YOUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
Yough School District offers special education services to students with disabilities in a variety of service delivery options. These services are described on this web page.
DISTRICT OPERATED PROGRAMS
Types of Special Education Assignments
- Life Skills Support - Provide support to students whose greatest need is to learn skills that will allow them to live and work independently.
- Learning Support - Provides academic support.
- Speech and Language Support - Provides support to students who have difficulty with articulation, fluency, voice or language.
- Gifted Support - Provides support to students through enrichment based on the needs of the individual student.
Levels of Intervention
The district operates resource rooms, supplemental, and itinerant level classes in a variety of settings. The designation of a classroom is dependent on the average amount of time most students spend in the special education setting (separated from their non-disabled peers). The student’s IEP and not the type of classroom determines the amount of time a student is seen by a special education teacher.
The following indicate the levels of intervention provided in the various classrooms:
- Inclusion/Co-Teaching – All classes are in the regular classroom with non-disabled peers and with support from a special education teacher in the classroom.
- Itinerant – Special education supports and services provided by special education personnel for 20% or less of the school day.
- Supplemental – Special education supports and services provided by special education personnel for more than 20% but less than 80% of the school day.
- Full-time – 80% or more the school day in a special education setting. classroom
LOCATION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
- The following services are included at all schools
- Supplemental Learning Support Classes
- Itinerant Learning Support
- Inclusive Academic Classes
- Itinerant Emotional Support
- Itinerant Speech/Language Support
- Itinerant Gifted Support
- OT, PT, Hearing, and Vision Support (IU services)
Yough Senior High School
- Life Skills Support Class
- Learning Support Classes
- Vocational Training through Central Westmoreland Career & Technology Center (CWCTC)
- Co-operative Work Experience
- Vocational Training through Goodwill Services and the Work Discovery Program
Yough Intermediate Middle School
- Emotional Support Class
- Life Skills Support Class
- Learning Support Classes
Henry W. Good Elementary School
- Life Skills Support Class
- Learning Support Class
Mendon Elementary School
- Learning Support Class
West Newton Elementary School
- Learning Support Class
WESTMORELAND INTERMEDIATE UNIT #7 PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Intermediate units are regional educational service agencies created by the Pennsylvania State Legislature in 1970 to provide support to local school districts, to expand educational services and to provide cost savings to tax payers by eliminating service redundancy and taking advantage of economy of scale.
Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7 serves Westmoreland County to include seventeen school districts, Clairview Community School, and the Westmoreland County Career and Technology Center under the direct supervision of its board of directors and central administration.
Yough School District uses the services of the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit to provide services to students with severe disabilities. The classes operated by the Intermediate Unit are located in school districts through out the county. Vision Support Services and Hearing Support Services are provided directly to the student at the student's home school. Other programs include Early Intervention for children with developmental delays who are not yet school age. The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit also offers the services of a School Psychologist.
Services available at various locations out of the District
- Autistic Support - for children who require more social, behavioral and academic support.
- Blind & Vision Services - for children with limited or no vision.
- Emotional Support – for children who need an academic as well as a social emotional and behavioral program.
- Hearing Impaired Support – for children who require help in dealing with hearing problems.
- Life Skills Support – for children whose greatest need is to learn skills that will allow them to live and work independent of their families.
- Multihandicapped Support – for children with more than one disability, the combination of which results in needs requiring many services and much support.
- Occupational Therapy - therapy to improve fine motor skills.
- Physical Therapy- therapy to improve gross motor skills.
- English Second Language (ESL) - for children whose native language is other than English and qualify for support in the school system while learning to speak, read, and write English.
- Physical Support – for children who need programs that consider their physical disabilities.
APPROVED PRIVATE SCHOOLS
The Approved Private Schools (APS) are private schools, licensed by the State Board of Private Academic Schools. Approved private schools are approved by the Secretary of Education to provide a free appropriate special education for students with severe disabilities. The schools are eligible to receive funds from the school districts and/or the Commonwealth for the education of these students. Pennsylvania currently has 34 APSs for which the Department approves funding. These schools provide a program of special education for over 4,000 day and residential students. APSs are an important and necessary part of Yough School District's special education delivery system. These schools provide some students with what may be the only appropriate education program currently available. In the Western Pennsylvania Area Yough School District has utilized some of the following APS sites:
- PACE School
- The Children's Institute
- Western PA School for the Blind
- Western PA School for the Deaf
LICENSED PRIVATE ACADEMIC SCHOOLS
Licensed Private Academic Schools provide a free appropriate special education for students with severe disabilities. The schools are eligible to receive funds from the school districts for the education of these students. Licensed Private Academic Schools are an important and a necessary part of Yough School District's special education delivery system. These schools provide some students with what may be the only appropriate education program currently available. In the Western Pennsylvania Area Yough School District has utilized some of the following Licensed Private Academic Schools
- Clelian Heights School
- Merakey Autism Center
- Merakey Education Center
- New Story
- Pressley Ridge Day School
- Pressley Autism School
SIGNS THAT MY CHILD MAY NEED SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
A child may need special help to make progress in school that is not normally needed by other children in the regular education classrooms. Your child may be exceptional if he/she has a physical, sensory, mental or emotional disability and needs special education as determined by an individualized Education (IEP) Team. Children who are determined exceptional have a right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
Some indicators that your child may be a child with a disability include:
- Difficulty in academic subjects
- Failing grades
- Repeating a grade
- Exhibition of a serious emotional disturbance over a long period of time which affects your child’s ability to learn
- Consistent problems in getting along with others
- Difficulty communicating
- Lack of interest or ability in age-appropriate activities
- Resistance to change
- Difficulty seeing or hearing that interferes with the ability to communicate
- Health problems that effect educational performance
HOW TO MAKE A REFERRAL - The Referral Process
Initially, if a child is recognized by school personnel or parents as experiencing learning or behavioral difficulties, the Student Assistance Program (SAP) convenes. Instructional modifications and adaptations are then determined and implemented in the regular education environment. If difficulties persist after intervention, the SAP then convenes and recommends a multidisciplinary evaluation to determine the need of specialized instruction. A referral then is made to the Special Education Office to begin a multidisciplinary evaluation with parent permission. Parents can also choose to request an evaluation in writing to the school district administration. The district must then evaluate the child without cost to the parents. Confidentiality of the information obtained is protected as outlined in Yough School District’s Student Record Policy.
THE IDENTIFICATION, EVALUATION AND PLACEMENT PROCESS
THE EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) sets forth the following minimum procedures that must be followed in the identification, evaluation and educational placement of exceptional children.
Step 1: A child is recognized by school personnel and/or parents as possibly being exceptional and in need of special education.
Step 2: The Student Assistance Program (SAP) convenes. Instructional modifications within the regular classroom are implemented to ascertain if the problem can be corrected within the regular education environment. If it cannot, the SAP team recommends a multidisciplinary evaluation.
Step 3: An evaluation to specifically determine the child’s exceptionality, educational strengths, weaknesses and needs is scheduled by the school with prior knowledge and written approval by the parents. If agreement to evaluate is not achieved, either the school system or parents may initiate the procedural safeguard system. The evaluation procedures and materials must be selected and administered so as to not be racially or culturally discriminatory.
Step 4: A meeting with the parents, school personnel, and if appropriate the child, is scheduled to discuss the results of the Evaluation Report (ER). Signatures are required indicating agreement or disagreement with the report. Those disagreeing are encouraged to write a dissenting opinion.
Step 5: From this meeting or others that follow, the child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) will be developed, written and agreed to by the school, parents, and the child where appropriate. The IEP Team determines appropriate educational placement.
Step 6: When an IEP is agreed to by the parents and school, then the parents are issued a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) to sign. The education to be provided to the child will be in conformity with the IEP. If for any reason the school and parents cannot agree on the appropriateness of the IEP either may initiate the procedural safeguard system.
Step 7: At least annually, each child’s IEP and his/her school performance will be reviewed for the purpose of specifying the future educational program for the child.
Step 8: At least every three years, a multidisciplinary reevaluation is conducted to review a child’s program and eligibility for special education. If a student is identified as intellectual disability the multidisciplinary reevaluation is conducted every 2 years.
If you believe that your child is in need of special help in order to make progress in school, that is not normally needed by other children, contact your child's principal, guidance counselor or the Director of Special Education at (724) 446-7272, ext 1045. Office hours are 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM, Monday—Friday. All requests for evaluations must be made in writing. District forms are available through the guidance office or the principal at your child’s school. All information will be kept confidential. Upon request, evaluations and/or tests will be given in your child’s native language or mode of communication unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
On July 8, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 55 of 2022 (Act 55) into law.
Act 55 permits a student with a disability who was enrolled during the 2021-22 school year and turned age 21 during the 2021-22 school year, or between the end of the 2021-22 and the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, to attend a school entity during the 2022-23 school year and receive services as outlined on their most recent Individualized Education Program (IEP) with all the protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
As required by Act 55, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) developed and posted online a standard form for parents/guardians and students to notify school entities of their plan for the student to attend the school entity for the 2022-23 school year.
Parents/guardians and students who wish to take advantage of Act 55 must complete, sign, and submit the Act 55 Student Grade Level Retainment Notification Form to the student’s school entity Dawn Hildenbrand 724-446-7272 ext 1004, email@example.com on or before August 1, 2022.
For a student with a disability who turned 21 during the time periods listed above, both the parent/guardian and the student must complete the form. Forms are to be submitted to the school entity in which the student will attend in the 2022-23 school year - they may not be submitted to PDE.
Please send any questions/concerns to Dawn Hildenbrand 724-446-7272 ext 1004, firstname.lastname@example.org