Students who are not demonstrating progress within the regular education program at Russell Byers Charter School are referred to the Comprehensive Student Assistance Program (CSAP) team for further screening, observation, intervention, and monitoring as necessary. The CSAP team may include the classroom teacher(s), the school psychologist, the special education coordinator, the assistant principal, the school nurse, and the parent/guardian. After referral to the team, an observation of the child and interview with the child's teacher is usually conducted. Strengths and needs of the student are identified. Modifications and interventions for the classroom, and ideas for communication with parent/guardian, are discussed. The child's performance in the area(s) of concern is documented and monitored for one month to determine if additional targeted interventions are necessary.
If a student does not demonstrate progress with interventions and modifications, the special education coordinator refers the student to the school psychologist for an academic or behavioral screening, which consists of a battery of assessments designed to further identify a student's strengths and needs, as compared to grade level peers. The screening also helps identify which targeted interventions might be most beneficial to a particular student. When the screening is completed, the school psychologist contacts the parent/guardian to schedule a parent/team meeting to review the results and discuss the recommendations for home and school.
If it is determined that a student may be in need of individual accommodations, such as modifications and/or specially designed instruction in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the special education coordinator contacts the parent/guardian to discuss the multidisciplinary evaluation process and procedural safeguards. Permission to Evaluate form and Procedural Safeguards Notice are issued, and the multidisciplinary evaluation process is initiated in accordance with IDEA and State regulations.
The multidisciplinary evaluation team (including parent/guardian) produces an Evaluation Report (ER) and determines eligibility for special education services. The team reconvenes to review the ER and develop an IEP, which is a legal document describing the student's strengths and needs, present level of educational functioning, and recommended services, modifications, and specially designed instruction.
The special education program provides a variety of supports and services to students who have been evaluated and identified as eligible for special education in accordance with IDEA, Section 504, and the provision of Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Special education services include, but are not limited to, specially designed instruction in reading, math, writing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language therapy, counseling, social skills groups, and behavior support. Provision of services occurs in the least restrictive environment, which is usually the student's regular education classroom. When recommended by the IEP team, services are also provided in the special education or therapy room. The special education program abides by federal/state regulations and timelines for the completion of the evaluation process, development of the IEP, and implementation of services within the least restrictive environment.
For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network