Special Education

Special Education Staff

Please direct any questions or comments to:

Pete Noel

Special Education Director

Ext. 1605

pnoel@mustangmail.org

Sara Blaylock

School Psychologist

Ext. 1615

sblaylock@mustangmail.org

 

Elysia Myher

Administrative Assistant

Ext. 1610

emyher@mustangmail.org

 

 


Special Education Resources

(PaTTAN) Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network – Family Engagement

One of the most important ways for you to be involved in your child’s education is to be informed. There are many resources, training events, and videos available on the PaTTAN website to assist you in learning about specific disabilities and educational initiatives. https://www.pattan.net/supports/family-engagement/

 

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSEP)

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) understands the many challenges still facing individuals with disabilities and their families. Therefore, OSERS is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. OSERS supports programs that serve millions of children, youth and adults with disabilities. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/index.html

 

Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 – Parent Outreach

The Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 was created to provide a broad range of educational services to the 35 public school districts, five area vocational-technical schools, two charter schools and approximately 81 non-public schools in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, and Somerset counties in west, central and southwestern Pennsylvania—serving approximately 65,000 students in an area covering 3,500 square miles. IU8 provides programs for curriculum development and the improvement of instructional materials; it also offers educational management and pupil personnel services and serves as a liaison between school districts and state and federal education agencies. https://www.iu08.org/domain/202

 

Special Education in PA - Consult Line

The ConsultLine is designed to assist parents and advocates of children with disabilities or children thought to be disabled. If you have any questions concerning your child's special education program or the laws relating to the provision of services in your child's IEP (Individualized Educational Program), the special education specialists at ConsultLine may be able to assist you. https://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Special%20Education/Complaints/Pages/ConsultLine.aspx

 

The Alternative Community Resource Program (ACRP) offers a unique Summer Treatment Program that is designed for children 5 to 12 and adolescents age 13-18 with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). If you are interested in this program click the link below for more information.

ACRP Summer Treatment Program

 

The Alternative Community Resource Program (ACRP) offers a Summer Treatment Program that is designed for children and adolescents age 5 to 18 withAutism Spectrum Disorders. If you are interested in this program click the link below for more information.

ACRP Achieve Summer Therapeutic Activities Program

 Glossary of Special Education Terms

 

 Assistive Technology Device: A piece of equipment or a product which is used to increase, maintain or improve the way a child with a disability interacts and communicates with the world around them.  This does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted or the replacement of such a device.  

Assistive Technology Services: Services to help a child with a disability use an assistive technology device.  These services include evaluating the needs of the child, providing the device, and then training the child, the child's family and the professionals who work with that child in the use of the device. 

Chapter 14: The Pennsylvania state law pertaining to the delivery of special education services and programs.   

Child With a Disability: A child who is identified, through a multidisciplinary evaluation, as meeting criteria for a disability based on Chapter 14 regulations of Pennsylvania code under one or more of the  following educational disability categories: 

Intellectual Disability; Emotional disturbance; Other Health Impairment (Including but not limited to ADHD); Orthopedic impairment; Autism; Traumatic brain injury; Specific learning disability (including but not limited to Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia); Multiple Disabilities; Deaf-blindness; Hearing impairment including deafness; Speech or language impairment; Visual impairment including blindness.

 

Due Process: The procedures that parents can use to disagree with the decisions of school district officials concerning special education.  The parent is informed of this right by written notice, which describes the options of mediation and due process.

Evaluation:  The process used to determine if a child has a disability and if special education is needed.  The evaluation looks at how the child learns, the kinds of instruction that would be successful and the kinds of instruction that have been tried and have not resulted in success.

Evaluation Report: The report that is compiled and written by the evaluation team (which includes parents) following an evaluation.  It describes all of the information gathered from the team members, including the results of assessment.  From the report, the evaluation team determines the student's eligibility and need for special education programs. 

 

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE):  A program of education and related services for a child with a disability that is designed to meet the child's special education needs.  Appropriate services are those which allow the child to make meaningful progress in the educational setting.  FAPE is provided without charge to parents.

 

Individualized Education Plan (IEP):  The document that guides the education of a student with disabilities is called an Individualized Education Program or IEP.  Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP.  This document is developed by the IEP team and includes information about your child's present level of educational performance along with goals that have been set for your child to achieve during the school year.  The IEP specifically defines where, what kind of and how often special education and related services will be provided.  It identifies the tests or other methods of assessment that will be used to decide if your child is meeting the annual goals.  The IEP includes information about how and when your child's progress will be reported to you.  IEPs are reviewed at least one time each year and more often if needed.  You or another member of the IEP team may request an IEP meeting at any time.

 

IEP Team:  Required members of each IEP team are:

  1. The child's parent(s)

  2. At least one of the child's general education teachers (if your child is, or might become, part of general education classes)

  3. At least one special education teacher

  4. A representative of the school district who:

    1. Is qualified to provide or supervise special education programs

    2. Knows about the general education curriculum

    3. Knows about the resources the local educational agency (LEA) can offer

  5. Someone who can interpret the evaluation results, who may already be a member of the team

  6. At your request or that of the school district, other people who know your child well or who have worked with your child. You may bring an advocate to advise you or anyone else who will be able to add information about your child's educational experiences

  7. Your child at age 14 when planning for life after graduation, or any time before that age when you want your child to be present

  8. A representative from a vocational-technical school if a vocational-technical program is being considered for your child

One person may fill more than one of the roles described above. The minimum number of people at the IEPmeeting should be four in most circumstances:

  • Parent

  • The local education agency (LEA) representative

  • A special education teacher

  • A general education teacher (if your child will participate at all in general education)

Regulations stipulate that if the parent chooses not to attend the IEP meeting, it may be held without them.

 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA '04):  The federal law which governs the provision of special education services and the rights of parents of a child with disabilities.

 

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE):  Students eligible for special education will be educated to the maximum extend appropriate with students who are not disabled.

 

Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP):  The form issued to parents to inform them of the placement recommended by the IEP team.

 

Parent:  A natural parent, adoptive parent, surrogate parent, or foster parent who has been assigned educational decision-making rights.  The term may also apply to an individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent (including grandparent or other relative) with whom the child lives and who has educational decision-making rights, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child.

 

Related Services: Services necessary to ensure that the child benefits from the special education program.  Examples are special transportation, counseling, school health services, social work, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

 

Specially Designed Instruction:  Adapting the content, methods, or delivery of the instruction as is appropriate based on the unique needs of the child with a disability.

 

Transition Services:  Specific planning in school that helps prepare students with disabilities to participate more effectively in higher education or job training, community participation, independent living, continuing and adult education, and employment when they leave school.