Special Education Services
The school district uses screening and identification procedures so that each eligible student receives the gifted education or special education and related services he or she needs at no cost to parents, in compliance with state and federal law. The services are planned to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress.
Ongoing screening activities help identify students of diverse needs. These screening activities include reviewing many kinds of academic and health records. At the building level, the Academic Resource Team (ART) reviews data and recommends interventions for students in need of additional support. The student’s response to these interventions is measured and interventions are changed or increased as needed. When screening suggests that a student might have additional needs, the district seeks parent consent to continue evaluating with a “multidisciplinary” evaluation, which reviews screenings, assessments, and response to interventions, educational environments and educational behaviors. Parents who suspect that their child has these needs may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time by completing a parent request in writing (form available from the building principal). Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect their child has a disability and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary evaluation through a written request to the principal of the nonpublic school.
Both the Greater Latrobe School District and the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit support special services for students of diverse needs. These include the annual development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for those students found to be eligible for special education based on the multidisciplinary evaluation. Similarly, multidisciplinary reevaluations are conducted as required, needed or requested. The special education programs provide interventions and accommodations in the regular classroom, and instruction and support in the regular or special education resource room. Services in a full-time special education setting in the regular school or at a location other than the regular school are also available. The school district and intermediate unit also provide related services such as transportation, speech and language support services, physical therapy and occupational therapy if required by the student to participate and make progress in the general curriculum as part of their IEP.
Gifted Education Services
Greater Latrobe provides a systematic screening and evaluation process to identify and determine the needs of gifted students. The screening process may result in a gifted evaluation and the development of a Gifted Individual Education Plan (GIEP) for students who meet state requirements.
Services for Protected Handicapped Students
In compliance with state and federal law, the Greater Latrobe School District will provide to each protected handicapped student without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations which are 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 which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to a major life function.
These services and protections for “protected handicapped students” are distinct from those applicable to all eligible students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs.
Services for Preschool Children
The Early Intervention Services System Act entitles all preschool children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services. Young children experiencing developmental delays or physical or mental disabilities and their families are eligible for early intervention services. Developmental delay means a child is not reaching developmental milestones within expected time frames or not progressing at the same rate as typical peers in motor, language, social or thinking skills. Potential signs might include not reacting to loud noises, not attempting to talk or not showing interest in playing with other children. The Pennsylvania Department of Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, defined as children from birth to two years of age. For more information, contact the Westmoreland Case Management & Support Services at 724.837.1808. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to preschool children from ages three through five. Should you suspect your child of having a developmental delay or a disability within this age range, contact the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit at 724.836.2460.
Parents who need more information about special education services and programs and about parental due process rights may contact the principal of their child’s school, or call Dr. Cindy Soltys, at GLSD Department of Pupil Services (724.539.4213).