Special Education

Thursday, December 14, 2017: 2 HOUR DELAY for all schools

Special Education

Federal Law and Pennsylvania State Law gives important educational rights to handicapped children for special education. Parents have the right to participate in the planning of their child's program. If you feel your child is "exceptional", please request an evaluation to be done by the school district.

The District has developed a referral system that is designed to provide instructional support services and special education services, if deemed appropriate. This system follows the policies and procedures outlined in the state regulations and standards governing special education. The District, in conjunction with Intermediate Unit #1, provides a continuum of services to meet the needs of handicapped students.

Special Education Screening Process

1. A student exhibiting academic, attendance, and/or behavioral difficulty is referred for screening at the building level.

2. A screening team meets to discuss referral and make appropriate recommendations.

3. School counselor collects completed packet from referring teacher making sure that all information (questionnaires, rating scales, student's grades, achievement test results) is included and forwards information to the business office.

4. Local Education Representative (LEA) sends permission to evaluate, parent questionnaire, and Notice of Parents' Rights to parent/guardian. The LEA puts the parental input together with the school data to form the packet, which is then sent to the psychologists.

5. Psychologist completes assessment and writes a draft evaluation report (ER). The multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meets, regarding whether or not student is a child with a disability, reviews recommendations, signs and finalizes ER.

6. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team meets and makes decisions regarding the strengths and the needs of the students as well as how to meet the student's educational needs.

7. LEA Representative presents (NOREP) Notice of Recommended Educational Placement to parent

Gifted Support

The Gifted Program is designed to meet the educational needs of the district's academically talented students. Placement is based on superior classroom performance and rates of retention and acquisition, standardized test scores, IQ scores, high creativity levels, advanced thinking skills, interest surveys, and student, parent, and teacher input.

This program is itinerant, meaning that the students are taken from the regular classroom for enrichment activities. Differentiated learning experiences based on the unique traits, needs, and abilities of the student are an integral aspect of the curriculum.

Enrollment requirements include an intelligence quotient of 130 or higher.

District Contacts

Sheri Dunham, Director of Special Education
Phone: 724-564-7190 Ext. 8111

Marianne Muzika, Secretary
Phone: 724-564-7190 Ext. 8126

Support Programs

The District provides specially designed instruction for students whose intelligence level and/or the way that they process information significantly interferes with learning within the regular classroom environment, and an emotional support component for students who have been diagnosed with these needs.

Itinerant Speech, Language, Visually Impaired, and Hearing Impaired Support

These programs are available in the Albert Gallatin Area School District in conjunction with the Intermediate Unit #1.

Lifeskills Support

Elementary classes incorporate training in areas of self-care and communication. Academic instruction is determined on an individual basis and commensurate with the students' intellectual abilities. Secondary classes include a variety of experiences revolving around basic homemaking, communication, self-care and independence, preparation for employment in the community or an industrial workshop, and a greater exposure to community living.
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