Guidelines for Screening, Evaluating Students
The Moon Area School District is responsible for locating, identifying and educating school-aged students requiring special programs or services. If anyone in the community is aware of a child who is in need of special services and/or programs, please notify the Moon Area School District Director of Pupil Services Michael A. Haslett at 412-264-9440 (ext. 1114).
The district as prescribed by section 1402 of the school code, routinely conducts screenings of a child’s hearing (kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 11th grade), visual acuity (every year beginning with kindergarten), Body Mass Index screening (kindergarten through 12th grade), and screening for speech and language skills (when a referral is made by parent, teacher, or Child Study Team).
Gross motor and fine-motor skills, academic skills, and social and/or emotional skills are assessed by classroom teachers and support staff on an ongoing basis. Screening activities include review of group-based data, such as cumulative enrollment and health records, report cards, and ability and achievement test scores. Identified needs from these screening sources as well as information obtained from parents and outside agencies, are assessed and noted within student records. These school records are always open and available to parents, and only to school officials who have a legitimate “need to know” information about the child. Information from the records is released to other persons or agencies only with appropriate authorization, which involves written permission by parents. Parents who have concerns regarding their student may contact building principals at any time to request a screening or evaluation of their child. Communication with parents and exceptional students shall be in English or the native language of the parents.
If appropriate, screening information will be used by the Child Study Team within the student’s school to meet his/her specific needs or to document the need for further evaluation.
If it is determined that a child needs additional services, the screening team will make adjustments relative to such things as the child’s learning style, behavior, physical inabilities, and speech problems to be more in keeping with traditional classroom expectancies. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the planning and implementation of intervention strategies. If a student does not make expected progress with this assistance, the team can revise the intervention plan or refer the student for a multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE). Parents must provide written informed consent before any evaluations can be completed. The purpose of the MDE is to establish the student’s eligibility and need for special education and/or related services.
After all of the evaluations are completed, an Evaluation Report (ER) will be compiled with parent involvement and include specific recommendations for the types of intervention necessary to deal with the child’s specified needs. When the ER is completed, in accordance with state regulations, a meeting of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team will be scheduled with parent involvement in order to develop a plan for the student who has been found to be eligible for and in need of special education services. Parents of students who suspect that their child is exceptional and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation (MDE) for their child by making a written request to the building principal. Information about early intervention, parent rights, mediation, due process procedures, specific special education services and programs offered by the district and the district’s educational records policy are available upon request from the building principal in each building.
Further information about these procedures may be obtained by contacting Michael A. Haslett, Pupil Services Director, at 412-264-9440 (ext. 1114).
Services for Students in Nonpublic Schools
Special education programs are accessible to nonpublic school students following the multidisciplinary team evaluation, which includes input from nonpublic schools via their attendance, conference calls, or written input for development of an individualized education program (IEP).
Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect that their child is exceptional and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation (MDE) for their child through a written request to the director of pupil services.
Services for Protected Handicapped Students / Chapter 15 Regulations
In compliance with state and federal law, the Moon 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 programs and extracurricular activities to the extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. 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 students with disabilities enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs. To obtain additional information about the evaluation procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students, contact Michael A. Haslett, Pupil Services Director, at 412-264-9440 (ext. 1114).
Services for Preschool Age Children
Act 212, the Early Intervention System Act, entitles all preschool age children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services. Young children experiencing developmental delays or physical or mental disabilities are eligible for early intervention services. The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, which is defined as children from birth through 2 years of age. Contact The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers, Hough Building 2nd Floor, 2801 Custer Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15227 Telephone 412-885-6000. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to preschool age children from ages 3 through 5. For more information, please contact the Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3/ DART Program, 475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120 at 412-394-5736.
Confidentiality of Student Record (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. This notice is Moon Area School District's annual notice of your rights under FERPA. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students." Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
School officials with legitimate educational interest;
Other schools to which a student is transferring;
Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. You can opt out of having your directory information disclosed by notifying your school principal.
Moon Area School District officials include a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist, technology and software companies), bus drivers, food service personnel or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office of General Counsel when performing investigations under the Educator Discipline Act, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service.
Or you may contact us at the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520
If a child transfers to another school system, records will be forwarded after notification of enrollment is received from the new school. High school students’ transcripts will be released to post-secondary or prospective employers with the written permission of the parents or eligible student.
Various non-confidential information can be released to outside agencies. This includes information such as names of academic award winners and athletic team members. If you do not desire this type of information to be released, please notify the building principal in writing. Confidential information such as psychological, psychiatric, and other information regarding students’ special needs may be released only with a written parental request.
According to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, directory information concerning a student may be included in publications such as sports programs, newspapers, radio and television news releases, awards and graduation programs, yearbooks, musical and play programs and other school publications. This directory information may include data relating to a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major fields of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weights and heights of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and other similar information. Parents who wish to have their children exempted from published lists of directory information may do so by informing the principal in writing.
Parents or students may request a copy of Moon Area’s student records policy from the building principal or superintendent’s office. If you would like to see any of these records at any time, please call to make an appointment with the principal. For further information regarding this policy, contact: Barry Balaski, Acting Superintendent, Moon Area School District, 8353 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108.
Retention/Destruction of Exam Related Materials
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
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232h; 34 CFR Part 98) applies to programs that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). PPRA is intended to protect the rights of parents and students in two ways. It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors make instructional materials available for inspection by parents if those materials will be used in connection with an ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation in which their children participate; and it seeks to ensure that schools and contractors obtain written parental consent before minor students are required to participate in any ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning: 1) Political affiliations; 2) Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his/her family; 3) Sex behavior and attitudes; 4) Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior; 5) Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships; 6) Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers; or 7) Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
Parents or students who believe their rights under PPRA may have been violated may file a complaint with ED by writing the Family Policy Compliance Office. Complaints must contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of PPRA occurred.
For additional information or technical assistance, you may call 202-260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. Or you may contact us at the following address: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington D.C. 20202-5920.
Right to Participate: It is required by state and federal law that each year school districts notify parents of students with disabilities that their children have the same right to participate in extracurricular activities as do non-exceptional children. The reaction of most people to this notification is, “Well, I already knew that.” The district is always pleased to hear that reaction, since it is hoped that no distinction is made. Nevertheless, the district wants parents and the public to know that students with disabilities have the right to participate in extracurricular activities.
Services for School Age Students with Disabilities
The School District provides a free, appropriate public education to disabled students according to state and federal mandates. To be eligible, the child must be of school age, need specially designed instruction, and meet eligibility criteria for mentally gifted and/or one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities as set forth in the Pennsylvania State Standards: Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Visual Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury.
Services designed to meet the needs of eligible students include the annual development of an individualized education plan (IEP), triennial multidisciplinary reevaluation (except for those students with intellectual disabilities where reevaluation remains biennial), supportive intervention in the regular class, supplemental intervention in the regular class or in a special education resource program, placement in a part-time or full-time special education class in a regular school or placement in a full-time special education class outside of the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the parents and staff at the IEP team meeting and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the level of intensity of the specified intervention. The school district also provides related services, such as transportation, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, which are required to enable the student to derive educational benefits.
Students receiving special education services, including individuals with disabilities who are enrolled in approved private schools or cross-district placements, are encouraged to participate in the athletic and activity programs offered by the district.
Prior to the initiation of services, parents are presented a “Notice of Recommended Educational Placement” (NOREP) with which they may agree or disagree. If parents disagree with the program being recommended, they have the right to request a pre-hearing conference, mediation, and/or a due process hearing.
Copies of the Procedural Safeguards Notice are issued when the Permission to Evaluate/Reevaluate Form is sent to parents and at each IEP team meeting. Copies of this notice are also available in the offices of each school and at Central Administration.
English as a Second Language Services (ESL)In accordance with federal law and state regulations, the Moon Area School District must identify all students who are English Learners (ELs). These students typically have a primary language other than English that is used in their homes. Students identified with a limited English proficiency are eligible for ESL instructional services to help them attain proficient skills in their use of the written and spoken English language. All students must have a Home Language Survey completed by their parents prior to admission into the school district. This survey allows the Moon Area School District to identify possible English Learners. The ESL teacher will screen any student identified as possibly having a limited English proficiency and will provide direct services to students based on their level of need. Parents or guardians who feel their child may have a limited English proficiency should contact Michael A. Haslett, Pupil Services Director, at 412-264-9440 (ext. 1114) for more information.
Gifted Support Program
The Moon Area School District operates a gifted support (Challenge) program that is available for all eligible students. Chapter 16 Special Education Regulations for Gifted Students in Pennsylvania defines a “mentally gifted” student in the following manner:
Outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires individually designed programs and/or support services not ordinarily provided in the regular education program. This term includes a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher when multiple criteria, as set forth in the Department Guidelines, indicate gifted ability. Determination of gifted ability will not be based on IQ score alone. A person with an IQ score lower than 130 may be admitted to gifted programs when other educational criteria in the profile of the student strongly indicate gifted ability. Determination of mentally gifted ability, along with the need for gifted support is based on the following criteria: the teacher(s) recommendations; the parent recommendations; a student’s recent group achievement test scores; brief IQ assessment/group IQ; recent individually administered ability (IQ) test scores; rates of acquisition and retention; performance, expertise in one or more academic areas; specialized skills, interests, aptitudes (such as high level thinking skills, academic creatively, leadership skills, intense academic interest, communication skills, foreign language aptitude, and technology expertise); and/or other criteria indicating eligibility and need. Determination of mentally gifted shall also include an assessment by a certified school psychologist.
To gather all relevant information prior to determining a student’s eligibility, a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE) must be completed within 60 calendar days of the district’s receipt of the parental permission for initial evaluation. Upon completion of this process, a Gifted Written Report (GWR) will be developed and presented to parents. The GWR will include information related to the student’s strengths and needs as well as make recommendations as to whether the student is gifted and in need of specially designed instructions.
If a student is identified as being mentally gifted, a Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) team, including the parent(s), must convene in order to develop a GIEP within 30 days of issuance of the GWR. The GIEP will outline the planned instruction to be provided for the gifted student. The GIEP is reviewed at least annually for its appropriateness and will include annual educational goals and short-term learning outcomes to help the student achieve the goals. Upon completion of the initial GIEP, parents are presented with a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) with which they can elect to agree or disagree with the district’s proposed program. If agreement between parents and the district cannot be reached, parents may request mediation or an impartial due process hearing.
To obtain additional information about the gifted support program, contact your child’s building principal.
Parent’s Right to Know
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which was signed into law in December 2015 and reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1956 (ESEA). These regulations allow you to learn more about your child’s teachers’ training and credentials. We are happy to provide this information to you. At any time, you may ask:
- Whether the teacher met state qualifications and certification requirements for the grade level and subject he/she is teaching,
- Whether the teacher received an emergency or conditional certificate through which state qualifications were waived, and
- What undergraduate or graduate degrees the teacher holds, including graduate certificates and additional degrees, and major(s) or area(s) of concentration.
You may also ask whether your child receives help from a paraprofessional. If your child receives this assistance, we can provide you with information about the paraprofessional’s qualifications.
The ESSA also includes right to know requests. At any time, parents and family members can request:
- Information on policies regarding student participation in assessments and procedures for opting out, and
- Information on required assessments that include:
- subject matter tested,
- purpose of the test,
- source of the requirement (if applicable),
- amount of time it takes students to complete the test, and
- time and format of disseminating results.
Our staff is committed to helping your child develop the academic knowledge and critical thinking he/she needs to succeed in school and beyond. That commitment includes making sure that all of our teachers and paraprofessionals meet applicable Pennsylvania state requirements.
To obtain this information, please submit your request in writing to Amy Finnegan, HR and Benefits Manager, at the address listed. Each request should include the student’s name, his/her teachers’ names and the school he/she attends. Please be certain to include your name, address and a phone number at which you can be contacted during the day.
Moon Area School District
Attn. Amy Finnegan, Human Resources and Benefits Manager
8353 University Boulevard
Moon Township, PA 15108
412-264-9440 ext. 1153 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure of Interscholastic Athletic Opportunity
Effective July 1, 2012, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 82 of 2012 which requires schools to disclose Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form athletic opportunities for students in grades 7-12. School entities must collect this data for each school year, beginning in the 2012-13 school year. This includes public schools, joint schools, area vocational-technical schools, and all public schools having student athletes in grades 7-12th. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster clubs, alumni and other non-school) contributions and purchases will be collected for each PIAA sports team.
2013-14 Disclosure of Interscholastic Athletic Opportunity