Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs, Services for Gifted Students and Se
Annual Child Find Notice
Northwestern Lehigh School District
Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs,
Services for Gifted Students and Services for Protected Handicapped Students
Notice to Parents
According to state and federal special education regulations, annual public notice to parents of children who reside within a school district is required regarding child find responsibilities. This notice shall inform parents throughout the school district of the child identification activities and of the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities or eligible young children. In addition to this public notice, the District publishes written information in the handbook and on the web site.
Children ages three through twenty one can be eligible for special education programs and services. If the District identifies a child as possibly in need of such services, the parent or guardian will be notified of applicable procedures. If parents believe that the child may be eligible for special education, the parent should contact the appropriate staff member identified at the end of this public notice. Individualized programming is provided for students who are determined eligible for specially designed instruction due to the following conditions:
- Specific learning disability
- Emotional disturbance
- Intellectual disability
- Hearing impairment including deafness
- Visual impairment including blindness
- Speech or language impairment
- Other health impairment
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Gifted with disability
Preschool Children with Special Needs
Parents who have questions regarding their child’s seeing, hearing, learning, talking, moving about, manipulating objects, understanding, showing emotions, getting along with others, playing with toys, taking care of himself/herself should phone CLIU #21, which offers the Early Intervention Program, a preschool program for children with special needs. The CLIU Early Intervention Program can provide information, screening, evaluation, programs, therapy, parent involvement, and referral to community agencies at no cost to the parent. For further information phone the CLIU #21 at 1-800-223-4821 or 610-769-4111.
Kindergarten screening activities include a review of informal social and health history, developmental areas, functional vision and hearing, and speech and language. Kindergarten screenings are held during the spring at the school district. Further screenings are conducted through the Instructional Support Teams in each school throughout the year for any student that may be in need of special education services. Parents who wish to request screening and evaluation for their child may do so by contacting the principal or counselor in their child’s school building.
Either parents or the school district can request an evaluation. If you believe your school-age child may be in need of special education services you may request screening and evaluation at any time whether or not your child is enrolled in the District’s public school program. Child Find federal regulations also apply to highly mobile children, including migrant children. Requests for evaluation and screening are to be made in writing to the appropriate staff person identified at the end of this public notice. Parents of preschool age children, age three through five, may request an evaluation in writing to Project Connect.
Protected Handicapped Students
The District completes child find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The District will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related services or accommodations that are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities. These services and protections are distinct from those applicable to students receiving, or eligible to receive, special education and related services. To qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be school age with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. For additional information related to Section 504/Chapter 15 services, the parent may refer to Section 504, Chapter 15, and the Basic Education Circular entitled Implementation of Chapter 15.
The District completes child find activities for children who may be eligible for gifted services via 22 PA Code Chapter 16. Either parents or staff may request an evaluation to determine eligibility for gifted services. Parents who believe their child is gifted may send a request for evaluation once per school term, in writing to the appropriate staff members identified at the end of this notice. For additional information regarding gifted services, the parent may refer to 22 PA Code Chapter 16. If a student is both gifted and eligible for Special Education, the procedures in IDEA and Chapter 14 shall take precedence.
School entities cannot proceed with an evaluation or reevaluation, or with the initial provision of special education and related services, without the written consent of the parents. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found at the PaTTAN website, www.pattan.net or at www.nwlehighsd.org. Once written parental consent is obtained, the district will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.
Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified professionals and parents determine whether the child is eligible. If the child is eligible, the individualized education program team meets, develops the program, and determines the educational placement. Once the IEP team develops the program and determines the educational placement, school district staff, intermediate unit staff, or charter school staff will issue a notice of recommended educational placement/prior written notice. Your written consent is required before initial services can be provided. The parent has the right to revoke consent after initial placement.
Confidentiality of Information
All school records are confidential. Personally identifiable information cannot be released without consent, except as permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The District shall ensure the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction states. For additional information related to student records, the parent can refer to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
This notice is only a summary of the Special Education services, evaluation and screening activities, and rights and protections pertaining to children with disabilities, children thought to be disabled, and their parents. For more information or to request evaluation or screening of a public or private school child, contact the responsible school entity listed below. For preschool age children, information, screenings, and evaluations may be obtained by contacting the Intermediate Unit at www.cliu.org.