Notices to Parents of Children Who Reside in the Fox Chapel Area School District
Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs, Services for Gifted Students, and Services for Protected Handicapped Students
IDEA – Chapter 14
In compliance with state and federal law, notice is hereby given by the Fox Chapel Area School District that it conducts ongoing identification activities as a part of its school program for the purpose of identifying students who may be in need of special education and related services. Child Find refers to activities undertaken by public education agencies to identify, locate, and evaluate children residing in the state, including children attending private schools, who are suspected of having disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, and determine the child’s need for special education and related services. The purpose is to locate these children so that a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) can be made available. Identification Activities are performed to find a child who is suspected as having a disability that would interfere with his or her learning unless special education programs and services are made available. These activities are sometimes called screening activities. The activities include: review of group data, conducting hearing and vision screening, assessment of a student’s academic functioning, observation of the student displaying difficulty in behavior, and determining the student’s response to attempted remediation. Input from parents is also an information source of identification. If your child is identified by the district as possibly in need of such services, you will be notified of applicable procedures. Individualized services and programs are available for children who are determined to need specially-designed instruction due to the following conditions: autism/pervasive development disorder, blindness or visual impairment, deafness or hearing impairment, deaf blindness, orthopedic impairment, developmental delay, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, and/or speech or language impairment. We offer a continuum of services for students with disabilities that begins with full inclusion in the child’s home school and class, to separate programs within other schools in which peers without disabilities would not participate.
If you believe that your school-age child may be in need of special education services and related programs, or your child (ages three to school age) may be in need of early intervention, screening and evaluation processes designed to assess the need of the child and his/her eligibility are available to you at no cost, upon written request. You may request screening and evaluation at anytime, whether or not your child is enrolled in the district’s public school program. Requests for school-age evaluations and screenings are to be made in writing to: Special Education Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. Requests for children ages three to school age should be made in writing to: Project DART, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, 475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120.
Potential Signs of Developmental Delays and Other Risk Factors that Could Indicate a Need for Special Education Services
Some indications that your child may be a child with a disability who is in need of special education are:
- Exhibition of an emotional disturbance over a long period of time which affects your child’s ability to learn;
- Consistent problems in getting along with others;
- Difficulty communicating;
- Lack of interest or ability in age-appropriate activities;
- Resistance to change;
- Difficulty seeing or hearing that interferes with the ability to communicate;
- Health problems that affect educational performance including attention problems;
- Difficulty performing tasks that require reading, writing, or mathematics; and
- When, a child who is at least three years of age but before he or she has started school as a beginner, scores on a developmental assessment device, on an assessment instrument which yields a score in months, which score indicates that the child is delayed by 25 percent of the child’s chronological age in one or more developmental areas, or if 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.
Section 504 – Chapter 15
In compliance with state and federal law, the 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 program and extracurricular activities. A protected handicapped student must be school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. You may request screening and evaluation for Chapter 15 services at any time, whether or not your child is enrolled in the district’s public school program. Requests for evaluation and screening are to be made in writing to: Pupil Services Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
Gifted Education – Chapter 16
In compliance with state law, services designed to meet the unique needs of gifted students are provided. Students are identified individually based on state law and district policy, and those students who possess superior intelligence scores or meet multiple criteria indicating gifted ability may receive services. If you believe that your school-age child may be eligible for gifted services, screening and evaluation processes designed to assess his/her eligibility are available to you at no cost, upon written request. You may request screening and evaluation at any time, whether or not your child is enrolled in the district’s public school program. Requests for evaluation and screening are to be made in writing to: Pupil Services Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
All information gathered about your child is subject to the confidentiality provisions contained in federal and state law. The district has policies and procedures in effect governing the collection, maintenance, destruction, and disclosure to third parties of this information. For information about this, as well as the rights of confidentiality and access to educational records, you may contact, in writing: Pupil Services Department, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
Public Notice – Student Records
As a parent of a student in the Fox Chapel Area School District, you have certain rights in regard to your child’s school records. These rights are guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 1974, and the Pennsylvania State Board of Education Regulations. These rights apply whether your child is exceptional or nonexceptional.
The district protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information regarding exceptional and protected handicapped students in accordance with state and federal law and the district’s student records policy.
You have the right to review, inspect, or obtain a copy of your child’s records. Records are also open to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in a child. You may make a written request for copies of your child’s records at a fee not to exceed duplicating costs. If you believe that any information is inaccurate or misleading, you may challenge the contents of the records. You have the right to refuse individual consent where such permission is needed for releasing certain student information. Should you feel the district is not providing these rights, you may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202.
If a child transfers to another school system, records will be forwarded after notification of enrollment is received from the new school.
According to the FERPA, 1974, various nonconfidential information can be released to outside agencies without your consent. This directory information consists of student’s name; address; telephone number; email address; photograph; date and place of birth; major field of study; dates of attendance; grade level; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; degrees, honors, and awards received; the most recent educational agency or institution attended; and other similar information.
If you do not want directory information about your child released, please notify the Fox Chapel Area School District Deputy Superintendent, in writing, at the beginning of each school year at 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
Pennsylvania School Performance Profile
Under the Pennsylvania Educator Effectiveness System (Act 82 of 2012), the Pennsylvania Department of Education has released the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile (SPP). This public site provides an academic performance score for public schools in the state. The School Performance Profiles for the schools of the Fox Chapel Area School District are available online at http://paschoolperformance.org.
Armed Forces/Military Recruiters/Military Schools
Both federal public law 107-110, section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and state laws require that school districts provide military recruiters access to secondary school students. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, and Pennsylvania Act 10 (The Armed Forces Recruiting Act) reflect these requirements. They collectively require school districts to provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as they provide to postsecondary institutions or to prospective employers. This would include the student’s name, address, and telephone number. However, the law also allows parents/students the right to opt-out from this by requesting that the district not release information to armed forces, military recruiters, and/or military schools. The school counseling department offers a “Military Release of Information Opt-Out Form.” The completion and return of the form serves as a parent’s/student’s request to withhold private information. Parental permission is required for those students under 18-years-of-age. Students 18 and over may sign for themselves. For further information, parents/students should contact the high school counseling office at 412/967-2438 prior to the beginning of each school year.
In compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, the EPA requires the district to perform reinspections of asbestos materials every three years. In October 2016, accredited asbestos inspectors performed these reinspections and a certified asbestos management planner reviewed the results. The results of the reinspections are on file in the school district administration office as part of the asbestos management plan. The management plan is available for viewing by the public during regular school hours (Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.).
Our students, educational programs, school events, and community-oriented activities are sometimes made the subject of recording by video, audio, photography, and the like for use as instructional and informational tools. Since the schools are public buildings, students are frequently the subject of video and audio recording, interviewing, and/or photographing. In addition, our students’ work is sometimes published in print and/or the electronic media. The district will allow students to be recorded, interviewed, and/or photographed and students’ work to be published for legitimate public purposes.
Throughout the school year, students may be recorded, interviewed, and/or photographed by representatives from newspapers, television stations, and radio stations, as well as district communications office personnel or their designees and these items may be publicly displayed. Students and their work and photographs may also appear in print media and/or electronically on places such as public websites, social media, and through broadcasts.
If parents/guardians object to such publication, a written objection must be filed. The district will not deliberately publish a child if a written objection has been filed. The district will also make a reasonable effort to avoid publication by any third party. It is understood that the district certainly has no control of the news media or others outside of the school organization. Student participation in school activities, especially athletics and other competitive events, increases the likelihood of publication of stories and images of those students.
Written objections must be filed at the beginning of each school year with the Coordinator of Communications, Fox Chapel Area School District, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. If a written objection has been filed in the past, a new letter of objection must still be filed each year. If parents/guardians do not file a written objection, their silence will serve as implied consent.
Superintendent's Evaluation – 2016-2017 School Year
The superintendent's evaluation is based on the following objective performance standards:
1. Student Growth and Achievement
2. Organizational Leadership
3. District Operations and Financial Management
4. Communication and Community Relations
5. Human Resource Management
The deputy superintendent shares the same goals at the district superintendent.
The evaluation for the superintendent and the deputy superintendent for the 2016-2017 school year were completed, finding that they each met the agreed-to objective performance standards for the 2016-2017 school year.