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

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.

Gifted Education Services

Referrals for Gifted can be made by the student’s teacher or parent. Parents may, in writing, request a GMDE once per school year.

As a first step in District screening, appropriate staff may review group-based data to determine students who may display gifted characteristics. If an individual request is made, staff members will review the data if that specific student. The second step is a more intense review of various student performance data, such as standardized and criterion referenced test results, curriculum-based assessments and rating scales as well as teacher information that compare the potentially gifted student with the normal peer population. After this more intense review, and after signed parent permission is received by the District, students who are thought to be gifted are referred for a GMDE that includes parent information, an IQ test and Potential valid measures to assess academic functioning, learning strengths, and educational needs. After the GMDE is completed, a Gifted Written Report (GWR) is compiled that recommends whether a student is gifted and is in need of specially designed instruction. Then, a Gifted Individualized Education Program (GIEP) team meeting is convened to determine whether the student is gifted. If the student is deemed to be mentally gifted, a GIEP is developed. Finally, a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) is presented to the parents.

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. Students in the gifted education program are encouraged to compete in area competitions.

Services for Protected Handicapped Students (Chapter 15)

Equal Opportunities for Handicapped Students

Chapter 15
In compliance with state and federal law, the Ambridge Area School District will provide to 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. 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.

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.

For further information, on the Gifted evaluation procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students, contact the Director of Special Education  at 724-266-2833.

Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP)

Once the IEP has been developed, a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) is issued to the parent. The NOREP explains the placement or class recommended for the child and explains the rights of parents. The Ambridge Area School District offers a continuum of educational services designed to meet the needs of eligible students. In addition, related services such as transportation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision support, deaf and hearing support, and speech and language support are available to those students who qualify.

Important Links

Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network

ACHIEVA and the Arc of Beaver


Family Resources for Complex Learners


Section 504 Agreement

A student that does not qualify for special education services under IDEA (an educational law) still may qualify for services under Section 504 (a civil rights law) if the disability is shown to substantially limit his or her educational performance.

A child with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. Accommodations often refer to building accessibility, classroom adjustments and curriculum modifications and may be updated or revised as the need changes.

Special Education (Chapter 14)

Ambridge Area School District provides special education services and programming for children with disabilities in accordance with IDEA, federal regulations, and Chapter 14 of the PA School Code.

Children who meet the criteria set forth in the regulations under the categories of Autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impaired, specific learning disability, speech and language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment including blindness, as determined by a multi-disciplinary evaluation, will be provided a free appropriate public education (programming and related services to ensure that the child receives meaningful benefit from their education at public expense).

Information about how to access these services may be obtained from the Director of Special Education, School Psychologist, Principal, or School Counselor at your child’s school.

Pupil Services Office

Keenan, Rebecca
School Psychologist

Pupil Services

724.266.2833 x7220



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Mills, Rebecca

Pupil Services

724.266.2833 x1242


Miller, Tiffany
School Psychologist

Pupil Services

724.266.2833 x1248