Services for School Age Students with a Disability
Donegal School District provides a free, appropriate, public education to students with a disability. To qualify as a student with a disability the child must be of school age, in need of specially designed instruction, and meet eligibility criteria for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in Pennsylvania State standards: autism, blindness/visual impairment, deafness/hearing impairment, deaf blindness, orthopedic impairment, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury, mental retardation, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability and speech/language impairment.
The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, physical and speech/language screening; and review by a Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII) team in those schools with this. When screening results suggest that the student may be exceptional, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is a student with a disability may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time through a written request to the Director of Special Education.
Services designed to meet the needs of students with a disability include the annual development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP), triennial multidisciplinary re-evaluation, or biannual multidisciplinary re-evaluation for students with intellectual disabilities. Services may be provided through an itinerant program, in a part-time or full-time special education class in a regular school, or placement in a full-time special education class at a location other than the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the IEP team and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the level of intensity of the specified intervention. The District also provides related services such as transportation, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy required for the student to benefit from the special education program.
Parents may obtain additional information about special education services and programs and parental due process rights by contacting the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services at 492-1313.
Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect their child is a student with a disability and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary evaluation through a written request to the Director of Special Education. Students found to have a disability must be enrolled in the public school to receive special education services
Services For Handicapped Students
In compliance with state and federal law, Donegal School District will provide services or accommodations to protected handicapped students that are needed to provide students with an 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. These related aides are provided without discrimination or cost to the student or family. 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.
Services and protections for protected handicapped students are distinct from those applicable to students with a disability enrolled or seeking enrollment in special education programs. For further information about the evaluation procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students, contact the Director of Special Education at 492-1313.
Services For Pre-School Children
Act 212, 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. At-risk children are eligible for screening and tracking.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, defined as children from birth through two years of age. For information, contact Lancaster County MH/MR at 399-7355.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to preschool children from ages three through five. For information, contact the Early Intervention Program at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 at 606-1601.
Confidentiality of Student Records
Donegal School District protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information regarding exceptional and protected handicapped students in accordance with state and federal law and the District’s student records policy.
Your child’s records may be moved to another school or school system in which you plan to enroll your child if you notify the responsible staff person at Donegal School District or if the enrolling school system submits written notification of enrollment. Special Education records will be maintained on a child until no longer necessary and in accordance with District procedures.