Special Education/Student Services

The Ligonier Valley School District provides a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to exceptional students. To qualify as an exceptional student, the child must be of school age, in need of specially designed instruction and meet eligibility criteria for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as indicated by Pennsylvania State regulation: autism, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment including deafness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment including blindness.

The school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet the needs of the respective student. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal regulatory guidelines and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and individual progress.

Relative to the identification of eligible students, various screening activities are completed. These screening activities include review of group-based data (enrollment records, health records, report cards, cumulative records, ability and achievement test scores) hearing, vision, physical and speech/language screenings which are reviewed by a building level team when a student is referred. When screening information suggests that an individual might be exceptional, the district seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. At anytime, the parent may request a multidisciplinary evaluation through written request. Parents of students enrolled in the district can make a request for an evaluation by contacting the building administrator or the district LEA at 724-238-5696.

The services designed to meet the needs of exceptional learners include the annual development of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), biennial or triennial multidisciplinary reevaluation, 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 at a location other than the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the IEP team and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the level of intensity of the special intervention. The district also provides related services, such as transportation, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, required for the student to benefit from the special education program.