AllentownSchool District

Special Education

special ed

2021-2024 Special Education Plan - Working Draft (PDF)

Programs and Services

Under Pennsylvania and federal laws, a student who meets the eligibility requirements for special education has the right to participate in the general curriculum in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The program of support and services is described within the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for a student with a disability begins with the consideration of services in the LRE. The organization and delivery of special education services are planned in a flexible and responsive manner to accommodate the student’s special needs of eligibility without removing the student, unnecessarily, from the general curriculum. Supplementary aids and services received by the student are dependent upon his/her individual need. The Allentown School District promotes inclusive opportunities for all students.

The students shall participate in the general curriculum to the maximum extent appropriate, which may be adapted or modified. Eligible students may also be provided instruction through supplemental curricula. Supplemental studies are listed within this Program of Studies. A supplemental study may be selected when the curriculum option is deemed as not providing enough support. A program may be offered when the curriculum needs to be intensified in order to meet the instructional needs. The level of instruction is geared to the ability and needs of the student through the IEP. Supplemental studies are formed around the learning needs of the student whose programs are determined by his/her IEP. This plan is reviewed annually and revised as needed.

Transition planning begins at least at age 14. The IEP team will decide what courses will prepare the student for life after high school through this process. The IEP team, including the student and parent, will plan transition activities to prepare the student for post-high school experiences. Discussions during transition planning include: college or post-high school training; employment exploration; and independent living including recreation or leisure activities. This transition planning includes consideration of the types of courses the student will take during high school. Early planning encourages a coordinated effort between the present and future goals.

Students are encouraged to prepare for a post-high school education, whether it is college or a trade/technical school. Students who are considering college are encouraged to take the PSAT and SAT assessments, with or without accommodations. Some students may elect a vocational curriculum and attend the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI). LCTI offers a full range of programs. 
A student with an IEP may select dual enrollment (DE) or advanced placement (AP) courses provided he or she meets the prerequisites for the selected courses. Academic support is available to students in the DE and AP courses.

All students receiving special education services are guaranteed the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. To be awarded a diploma, the eligible student must successfully complete all required courses and credits, and meet performance standards on assessments.  An IEP team may determine that an eligible student will graduate through the IEP process.

Any student with a disability whose individualized education program as established pursuant to 22 Pa. Code §14.131 (relating to IEP) and ASD Policy No. 217 prescribes continued special education programs beyond the fourth year of high school, shall be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremonies with the student’s graduating class. The student receives a certificate of attendance, provided that the student has attended four (4) years of high school regardless of whether the student has completed the individualized program. A certificate of attendance is not a high school diploma.

Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment - 1.0 Percent Participation Threshold Justification 

The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment - 1.0 Percent Participation Threshold Justification process was developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education (BSE) in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ESSA requires Pennsylvania to ensure that the total number of students assessed in each subjected using the PASA does not exceed one percent of the total number of all students in the state assessed on the statewide assessments. Each local educational agency (LEA) must complete and submit the PASA 1.0 Percent Participation Threshold Justification to BSE if it anticipates that more than 1.0 percent of its students enrolled in grades 308 and 11 will be assessed using the PASA. A list of LEA's who anticipate exceeding the threshold will be made publicly available on the PDE website, in accordance with 34 CFR 200.6 (c)(3) regulations. LEA's must also make the document publicly available upon request, removing any personally identification information. Any LEA tat exceeds the 1.0 percent threshold may be subject to further review by BSE. 

Executive Director of Special Education
Brian Siket
[email protected]