UDASD Special Education Department
Heather Haupt, Director of Special Education & Student Services
Jodi Stroup, Special Education Secretary
The mission of the Special Education and Student Services Department at Upper Dauphin Area School District is to build programs specifically tailored to meet the needs of our students, while providing a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Both regular education and special education students receive high quality instruction that is research based and scientifically validated. It is designed to address academic needs while at the same time, facilitate their social and emotional development, with a goal of becoming lifelong learners.
PDE Important Policy Change
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has made an important policy change that will provide continued education services to students receiving special education services. This policy change will ensure students can access Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as they are entitled under federal law until their 22nd birthday.
Resources regarding this policy change:
- IDEA-B Policies and Procedure (Revised August 31, 2023) (PDF)
- PENN*LINK Message, August 30, 2023 (PDF)
- Letter to Families, English and Spanish (PDF)
Check out our Resource Page for Parent Training Videos
Child Study Team
Students in need of additional support are initially assisted through a child study process. Meetings are held regularly to analyze students’ learning and/or behavioral difficulties and to develop strategies to help students meet with success in their regular education classes. The child study team is the first line of intervention. If a student is deemed to require additional support, the Child Study Team will recommend an evaluation to determine whether the student is in need of Special Education Services.
Special Education Evaluation
Students who are thought to require special education services will undergo an evaluation to determine eligibility. This evaluation is completed as a result of a referral by the child study team or parental request. The evaluation gathers pertinent information on the child’s performance from teachers, school psychologist, and parents. Information is compiled into a comprehensive evaluation report that includes recommendations on the child’s eligibility for Special Education Services. All information collected is protected in accordance with State and Federal law and by the District’s policy on confidentiality of student records. In order to request an evaluation for a school age child, a parent should contact their child’s Teacher, Guidance Counselor, School Psychologist, Director of Special Education and Student Services, or Principal.
Special Education Services
The Upper Dauphin Area School District provides special education services for all eligible school-aged students. Special education programs are either provided by UDASD, neighboring districts, CAIU, or specialized alternative placements. Services by disability area are as follows:
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Emotional Disturbance
- Deafness/Hard of Hearing
- Speech and Language Impairment
- Visual impairment including Blindness
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Hearing Impairment
Notice of School District Special Education Plan
The school district’s special education plan is an action plan that describes the local Board of School Director’s commitment to ensure that a quality education will be provided to each of its students with a disability eligible for special education, over the upcoming three years. The content of the special education plan describes the special education program and services that are provided within a school district and those special education programs and services which are accessed by the school district from outside the school district’s geographical boundaries.
Each school district shall develop a special education plan aligned with the strategic plan of the school district under § 4.13 (relating to strategic plans). The special education plan shall be developed every 3 years consistent with the 3-year review cycle of the strategic plan of the school district. The Secretary will prescribe the format, content and time for submission of the special education plan. (§14.104(a))
Individualized Education Program
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a customized plan for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised at an annual meeting in accordance with §§300.341-300.350
The IEP is developed to meet the individual needs of the student. The following people may participate in the IEP process:
- Local Education Agency representative (LEA) – Special Education Supervisor and/or Building Principal
- Special Education Teacher
- Regular Education Teacher
- Guidance Counselor (not required)
- School Psychologist (not required)
- Other staff members who work with the child and has a vested educational interest (not required)
The IEP is reconvened annually at a minimum. The team may determine that it is appropriate to meet prior to the annual meeting to address concerns. Also, the IEP may be revised periodically throughout the year with parental consent. There are several components to the IEP:
- Cover Page – Demographic information
- Signature Pages
- 10 Day Waiver
- Age Waiver
- Participation Signature Page
- Procedural Safeguards
- Special Considerations
- Visually Impaired
- Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Communication Needs
- Assistive Technology
- Limited English Proficiency
- Behaviors that impede learning their learning or that of others
- Present Levels
- Academic Achievement
- Functional Performance
- Post-Secondary Transition Goals (if applicable)
- Parental Concerns
- Disability Affects Involvement and Progress
- Transition Services (if applicable)
- Post-Secondary Education
- Independent Living
- Participation in Assessments
- Local Assessments
- Goals and Objectives
- Program Modifications and Specially Designed Instruction
- Related Services
- Supports for School Personnel
- Gifted Support – Students who are twice exceptional
- Extended School Year (ESY) – Eligible students must meet the 7 factors as outlined in Chapter 14.32(2).
- Educational Placement
- Type and Level of Support
- PennData Reporting – The percent of time spent inside the general education classroom.
All staff members working with the student are expected to read the current IEP and implement the plan as listed in the document.
The Upper Dauphin Area School District has an assortment of transition activities that will prepare students for success in their post-secondary experiences. These activities include career and college research, transition assessments, and referrals to community agencies. Exploration of these options will begin by 14 years of age and continues until graduation. Students’ interest and abilities are assessed at the secondary level. UDASD has a Transition Coordinator, Job Coach, and allows opportunities for students to participate in a Co-op experience. They support special education students participating in community-based work experiences and training.
Early Intervention Services
Early Intervention Services are provided by the CAIU for children 3-5 years old who have been identified as being eligible to receive Special Education.
Early Intervention Resources
As a commitment to all students, the Upper Dauphin Area School District adheres to mandates from the Pennsylvania Department of Education regarding Gifted Education. Gifted education is provided to children who meet the criteria described in Pennsylvania School Law and the UDASD District Policy, and requires instruction beyond the regular education curriculum. Opportunities include enrichment, acceleration, and advanced coursework.
An evaluation process is used to identify those students who are in need of specialized gifted support services. When a student meets the criteria, and is in need of specially designed instruction, then a Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) is developed to meet that student’s identified academic areas of strength. The GIEP is created by a team, including parent(s), student’s case manager, student’s teacher(s), an LEA, and any other person who is requested to be present by either the parent(s) or the District.
The GIEP identifies present levels of academic achievement, annual goals, instruction for specially designed instruction, and supports each student in developing individual strengths.
The District’s established procedures for screening and evaluation for gifted education aligns with the Pennsylvania’s Department of Education Chapter 16 provisions. The Evaluation is a systematic process through which the need for gifted education services is determined. Determination of gifted ability is not based on IQ score alone. A person with an IQ score lower than 130 may be eligible to receive gifted education services when other educational criteria in the person’s profile strongly indicate gifted ability.
Multiple criteria indicating gifted ability may include:
• A year or more above grade level achievement.
• Demonstrated achievement, performance, or expertise in one or more academic areas.
• An observed accelerated rate of acquisition of new information with retention.
• Frequent use of high level thinking skills, academic creativity, leadership skills, intense academic interests, communication skills, foreign language aptitude, or technology expertise.
• Evidence that factors, such as gender or race bias, socio/cultural deprivation, disabilities, or limited English proficiency, are masking gifted abilities.
Parent Training Videos:
The Six Principles of Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
3 – What is an IEP?
Videos from the following source: https://www.arcjc.org
- Special Education Plan
- Special Education Data Report
- Parent Guide to Special Education
- The IEP Process – A Toolkit for Parents
- Parent Information – Autism
- Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs
- Psychological and Related Services Available
- Understanding Procedural Safeguards
- Procedural Safeguards Notice for Special Education
- Procedural Safeguards Notice for Special Education (Spanish)
- Extended School Year – Services in Pennsylvania
- Early Intervention Services – CAIU
- What IEP Teams Need to Know – Career and Technical Education
- PA Medical Assistance Billing Notice to Parents
- Parent Networks and Resources – CAIU
- OVR-Letter to Parent
- Pennsylvania Secondary Transition Guide
- Pennsylvania Secondary Transition – PaTTAN
- Autism Transition Handbook
- Secondary Transition Planning – Questions and Answers
- PaTTAN Family Resources for Students with Complex Learning Needs
- Pennsylvania Department of Education COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
- Supporting Student with Disabilities in Virtual Environments (SSDVE)
PaTTAN Initiatives Resources:
- Supporting Student with Disabilities in Virtual Environments (SSDVE)
- Assistive Technology
- Blind-Visual Impairment
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- English Learners
- Family Engagement
- Graduation/Post Secondary
- Inclusive Practices
- Secondary Transition
- Special Education Leadership
- Speech Language
- STEM and Computer Science
- Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
- 07/31/2023 – 08/03/2023 – National Autism Conference Penn State University
- 10/11/2022 – The Biggest Job – UDAMS
- Malcolm and Laura Gauld will be with us to present on their book “The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have”, a book that highlights the importance of families and educators working together to encourage success in students.
- UDASD is providing free childcare, transportation, and refreshments for this event.
- Just RSVP here: https://forms.gle/k2HuYajjCErFx2Qv6
11/09/2022 – Family Support Network Supporting Families of Children with Special Needs
- The Family Support Network recognizes that it can be challenging to attend events when you have a child with challenging behaviors or special needs, so we want to plan.
- Save the Date 11/09/2022 from 6pm-8pm at the Children’s Museum
- Please RSVP at 717-905-2700 by 10/28/22
- 02/15/2022 – Important Essential Planning – At the HEART of an IEP
- 12/01/2021 – Orientation to Deafness and Hearing Loss
- 11/30/2021 – The Office of Dispute Resolution
- 11/05/2021 – Managing Challenging Behaviors – 9:00-11:00 UDAMS
- 09/23/2021 – IBHS, BHT, ABA- What Do These Mean!!
- 08/02/2021 – 08/05/2021 – National Autism Conference
- 08 02/2021 – Routines Based Interventions: Supporting Families
- 07/01/2021 – Social Emotional Development within the Context of Relationships
- 06/01/2021 – The Meaning of Behavior and Appropriate Responding
- 05/11/2021 – Special Education, Equitable Participation & Dual Enrollment: Ensuring Access for All Eligible Students
- 05/03/2021 – Early Intervention: Family Centered Services
- 05/03/2021 – Responsive Routines and Environments
- 04/21/2021 – Engaging Families in Re-Entry Planning
- 04/06/2021 – Special Education, Equitable Participation & Dual Enrollment: Ensuring Access for All Eligible Students
- 03/23/2021 – Office for Dispute Resolution: An Overview
- 02/18/2021 – Managing Your Stress
- 02/11/2021 – Assessments, Evaluations, and Testing in this COVID Environment
- 12/22/2020 – Compensatory Education, Compensatory Services and COVID-19
- 12/02/2020 – How Music Sparks, Soothes. And Optimizes the ADHD Brain in Children
- 12/01/2020 – Building a Feedback Culture in Classrooms & Schools Webinar
- 11/17/2020 – Special Education in a Time of Covid
- 06/04/2020 – Highlighting Resources for Teachers and Parents to Enhance the Continuity of learning During COVID-19 for Children with Disabilities
- 06/02/2020 – Social & Emotional wellness for families during COVID-19
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. School districts (SDs), intermediate units (IUs) and charter schools (CSs) are required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For additional information related to Section 504/Chapter 15 services, parents may refer to Section 504, Chapter 15, and the Basic Education Circular entitled Implementation of Chapter 15. Also, school districts are required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for gifted services via 22 Pa Code Chapter 16. For additional information regarding gifted services, parents 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.
This notice shall inform parents throughout the school district, intermediate unit, and charter school 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, each school district, intermediate unit, and charter school shall publish written information in the handbook and on the web site. Children age three through twenty-one can be eligible for special education programs and services. If parents believe that their child may be eligible for special education, the parent should contact the staff member identified for their school district of residence, listed at the end of this public notice.
Children age three through the age of admission to first grade are also eligible if they have developmental delays and, as a result, need Special Education and related services. Developmental delay is defined as a child who is less than the age of beginners and at least 3 years of age and is considered to have a developmental delay when one of the following exists: (i) The child’s score, on a developmental assessment device, on an assessment instrument which yields a score in months, indicates that the child is delayed by 25% of the child’s chronological age in one or more developmental areas. (ii) The child is delayed in one or more of the developmental areas, as documented by test performance of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on standardized tests. Developmental areas include cognitive, communicative, physical, social/emotional and self-help. For additional information you may contact Eric Bostick, Supervisor of Preschool/Early Intervention, Capital Area Intermediate Unit #15, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 717-732-8400, ext. 8619.
Each school district, intermediate unit, and charter school has a procedure in place by which parents can request an evaluation. For information about procedures applicable to your child, contact the school that your child attends. Telephone numbers and addresses can be found at the end of this notice. Parents of preschool age children, age three through five, may request an evaluation in writing by addressing a letter to Eric Bostick, Supervisor of Preschool/Early Intervention, Capital Area Intermediate Unit #15.
School entities cannot proceed with an evaluation, 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. Once written parental consent is obtained, the district will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, 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, and/or charter school staff will issue a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior Written Notice (NOREP/PWN). 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:
The school districts, intermediate units and charter schools maintain records concerning all children enrolled in the school, including students with disabilities. All records are maintained in the strictest confidentiality. Your consent, or consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under state law, must be obtained before personally identifiable information is released, except as permitted under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The age of majority in Pennsylvania is age 21. Each participating agency must protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages. One official at each participating agency must assume responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information. Each participating agency must maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the agency who have access to personally identifiable information.
In accordance with 34 CFR § 300.624, please be advised of the following retention/destruction schedule for the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA), Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), and Keystone Exam related materials:
- PSSA, Keystone Exam, and PASA test booklets will be destroyed one year after student reports are delivered for the administration associated with the test booklets.
- PSSA and Keystone Exam answer booklets and PASA media recordings will be destroyed three years after completion of the assessment.
For additional information related to student records, parents 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 may be obtained and screenings and evaluations may be requested by contacting the Intermediate Unit. The addresses of these schools are as follows:
Capital Area Intermediate Unit #15
|Loysville Youth Development Center
|SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICES|
|Big Spring School District
|Camp Hill School District
|Carlisle Area School District
|Central Dauphin School District
|Cumberland Valley School District
|Derry Township School District
717-534-2501 opt. 9
|East Pennsboro Area School District
|Greenwood School District
|Halifax Area School District
Lisa M. Slover
|Harrisburg School District
|Lower Dauphin School District
|Mechanicsburg Area School District
|Middletown Area School District
|Millersburg Area School District
|Newport School District
Mary Kay Hunter
|Northern York County School District
|Shippensburg Area School District
|South Middleton School District
|Steelton-Highspire School District
|Susquehanna Township School District
Carrie Martin or Bethany Peters
|Susquenita School District
|Upper Dauphin Area School District
|West Perry School District
|West Shore School District
|COMPREHENSIVE TECHNICAL SCHOOL|
|Dauphin County Technical School
Dr. Jan L. Zeager
|Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School
|Commonwealth Charter Academy
484-656-7741 ext. 12175
|Infinity Charter School
|Pennsylvania STEAM Academy
|Premier Arts and Science Charter School
|Reach Cyber Charter School
Gregory C. McCurdy
|Sylvan Heights Science Charter School
The school entity or charter school will not discriminate in employment, educational programs, or activities based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, handicap, creed, marital status or because a person is a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. No preschool, elementary or secondary school pupil enrolled in a school district, intermediate unit, or charter school program shall be denied equal opportunity to participate in age and program appropriate instruction or activities due to race, color, handicap, creed, national origin, marital status or financial hardship.
PASA 1% Cap
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires Pennsylvania to ensure the total number of students assessed in each subject using the PASA does not exceed one percent of the total number of all students in the state assessed on the statewide assessments. Each local educational agency (LEA) must complete and submit the PASA 1.0 Percent Participation Threshold Justification to BSE if it anticipates that more than 1.0 % of its students enrolled in grades 3-8 and 11 will be assessed using the PASA. A list of LEAs who anticipate exceeding the threshold will be made publicly available on the PDE website, in accordance with 34 CFR 200.6 (c)(3) regulations. LEAs must also make the document publicly available upon request, removing any personally identifiable information. The Upper Dauphin Area School District anticipates exceeding the 1.0 percent threshold for PASA participation for the 2020-2021 testing cycle. The necessary justification information has been submitted to the Bureau of Special Education. Questions on the Upper Dauphin Area School District’s participation rates should be directed to:
Director of Special Education & Student Services