Special Education Services
The East Penn School District provides special education and related services to resident children with disabilities who are ages three through twenty-one.
Special education services are provided in accordance to the educational needs of the child, not the disability category. The district operates programs in all of its schools for students who have learning disabilities or other mild impairments. There are also district-operated programs for students with autism and emotional disturbance. The district provides Speech/Language Services through ten clinicians. The special education programs in the district include classes at the following locations:
Special Education Programs
Emmaus High School
|Lincoln Elementary School|
|17 Learning Support Classes||
3 Learning Support Classes
|2 Emotional Support Classes|
|2 Autistic Support Classes||Macungie Elementary School|
|3 Learning Support Classes|
|Lower Macungie Middle School||1 Autistic Support Classes|
|9 Learning Support Classes|
|Shoemaker Elementary School|
|Eyer Middle School||
2 Learning Support Classes
|7 Learning Support Classes||2 Emotional Support Classes|
|2 Autistic Support Classes|
|2 Emotional Support Classes||Wescosville Elementary School|
|3 Learning Support Classes|
|Alburtis Elementary School||4 Autistic Support Classes|
|1 Learning Support Class|
|Willow Lane Elementary School|
|Jefferson Elementary School||4 Learning Support Classes|
|1 Learning Support Class|
The Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21 (IU #21) educates more moderately and severely disabled students in several public schools within the two counties. Three Life Skills classes that are operated by the Intermediate Unit are located in the East Penn School District. IU #21 staff provides related services in the areas of vision, hearing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and orientation-mobility training.
The Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21 provides early intervention services for children ages 3 to school age if identified as developmentally delayed and/or in need of special education services. These services are available to any East Penn resident. For screening and identification procedures, parents should contact the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21 at (610) 769-4111.
Students eligible for services as gifted learners are identified through a comprehensive screening/evaluation process available in grades kindergarten through twelve. Learning experiences are extended and/or accelerated on the basis of demonstrated need by three teachers at the elementary level and two teachers at the middle school level working in collaboration with the general education teachers. At the high school level, three full-time gifted case managers and the guidance counseling staff provide support services for identified students who may take honors courses, advanced placement courses or specially designed courses taught by the teacher of the gifted.
EVALUATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITES
If a parent believes that their child may have a disability, they should write to the principal of their child’s school. There are procedures in the district by which teams of teachers and parents can meet to discuss any concerns and proceed to evaluation steps if necessary. Any formal evaluations proposed by the district require parental consent. If a child is found to be disabled and in need of special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed with parental participation. In compliance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Pennsylvania State Special Education Regulations, parents are ensured of confidentiality of all appropriate student and family information.
Students who have a disability and do not qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may need accommodations under the ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA). These students will be evaluated to determine what accommodations may be needed to allow them access to any school-related activity. Interested parent should write a letter to the principal of their child’s school.
For more information on services for students with disabilities, please review the Student Services section on the district website.
INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION
According to Part 300 of the Federal Regulations § 300.502 parents may obtain an independent educational evaluation at the school district’s expense if they disagree with the evaluation completed by the school district. An Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not an employee of the East Penn School District. Parents may be eligible to receive an IEE at the school district’s expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation the district has conducted. A request for an IEE must be made in writing to the Director of Special Education within one year of the date issued on the district’s evaluation report.
In the context of an IEE, evaluation means the procedures to determine whether a child is a child with a disability and in need of special education or specially designed instruction and related services.
The East Penn School District will grant requests for IEEs, at district expense, only in extraordinary circumstances. The district will notify the parents, in writing, of its approval or disapproval of the request. Failure to comply with the criteria listed in the Independent Evaluation procedure will result in a denial of the parent’s request for an IEE at district expense.
If a parent requests an independent education evaluation at the school district’s expense, or if the parent requests that the district reimburse them for an independent educational evaluation already completed, the school district will, without unnecessary delay either: (i) Initiate a due process hearing (under 300.507) to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or (ii) Ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at the school district’s expense.
For more information on the IEE procedure, please review the Student Services section the district website.
The district employs twenty-one school counselors. Nine are assigned at the Emmaus High School, three at the Lower Macungie Middle School and three at the Eyer Middle School. The district has six counselors employed at the elementary level.
Eight certified school nurses are employed throughout the district. Thirteen licensed health room assistants assist them.
The district employs six school psychologists who provide a variety of services to students. The psychologists are responsible for evaluations to determine students’ disabilities and need for special education services. Psychologists also consult with general and special education teachers for academic and behavioral interventions, ADHD evaluations and 504 service agreements. In addition, the psychologists maintain the EPSD Tip Line (610 966-8400), consult with counselors and intervene with students in crisis.
STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SAP)
The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a state mandated program available in all secondary schools in Pennsylvania. Trained teachers, counselors, nurses and administrators work together to help students whose behaviors seem to present a barrier to successful learning. Referrals to help students can be made by parents, teachers, students or any member of the school community. Self-referrals are also accepted. Those barriers to learning and school success might include drug and/or alcohol abuse and behavioral concerns as well as other related factors. SAP is not a disciplinary program and it is not a treatment program. It is an early intervention program. SAP members attempt to identify barriers and provide avenues for students and parents to receive help.