Fox Chapel Area School District is proud of its lengthy history of delivering a full continuum of services and programs to students. The District's goal is to provide appropriate programs and services for students with disabilities by facilitating collaborative efforts among parents, teachers, students, therapists, administrators, and other support personnel. Levels of intervention, goals, accommodations, modifications and specially designed instruction are based on student need and are determined by the IEP team. Special education in the FCASD has been organized around the premise that special education provides comprehensive supports and services to eligible students in the least restrictive environment. Teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals deliver these services in typical settings with non-disabled peers to the greatest extent appropriate.
All special education professional and paraprofessional staff are highly qualified. FCASD is committed to ongoing professional development for all staff members. Extensive training in differentiation has been presented to all teachers and a differentiated curriculum is taught in all settings targeting differing readiness levels of students. Reading and math skills are taught in small group settings, based on instructional needs rather than eligibility for special education. At the high school, core content classes are co-taught with special education and content area teachers. Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is currently in place in all elementary and middle schools. Students receive reading, language arts, math, social/emotional, and behavioral interventions based on need, regardless of disability.
Responding to needs expressed by various sources of feedback, FCASD has delivered a wide range of in-service programs to staff members and parents, purchased and implemented research-based reading, language arts and math programs, and integrated assistive technology into its classrooms. In order to promote independence and gain access to the general education curriculum, the district promotes the use of all types of supportive tools and equipment. Assistive technology is an important part of the special education support system.
Data from a wide range of assessments are analyzed and used by special education teachers and teams to assist in the development or revision of IEP goals. In addition to addressing academic needs, the district offers a variety of individual and group counseling services including social skills and social thinking training.
For students who have significant disabilities, FCASD maintains classrooms that allow for specialized intensive teaching and opportunities for inclusion with peers. These classrooms support students with autism and significant intellectual disabilities and receive consultative services from local experts. Relationships between regular education students and special education students are fostered through the best buddies and peer supports programs.
In its commitment to assure that all students are college and career ready, FCASD has made a commitment to have successful post secondary transitions for special education students. More than 80% of students with IEP's go on to post secondary education. Special education teams including the transition coordinator work with families and students in order to ensure that options are presented and explored.
Special Education & Pupil Services Staff
Director of Special Education/Pupil Services
Timothy A. Mahoney
Secretaries to the Director of Special Education/Pupil Services