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Special Education

Annual Public Notice/Child Find

Special Education Services and Programs

Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs

Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School provides special education and related services to resident children with disabilities who are ages three through 21 years of age. The purpose of this notice is to describe the types of disabilities that might qualify the child for such programs and services, the special education program and related services that are available, the process by which CAP screens and evaluates such students to determine eligibility, and the special rights that pertain to such children and their parents and legal guardians.

In accordance with IDEA, CAP publishes a notice to parents of their rights under the IDEA and their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) CHILDREN SERVED IN SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS AT COMMUNITY ACADEMY OF PHILADELPHIA CHARTER SCHOOL

CAP also provides a Free Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”) to children who need specially designed instruction and have one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities:

  • Autism/ Pervasive Developmental Disorder

  • Emotional Disturbance

  • Deafness

  • Hearing impairment

  • Specific learning disability

  • Intellectual Disability

  • Multiple disabilities

  • Other health impairment

  • Speech or language impairment

  • Visual Impairment, including blindness

  • Deaf-Blindness

  • Orthopedic impairment

  • Traumatic Brain Injury  

         

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School provides appropriate special education programs and related services that are:

  • provided at no cost to parents

  • provided under the authority of a school entity, directly by referral or by contract

  • individualized to meet the educational needs of the child

  • reasonably calculated to yield meaningful benefit and progress and designed to conform to an Individual Education Program.

Special education is designed to meet the needs of each eligible student, including specifically designed instruction conducted in the classroom, home, community settings, hospitals, institutions, and other settings.

Related services available to students include transportation, speech and language therapy, audiological services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, social work services, school health services, medical services for diagnosis or evaluation, parent counseling and education, rehabilitation counseling services, and assistive technology services.

REFERRAL FOR SCREENING AND EVALUATION

CAP has established and implemented procedures to locate, identify, and evaluate school-age students who are eligible for special education. Those procedures are “screening” and “evaluation”. If a disability is suspected, teachers, other school personnel or parents may refer a child for screening and/or evaluation Parents suspecting that a child may have a disability and need special education can request a screening or evaluation at any time by contacting their child’s teacher, principal, counselor or Special Education Supervisor, Cassandra McLaughlin.

Except as indicated above or otherwise announced publicly, screening activities take place on an on-going basis throughout the school year. Screenings are conducted at CAP unless other arrangements are necessary.  If parents need additional information about the purpose, time, and location of the screening activities, they should contact Cassandra McLaughlin, Special Education Supervisor. Screening activities include: reviewing immediately available data sources such as health records, parent interview, and history; functional vision and hearing evaluations; determining the student’s response to attempted remediation; and speech and language screenings are completed on request. If the screening leads to a recommendation for evaluation, the evaluation team will conduct the evaluations. No evaluations may be conducted without written parental permission. State and federal law afford many rights and protections to children with disabilities and their parents. A summary of these rights and protections follows. Interested persons may obtain a complete written summary of the rights and protections afforded by the law, together with information about free or low-cost legal services and advice, by contacting the special education coordinator or principal of the local public school.   

       

RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS

Prior Written Notice: Community Academy must notify you in writing whenever it proposes to initiate or to change the identification, evaluation, educational program or placement of a child or whenever it refuses to initiate or make a change in the identification, evaluation, educational program, or placement requested by a parent. Such notice must be accompanied by a written description of the reasons for the proposal or refusal, the options considered, if any, and the reason why such options were rejected.           

                          

Consent: Community Academy cannot proceed with an evaluation or with the initial provision of special education and related services without the written consent of the parent. Community Academy may not seek a hearing to override the refusal of parental consent to an initial placement in special education.      

Protection in Evaluation Procedure: Evaluations to determine eligibility and current need for special education and related services must be administered in a manner that is free of racial, cultural, or linguistic bias. Evaluations cannot consist of a single test or assessment and testing must be a valid measure of the psychological, social, emotional, or other learning characteristic or behavior that the school is using it to measure. Testing and assessment must be administered in accordance with professional standards and the criteria established by the publisher. It must be administered in the native language of the child.      

         

Confidentiality: The records and documents that are part of the evaluation and screening process are confidential and protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). School districts, intermediate units, and charter schools 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 FERPA. The age of the 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 who have access to personally identifiable information. For additional information related to student records, the parent can refer to FERPA.    

                                       

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 Community Academy student, contact Cassandra McLaughlin at cmclaughlin@communityacademy.org or 215.533.6700 ext. 1214.        

    

MORE INFORMATION    

           

Detailed printed information about available special education services and programs and Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter Schools policies are available from Community Academy upon request. Anyone interested should contact the Special Education Supervisor, Cassandra McLaughlin at cmclaughlin@communityacademy.org or 215.533.6700 ext. 1214. Information and communications are in English, but will be provided in the native language or other modes of communication used by parents, if appropriate.