Child Find/ Proyecto Busqueda de Niños
ANNUAL PUBLIC NOTICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES AND PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR PROTECTED HANDICAPPED STUDENTS
Notice to Parent/Guardian
State and federal special education regulation require each school district to provide notice to the community by publishing an annual notice to parents/guardians, in newspapers or by other media regarding the Charter School's special education programs and services that are available, the process of identification and screening activities, the location and time of the activities and the evaluation process to determine eligibility for special education, Chapter 15/ Section 504 services, which takes place at Vida Charter School. Confidentiality of student educational records is also included.
It is the responsibility of the school districts, charter schools or the intermediate units to ensure that all children residing in the Commonwealth, who are in need of Special Education and related services are identified, located and evaluated. This responsibility is required by federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act amended in 2004 (IDEA 2004) and is called Child Find. If parents believe that their child may be eligible for special education, the parents/guardian should contact the principal of Vida Charter School (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Charter School is required to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities age three through twenty-one who are determined, through the evaluation process, to need special education under IDEA and 22 Pa.School Code Chapter 14 (PA Law and Regulations). A school aged child with a disability must be identified as needing specially designed instruction or related services under one the of the following disability categories in IDEA regulations:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Specific Learning Disability
Other Health Impairment
Speech and Language Impairment
Visual Impairment, including Blindness
Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU)#12 provides services for children who are developmentally delayed* between the ages of three years and school age. Programs are available in a number of settings throughout Adams, Franklin and York Counties. These services are available at no cost to parents. Available services include classroom instruction, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. If you have a child who you think may be eligible for services, please contact the LIU #12 Preschool Office at (717) 624-6475.
Screening for preschool children is available each month at the York Learning Center (in York, 717-718-5902), the LIU Central Office (in New Oxford, 717-624-6490) and at the Franklin Learning Center (in Chambersburg, 717-263-1732). To schedule an appointment for a screening and/or evaluation, call one of the numbers listed above.
Developmentally Delayed: a child who is less than the age of beginner and at least 3 years of age is considered to a have developmental delay when one of the following exists: (i) the child's score on a developmental assessment yields a score that indicates the child is delayed by 25% of the child's chronological age in one or more developmental areas or (ii) the child is delayed in one or more of the developmental areas, as documented by test performance of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on standardized tests. Developmental areas include cognitive, communicative, physical, social/emotional and self-help.
Vida Charter School has established and implemented procedures to locate, identify and evaluate students suspected of being exceptional. Screening activities may include, but are not limited to: review of group-based and individual academic data; health, hearing and vision screenings; motor screening; speech and language screening. The screening process occurs in the regular education setting. The above screening activities may lead to consideration by the Multi-tiered Systems of Support Leadership Team or the grade-level team to refer the child for an evaluation.
For information about the dates of various screening activities in your child's school or to request screening for your child, contact Vida Charter School and speak with the Executive Director or Principal (717-334-3643).
When screening activities indicate that a student may be a child with a disability, the Charter School will seek parent/guardian consent to conduct an evaluation.
An evaluation is conducted by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) which includes the teacher(s), parent/guardian and a group of qualified professionals. The process must be conducted in accordance with specific timelines (Special Education Timelines PaTTAN) and must include procedural safeguards. The evaluation process results in a written evaluation report. This report specifies a student's eligibility for special education based on the presence of a disability and the need for specially designed instruction. The report also makes recommendations for educational programming.
Each school district, intermediate unit and charter school has a procedure in place by which parents can request an evaluation. Families who think their child may have a disability may request, at any time, that the Charter School to conduct an evaluation. This request should be in made in writing to the child's school building principal or the Supervisor of Special Education. If a parent makes an oral request for an evaluation, the school district shall provide the parent with a form for that purpose. Pre-referral, instructional support or intervention activities do not serve as a barrier to the right of a parent/guardian to request an evaluation (at any time, including prior to or during the conduct of instructional support activities).
Parents of preschool age children may request an evaluation by contacting the Lincoln Intermediate Unit #12 at (717) 624-6475.
Services for Protected Handicapped Students in accordance with PA Chapter 15 and Section 504 of the ADA
Students who do not qualify or are not eligible to receive special education may qualify as protected handicapped students and therefore be protected by other federal and state laws intended to prevent discrimination. The Charter School must ensure that protected handicapped students have equal access 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 Charter School will provide each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations 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 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 special education. The Charter School or the parent/guardian may initiate an evaluation if they believe a student may be a protected handicapped student. Parents should contact the principal or school counselor.
The school districts, intermediate units and charter schools maintain records concerning all children enrolled in the school, including students with disabilities.
All records are maintained in the strictest confidentiality. Your consent, or consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under state law, must be obtained before personally identifiable information is released, except as permitted under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The age of majority in Pennsylvania is age 21. Each participating agency must protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages. One official at each participating agency must assume responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information. Each participating agency must maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the agency who have access to personally identifiable information.
For additional information related to student records, parents can refer to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Vida Charter School's Board Policy 817: Records Management Policy
This notice is only a summary of the Special Education services, evaluation and screening activities and the rights and protections pertaining to children with disabilities, children thought to be disabled, and their parents/guardians. For more information or to request an evaluation or screening, contact Elana Nashelsky, Vida Charter School Principal, 120 E Broadway Avenue, Gettysburg, PA 17325 or at (717) 334-3643.