West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School

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CHILD FIND POLICY

CHILD FIND POLICY AND PUBLIC OUTREACH AWARENESS SYSTEM

 

In accordance with Chapter 711 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code, the CEO of the Philadelphia Charter School for the Arts and Sciences at H.R. Edmunds or his/her designee shall ensure that students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated, and that a practical method is developed and implemented to determine which students with disabilities are currently receiving needed special education and related services. 

 

Child Find includes students who are suspected of having a disability under Section 300.8 of the federal regulations that implement IDEA 2004 and those in need of special education, even though they are advancing from grade to grade, and extends to highly mobile students including migrant students, homeless youth and parentally-placed private school students, as appropriate.

In accordance with Chapter 15 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code, Arts and Sciences' ChildFind activities also shall extend to identifying and locating qualified students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, who may need services or accommodations to enable them to attain educational benefits equal to those of non-disabled peers.

Public Outreach Awareness SystemThe CEO or his/her designee shall ensure that public awareness activities occur with respect to programs and services for students with disabilities who attend Arts and Sciences, and for those who apply for admission.

Arts and Sciences shall publish annually a written notice (attached hereto), accessible to all on the school's public website. Such annual notice will provide a description of Arts and Science child identification activities and special education services and programs, the manner in which to request services and programs, potential signs of developmental delays and other risk factors that could indicate disabilities, and the procedures followed by the school to ensure the confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities pursuant to state and federal law. The annual notice also may be made available through a combination of any of the following: in the school's Handbook, in the main office, through the special education department, through generally accessible print or electronic media as appropriate, and/or Board meeting minutes.

Outreach Activities

Arts and Sciences systematically conduct, and shall continue, outreach efforts concerning the availability of special education services and programs, through a combination of any of the following:
 
  • Open Houses;
  • Back to School Night;
  • Parent/teacher conferences;
  • Resources in the school building;
  • Closely working with the local BSU and outside agencies such as Behavioral Health, Center for Autism and CATCH;
  • The Philadelphia Alliance of Charter Schools;
  • Materials mailed home;
  • Staff attendance at events at area schools; and
  • Community Outreach Meetings;
  • Generally accessible print or electronic media as appropriate.
Through these outlets, the CEO or his/her designee shall ensure that the following public awareness activities occur with respect to programs and services for students with disabilities who attend Arts and Sciences:
 
  • Offer parents and family (including foster and surrogate parents) information regarding
  • training activities, and publicize the availability of such various activities to all parents areas such as behavior support, response to intervention, inclusive practices, transition, assistive technology, autism and interagency coordination. Parents also may be directed to PaTTAN training opportunities. Parent input will be sought to determine what parent training is needed or desired.
  • Provide to interested health and mental health professionals, daycare providers, county
  • agency personnel and other interested professionals (including professionals and agencies who work with homeless and migrant or other highly mobile youth and wards of the state), as well as students attending private schools (where applicable), information concerning the types of special education programs and services available at Arts andSciences, and information regarding the manner in which parents can request and access those services.
  • Provide or obtain periodic training for Arts and Sciences' regular education staff and
  • special education staff concerning the identification and evaluation of, and provision of special education programs and services to students with disabilities.
  • The public outreach awareness system utilized by Arts and Sciences will include methods
  •  for reaching homeless students, wards of the state, students with disabilities attending private schools, and highly mobile students, including migrant students.
  • Arts and Sciences will conduct Child Find activities to inform the public of its special education services and programs and the manner in which to request them.
  • Arts and Sciences' Child Find effort will include information regarding potential signs of
  • developmental delays and other risk factors that could indicate disabilities.
  • Arts and Sciences will identify applicants and enrolled students who have a native
  • language other than English and will ensure that notices and other outreach efforts are available to them in their native language, as required by law and unless it is clearly and absolutely not feasible to do so.
Screening
 
The CEO or his/her designee shall establish a system of screening in order to:
 
  • Identify and provide screening for students prior to referral for an initial special education
  • multidisciplinary team evaluation;
  • Provide peer support for teachers and other staff members to assist them in working effectively with students in the general education curriculum;
  • Conduct hearing and vision screening in accordance with the Public School Code of 1949 for the purpose of identifying students with hearing or vision difficulty so that they can be referred for assistance or recommended for evaluation for special education if necessary;
  • Identify students who may need special education services and programs; and
  • Maintain the confidentiality of information in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations.

 

Pre-Evaluation Screening

The pre-evaluation screening process shall include:
 
  • For students with academic concerns, an assessment of the student's functioning in the
  • curriculum including curriculum-based or performance-based assessments, and intervention based on the results of the assessments conducted as well as an assessment of the student's response to the intervention, if applicable;
  • For students with behavioral concerns, a systematic observation of the student's behavior
  • in the classroom or area in which the student is displaying difficulty ("FBA" or functional behavior assessment), and intervention based on the results of the assessments conducted as well as an assessment of the student's response to the intervention, if applicable;
  • For students who may be at risk, as identified by their parents, staff or an outside agency,
  • the Response to Instruction and Intervention ("RtII") process, which is a three-tiered, individualized program utilizing one-on-one and small group instruction as well as customized materials and resources, which may result in the RtII team requesting an a formal evaluation if the student has not made progress in the third tier;
  • A determination of whether or not the assessed difficulties of the student are the result of
  • a lack of instruction or limited English proficiency;
  • A determination of whether or not the student's needs exceed the functional capacity of
  • Arts and Sciences' regular education program, without special education programs and services, to maintain the student at an instructional level appropriate to the level and pace of instruction provided in that program;
  • Activities designed to gain the participation of parents; and
  • Controls to ensure that if screening activities have produced little or no improvement within the normal timeframe after initiation, the student shall be referred for a multidisciplinary team evaluation.
  • The screening activities shall not serve as a bar to the right of a parent to request a multidisciplinary team evaluation at any time. When the completion of screening activities prior to referral for a multidisciplinary team evaluation will result in serious mental or physical harm, or significant educational regression, to the student or others, Arts and Sciences may initiate a multidisciplinary team evaluation/reevaluation without completion of the screening process in accordance with Chapter 711. Whenever an evaluation is conducted without a pre-evaluation screening, the activities described shall be completed as part of that evaluation whenever possible.
 
Process for parents to request special education services and programs. 
 
If a parent would like to request special education services and programs, the parent must write a letter requesting their child to be evaluated for special education services.  Please contact:
 
Dr. Stacy Phillips 
215-476-6471 ext. 113
 
TO THE EXTENT THAT ANYTHING IN THIS POLICY COULD BE CONSTRUED TO CONFLICT WITH THE SCHOOL’S CHARTER OR APPLICABLE STATE AND/OR
FEDERAL LAWS, THE APPLICABLE STATE AND/OR FEDERAL LAWS AND/OR CHARTER CONTROL.