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IEP/Learning Support

Special Education at City Charter High School               

Support services are available at City High for students with disabilities. All special education services and programs are offered to students of City Charter High School at no expense to the family. Students with disabilities are admitted to City Charter High School on the same basis as all other students. 


Open Admissions

City Charter High School provides a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to students receiving special education services. City Charter High School provides a full continuum of services that may be provided within the school building or at a location outside of the school building. City Charter High School provides the following programs and services: 

  • autistic support

  • blind or visually impaired support

  • deaf or hard of hearing support

  • emotional support

  • learning support

  • life skills support

  • multiple-disabilities support

  • physical support

  • speech and language support
     

Levels of intervention include itinerant, supplemental, and full time. The extent of special education services and location for the delivery of such services are based on the individual student’s identified abilities, needs, chronological age, and level of intensity of the specific program. 

Full Inclusion 

The full inclusion support model allows students with disabilities to participate in the regular education classes with supports from special education teachers or a special education teacher associate. Within the regular education classroom, class work and/or grading is adapted according to accommodations, modifications, and specially designed instruction listed in the student’s IEP. Each student is provided with an updated IEP that describes the specific strengths, needs, and goals of the student upon entrance to City Charter High School. Students requiring related services, such as but not limited to, vision support, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and/or hearing support will be provided specific support with a specialist through a contracted agency or a City Charter High School staff member.

 

Supplemental Education Services (SES) 

In addition to City High’s after-school tutoring program, we offer, through our Title I program, Supplemental Educational Services (SES) in the form of free off-site tutoring programs available for students who quality for or reduced-price lunch. 

Screening and Evaluation

City Charter High School uses the following identification activities on an on-going basis for locating, identifying, and evaluating the needs of school-aged students who may require the provision of special education programs and services. 

Parents with concerns regarding their child may contact the school at any time to request an evaluation of their child that may result in a special education determination. All communication with parents will be in English or the family’s native language. 
 

Academic skills, social-emotional skills, and gross and fine motor skill development are assessed by the classroom teachers on an on-going basis. Other screening activities include: the review of student records as they are forwarded from the student’s previous school(s), the review of cumulative group achievement and ability data, health and attendance records, grades and other relevant information shared by the teachers and parents. Teacher and parent concerns should be directed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the school. A parent may request that the school initiate a screening or evaluation of their child’s specific needs at any time by contacting the CEO and expressing his/her concerns. 

The purpose of screening activities is to gather information for the special education pre-referral process. This information is reviewed in an attempt to develop a strategic educational plan for the student. The information might be used to determine if a child needs additional services including special education. If it is determined that the child needs additional services, the multidisciplinary team will make recommendations relative to specific educational programming geared to maximize the student’s learning. If a student does not make progress after the strategic educational plan is implemented, parents will be asked to give written permission for further individual evaluation that might lead to a special education eligibility decision. 

and is in need of special education programs or services may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation of their child through a written request to any of the school's administrators.

City Charter High School has a multidisciplinary team that has been established as part of the pre- referral intervention process. The team consists of school administrator, a school counselor, regular education teachers, reading specialists, special education staff, grade level teaching associates and a parent. School administration and the multidisciplinary team assists teachers and parents in supporting students who are experiencing academic, behavioral, medical, emotional and social skills difficulties. A student may be suggested for a multidisciplinary team referral by the student’s grade level team, the student’s academic advisor, a school counselor or a member of the school’s administration. The multidisciplinary team process is initiated by speaking with the grade level principal in regards to the student of concern. At this time, if the reading specialist has not assessed the student, with permission from the parent, the specialist will conduct reading level and comprehension assessments. The information from the assessment will be provided to teachers along with recommendations to properly support the student within the regular education classroom. This information will also be used throughout the multidisciplinary team referral. 

The academic advisor is to collect assessment data from the student’s file and collect background information on the student from the previous school such as previous report cards, assessment data, health records and any information pertaining to previous support services. This information is provided to the school administrator prior to the multidisciplinary meeting. During this process, the regular education teachers and the student’s academic advisor monitor the effectiveness of the instructional strategies that are utilized in the regular classroom environment. The teachers are to collect two classroom-based assessments, student work, provide information regarding the student’s performance in class and strategies that the teacher has utilized when working with the student. This information is to be provided on the “Student Information” worksheet for the multidisciplinary team meeting. 

During the multidisciplinary team process, the multidisciplinary team will meet to discuss the data and information provided by the teachers. A school administrator or the reading specialist will facilitate the meeting. Assessment data, background on the student’s previous academic record and the information provided by the regular education teachers on the “Student Information” worksheet will be used by the team in the decision-making process. This information is also used to meet the student’s specific needs by recommending modifications or adaptations to the regular education program, creating interventions to address the problem and monitoring the student’s response to intervention, or to document the need for further evaluation. 

The Student Assistance Team (SAP) is an additional support used by City Charter High School to identify at-risk students. SAP is a cooperative effort with parents in utilizing the support staff, students, and community through contracted services with a variety of healthcare facilities. It is a proactive prevention/intervention program that attempts to provide intervention before school performance is seriously compromised. The SAP Core Team of individuals are trained in the SAP Model and focus on screening/intervention for students who may be experiencing drug and alcohol, depression, and/or family issues, referrals to appropriate agencies or treatment facilities, aftercare for those returning from treatment, and crisis intervention as needed. 
 

Next, a “Permission-to-Evaluate Consent Form” is issued to the parent to sign giving the school district permission to conduct the evaluation. City Charter High School has 60 calendar days to complete the evaluation. After the evaluation is completed, an evaluation report is prepared which includes specific recommendations for the types of intervention necessary to meet the needs of the student and to determine the child’s eligibility for special education services based upon a disability. 

After the evaluation is completed, the parents are given a NOREP, which they sign to indicate their agreement or disagreement with the recommendation. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed for any eligible student requiring specialized services. If it is determined that a student is eligible to receive an appropriate education program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs, these services are provided at no cost to the parent, in compliance with state and federal law, and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. 
 

Teachers who instruct the student will also be in attendance at the IEP meeting. The IEP team may consist of the following individuals: the parent, the student, the CEO and/or Special Education Chairperson (LEA), the school psychologist, a special education teacher, a regular education teacher, community agency representatives, and other individuals and specialists as appropriate. Parents may also invite participants to the team meeting who have knowledge or special expertise regarding their child. The IEP is developed within thirty calendar days of the completion of the Evaluation Report (ER) and implemented within ten calendar days from the IEP meeting date. An IEP meeting is held at least annually after implementation of the initial IEP. 

At the conclusion of the IEP meeting, parents will be presented with a Notice of Recommended Education Placement notice which enables a parent to agree or disagree with the recommended program. If parents disagree with the program recommended, the issue may be taken to mediation or a due process hearing. The parents will be provided with a comprehensive listing of their rights at the IEP meeting. 

Privacy Rights of Students and Parents 

School records are always open and available to a child’s parents/legal guardians, and only the school officials who have a legitimate “need to know” about the child. Confidentiality of information obtained regarding a specific child is protected by federal and state laws. Education records and personally identifiable information cannot be disclosed or released without written parental consent. Information from the records is released to other persons or agencies with appropriate authorization that involves written signed permission by parents. 

City Charter High School protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information regarding exceptional children in accordance with state and federal laws dealing with regular and special education students’ rights and privacy. The foundation of the rights and laws comes from federal legislation titled, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. There are also state rules and regulations dealing with students’ rights and privacy. All students are covered by the regulations contained in Chapter 12 known as Students’ Rights and Responsibilities. 

The basic premise of the above-mentioned laws, rules and regulations is that information about students cannot be disclosed without written parental consent. Educational records consist of information directly related to students which are maintained by an educational agency. Personally identifiable information includes the student’s name, the name of the parent, or other family members, a personal identifier or a list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily traceable. Educational records and personally identifiable information 
cannot be disclosed or released without written parent consent or without student consent if over the age of 18. Disclosure of information means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of educational records, or the personally identifiable information contained in these records, to any party, by any means. The consent must: (1) specify the records that may be disclosed; (2) state the purpose of the disclosure; (3) identify the party or parties to whom the disclosure may be made. 

There is certain information that can be released without consent, which is called directory information. Directory information includes information contained in an educational record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. City Charter High School designates information that is labeled as directory information. It shall include the following: the student’s name, address, date and place of birth, major areas of study, and participation in school related activities, events, or clubs, dates of attendance, awards received, a student’s email address, photograph, and the most recent educational agency attended. 

Chapter 15 Protected Handicapped Students

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 an aspect of the school program. In compliance with state and federal law, City Charter High School, will provide 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. These services and protections for “protected handicapped students” are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs. 

Special Education Programs 

City Charter High School provides a free, appropriate, public education and least restrictive environment to exceptional students. To qualify as an exceptional student, the child must be of school age, must be in need of specially designed instruction, and must meet eligibility requirements for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in Pennsylvania State Standards: autism/pervasive developmental disorder, deaf-blindness, blindness/visual impairment, deafness/hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, neurological impairment, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, and speech/language impairment. 

Services designed to meet the needs of exceptional students include the annual development of an IEP and a re-evaluation as mandated. The IEP Team will consider a student’s learning needs when assigning the student to one of the following instructional groupings: autistic support, blind/visually impaired support, deaf/hearing impairment support, emotional support, learning support, life skills support, multiple disabilities support, physical support, and speech and language support. The extent of special education services and the location of delivery of such services are determined by the parents and staff at the IEP meeting and is based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the intensity of the specific intervention. City Charter High School provides a continuum of services as appropriate. 

 

Confidentiality Policy

Purpose

The Board of Trustees adopts this policy to set forth the requirements and procedures governing the protection of the confidentiality of any personally identifiable data, information, and records collected or maintained by City Charter High School pursuant to Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. (The Act and its implementing regulations are hereinafter collectively referred to as "IDEA,") Specifically, the records and other information covered by this policy include but are not limited to records and information related to initial evaluations and re- evaluations to determine whether a child is a child with a disability as defined herein in accordance with IDEA, individualized education programs (IEPs), and communications related to the same. This policy covers records and information related to children with disabilities, as well as records and information such as evaluations related to children thought to be disabled, regardless of whether a determination is ultimately made that the child is disabled as defined herein in accordance with IDEA. 

The scope of records and information covered by this policy extends to those records collected or maintained by City Charter High School as related to all children within the purview of City Charter High School’s child find obligation, regardless of whether such students are enrolled in the school, and to all students enrolled in approved private schools. 

This policy does not apply to plans for accommodations and services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, nor does it cover personally identifiable information and records related to such plans. However, to the extent that a child is evaluated to determine if he/she is a child with a disability, and the determination is ultimately made that the child is, instead, eligible for a plan under Section 504, all records and personally identifiable information related to the evaluation process are subject to this policy. 
For ease of reference, all records and information covered by the scope of this policy shall be described herein as "special education records." 

For purposes of this policy, records pertaining to special education students that are not directly related to the evaluation of eligibility for, or provision of, special education services, shall be considered "regular education records."

"Regular education records" include, but are not limited to, records related to attendance, discipline, and health records. 
 

Authority 

The Board of Trustees directs the School Administration to follow all of the requirements set forth within this policy as well as any other applicable provisions of IDEA and FERPA not explicitly stated herein, to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at the collection, storage, disclosure and destruction stages. The Board of Trustees further delegates to the School Administration the authority to collect and maintain records in specific locations, and to delegate to specific School personnel the responsibility for collection and maintenance of records and protection of confidentiality of special education records, consistent with the provisions of IDEA and FERPA. 

Definitions 

FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and its implementing regulations. 
Child with a Disability - a child evaluated in accordance with the IDEA as having an intellectual disability, a hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment (including blindness), a serious emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services. 

Destruction - physical destruction or removal of personal identifiers from information so that the information is no longer personally identifiable. 

Parent - a biological or adoptive parent of a child; a foster parent, unless a law of the Commonwealth, regulations or contractual obligations with a Commonwealth or local entity prohibit a foster parent from acting as a parent; a guardian generally authorized to act as the child's parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not the state if a child is a ward of the state); an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or a surrogate parent who has been appointed. 

Biological or adoptive parent must be presumed to be the parent for purposes of this policy unless the biological or adoptive parent does not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the child. 

Personally Identifiable Information - information that contains the name of the child, the child's parent, or other family member; the address of the child; a personal identifier, such as the child's social security number, student identification number or Pennsylvania Secure Identification; or a list of personal characteristics or other information that would make it possible to identify the child with reasonable certainty. 
Student - any child whose personally identifiable information and/or records fall within the scope of this policy, regardless of whether he or she is enrolled within the school. 

Guidelines

RIGHTS, REQUIREMENTS, AND PROCEDURES

1. City Charter High School may disclose personally identifiable information from the education records of a student without written consent of the parent(s)/guardian(s) or the student or the eligible student in several situations for the purpose of making education decisions for the student. 

  • To other school officials, including teachers, counselors or social workers, nurses and related service personnel within the school who have been determined by City Charter High School to have legitimate educational interest or are providing instructions or services to students. 
  • To officials of another school or school system or postsecondary schools in which the student is enrolled. 
  • To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. 
  • Information designated by City Charter High School as Directory Information. 
2. Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent(s)/guardian(s) or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties. 
  • Specified officials for audit and evaluation purposes. 
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student.
  • Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the school.
  • Accrediting organizations.
  • To comply with judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. 
  • State and local authorities, within the juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law. 

  1. Parents shall have all rights as set forth in IDEA and, to the extent applicable, FERPA, and as summarized in this policy, with respect to a student's education records and other personally identifiable information. As set forth in this policy, such rights include: the rights of access to education records; the right to consent or object to disclosure of personally identifiable information; the right to seek amendment of education records; all rights with respect to destruction of personally identifiable information. 
  2. The School Administration shall consult with applicable law, regulations, and the Solicitor if necessary with respect to any potential rights of special education students, including those who have reached the age of majority, relative to education records and other personally identifiable information. 

  1. City Charter High School shall permit parents to inspect and review any education records relating to the child that are collected, maintained, or used by the school. City Charter High School must comply with a request for such inspection and review without unnecessary delay; and before any of the following: a meeting regarding an IEP, a hearing related to a due process complaint filed by a parent or by City Charter High School, or a resolution session. 
  2. The right to inspect and review education records includes:
    a) The right to a response from the City Charter High School to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records; 
    b) the right to request that City Charter High School provide copies of the records containing the information if failure to provide those copies would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review the records; and 
    c) the right to have a representative of the parent inspect and review the records. 
  3. City Charter High School shall maintain and shall provide to parents on request a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained, or used by the School. 
  4. At the discretion of City Charter High School, and for verification and record keeping purposes only, the school may require the parent to put in writing the following: 
    a) An oral request to inspect, review, copy or receive copies of educational records. 
    b) An oral designation of a parent’s representative. 
    c) An oral request for a list of the types and locations of a child’s educational records collected, maintained or utilized by City Charter High School.
  5. The failure of a parent to put in writing any of the above shall not result in the parent being denied the request or the designation of a representative. The failure of a parent to put in writing any of the above shall not result in the parent being denied the request or the designation of a representative. 
  6. City Charter High will not charge a fee to parents or third parties for one copy of education records. 

  1. General Rule - City Charter High School may disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education record only with prior written parental consent.
  2. Exceptions: City Charter High School may disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education record without prior parental consent in the following scenarios:
a. Prior parental consent is not required when personally identifiable information is released to officials of participating agencies for purposes of meeting a requirement of IDEA, with the following exceptions: 

i. prior consent is needed before personally identifiable information is released to officials of participating agencies which provide or pay for transition services; and 

ii. if a child is enrolled, or is going.to enroll in a private school prior consent must be obtained before any personally identifiable information about the child is released between officials in City Charter High School and officials in the private school.

  1. City Charter High School shall keep a record of parties who obtain access to education records collected, maintained, or used under Part B of the IDEA (except as related to access by parents and authorized employees of City Charter High School), including the name of the party obtaining access, the date access is given, and the purpose for which the party is authorized to use the records. 

  1. A parent who believes that information in the student's education records collected, maintained or used under IDEA is inaccurate or misleading or violates the privacy or other rights of the child may request that City Charter High School amend the information. The school shall determine within a reasonable amount of time whether to amend the information. 
  2. If City Charter High School decides to refuse to amend the information, it shall inform the parent of the refusal and shall advise the parent of the right to a hearing, which shall be subject to all conditions of and comply with all requirements of 34 C.F.R. Sections 300.619 through 300.621, or any other controlling regulation(s) that may in the future be in place, including those procedures related to the result of a hearing. 

  1. The Charter School CEO shall designate one official to assume responsibility, on behalf of City Charter High School, for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information that is the subject of this policy. 
  2. Contact the Director of Special Education for any type of breach or concern related to confidentiality. 
  3. The Charter School CEO shall delegate, either to the Special Education Director or to another individual as deemed appropriate by the School Administration, the following duties: 
a) the duty to provide or arrange for training and instruction regarding federal, Commonwealth (if any), and City Charter High School records policy requirements related to the information covered under the scope of this policy.

b) the duty to maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within City Charter High School who may have access to personally identifiable information. 

c) the duty to maintain day-to-day collection and location of special education records in City Charter High School. 

  1. City Charter High School shall inform parents when personally identifiable information collected, maintained or used in accordance with this policy is no longer needed to provide educational services to the child. 
  2. The information must be destroyed at the request of the parents. However, a permanent record of the student's name, address, and phone number, his or her grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year completed may be maintained without time limitation. 
  3. If City Charter High School proposes to destroy personally identifiable information in the records of a student, it shall send written notification to the parents, which shall inform the parents of their right to receive a copy of the material to be destroyed, prior to the destruction of the information. 
  4. This policy shall not require City Charter High School to destroy educational records for a student except upon request of the parent. 
  5. Unless the parent requests destruction of the information, all student education records shall be maintained in accordance with the City Charter High School’s records maintenance policy. 

Secondary Transition Guide  

Your transition from school to adult life is an important series of steps. To help you map out this process, the Bureau of Special Education has developed a website for you, your family and school. The name of the website is “Secondary Transition Guide.” The address for the website is www.secondarytransition.org. 

The website is organized by topics. The topics cover key areas of your secondary transition, including post- secondary education and training, employment and community living. Some of the information on the website suggests important subjects and activities for you to think about, based on your age. The website also has links to other Pennsylvania Agencies and Departments that can help support your transition. You can access the website any time and look for information when it’s important to you. If you cannot access the website, you can request a CD or printed copy of the website’s core documents, available in either English or Spanish, by contacting your school or by calling the Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) at 800-446-5607

Please know that specific questions about your transition from school to adult life can be addressed by your school’s Transition Coordinator or Director of Special Education. 

To learn more, call:

Special Education ConsultLine (800-879-2301, TTY, 800-654-5984
This is a program of the Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, used by parents or parent support organizations to answer questions about school-related concerns, special education, and the complaint system. It is designed to be a one-stop service for parents concerning special education services and programs. 

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, 800-692-7443 Voice, 877- 375-7139 TTY, www.drnpa.org, whose mission is to advance, protect and advocate for the human, civil, and legal rights of Pennsylvanians with disabilities. 

For information and support to parents of children with disabilities, contact the following Pennsylvania, federally-funded projects through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP): 

Parent Education Network (PEN) 800-522-5827, V/TTY www.parentednet.org 

Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center 866-950-1040, V/TTY www.pealcenter.org 

The Mentor Parent Program, Inc. 888-447-1431 or 814-226-4151 www.mentorparent.org 

Hispanos Unidos para Niños Excepcionales (HUNE), Inc. 215-425-6203 Voice, http://huneinc.org 


Resources 

It is important that you and your student fully understand this plan.


Questions or Concerns? 

Contact: 

City Charter High School Special Education Department
Phone: 412-690-2489, Ext. 221

Angela Welch
Education Manager & Assistant Principal
welch@cityhigh.org