Special Education Plan 2015-2018

District Level Planning Overview

Demographics

Forest City Regional SD

Address:

100 Susquehanna Street
Forest City, PA 18421

Phone Number:

(570)785-2400

Phase:

Phase 3

Superintendent Information

Name:

Jessica Aquilina

E-mail address:

jaquilina@fcrsd.org

Director of Special Education Information

Name:

Donna Potis

E-mail address:

dpotis@fcrsd.org

 

Planning Committee

·  Peter Jordan – Administrator

Appointed to the Professional Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

Appointed to the Special Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

·  Joni Kopa – Ed Specialist - School Psychologist

Appointed to the Professional Education subcommittee by:

Educational Specialist

Appointed to the Special Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

·  Kim Kurtus – Parent

Appointed to the Professional Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

Appointed to the Special Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

·  Michele Lesjack – Elementary School Teacher - Special Education

Appointed to the Professional Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

Appointed to the Special Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

·  Bridget Moran – Secondary School Teacher - Special Education

Appointed to the Professional Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

Appointed to the Special Education subcommittee by:

Administrator

 

Special Education Students

Identify the total number of unduplicated special education students.


Total students identified: 128


Identification Method

Identify the District's method for identifying students with specific learning disabilities.


The Forest City Regional School District currently utilizes the ability/achievement discrepancy models in identifying a student with specific learning disability throughout the district.  The discrepancy model measures the gap between a students cognitive ability and a students achievement level as evidenced by performance on a standardized academic achievement assessment. In addition, the district rules out the lack of exposure of research based instruction by highly qualified teacher in the areas of reading and math as the primary cause of academic performance. Forest City also have in place Child Find procedures and a referral process that begins prior to formal Kindergarten enrollment though a screening process.Forest City Regional also uses Response to Intervention strategies at the elementary level and incorporates  I/E (intervention and enhancement) period every day for each grade level. Weekly Child Study meetings are held at each level in the  District. All students referred to child study are considered at risk and an educational team prescribes a plan of intervention and monitors the progress of the intervention.The teams develops an Action PLan for the student, data is collected, interventions are progress monitored for a specific lengthen of time.  The child study team consists of special education supervisor, guidance counselor, principal, teachers and parents when necessary.


Enrollment

Review the Enrollment Difference Status. If necessary, describe how your district plans to address any significant disproportionalities.

The data is publicly available via the PennData website. You can view your most recent report. The link is: http://penndata.hbg.psu.edu/BSEReports


A review of our data for the 2011 - 2012 school year does not indicate a 10% difference in the LEA and State


Non-Resident Students Oversight

1.    How does the District meet its obligation under Section 1306 of the Public School Code as the host District at each location?

2.    How does the District ensure that students are receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE)?

3.    What problems or barriers exist which limit the District's ability to meet its obligations under Section 1306 of the Public School Code?


There are no facilities that house students under Section 1306 of the Public School Code


Incarcerated Students Oversight

Describe the system of oversight the District would implement to ensure that all incarcerated students who may be eligible for special education are located, identified, evaluated and when deemed eligible, are offered a free appropriate public education (FAPE).


Presently FCRSD does not have any students that are incarcerated.  In the event that this would occur, the LEA would work with Lackawanna, Wayne or Susquehanna probation and court system or school districts where the facility is located to ensure FAPE. The NEIU #19 provides services to students that are incarcerated in Lackawanna County and notifies the district when students are placed.  The same is for Wayne and Susquehanna counties.


Least Restrictive Environment

1.    Describe the District procedures, which ensure that, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including those in private institutions, are educated with non-disabled children, and that removal from the regular education environment only occurs when education in that setting with supplementary aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

2.    Describe how the District is replicating successful programs, evidence-based models, and other PDE sponsored initiatives to enhance or expand the continuum of supports/services and education placement options available within the District to support students with disabilities access the general education curriculum in the least restrictive environment (LRE). (Provide information describing the manner in which the District utilizes site-based training, consultation and technical assistance opportunities available through PDE/PaTTAN, or other public or private agencies.)

3.    Refer to and discuss the SPP targets and the district's percentages in the Indicator 5 section - Educational Environments. Also discuss the number of students placed out of the district and how those placements were determined to assure that LRE requirements are met.


Monitoring and developing strategies for students  who are at risk begins with the child study team that meets weekly.  The team develops strategies which are implemented to address struggling students with special needs to support them in regular education classrooms. If the student is struggling to meet success, an action plan is developed and the team meets weekly to monitor the students progress with the plan. LRE is also the first consideration in planning a students program with supplementary aids and services. FCRSD is an inclusive environment.  Removal from the regular education program only occurs after all interventions and supplementary aids and services have been addressed and data is reviewed by the child study team.  The MDT considers all factors when a student is found eligible for special education services.  Co-teaching focusing on differentiated instruction are available to support maximum integration. All staff, both regular and special education staff have attended the Co-teaching Academy, trained at the NEIU#19 as  well on site training. I have also completed the Special Education Fellowship Program that includes training in the LRE and have shared that information with staff at staff meetings and in house training.  Presently, we have very few students that are being educated outside the district. Students with Multiple Disabilities, Autism or serve behaviorial issues are the only ones that are not being education in their home district.  Since there are so few of them, we do not have enough to generate a program in our home district.   A review of Indictor 5 states SE inside Regular class less than 40% of the time, we did not meet.  The district has a Partial Hospitalization Program in our district that restricts the amount of time a student can be in regular classes. However, we begin including them as soon as possible which is determined by the Partial Hospitalization Team.  The amount of students that we have in that program varies from year to year, this year we only have one.  However, since were are such a small district if we have 4 or 5 students in that program it reflects on our LRE. However, in this same year we exceed the LRE for inside regular education class 80% or more the state average of 66.2% with the district reflecting 77.0%


Behavior Support Services

Provide a summary of the District policy on behavioral support services including, but not limited to, the school wide positive behavior supports (PBS). Describe training provided to staff in the use of positive behavior supports, de-escalation techniques and responses to behavior that may require immediate intervention. If the district also has School-Based Behavioral Health Services, please discuss it.


Last year the district developed a team and implemented a  School Wide Positive Behavior Support Program (WEB).  It is an on going training with the NEIU#19#19 consultants meeting with our team on site and monitoring our progress.  The teachers with assistance from the IU have developed our plan, collect data on behaviors and plan interventions along with child study team.

The District has two board policies regarding behavioral support for students with disabilities. Positive Behavior Support  and Discipline of Students with Disabilities. Students with disabilities shall be educated in the least restrictive environment and shall only be placed in settings other than a regular education class when the nature or severity of the students disability is such that eduction in the regular education class with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.   The IEP team shall develop a positive behavior support plan if the students requires specific interventions to address behavior that interferes with learning.  The identification, evaluation and plan or program shall be conducted and implemented in accordance with state and federal law. The Board directs that the districts behavior support programs shall be based on positive rather than negative behavior techniques to ensure that the student shall be free from demeaning treatment and unreasonable use of restraints or other aversive techniques. Staff shall be provided regular training and retraining as needed in use of specific procedures, methods and techniques including de-escalation, restraints and seclusion that will be used to implement positive behavior supports or interventions in accordance with students IEP and Board policy.  In addition, students, parents and staff have been trained using Rachels Challegne and Olweus.  Also, in the elementary as well as the high school we have a School Base Therapeutic Program


Intensive Interagency/Ensuring FAPE/Hard to Place Students

1.    If the LEA is having difficulty ensuring FAPE for an individual student or a particular disability category, describe the procedures and analysis methods used to determine gaps in the continuum of special education supports, services and education placement options available for students with disabilities.

2.    Include information detailing successful programs, services, education placements as well as identified gaps in current programs, services, and education placements not available within the LEA. Include an overview of services provided through interagency collaboration within the LEA.

3.    Discuss any expansion of the continuum of services planned during the life of this plan.


 Historically,FCRSD has minimal  difficulty providing FAPE for our students.  Adhering to LRE, the majority of our students with disabilities are serviced  within our district.  However, should we encounter difficulty in ensuring FAPE for a student, the district request assist would utilize the interagency process of collaborative consultation with our local IU#19, community agencies and parents to address programming concerns. The district would also request the assistance of the CASSP (County Child and Adolescent Service System Program) coordinator when there is increased difficulty in locating appropriate programming for a student. This system has worked successfully throughout the years and we would continue on this path. We have contracts with NHS, Mental Health, Behavior Health and Drug and Alcohol providers  We have participated in public hearings in Wayne county to be prepared if we faced any issues. Often we drive our students and families to appointments or have supplied them with funds to attend any appointments. However, if a student is placed in a residential treatment facility, we continue to participate in their program and follow their progress.  Of course, we pay for the education costs of that student.


Strengths and Highlights

Describe the strengths and highlights of your current special education services and programs. Include in this section directions on how the district provides trainings for staff, faculty and parents.


The strengthen of our program are the staff that  are dedicated professionals who think outside the box to provide the best possible educational experience for all our students.  In addition, our superintendent allows the opportunity to be innovative with our programming and the board support to implemented unique programs.  For instance, this year we put a workable apartment in our high school to allow our life skills students to experience real world experiences and to sharpen their functional skills. This has also given them an extraordinary opportunity to be part of their home school experience. Building the  apartment was a labor of love that incorporated all staff and parents.  In addition, this year we are establishing a functional business within our school that will be run, operated by all students including the Life Skill students.  The store will also be open to the public one or two nights a week, again run by students with staff support..  The store is in the planning strategies with all aspects of it being developed by students with teachers as facilitators.  Educating our special needs students at FCRSD is truly a team effort. We have are own school psychologist, 3 guidance counselors and contracts with NHS to deliver mental health services in our elementary as well as the high school   We have a progressive technology program where every student in grades from 7 to 12 have their own lab top computer to use in school and take home.  There is on going training for all staff to do flip classrooms and to use the technology to enhance student learning and achievement. We have a high degree of integration of all students in regular education programs, they are included in all extra-curricular activities as well.  The district holds a Transition Fair yearly with 3 or 4 other districts joining us to offer information to all our students. In addition, we have speakers and trades professionals meeting with our students on a monthly basis.  We offer parent training at IEP meetings, doing open house as often as possible.  We are a small rural community that the school is the hub of the town which benefits our students and staff.  There are professional development throughout the year on a variety of subject matter.

Special Education Assurances

The Local Education Agency (District) has verified the following Assurances:

  • Implementation of a full range of services, programs and alternative placements available to the school district for placement and implementation of the special education programs in the school district.

  • Implementation of a child find system to locate, identify and evaluate young children and children who are thought to be a child with a disability eligible for special education residing within the school district's jurisdiction. Child find data is collected, maintained and used in decision-making. Child find process and procedures are evaluated for its effectiveness. The District implements mechanisms to disseminate child find information to the public, organizations, agencies and individuals on at least an annual basis.

  • Assurances of students with disabilities are included in general education programs and extracurricular and non-academic programs and activities to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with an Individualized Education Program.

  • Compliance with the PA Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education's report revision notice process.

  • Following the state and federal guidelines for participation of students with disabilities in state and district-wide assessments including the determination of participation, the need for accommodations, and the methods of assessing students for whom regular assessment is not appropriate.

  • Assurance of funds received through participation in the medical assistance reimbursement program, ACCESS, will be used to enhance or expand the current level of services and programs provided to students with disabilities in this local education agency.

·  Carbondale Area School District

Type of Facility:

Neighboring School Districts

Type of Service:

AL

Number of Students Placed:

1

·  Jefferson Center

Type of Facility:

Special Education Centers

Type of Service:

AS, LS,

Number of Students Placed:

4

·  NHS Intensive Care

Type of Facility:

Special Education Centers

Type of Service:

Emotional Support

Number of Students Placed:

1

·  Program Position #1

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Elementary

An Elementary School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Itinerant

Learning Support

10 to 13

24

1

Justification: Teacher is Learning Support for Students spanning 4th grade to 5th and they are never with her at the same time

·  Program Position #2

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City Elementary

An Elementary School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Itinerant

Learning Support

8 to 10

15

1

·  Program Position #3

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City High School

A Junior/Senior High School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Itinerant

Learning Support

17 to 18

11

1

·  Program Position #4

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City School District

A Junior/Senior High School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Itinerant

Learning Support

12 to 14

12

1

·  Program Position #5

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Proposed Program Information

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City Regional School District

A Junior/Senior High School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Full-Time Special Education Class

Life Skills Support

15 to 16

3

1

·  Program Position #6

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City Regional

A Junior/Senior High School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Full-Time Special Education Class

Life Skills Support

15 to 16

3

1

·  Program Position #7

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City Regioanl

A Junior/Senior High School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Itinerant

Learning Support

12 to 14

12

1

·  Program Position #8

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City Regional

A Junior/Senior High School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Itinerant

Learning Support

15 to 17

18

1

·  Program Position #9

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·  Program Position #10

Operator:

School District

Program Details

Details have not been provided.

Location/Building

Grade

Building

Type

Support

Service

Type

Age Range

Caseload

FTE

Forest City Regional

An Elementary School Building

A building in which General Education programs are operated

Itinerant

Learning Support

6 to 9

15

1

 

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

Elememtary

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

0.5

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

Elementary

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

0.5

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

Elememtary

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

0.5

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

Elememtary

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

0.5

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

Elememtary

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

0.5

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

Elememtary

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

0.5

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

Elememtary

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

0.5

  • Paraprofessional

Location:

High School

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

1

  • School Psychologist

Location:

District Wide

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

1

  • Special Education supervisor

Location:

District wide

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

1

  • Speech Therapist

Location:

Forest City Regional Elementary and High School

Teacher Full Time Equivalent:

1

 

  • Occupational Therapist

Operator:

Intermediate Unit

Amount of Time per Week:

1 Days

  • Orientation and Mobility

Operator:

Intermediate Unit

Amount of Time per Week:

30 Minutes

  • Teacher of the Hard of Hearing

Operator:

Intermediate Unit

Amount of Time per Week:

1 Days

  • Vision Therapy

Operator:

Intermediate Unit

Amount of Time per Week:

1 Days

 

Special Education Personnel Development

Autism

Description:

Each school the special education teachers, paraeducators and parents working with students on the Spectrum will receive on going consultation and training.

Manding, Instructional pacing effective transitions and integration, Positive Behavior Support Plans

Person Responsible:

Donna Potis

Start Date:

10/6/2015

End Date:

6/6/2018

Proposed Cost/Funding:

  • 2015–2018: $0.00 funded by 010 - ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGET

Program Area(s):

Special Education

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DETAILS

Hours Per Session:

2.0

# of Sessions:

3

# of Participants Per Session:

8

Provider:

NEIU

Provider Type:

IU

PDE Approved:

Yes

Knowledge Gain:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

Research & Best Practices Base:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

For classroom teachers, school counselors and education specialists:

  • Enhances the educator’s content knowledge in the area of the educator’s certification or assignment.
  • Increases the educator’s teaching skills based on research on effective practice, with attention given to interventions for struggling students.
  • Provides educators with a variety of classroom-based assessment skills and the skills needed to analyze and use data in instructional decision-making.
  • Empowers educators to work effectively with parents and community partners.

For school or LEA administrators, and other educators seeking leadership roles:

  • Provides the knowledge and skills to think and plan strategically, ensuring that assessments, curriculum, instruction, staff professional education, teaching materials and interventions for struggling students are aligned to each other as well as to Pennsylvania’s academic standards.
  • Provides leaders with the ability to access and use appropriate data to inform decision-making.
  • Instructs the leader in managing resources for effective results.

Training Format:

LEA Whole Group Presentation

Participant Roles:

  • Classroom teachers
  • Principals / Asst. Principals
  • School counselors
  • Paraprofessional
  • New Staff
  • Other educational specialists
  • Parents

Grade Levels:

  • Elementary - Primary (preK - grade 1)
  • Elementary - Intermediate (grades 2-5)
  • Middle (grades 6-8)
  • High (grades 9-12)

Follow-up Activities:

  • Creating lessons to meet varied student learning styles
  • Lesson modeling with mentoring
  • Joint planning period activities

Evaluation Methods:

  • Classroom observation focusing on factors such as planning and preparation, knowledge of content, pedagogy and standards, classroom environment, instructional delivery and professionalism.
  • Student PSSA data
  • Participant survey
  • Review of participant lesson plans

Reading NCLB #1

Description:

Each year special education teachers will receive training from the consultants and trainers of the direct instruction reading programs utilized in the special education program.   The program include: SRA Reading Mastery and Corrective Reading, Edmark and Trophies.  Each year the special education will receive training on progress monitoring of IEP goals to monitor educational benefit to include: DIEBELS.  Evidence that action step was implemented will be documented on teachers logs.

Person Responsible:

Donna Potis

Start Date:

10/6/2015

End Date:

6/5/2018

Program Area(s):

Professional Education, Special Education

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DETAILS

Hours Per Session:

9.0

# of Sessions:

3

# of Participants Per Session:

8

Provider:

Education Consultants and Trainers, Supervisor of Special Education

Provider Type:

IU

PDE Approved:

Yes

Knowledge Gain:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

Research & Best Practices Base:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

For classroom teachers, school counselors and education specialists:

  • Enhances the educator’s content knowledge in the area of the educator’s certification or assignment.
  • Increases the educator’s teaching skills based on research on effective practice, with attention given to interventions for struggling students.
  • Provides educators with a variety of classroom-based assessment skills and the skills needed to analyze and use data in instructional decision-making.

For school or LEA administrators, and other educators seeking leadership roles:

  • Provides the knowledge and skills to think and plan strategically, ensuring that assessments, curriculum, instruction, staff professional education, teaching materials and interventions for struggling students are aligned to each other as well as to Pennsylvania’s academic standards.
  • Provides leaders with the ability to access and use appropriate data to inform decision-making.
  • Empowers leaders to create a culture of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on learning.
  • Instructs the leader in managing resources for effective results.

Training Format:

Series of Workshops

Participant Roles:

  • Classroom teachers
  • Paraprofessional
  • New Staff

Grade Levels:

  • Elementary - Primary (preK - grade 1)
  • Elementary - Intermediate (grades 2-5)
  • Middle (grades 6-8)

Follow-up Activities:

  • Analysis of student work, with administrator and/or peers
  • Creating lessons to meet varied student learning styles
  • Peer-to-peer lesson discussion
  • Lesson modeling with mentoring

Evaluation Methods:

  • Classroom observation focusing on factors such as planning and preparation, knowledge of content, pedagogy and standards, classroom environment, instructional delivery and professionalism.
  • Student PSSA data
  • Classroom student assessment data

Behavior Support

Description:

Each year all faculty and staff in the special education department will receive training on the districts Behavior Management Policies.  Trainint will include classroom and behavior management, functional behavior assessment, positive behavior support plans, deescalation techniques and safe crissi management. Staff as targeted by need in their program will receive descalation and restraint traing by a CPI specialist. Evidence that the action step was implemented will be documented in professional development logs.  In addition, participatents passing the assessment will receive CPI certificates.

Person Responsible:

Donna Potis

Start Date:

10/9/2015

End Date:

6/5/2018

Program Area(s):

Special Education

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DETAILS

Hours Per Session:

3.0

# of Sessions:

9

# of Participants Per Session:

8

Provider:

Special education Supervisor, CPI certified instructor

Provider Type:

IU

PDE Approved:

Yes

Knowledge Gain:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

Research & Best Practices Base:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

For classroom teachers, school counselors and education specialists:

  • Enhances the educator’s content knowledge in the area of the educator’s certification or assignment.
  • Increases the educator’s teaching skills based on research on effective practice, with attention given to interventions for struggling students.

For school or LEA administrators, and other educators seeking leadership roles:

Empowers leaders to create a culture of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on learning.

Training Format:

  • Series of Workshops
  • Department Focused Presentation

Participant Roles:

  • Classroom teachers
  • Principals / Asst. Principals
  • Paraprofessional
  • Related Service Personnel

Grade Levels:

  • Elementary - Primary (preK - grade 1)
  • Elementary - Intermediate (grades 2-5)
  • Middle (grades 6-8)
  • High (grades 9-12)

Follow-up Activities:

Other: Review of FBAs and PBPSs

Evaluation Methods:

Other: Assessment Certification of CPI


Paraprofessional

Description:

Each year all paraprofessional will receive training in the following areas;   Technology, Assessments (PSSA, Keystone and DEBILES) Bullying, Safety, Disabilities. Evidence that action step was implemented will be documented in training logs.

Person Responsible:

Donna Potis

Start Date:

8/28/2015

End Date:

6/5/2018

Program Area(s):

Special Education

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DETAILS

Hours Per Session:

1.0

# of Sessions:

30

# of Participants Per Session:

15

Provider:

School Enity

Provider Type:

School Entity

PDE Approved:

Yes

Knowledge Gain:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

Research & Best Practices Base:

This is an optional narrative for Special Education.

For classroom teachers, school counselors and education specialists:

Increases the educator’s teaching skills based on research on effective practice, with attention given to interventions for struggling students.

For school or LEA administrators, and other educators seeking leadership roles:

Empowers leaders to create a culture of teaching and learnin