Neshaminy School District
Annual Public Notices
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
Section 1061 of the “No Child Left Behind Act” affords parents and emancipated minors certain rights. These rights include:
- The right to preview “protected information” student surveys and the right to opt a student out of taking such a survey.
- The right to receive notice and to opt a student out of receiving any non-emergency, invasive physical examination not required by law.
- The right to preview student data collection surveys for marketing purposes and to opt a student out of taking such a survey.
- The right to inspect instructional and assessment materials used as part of a school district’s educational curriculum.
[It should be noted that the Neshaminy School District does not authorize use of such student surveys, does not authorize collection of student data for marketing purposes, and does not authorize any student medical examinations unless required by law.]
Schools housing Title I Programs must include the following annual notice to parents in student or parent handbooks:
Qualifications of Title I Staff
The No Child Left Behind Act allows parents of children at Title I schools to ask certain information about their child’s classroom teachers.
This information includes:
- Whether the PA Department of Education has licensed the teacher for the grades and subject he or she teaches
- Whether the PA Department of Education has decided that the teacher can teach in a classroom without being licensed
- The teacher’s college major; whether the teacher has any advanced degrees, and if so, the subject of the degree
- The qualifications of any instructional aide who provides services to your child
If you would like to receive any of this information, please contact Neshaminy School District, Human Resources Office, at 215-809-6606.
The Neshaminy School District provides special education and related service to resident children with disabilities who are ages three through twenty-one.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, commonly referred to as the “IDEA,” children qualify for special education and related services if they have one or more of the following disabilities and, as a result, demonstrate a need for special education and related services: (1) intellectual disability, (2) hearing impairments, including deafness, (3) speech or language impairments, (4) visual impairments, including blindness, (5) serious emotional disturbance, (6) orthopedic impairments, (7) autism, including pervasive developmental disorders; (8) traumatic brain injury, (9) other health impairment, (10) specific learning disabilities. If a child has more than one of the above-mentioned disabilities, the child could qualify for special education and related services as having multiple disabilities. Children ages three through nine years old may also be eligible if they have developmental delays and, as a result, need special education and related services.
The legal definitions of these disabilities, which the public schools are required to apply under the IDEA, may differ from those used in medical or clinical practice. Moreover, the IDEA definitions could apply to children with disabilities that have very different medical or clinical disorders. A child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, for example, could qualify for special education and related services as a child with “other health impairments,” “serious emotional disturbance,” or “specific learning disabilities” if the child meets the eligibility criteria under one or more of these disability categories and if the child needs special education and related services as a result.
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, some school age children with disabilities who do not meet the eligibility criteria under the IDEA might nevertheless be eligible for special protections and for adaptations and accommodations in instruction, facilities, and activities. Children are entitled to such protections, adaptations, and accommodations if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program.
Information regarding potential signs of developmental delays and other risk factors that could indicate disabilities can be found on our website.
Rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
As noted above, some students with disabilities who are not in need of special education and related services are nevertheless entitled to adaptations and accommodations in their school program or in the physical environment of school buildings, grounds, vehicles, and equipment, when such adaptations or accommodations are required to enable the student to access and participate meaningfully in educational programming and extracurricular activities. Parents are entitled to a written description of the adaptations and accommodations that the public school is willing to offer. This written description is called a “service agreement” or “accommodation plan.” The rights and protections described above under the headings “Notice,” “Consent,” “Protection in Evaluation Procedures,” and “Maintenance of Placement” apply to students receiving adaptations and accommodations under Section 504. Parents who have complaints concerning the evaluation, program, placement, or provision of services to a student may request either an informal conference with the public school or a due process hearing. The hearing must be held before an impartial hearing officer at a time and location convenient to the parents. Parents have the right to request a free written or electronic transcript or recording of the proceedings, to present evidence and witnesses disclosed to the public school, to confront evidence and testimony presented by the public school, to review their child’s complete educational record on request before the hearing, to receive a written decision from the hearing officer, and to be represented by counsel or an advocate of their choice. An appeal may be taken from the decision of the hearing officer to a court of competent jurisdiction.
Compliance Complaints. In addition to the above hearing rights, parents and others with complaints concerning the education of a child with disabilities or violations of rights guaranteed by either the IDEA or Section 504 may file complaints with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which must investigate such complaints and issue written findings and conclusions. Information concerning such complaints can be obtained at the following address:
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Bureau of Special Education
Division of Compliance Monitoring and Planning
333 Market Street, 7th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Students who are Mentally Gifted:
The Neshaminy School District also offers special education services, in the form of acceleration or enrichment, for students who are identified by a gifted multidisciplinary team (“GMDT”) as “mentally gifted.” A child is considered mentally gifted when his or her cognitive ability or other factors, as determined by a multidisciplinary team evaluation, indicate that he or she has outstanding intellectual ability the development of which requires special programs and services not ordinarily available in the general education program. The District engages in screening activities during regular classroom instruction and uses the data thus generated to determine whether a GMDT evaluation is warranted. In addition, parents may request gifted screening or a GMDT evaluation at any time. Parents are part of the GMDT and, if their child is determined to be mentally gifted, is part of the development and annual review and revision of their child’s gifted individualized educational program (“GIEP”) as a member of the GIEP team. The GIEP describes the present levels, annual goals and measurable objectives, and specially designed instruction and related services through which the District will provide the enrichment or acceleration, or both, that is needed to develop the outstanding mental ability of the child. Parents of students who are mentally gifted have the right to request a special education due process hearing or to file a compliance complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Education at the above address. Details concerning the procedures governing hearing requests can be found on the Website of the Office for Dispute Resolution as www.pattan.k12.pa.us.
A child can be identified as both a child with a disability and mentally gifted. In such cases, the rights of the child and his or her parents are governed by the rules applicable to children with disabilities and their parents, as described above.
For more information or to request evaluation or screening of a public or private school child please contact your child’s guidance counselor. For preschool children, information can also be obtained, and screenings and evaluations requested, by contacting the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.
The public schools of Bucks County maintain records concerning all children enrolled in public school, including students with disabilities. Records containing personally identifiable information about or related to children with disabilities could include, but are not limited to, cumulative grade reports, discipline records, enrollment and attendance records, health records, individualized education programs, notices of recommended assignment, notices of intent to evaluate and reevaluate, comprehensive evaluation reports, other evaluation reports by public school staff and by outside evaluators, work samples, test data, data entered into the Penn Data system, correspondence between school staff and home, instructional support team documents, referral data, memoranda, and other education-related documents. Records can be maintained on paper, on microfiche, on audio or videotape, and electronically. Records can be located in the central administrative offices of the public school, the administrative offices of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, the school building or building at which the student attended or attends school, private schools and facilities at which the public school has placed the child for educational purposes, central storage facilities and electronic storage systems, and in the secure possession of teachers, building administrators, specialists, psychologists, counselors, and other school staff with a legitimate educational interest in the information contained therein. All records are maintained in the strictest confidentiality.
Records are maintained as long as they remain educationally relevant. The purposes of collecting and maintaining records are (1) to ensure that the child receives programs and services consistent with his or her IEP; (2) to monitor the ongoing effectiveness of programming for the child; (3) to document for the public school and the parents that the student is making meaningful progress; (4) to satisfy the requirements of state and federal agencies who have an interest in inspecting or reviewing documents concerning particular students or groups of students for purposes of compliance monitoring, complaint investigation, and fiscal and program audits; and (5) to inform future programming for and evaluations of the child. When educational records, other than those which must be maintained, are no longer educationally relevant, the public school must so notify the parents in writing and may destroy the records or, at the request of the parents, must destroy them. Public schools are not required to destroy records that are no longer educationally relevant unless the parents so request in writing.
Parent consent. Parent consent is required in writing prior to the release of any personally identifiable information concerning a child with disabilities. Parent consent is not required, however, prior to the release of information (1) to a hearing officer in a special education due process hearing; (2) to public school staff and contractors with a legitimate educational interest in the information; (3) to officials or staff of other schools and school systems at which the student is enrolled or intends to enroll; (4) to federal or state education officials and agencies and to the Comptroller of the United States; (5) to accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions; (6) to comply with a lawful subpoena or judicial order; (7) in conjunction with a health or safety emergency to the extent necessary to protect the health and safety of the child or others; or (8) that the public schools have designated as “directory information.” Disclosure without consent of the parent is subject to certain conditions more fully described in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C ¤ 1332g, and its implementing regulation, 34 C.F.R. Part 99.
Parent access. Upon submitting a request to do so in writing, parents have the right to access the educational records of their child within forty five days or before any due process hearing or IEP team meeting, whichever is sooner. Access entitles the parent to the following: (1) an explanation and interpretation of the records by public school personnel; (2) copies of the records if providing copies is the only means by which the parent can effectively exercise his or her right of inspection and review; and (3) inspection and review of the records by a representative of the parent’s choosing upon presentation to the records custodian of a written authorization from the parent. The public school can charge a fee not to exceed its actual costs for copying records.
“Directory information.” Public school entities designate certain kinds of information as “directory information.” The public schools of Bucks County typically designate the following as “directory information”: (1) the name, address, telephone number, and photographs of the child; (2) the date and place of birth of the child; (3) participation in school clubs and extracurricular activities; (4) weight and height of members of athletic teams; (5) dates of attendance; (6) diplomas and awards received; (7) the most recent previous institution or school attended by the child; and (8) names of parents, siblings, and other family members. The District will provide this information to any interested person, including armed forces recruiters who request it, without seeking consent from the parents of the student or the student. Parents who do not want the District to disclose such information must so notify the District in writing on or before the first day of the school term. Written notice must identify the specific types of directory information that the parent does not want the District to disclose without consent. If the parent fails to notify the District in writing by the first day of the school term, the District may release directory information upon request and without consent.
Disclosure of records containing personally identifiable information to other schools and institutions. Public school entities disclose personally identifiable information concerning students to educational agencies or institutions at which the student seeks to enroll, intends to enroll, or is enrolled, or from which the student receives services, when that agency or institution requests such records.
Access to records by school officials with a “legitimate educational interest. School officials with a legitimate educational interest in the personally-identifiable information contained in education records can have access to personally identifiable information without parent or student consent. Each school entity designates in its education records policy those persons who have a “legitimate educational interest” that would allow such access to education records. Such persons typically include teachers of the child, building administrators, guidance counselors to whom the child is assigned, members of instructional support and multidisciplinary teams in the course of screening and evaluation activities, records custodians and clerks, public school administrators with responsibility for programs in which the student is enrolled or intends to be enrolled, school board members sitting in executive session in consideration of matters concerning the child upon which only the school board can act, program specialists and instructional aides working with the child, therapeutic staff working with the child, and substitutes for any of the foregoing persons
Amendment of education records. After reviewing records, a parent or a student who has attained the age of 18 can request that records be amended. The school will make the requested changes or reject the request within forty-five days of the receipt of the request in writing. If the school rejects the request, the parent or student may request an informal hearing. The hearing can be held before any public school official who does not have a direct interest in its outcome. If the parents are dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal hearing, they may submit to the public school a statement outlining their disagreement with the record. The school thereafter must attach a copy of that statement to all copies of the record disclosed to third parties.
Complaints to the United States Department of Education. Complaints concerning alleged failure of a public school entity to comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be addressed to the United States Department of Education as follows:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605