Keystone Oaks School District
Child Find and Annual Notice to Parents
Notice of Special Education Services & Programs
It is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Department of Education to ensure that all children with disabilities residing in the Commonwealth, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated. This responsibility is required by a federal law called the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IDEA requires each state educational agency to publish a notice to parents before any major identification location or evaluation activity. The IDEA requires this notice to contain certain information. Pennsylvania law requires each school district to fulfill this notice requirement by providing an annual public notice. This notice, in summary form, is to help find these children, offer assistance to parents, and describes the parents’ rights with regard to confidentiality of information. If a person does not understand any of this notice, he or she should contact the District and request further explanation. The content of this notice can be translated into other languages. The District will arrange for an interpreter for parents with limited English proficiency. If a parent is deaf or blind or has no written language, the District will arrange for communication of this notice in the mode normally used by the parent.
Special Education Services for Preschool Age Students
Act 212, the Early Intervention Services System Act, entitles all preschool children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services. Young children experiencing developmental delays or physical or mental disabilities and their families are eligible for early intervention services including screening, evaluation, individualized education program planning and provision of appropriate programs and services.
Screening for preschool children is available through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit #3. For more information, contact the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Preschool Early Intervention “DART” Program at 412-394-5904.
Special Education Services for School-Age Students
Keystone Oaks School District provides a free, appropriate public education to eligible students. To qualify as an eligible 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 of the following physical or mental disabilities as defined by Pennsylvania State Regulations: autism, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment (including deafness), emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, multiple-disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury or visual impairment (including blindness).
The District engages in 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 laws 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 on-going 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 building-level intervention teams. When screening results suggest that a student might be a student with a disability, the school district seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect that their child is eligible for special education services may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time through a written request to the Building Principal or Director of Pupil Services.
Services designed to meet the needs of eligible students include the annual development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP), bi-annual or tri-annual multidisciplinary re-evaluation, and a full continuum of services, which include Itinerant, Supplemental, or Full-Time Levels of Intervention. 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 District also provides related services, such as transportation, speech and language therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, required for the student to benefit from the special education program. Parents may obtain additional information regarding special education services and programs and parental due process rights by contacting the child’s Building Principal or the Director of Special Education.
Services for Students who are Mentally Gifted
The definition of giftedness comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Special Education Rules and Regulations under Chapter 16 and states that a student who is mentally gifted demonstrates outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program.
The Keystone Oaks School District provides for mentally gifted students using the conceptual framework of continuous progress and differentiation though the District’s mainstream curriculum. Additionally, enrichment, acceleration and specialized study activities are provided to students as part of their gifted education program to address their unique needs. If you believe your school-age child may meet the criteria of mental giftedness and demonstrates a need for gifted education you may contact in writing your child’s Building Principal or the Director of Pupil Services.
Services for Students in Nonpublic Schools
Public special education is accessible to resident students attending nonpublic schools by affording the opportunity for the nonpublic student to enroll, on a part-time, dual enrollment basis in a special education program operated within the District. Public special education services are accessible following a multi-disciplinary team evaluation, determination of eligibility, and development of an Individualized Education Program. Parents of nonpublic school students may obtain further information by contacting the Keystone Oaks School District, Director of Pupil Services.
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 an equal opportunity to participate in the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate for the 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 accommodations 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.
Services and protections for protected handicapped students are different from those applicable to all eligible students enrolled in special education programs. These services are outlined in a Chapter 15 Service Agreement. Questions regarding Chapter 15 should be directed to the Director of Pupil Services.
Services for Students with limited english proficiency (lep) and english learners (el)
The education of students whose dominant language is not English is the responsibility of every school district/charter school in Pennsylvania. English language learners must be enrolled upon presentation of a local address and proof of immunization. The school district/charter school must administer a home language survey (HLS) to all students as required by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The results of that survey must be retained in the student’s permanent folder. For those students whose primary home language is other than English (PHLOTE), the district must also determine the student’s English language proficiency. Then, if appropriate, ESL instruction will be provided for the limited English proficient student with local/state funds.
The Keystone Oaks School District will provide ongoing screening services. If you wish to learn more, have questions, or believe your child may need to be identified, please contact the Director of Pupil Services.
Confidentiality of student records
Each school district protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information regarding its exceptional and protected handicapped students in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable federal and state laws. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students." These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the school/school district receives a request for access.
- The right to request an amendment to the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
- The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school/school district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
The District maintains its education records in compliance with the guidelines for the collection, maintenance and dissemination of pupil records.
The District may release information known as directory information without consent. If a parent/guardian or eligible student does not consent to the automatic release of directory information, the parent/guardian or eligible student must, on an annual basis, sign a form opting-out of the automatic release of any directory information. Directory information includes the following: student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, primary field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degree, honors, and awards received, the most recent educational agency or institution attended, student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access educations without a PIN, password, etc. (a student’s SSN, in whole or in part, cannot be used for this purpose.)