Every exceptional student attending the schools of this District shall be offered an educational program that meets his/her educational needs and is suited to his/her unique abilities. The Special Education program shall be designed to comply with IDEA, conform to the goals of the District and integrate, to the maximum extent appropriate, special education with general instruction programs.
To qualify as an exceptional student, the student must be of school age, in need of specially designed instruction, and meet the criteria for one or more of the following: Autism, Blindness, Visual Impairment, Deafness, Hearing Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, Orthopedic Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Mental Retardation, Speech or Language Impairment, Multiple Disability, Deaf-Blind, Other Health Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury.
The Harrisburg School District uses a set of procedures based on State Standards and Regulations by identifying and evaluating the specific needs of school-age students requiring special programs or services. Screening information will be used by the child's home school to meet the child's needs, or to document the need for further evaluation. If progress is not made utilizing the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) process, a child, (with parent permission), will be recommended for a Multidisciplinary Evaluation which will result in a comprehensive Educational Report. Parents are then invited and encouraged to attend an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting for the purpose of developing appropriate programming based upon the findings of the MDE.
When identified students display challenging behavior(s), the IEP will include a Behavior Support Plan. This plan will provide information on positive interventions designed to reduce the challenging behavior and teach appropriate alternative skills.
It is the position of the Department of Special Education that all Harrisburg students eligible for Special Education be taught in their neighborhood school with their general education peers, to the maximum extent appropriate. Students will receive their services in the general education environment as deemed appropriate by the IEP team.