment through a community agency, the student assistance team, in collaboration with parents and the agency, can assist in helping plan in-school support services during and after treatment. The team’s effectiveness in helping the student and the parent remove the barriers to learning and improve student performance depends on the training of the individual team members, maintenance of the student assistance process, level of administrative commitment and board support, active parent and student involvement and the available resources both in school and the community.