Back to School 2018 Information
Annual Child Find Notice
Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs, Services for Gifted Students, and Services for Protected Handicapped Students
Services for Pre-School Children
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. Potential signs of developmental delay and other risk factors that could indicate disabilities and the possibility that a child is an “eligible young child” could include:
- By the age of 3: not saying many words; not using 2 or 3-word phrases and sentences; not walking; awkward gait (walking); drooling; not answering “show” or “what” questions; and/or not using utensils to feed self;
- By age of 4 (all of the above included): not toilet trained; difficulty with directional words (in, on, under, out); not playing with other children, not able to draw a circle, cross or imitate a vertical line; not able to understand the child’s speech most of the time; difficulty following simple two-step directions (e.g., pick up the paper and put it in the garbage;
- By the age of 5 (all of the above included): unable to answer “where” questions; unable to recall details from a story; not drawing a person with at least 6 parts; immature speech patterns (me instead of I), not able to hop forward with one foot without support;
- Other warning signs at any age: little or no eye contact, over/under sensitivities to pain, light, noise; hand flapping; no awareness of space (always bumping into other people or things); awkward hand or foot positioning; won’t touch or eat certain textures; child no longer can do things he/she used to do; developed normally, then stopped; echoes what is said; plays with toys inappropriately (e.g., watches wheels spin on the car, but does not play with the car).
Fox Chapel Area School District ensures that all students transitioning from early intervention programs to kindergarten or first grade programs within the District are transitioned without disruption of services. Parents of children entering school age programs are notified of the District’s Transition activities, which occur before kindergarten registration of each year. The District secures permission to evaluate, conducts an evaluation, and develops an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in accordance with the timelines required by state mandates.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, defined as children from birth through three years of age. For more information, contact:
Alliance for Infants
2801 Custer Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to preschool children from ages three through five. For information, contact:
Allegheny Intermediate Unit
475 E. Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120
Information regarding the appropriate developmental milestone descriptors for infants and toddlers may be found at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/
Services for School-Age Students with Disabilities
The Fox Chapel Area 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 one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in Pennsylvania State Regulations:
- Visual Impairment including Blindness
- Emotional Disturbance
- Hearing Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
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 a Child Study Team, MTSS Team, or (Elementary) Student Assistant Program ((E)SAP) Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible for special education services, the 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 Director of Special Education and 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 Support. 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 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 Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, 412-967-2435, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
Annual Notice to Protected Handicapped Students
In compliance with state and federal law, the Fox Chapel Area 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.
These services and protections for "protected handicapped students" are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs. Protected handicapped students fall under Pennsylvania Chapter 15 of Title 22 of the Regulations of the State Board of Education, sometimes known by its federal name Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. In contrast, students with disabilities who qualify for special education services are covered by the regulations contained in Chapter 14.
For further information on the evaluation procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students, contact the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services at 412-967-2435 or you may contact in writing: Pupil Services Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
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.
This term includes a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher or when multiple criteria, as set forth in Chapter 16 and in Department Guidelines, indicate gifted ability. Determination of gifted ability will not be based on IQ score alone. Deficits in memory or processing speed, as indicated by intellectual ability subtests, cannot be the sole basis upon which a student is determined to be ineligible for gifted special education. A person with an IQ lower than 130 may be admitted to gifted programs when other educational criteria in the profile of the person strongly indicate gifted ability. Determination of mentally gifted must include a full assessment by a certified school psychologist.
Once a student meets the screening requirements, a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE) is conducted. The GMDE must be sufficient in scope and depth to investigate information relevant to the student’s suspected giftedness, including academic functioning, learning strengths and educational needs. The Gifted Written Report (GWR) brings together the findings from the evaluation or reevaluation concerning the student’s educational needs and strengths. The GWR must make recommendations as to whether the student is gifted and in need of specially designed instruction, which are considered by the GMDE Team in the development of the Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP). At the conclusion of the GIEP meeting, a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) is issued.
Parents have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation at their own expense to share with the District. The results of the independent evaluation must be considered by the District in any decision made with respect to the provision of a gifted education.
Parents of students who are mentally gifted have the right to request a special education due process hearing or to file a compliance complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Details concerning the procedures governing hearing requests may be found on the website of the Office for Dispute Resolution at odr-pa.org. For additional information, please contact the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services at 412-967-2435, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
Services for Students in Nonpublic Schools
Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect that their child has a disability and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary evaluation through a written request to the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services at 412-967-2435, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
In order to receive special education services and programs through the Fox Chapel Area School District, a student must (1) qualify through the two-pronged evaluation concerning the existence of an exceptionality and a consequent need for specially designed instruction and (2) be enrolled in the school district.
Those families who are not to enroll in the Fox Chapel Area School District will be supported through a federal regulation referred to as Equitable Participation.
Certain services are available to students identified as eligible for special education who are unilaterally placed by their parents in private schools through a federal requirement Equitable Participation. In Pennsylvania the Intermediate Units are the agencies responsible for the implementation of the federal requirement for Equitable Participation.
The final regulations for the reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) became effective on October 13, 2006. IDEA and its implementing regulations contain a number of significant changes from the preexisting law and regulations for parentally-placed private school children with disabilities. IDEA now requires that the local educational agency (LEA, Intermediate Units in PA) after consultation with private school representatives, conduct a thorough child find process to determine the number of parentally-placed children with disabilities attending private schools located in the LEA. The LEAs are required to spend a proportionate amount of IDEA Part B funds to provide services to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools. The Intermediate Units are not required to offer the same services that would be offered as a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the public school.
Confidentiality of Student Records
Confidentially: All information gathered about your child is subject to the confidentiality provisions contained in federal and state law. The District has policies and procedures in effect governing the collection, maintenance, destruction and disclosure to third partied of this information.
In accordance with 34 CFR § 300.624, please be advised of the following retention/destruction schedule for the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), and Keystone Exam related materials:
- PSSA, Keystone Exam, and PASA test booklets will be destroyed one year after student reports are delivered for the administration associated with the test booklets.
- PSSA and Keystone Exam answer booklets and PASA media recordings will be destroyed three years after completion of the assessment.
For information about this, as well as the rights of confidentiality and access to educational records, you may contact in writing the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services at 412-967-2435, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
UPDATED AUGUST 2018