Special Education Brochure

Public Notice on Screening and Evaluation

The Steel Valley School District uses the following procedures for locating, identifying, and evaluating specified needs of school-aged students requiring special programs or services. These procedures, as required by law, are as follows:

The district, as prescribed by Section 1402 of the School Code, routinely conducts screenings of a child;s hearing acuity in the following grades: kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 7, and 11. Visual acuity is screened in every grade. Speech and language skills are screened in kindergarten and on a referral basis. New students are screened annually. Gross motor and fine motor skills, academic skills, and social-emotional skills, are assessed by classroom teachers on an on-going basis. Specified needs from all of these screening sources are noted within the child's official file. School records are always open and available to parents, and only to school officials who have a legitimate "need to know" information about the child.

School records may be released to other schools, without written permission, in which the student would enroll.

Parents with concerns regarding their student may contact building principals at any time to request a screening or evaluation of their child. Communication with parents and the exceptional student shall be in English or the native language of the parents.

Screening information will be used by the Child Study Team within the student's school to meet his or her specific needs or to document the need for further evaluation. If it is determined that a child needs additional services, the Child Study Team will make adjustments relative to such things as the child's learning style, behavior, physical inabilities, and speech problems to be more in keeping with traditional classroom experiences. If a student does not make progress, parents will be asked to give written permission for further individual professional assessments.

After all the assessments are completed, a Comprehensive Evaluation will be compiled with parent involvement and include specific recommendations for the types of interventions that are appropriate to the child's specified needs. Parents are then invited to participate in a meeting where the determination of an appropriate educational program will occur and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed for specialized services for the students if necessary.

The Steel Valley School District IEP Team will consist of at least two of the following district staff: the building principal, the special education teacher, the regular education teacher, the psychologist, director of pupil services, other teachers or specialists as needed and other administrative staff when appropriate. One person may fulfill two or more roles.

Parents are an integral part of the IEP team and need to be physically present at the IEP meeting. The district will make every effort to insure parent participation. The district will notify the parents in writing, make documented phone calls, and make home visits, if necessary, to make parents aware of the IEP conference and the need for parental participation. Parents are then presented a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) with which they may agree or disagree. If parents disagree with the program begin recommended, the issue may be taken to mediation or a due process hearing.

Information about Early Intervention,parental rights, mediation or Due Process Procedures, specific Special Education Services and Programs offered by the district, and the district's educational Records Policy are available upon request from the building principal in a child's school.

A parent may request that the district initiate Child Study intervention at any time by contacting the building principal. Request for an MDT will be done through a form provided to the parent. Further information about these procedures may be obtained by calling Mrs. Diana L. Borges, Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services at (412) 464-3670.

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