Special Education: An education program individually designed for an exceptional student. A special education professional is directly involved as either a consultant, a service provider or a classroom teacher.
Determining Eligibility: A student may be exceptional if both qualifications are met:
1. The student must have an identified physical, sensory, mental or emotional disability or be mentally gifted.
2. The student demonstrates a need for special education services as determined by an IEP Team that typically is composed of a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, a district representative and the student's parents.
Program: Programming for students with disabilities is differentiated through the IEP (Individualized Education Program) process. In many instances, more frequent and sometimes more intensive strategies, adaptations and accommodations are provided than would normally be present in regular education programs. The degree of service for exceptional students is contingent upon individual needs. In order to provide an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment, the district provides a continuum of placement options with the necessary resources to implement each student's IEP.
Gifted support services include appropriate opportunities for individual acceleration and relevant enrichment.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The federal law that mandates special education services and the rights of students with special education needs and their parents.
Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE): The evaluation process to gather information which is used to determine if a student has a disability or is mentally gifted according to state and federal definitions and is in need of special education.
Comprehensive Evaluation Report (CER): The report that is compiled and written by the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (including parents) following a Multidisciplinary Evaluation.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): The plan written by the IEP Team (including parents) that specifically describes the programs and related services necessary for a Free and Appropriate Public Education for the exceptional student.
Free and Appropriate Public Education(FAPE): A program of education and related services for an eligible student that is designed to meet the student's special education needs and allows the student to make meaningful progress in the Least Restrictive Environment.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): Part of the federal and state law that deals with determining an exceptional student's placement. To the maximum extent appropriate, disabled students are to be educated with students who are not disabled. The removal of a student from the regular education environment occurs only when the disability is such that the student cannot satisfactorily be educated in the regular class setting or the student exhibits behaviors that impede his/her learning or that of others.
From: The Offices of Pupil Services & Special Education
If you believe that your son/daughter is having difficulties with learning, socialization or controlling his/her behavior in school and these difficulties are having a negative impact on your child’s academic performance you are advised to contact the Offices of Pupil Services and Special Education to speak to an administrator regarding your concerns. You may also contact the Principal or any professional at your child’s school.
If you have a student transferring into the school district who, has been previously identified as a student needing special education provisions, please contact the Offices of Pupil Services and Special Education to update your child’s educational program.
The Marple Newtown School District maintains a continuum of educational services for students who are struggling in school. An administrator would be happy to assist you in understanding your child’s difficulties and in developing an appropriate educational remediation plan to address specific problematic issues and to “walk you through” the process of obtaining appropriate services for your child.
For further details on Pennsylvania Special Education Law, the obligations of school districts in the Commonwealth to service students with special education needs, and the rights of students with special education needs you may wish to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education or visit their website at www.pde.state.pa.us/ and in the Search entry enter Chapter 14. Chapter 14 of the Pennsylvania Education Code is the law governing special education in the state.
PA Code Chapter 15 Protected Handicapped Students
PA Code Chapter 16 Special Education for Gifted Students
You may also simply contact the district’s Offices of Pupil Services and Special Education to speak with an administrator or to request an evaluation. You may reach the Offices of Pupil Services and Special Education at 610-359-5907 or 610-359-4217.
Learning Support Services for students whose primary need is for help in academic areas. Services are delivered in a curriculum-orientated format in grades K-12. Students receive support in areas appropriate to their needs.
Emotional Support Services serve students whose social, emotional and behavioral needs interfere with learning. Students are assisted with problem solving, interpersonal relationships, inappropriate behaviors and related academic difficulties.
Alternative Education Program serves high school students who are at risk emotionally, academically or demonstrate a reluctance to attend school.
Low Incidence and Significant Disabilities may be served in a variety of settings ranging from regular education through referral to state approved out-of-district programs. Out-of-district programs are designed to meet the student's degree of need whether educational, emotional or physical, that require a more intensive and restrictive program.
Speech and Language Support Services serve students who have impairments in speech and/or language that interfere with learning or communication.
Gifted Support Services serve students who demonstrate outstanding intellectual and creative ability. Services encourage and challenge higher level thinking skills, creativity and enriched learning experiences with the student's grade level general curriculum. (Gifted Support Program Position Statement)
Services provided to an exceptional student in addition to classroom instruction that support the student. Appropriate related services are determined by the IEP Team, and may include:
1. Physical Therapy
2. Occupational Therapy
3. Hearing Services
4. Vision Services
5. Therapeutic Interventions (Social-Emotional)
6. Speech and Language Therapy
7. School Health Services
8. Counseling Services
9. Special Transportation
10. Behavior Management
11. Adaptive Physical Education
12. Assistive Technology
13. Psychological Services