Special Education

The Special Education Office is located on the Second Floor of the Ambridge Area High School.   All visitors must check in at the Security Office on the First Floor at the Main Entrance.

Special Education Plan

The 2020-2023 Ambridge Area School District Special Education Plan is available to download and review here:

Special Education
District Plan

Procedural Safeguards Notice

The Procedural Safeguards Notice includes a full explanation of all the rights available to parents of a child with a disability ages 3-21 when their child has been referred for or is receiving special education services.

Procedural Safeguards
Notice

English as a Second Language

The ESL program is designed to provide non-native English-speaking students with the language skills they need to participate effectively in content area classes. In order to achieve this, ESL instruction addresses the ESL and Pennsylvania Academic Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening to facilitate participation. Another primary objective is to provide a source of support as the student seeks to understand and adapt to the new cultural and academic setting. Responses to a Home Language Survey, given to the family upon registration, determine if an evaluation will be requested. Results of the evaluation, determine if services will be provided. The program helps to ensure the student’s full access to the range of educational opportunities available in the school.

ANNUAL NOTICE: Child Find

In accordance with state and federal law, Ambridge Area School District provides special education services and programming for children with disabilities. The District is responsible for locating, identifying and educating children who are in need of special education.

Special Education Services for School-Age Children with Disabilities

Ambridge Area School District provides a free, appropriate, public education to students with disabilities. To be eligible, 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 the Pennsylvania State Regulations: autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment including blindness.

To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: a review of data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, speech/language screening. Gross motor and find motor skills, academic and social emotional skills are assessed by the teachers and support staff on an ongoing basis. Identified needs from these screening sources, as well as information obtained from parents and outside agencies, are assessed and discussed with parents. Teams of professionals [ie Student Assistance or Child Study] within the student’s school will use the screening information to meet his or her specific needs or to document a need for a further evaluation. When screening results suggest a student might be disabled, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect that their child has a disability may request an evaluation in writing at any time. The evaluation is conducted by a group of qualified professionals who review evaluation materials to determine whether a child meets the eligibility criteria of a student with a disability.

Services designed to meet the needs of disabled students include the annual development of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and an evaluation conducted at least once every three years for students with disabilities or at least once every two years for students who are identified as mentally retarded. Educational services include supportive intervention in the regular class, supplemental intervention in the regular class; a special education resource program; placement in a part-time or full-time special education class in a regular school; placement in a full-time special education class outside of the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for delivery of such services are determined by the IEP team and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, the level of intensity of the specified intervention. The District also provides related services, such as transportation, physical therapy and occupational therapy that are required to enable the student with disabilities to derive educational benefits.

Prior to the initiation and implementation of services, parents of a student with disabilities are presented with a “Notice of Recommended Educational Placement” (NOREP) with which the parent may agree or disagree. If parents disagree with the program being recommended, they have the right to request a pre-hearing conference, mediation, and/or a due process hearing.

Parents may obtain additional information regarding special education services and programs by reaching out to the Student’s Principal, School Counselor, School Psychologist or Direct of Special Education 724-266-2833

Special Services for School-Age Gifted Children

Ambridge Area School District provides individualized educational services to students identified as gifted. To qualify as a gifted student, the student must be of school age, possess outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires specially designed programs and/or supportive services not ordinarily provided in the regular classroom.

To identify students who may be eligible for gifted education, the District conducts ongoing screening activities that include a review of various student performance data such as standardized tests, curriculum-based assessments, rating scales, and teacher observation. When screening results suggest a student might be gifted, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a gifted multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect that their child is gifted may request an evaluation in writing one time per school year. Services designed to meet the needs of gifted students include annual development of a Gifted Individual Education Plan (GIEP), support services and specially designed instruction based on the student’s needs and ability.

Prior to the initiation and implementation of services, parents of a gifted student are presented with a “Notice of Recommended Educational Assignment” (NORA) with which the parent may agree or disagree. If parents disagree with the program being recommended, they have the right to request a pre-hearing conference, mediation, and/or a due process hearing.

The Gifted Support program challenges students in non-conventional areas. Extensive work in problem solving is introduced, coupled with creativity. The classroom provides an intellectual outlet for students with numerous enrichment activities and challenges to engage critical-thinking skills.

Parents may obtain additional information regarding gifted services and programs by reaching out to the Student’s Principal, School Counselor, School Psychologist or Direct of Special Education 724-266-2833

Services for Students in Non Public Schools

Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect that their child is disabled and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary evaluation through written request to the Director of Special Education 724-266-2833

Services for Protected Students with Disabilities

In compliance with state and federal law, Ambridge Area School District will provide to protected disabled students, services or accommodations that 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. In order to qualify as a protected disabled 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 disabled students are distinct from those applicable to students with disabilities enrolled or seeking enrollment in special education programs.

For further information about the evaluation procedures and provision of services to protected disabled students, contact the Director of Special Education at 724-266-2833

Services for Preschool Age Children

Act 212, the Early Intervention Services System Act, entitles all preschool children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services. Young children experiencing developmental delay or physical or mental disabilities are eligible for early intervention services.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to preschool children from ages three through five. For more Information, contact at 412-955-5000.

Confidentiality

The district shall maintain a system of safeguards to protect the confidentiality of students’ educational records and personally identifiable information when collecting, storing, disclosing, and destroying student records. The privacy rights of parents and students are mandated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), state regulations and District policy.

Important Links

Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit
www.bviu.org

Pennsylvania Department of Education
www.education.pa.gov

Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
www.pattan.net

ACHIEVA and the Arc of Beaver

www.achieva.info/beaver

Family Resources for Complex Learners

https://sites.google.com/pattan.net/pattan-significant-cognitive-d/home

Pupil Services Office

Filipowski, Amy
Interim Director of Special Education

Pupil Services

724.266.2833 x1219

afilipowski@ambridge.k12.pa.us

Keenan, Rebecca
School Psychologist

Pupil Services

724.266.2833 x7220

rkeenan@ambridge.k12.pa.us

 

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Mills, Rebecca
Secretary

Pupil Services

724.266.2833 x1242

rmills@ambridge.k12.pa.us

Miller
Miller, Tiffany
School Psychologist

Pupil Services

724.266.2833 x1248

tmiller@ambridge.k12.pa.us