The Pennsylvania Special Education Standards, which reflect both State Board of Education Regulations and federal legislation, require the articulation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Gifted Individualized Education Program (GIEP) for each exceptional student identified as needing special education or related services. This requirement extends to all exceptional students in Pennsylvania enrolled in public and approved private schools. Writing an IEP or GIEP is a three-step process that involves the child, parents/guardian, and school personnel in: (1) defining a student’s interests or needs, (2) identifying how much and what one can reasonably expect him/her to learn by the end of the year, and (3) determining the steps to be taken in achieving annual goals and the means to measure the student’s progress.
The Learning Support program is available to students who are identified as possessing a disability that interferes with their capacity to meet expectations in the regular classroom. Basic to this concept is the belief in mainstreaming a student into a regular classroom whenever there is evidence that he/she can function effectively in that environment. Students who may qualify to receive learning support services to varying degrees during the school day include students with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, certain mild social or emotional disorders, and students with impaired intellectual development. Services provided and accommodations made will be determined by an IEP team that includes the parents, student, and school personnel, following a review of the Evaluation Report (ER) produced during the multidisciplinary evaluation process that indicates the student qualifies for, and would benefit from, specially designed instruction. The IEP team will articulate in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) document the specially designed instruction, accommodations, and/or services the student will receive in either a consultative, inclusion, and/or pullout setting.