The district is required to provide a free and appropriated education (FAPE) for all of its studentswith related services supports for its special education students in accordance with their IEP. An IEP is an individualized education plan designed for a student who has disabilities. The IEP is based on the student’s individual needs and describes the special help the student will receive in school. Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Speech Therapy and Psychological services are available as prescribed by a student’s need. Students from ages 3 to 21 are entitled to special education services. Early Intervention (EI) services are specially designed instruction for children age 3 to the age at which the school district's kindergarten program begins. Early Intervention services are provided by Elwyn Institute for pre-kindergarten students.
Special Education Resources
Parents play a key role in determining the programs and services with which their child will be provided. Parents are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the determination of the appropriateness of their child's special education.
A copy of the Procedural Safeguards can be obtained through the central office.
A "placement" refers to the actual class and school a special education student attends where the student receives his or her special education program, and the type and intensity of services needed.
A continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities and their families who are in need of Early Intervention Program (Part C) or Preschool Special Education (Part B/619) services of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) targets all children with disabilities aged birth to 21 who reside in the state. Part C of IDEA, early intervention, focuses on children aged birth to three.
The CUSD Autistic Support Program is committed to working with families to provide a program that best meets the student’s individual needs, and working towards placement in the least restrictive environment.
The program offers service as defined in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP):
- Student Educational Services
- Behavioral Support Services
- Psychological and Social Work
The Autistic Support Program offers a variety of programmatic features that support the needs of students with autism that include communication, behavioral, social, and sensory. Autism offers students a variety of support opportunities designed to assist students as they age out of the primary program to move into the Intermediate level. They are as follows: a research based literacy program, Project READ within CUSD classes, Picture Exchange Communication (PEC), Touch Math, Milestone Reading Program, First Verb, First Word, Board Maker – Visual Cues, and Community Based Instruction. The program locations are Columbus Elementary and the Village at Chester Upland schools.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
New Life Skills Transition Initiative
A life-skills initiative specially designed to provide a natural environment where students can develop daily routines, express individuality, and share a sense of ownership in the community through an apartment living program. Students are referred by their Individualized Education Program (IEP). The program has an open entry and exit policy.
The program is intended to teach pro social behaviors that will expand student’s level of personal development, self esteem, self control, respect for others, responsibility, negotiation, and problem solving techniques.
In addition, the “Apartment Program” is a service to assist in the Development of the necessary skills, habits, aptitude, and attitudes for employment, everyday living, and community access before and after graduation from school.
The clinic’s goal is to provide psychiatric/psychological evaluation and treatment to adolescents in a setting that maximizes access and minimizes stigma. Students of Chester High School, grades nine through twelve, will be able to “walk-in” and initiate the intake process. The clinic will be accessible through self-referral and referrals made by parent(s), teacher(s), and school administrator(s), as well as the through the Solutions/SAP Team process from all schools in Chester Upland School District. Services will include Individual, family, and group psychotherapy, Behavior Modification, Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, Copying Skills Development, and Crisis Intervention for new referrals.