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District Information

2015-2016 Annual Notice of Special Education Services and Programs

Berwick Area School District

 

Child Find

 

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 related services because of their disabilities (Chapter 14, Pennsylvania Regulations 14.121; Part 300 Federal Regulations 300.125). The public awareness effort must include information regarding potential signs of developmental delays and other risk factors that could indicate disabilities. Furthermore, Federal Regulations under Individuals with Disability Education Act require child find from birth to 21 years of age. This notice is to help find these children, offer assistance to parents and describes the parents' rights with regard to confidentiality of information that will be obtained during this process.

 

The content of this notice has been written in English. Those who require content to be provided in a language other than English should contact Georgene Ferguson at (570) 759-6400, ext. 3538.

 

Identification Activity

 

Child find refers to activities undertaken by public education agencies to locate and identify children residing in the state, including children attending private schools, charter schools and county jails, 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 to cause a child to need services are: autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment due to chronic or acute health problems, specific learning disabilities, speech or language, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment including blindness, and in the case of a child that is of preschool age, developmental delay. Each school district shall provide annual public notification, adequate to notify parents throughout the school district of child identification activities and of the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities or eligible young children in accordance with this chapter. 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. Each school district shall establish a system of screening, which may include early intervening services. 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 not before parents give permission for their child to be evaluated.

 

Confidentiality of Student Records

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 School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal [or appropriate school official] a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official 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 are inaccurate. Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the School principal [or appropriate school official], clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School 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 is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. 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. [Optional] Upon request, the School discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. [NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.]

 

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

 

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-5901

 

Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

 

PPRA affords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:

Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED)–

1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;

2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;

3. Sex behavior or attitudes;

4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;

5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;

6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;

7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or

8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

 

Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of:

 

1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;

2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and

3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

 

Inspect, upon request and before administration or use –

 

1. Protected information surveys of students;

2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and

3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under

state law.

 

Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:

 

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202-5901

 

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 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 districts will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations that 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. To qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program.

These services and protections for protected handicapped students may be distinct from those applicable to exceptional or thought-to-be exceptional students. The district or parents may initiate an evaluation if they believe a student is a protected handicapped student. For further information on the evaluation procedures and provision of services to protected handicapped students, parents should contact the special education contact person on the accompanying list. A parent may file a written complaint alleging that the rights described in this notice were not provided:

 

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, issuing 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, DC 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 listed above is identified as an eligible young child. The parents of these children have the same rights described above.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing programs and services to eligible young children under Act 212 of 1990, the Early Intervention Services System Act. Screening for preschool children is available through CSIU (Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit) for children in Snyder County. To schedule an appointment for screening, or for additional information, call 570-523-1155, ext. 2229.

 

 

Schools and Other Instructional Sites, with Contact Information

 

 
Berwick Area School District                                                       Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit

 

500 Line St.                                                                                         P.O. Box 213

Berwick, PA 18603                                                                             Lewisburg, PA 17837

Wendy Kupsky, Contact Person                                                    Frank Williams, Contact Person

(570) 759-6400                                                                                    (570) 523-1155, ext 2202

 

 

 

Columbia-Montour AVTS                                                               SusQ-Cyber Charter School

 

PO Box 527, 21st Century Drive                                                       240 Market Street, Suite 15

Bloomsburg, PA 17815                                                                      Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Jim Dunkelberger, Contact Person                                                  James Street, Contact Person

(570) 784-8040                                                                                    245-0252, ext. 300

 

                                                               

                                                       Office for Dispute Resolution

 

                                                        6340 Flank Drive

                        Harrisburg, PA17112-2764
                        Ruth Rush, Contact Person 717-541-4960 
                        (570) 374-7912
                        http://ODR.pattan.net

 

 

 

Parent Education Network (PEN)                                                  The Mentor Parent Program, Inc.

 

2107 Industrial Highway                                                                   PO Box 47

York, PA 17402-2223                                                                          Pittsfield, PA 16340

1-800-522-5827                                                                                    1-888-447-1431

www.parentednet.org

 

 

 

Bureau of Special Education’s Consultline       

 

1-800-879-2301

 

 

 

The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network

 

1-800-360-7282

 

 

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