School District Of The City Of York

Special Education

Service/Program Descriptions

Children LearningAutistic Support: Services for students to address needs primarily in the areas of communication, social skills or behaviors consistent with those of autism spectrum disorders. The IEP for these students must address needs as identified by the team which may include, as appropriate, the verbal and nonverbal communication needs of the child; social interaction skills and proficiencies; the child’s response to sensory experiences and changes in the environment, daily routine and schedules; and the need for positive behavior supports or behavioral interventions.

Blind-Visually Impaired Support: Services for students with the disability of visual impairment including blindness, to address needs primarily in the areas of accessing print and other visually-presented materials, orientation and mobility, accessing public and private accommodations, or use of assistive technologies designed for individuals with visual impairments or blindness. For students who are blind or visually impaired, the IEP must include a description of the instruction in Braille and the use of Braille unless the IEP team determines, after the evaluation of the child’s reading and writing needs, and appropriate reading and writing media, the extent to which Braille will be taught and used for the student’s learning materials.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support: Services for students with the disability of deafness or hearing impairment, who require services to address needs primarily in the area of reading, communication, accessing public and private resources or use of assistive technologies designed for individuals with deafness or hearing impairment. For these students, the IEP must include a communication plan to address the language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communications with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode; and assistive technology devices and services.

Emotional Support: Services for students with a disability who require services primarily in the areas of social or emotional skills development or functional behavior.  As part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is developed to implement a Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP) to address social or emotional needs of the student.

Learning Support: Services for students with a disability primarily in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, or speaking or listening skills related to academic performance. Special and general education teachers collaborate on the supports and services for students when accessing the PA Common Core Curriculum and eligible content in the general education setting. Students work in cooperative learning groups as a strategy to assist in learning the grade level content. Services can be delivered in an inclusive setting or individually.

Life Skills Support: Services for students in the K-12 grade range with a disability primarily in the areas of academic, functional or vocational skills necessary for independent living. Transitional services for students at the high school level can include Business/Marketing, Consumer/Service, Construction/Industrial, Processing/Production and Computer/Technology. Functional skills content focus on self-help skills and community awareness toward independent living. In addition, students have the opportunity for on-the-job experiences.

Young Man Packing ItemsMultiple Disabilities Support: Services for students with more than one disability causing a severe impairment in the areas of academic, health, functional or vocational skills necessary for independent living. Focus is given to basic concepts for literacy including science, social studies and literature. Mathematical skills include number concepts, identifying shapes, money and concepts of time. Other related services can include occupational therapy, physical therapy, health services and speech and language. Strategies for communicating can include real objects, sign language, pictures or switch communicators.

Speech and Language Support: Services primarily in the areas of communication or use of assistive technologies designed to provide or facilitate the development of communication capacity or skills. Speech and language pathologists work on the following communication needs: expressive and receptive language skills, social language skills, articulation, fluency, voice, and augmentative communication skills which can include assistive technology devices.

Chapter 15 Services 504 Plan: A student who qualifies for a 504 Plan has a physical or mental impairment that may substantially limit one or more of the following major life activities when compared to other peers. These major life activities could include caring for oneself, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, seeing, learning, walking and hearing. A written agreement sets forth specific related aides, services or accommodations to be provided in the student’s educational setting to the maximum extent possible.

Gifted and Accelerated Program: A student who is mentally gifted has outstanding intellectual and creative ability, whose development requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program. Curriculum or instruction is delivered at an accelerated or enriched level, or both, which are appropriate options. The options provided to gifted students must enable them to learn at different rates, to learn difficult material earlier, and to think at a level different from their classmates.

Annual Public Notice English Version

2016 Annual Public Notice

Annual Public Notice Spanish Version

2016 Annual Public Notice Spanish


Office of Special Education: Frequently Asked Questions

When children are struggling in school, it’s important to find out why. It may be that a disability is affecting your child’s educational performance. If so, your child may be eligible for special education and related services that can help. As a first step, the school may need to try sufficient interventions in the regular education classroom and modify instructional practices before referring your child for special education evaluation.
Special education is instruction that is specially designed to meet the unique needs of children who have disabilities. Special education and related services are provided in public schools at no cost to the parents and can include special instruction in the classroom. This definition of special education comes from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This law gives eligible children with disabilities the right to receive special services and assistance in school. Each of these children receives instruction that is specially designed:
  1. To meet his or her unique needs (that result from having a disability); and
  2. To help the child learn the information and skills that other children are learning   in the general education curriculum.

Children with disabilities are eligible for special education and related services when they meet IDEA’s definition of a “child with a disability” in combination with state and local policies. IDEA’s definition of a “child with a disability” lists 13 different disability categories under which a child may be found eligible for special education and related services.
You can ask the school to evaluate your child. Call or write the Assistant Superintendent of Special Education (Dr. Linda Brown – brownlin@ycs.k12.pa.us) or the principal of your child’s school. Describe your concerns with your child’s educational performance and request an evaluation under IDEA, to see if a disability is involved. The school may also be concerned about how your child is learning and developing. If the school thinks that your child may have a disability, then it will evaluate your child at no cost to you. The school must ask your permission and receive your written consent before it may evaluate your child. Once you provide that consent, the evaluation must be conducted within 60 days (or within the timeframe the state has established). However, the school is not required to evaluate your child just because you have asked. The school may not think your child has a disability or needs special education. In this case, the school may refuse to evaluate your child. If this occurs, it must let you know this decision in writing, as well as why it has refused. This is called giving you prior written notice.
The decision about your child’s eligibility for services is based on whether your son or daughter has a disability that fits into one of the IDEA’s 13 disability categories and meets any additional state or local criteria for eligibility. This decision will be made when the evaluation has been completed, and the results are available. Parents are part of the team that decides a child’s eligibility for special education. This team will look at all of the information gathered during the evaluation and decide if your child meets the definition of a “child with a disability.” If so, your child will be eligible for special education and related services.
If the team decides that your child is not eligible for special education, the school system must tell you this in writing and explain why your child has been found “not eligible.” Under IDEA, you must also be given information about what you can do if you disagree with this decision.
Yes. IDEA’s regulations state that the school may hold the IEP meeting without you if it is unable to convince you that you, as parents, should attend. If neither parent can attend the IEP meeting, the school must use other methods to ensure your participation, including video conferences and individual or conference telephone calls. If, however, you still can’t attend or participate in the IEP meeting, the school may hold the IEP meeting without you—as long as it keeps a record of its efforts to arrange a mutually agreed-on time and place and the results of those efforts. This can be accomplished by keeping detailed records of:
  1. Telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls.
  2. Copies of correspondence sent to you and any responses received.
  3. Detailed records of visits made to your home or work and the results of those visits.

If the school does hold the meeting without you, it must keep you informed about the meeting and any decisions made there. The school must also ask for (and receive) your written permission before special education and related services may be provided to your child for the first time.

No. When holding an IEP meeting, you and the school may agree to use other means of participation. For example, some members may participate by video conference or conferences calls.
Yes. Under IDEA, your child must be reevaluated at least every three years, unless you and the school agree that a reevaluation is not necessary. The purpose of this reevaluation is to find out:
  1. If your child continues to be a “child with a disability,” as defined within the law.
  2. Determine your child’s educational needs.

The reevaluation is similar to the initial evaluation. It begins by looking at the information already available about your child. More information is collected only if the IEP team determines that more information is needed or if you request it. If the group decides that additional assessments are needed, you must give your informed written permission before the school system may collect that information. The school system may only go ahead without your informed written permission if they have tried to get your permission and you did not respond. Although the law requires that children with disabilities be re-evaluated at least every three years, your child may be re-evaluated more often if you or your child’s teacher(s) request it. However, re-evaluations may not occur more than once a year, unless you and the school system agree that a re-evaluation is needed.

You have the right to disagree with the school’s decisions concerning your child. This includes decisions about:
  1. Your child’s identification as a “child with a disability”
  2. His or her evaluation
  3. His or her educational placement
  4. The special education and related services that the school provides to your child

In all cases where the family and school disagree, it is important for both sides to first discuss their concerns and try to reach consensus. Decisions can be temporary. For example, you might agree to try out a particular plan of instruction or classroom placement for a certain period of time. At the end of that period, the school can check your child’s progress. You and other members of your child’s IEP team can then meet again, talk about how your child is doing, and decide what to do next. The trial period may help you and the school come to a comfortable agreement on how to help your child.

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