Child Find

  • According to state and federal special education regulations, annual public notice to parents of children who reside within a school district is required regarding child find responsibilities. School districts, intermediate units and charter schools are required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For additional information related to Section 504/Chapter 15 services, the parent may refer to Section 504, Chapter 15, and the Basic Education Circular entitled Implementation of Chapter 15. Also, school districts are required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for gifted services via 22 PA Code Chapter 16. For additional information regarding gifted services, the parent may refer to 22 PA Code Chapter 16. If a student is both gifted and eligible for Special Education, the procedure in IDEA and Chapter 14 shall take precedence.

    The district locates, identifies and evaluates all children residing in Warren County with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private (including religious) schools, elementary schools and secondary schools located in the school district. This notice shall inform parents throughout the school district of the child identification activities and of the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities or eligible young children. In addition to this public notice, each school district, intermediate unit and charter schools shall publish written information in the handbook and on the website. Children ages 3-21 can be eligible for special education programs and services.

    A physician, nurse, psychologist, social worker or administrator of a social agency, who reasonably believes a child, brought to him or her for services is a child with a disability, has a legal duty to refer the child, including a homeless child, to the school district in which the child resides.  Before referring the child, the person making the referral must inform the child's parent that the referral will be made.

    Others, including parents, who reasonably believe a child is a child with a disability, may also refer the child, including a homeless child, to the school district in which the child resides. Referrals must be in writing and include the reason why the person believes the child is a child with a disability. A referral may be made by contacting the Warren County School District Department of Special Education at 814-723-6900 or in writing to the Director of Pupil Services at 6820 Market Street, Russell, PA 16345.

    Evaluation Process

    Each school district, intermediate unit and charter schools have a procedure in place by which parents can request an evaluation. For information about procedures applicable to your child, contact the special education supervisor at the school which your child attends or the Warren County School District Department of Special Education at 814-723-6900 or in writing to the Director of Pupil Services at 6820 Market Street, Russell, PA 16345.

    Consent

    School entities cannot proceed with an evaluation or with the initial provision of special education and related services, without the written consent of the parent(s). For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found at www.pattan.net/. Once written parental consent is obtained, the school district, intermediate unit, and/or charter school will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.

    Program Development

    Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified professionals and the parents determine whether the child is eligible. If the child is eligible, the individualized education program (IEP) team meets, develops the program, and determines the educational placement. Once the IEP team develops the program and determines the educational placement, school district staff, intermediate unit staff or charter school staff will issue a notice of recommended educational placement/prior written notice. Your written consent is required before initial services can be provided. The parent has the right to revoke consent after initial placement.

    Confidentiality of Information

    The school districts maintain records concerning all children enrolled in the school, including students with disabilities. All records are maintained in the strictest confidentiality. Your consent, or consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under State law, must be obtained before personally identifiable information is released, except as permitted under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The age of majority in Pennsylvania is 21. Each participating agency must protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages. One official at each participating agency must assume responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information. Each participating agency must maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the agency who have access to personally identifiable information.

    This notice is only a summary of the special education services, evaluation and screening activities, and rights and protections pertaining to children with disabilities, children thought to be disabled, and their parents. For more information or to request evaluation or screening of a preschool or school aged child, public or private, contact the Special Education Office at

    Warren County School District

    Central Office

    Director of Pupil Services

    6820 Market Street

    Russell, PA 16345

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