Notice of Special Education Services and Programs - Child Find

To Parents who reside in one of the Twenty Constituent School Districts of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit


     Each school district, along with other public agencies in the Commonwealth, must establish and implement procedures to identify, locate and evaluate all children who need special education programs and services because of the child's disability. This notice is to help find these children, offer assistance to parents and describes the parent's rights with regard to confidentiality of information that will be obtained during this process.

     The content of this notice has been written in English. If a person does not understand any of this notice, he or she should contact the school district (see Contacts) and request an explanation.

Identification Activity

     Child find refers to activities undertaken by public education agencies to identify, locate, and evaluate children residing in the State, including children attending private schools, who are suspected of having disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, and determine the child's need for special education and related services. The purpose is to locate these children so that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) can be made available. The types of disabilities that if found to cause a child to need services are: Autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment due to chronic or acute health problems, specific learning disabilities, speech or language, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment including blindness.

     In the case of a child that is of preschool age, developmental delay.  Each school district is required to annually provide notice describing the identification activities and the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of personally identifiable information. This notice is intended to meet this requirement.

     Identification activities are performed to find a child who is suspected as having a disability that would interfere with his or her learning unless special education programs and services are made available. These activities are sometimes called screening activities. The activities include: Review of group data, conducting hearing and vision screening, assessment of student's academic functioning, observation of the student displaying difficulty in behavior and determining the student's response to attempted remediation. Input from parents are also an information source for identification. After a child is identified as a suspected child with a disability, he or she is evaluated, but is not evaluated before parents give permission for their child to be evaluated.

Confidentiality

     If after screening and a disability is identified, upon your permission your child will be evaluated. A written record of the results are called an education record, which are directly related to your child and are maintained by the school districts. These records are personally identifiable to your child. Personally identifiable information includes the child's name, the name of the child's parents or other family member, the address of the child or their family, a personal identifier such as social security number, a list of characteristics that would make the child's identity easily traceable or other information that would make the child's identity easily traceable.

     The school district will gather information regarding your child's physical, mental, emotional and health functioning through testing and assessment, observation of your child, as well as through review of any records made available to the school district through your physician and other providers of services such as day care agencies.

     The school district protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information by one school official being responsible for ensuring the confidentiality of the records; training being provided to all persons using the information and; maintaining for public inspection a current list of employees names and positions who may have access to the information.

     The school district will inform you when this information is no longer needed to provide educational services to your child and will destroy the information at the request of the parent, except general information such as your child's name, address, phone number, grades, attendance record and classes attended, grade level completed, may be maintained without time limitation.

     As the parent of the child you have a number of rights regarding the confidentiality of your child's records. The right to inspect and review any education records related to your child at are collected, maintained, or used by the school district. The school district will comply with a request for you to review the records without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding planning for your child's special education program (called an IEP meeting), before a hearing should you and your school district disagree about how to educate your child who needs special education, and in no case, take more than 45 days to furnish you the opportunity to inspect and review your child's records.

     You have the right to an explanation and interpretations of the records; to be provided copies of the records if failure to provide the copies would effectively prevent you from exercising your right to inspect and review the records and; the right to have a representative inspect and review the records.

     Upon your request, the school district will provide you a list of the types and location of education records collected, maintained, or used by the agency. [Editor note: if a district will charge a fee, then the following two sentences are necessary; if the district will not charge any fees, then this sentence is unnecessary] Additionally, the school district will charge a fee for copies of records made in response to your request for copies except it will not charge a fee if doing so will prevent you from inspecting and reviewing your child's records. The district will not charge a fee to search or retrieve information.

     You have the right to request the amendment of your child's education records that you believe are inaccurate or misleading, or violates the privacy or other rights of your child. The school district will decide whether to amend the records within a reasonable time of receipt of your request. If the school district refuses to amend the records you will be notified of the refusal and your right to a hearing. You will be given at that time, additional information regarding the hearing procedures and; upon request, the district will provide you a records hearing to challenge information in your child's education files.

     Parent consent is required before personally identifiable information contained in your child's education records is disclosed to anyone other than officials of the school district collecting or using the information for purposes of identification of your child, locating your child and evaluating your child or for any other purpose of making available a free appropriate public education to your child. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Additionally, the school district, upon request, discloses records without consent to officials of another school district in which your child seeks or intends to enroll.

     When a child reaches age 18, the rights of the parent with regard to confidentiality of personally identifiable information is transferred to the student.  A parent may file a written complaint alleging that the rights described in this notice were not provided:

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Bureau of Special Education

Division of Compliance

333 Market Street

Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

     The Department of Education will investigate the matter, issue a report of findings and necessary corrective action within 60 days. The Department will take necessary action to ensure compliance is achieved.

     Complaints alleging failures of the school district with regard to confidentiality of personally identifiable information may also be filed with:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

 

     The Abington Heights School District will provide ongoing screening services. If you wish to learn more, have questions, or believe your child may need to be identified, please contact:

NEIU 19 District Contact Persons

Abington Heights School District - 585-8227

Blue Ridge/Mr. Robert McNamara/465-3141

Carbondale Area/Mr. Martin Lawler/282-2507

Dunmore/Mr. Rick McDonald/343-2110

Elk Lake/Mr. William Bush/278-1106

Forest City Regional/Ms. Bernice Lukus/785-2403

Lackawanna Trail/Ms. Jo Ann Radicchi/945-5184

Lakeland/Ms. Rose Marie Crotti/254-9485

Mid Valley/Ms. Rose Ellen Skodacek/489-1691

Montrose Area/Dr. Don Golden/278-3731

Mountain View/Mr. Vincent Rizzo/434-2180

North Pocono/Mr. Sam Sica/842-7606

Old Forge/Mr. Bart Giacometti/457-8391

Riverside/Mr. Jack Helcoski/562-2121

Scranton/Mr. William Grochowski/348-3438

Susquehanna/Ms. Joni Miller/853-4921

Valley View/Mr. Joseph Daley/876-5080

Wallenpaupack Area/Ms. Gwyn Devendorf/226-4557

Wayne Highlands/Ms. Maralyn Nalesnik/253-4661

Western Wayne/Dr. Lorna Johns/937-4270

NEIU 19/Dr. Clarence Lamanna/876-9215

Early Intervention Identification

      The PA Department of Education is responsible for providing EI programs and services to eligible young children under Act 212 of 1990, the EI Services System Act. An "eligible young child" is a child age 3 to age of beginners, who has an identified disability or a developmental delay in the areas of speech/language, learning, motor, adaptive, social and/or behavioral and is in need of special education.

     Developmental screening for thought to be eligible children is available through NEIU 19. To request a screening, call 1-800-228-1750, ext. 219 or 570-876-9219, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. All information gathered is confidential. There is no cost for programs and services. For additional information, contact NEIU 19, Ms. Kathryn Bonomo, 570-876-9255.