1: Special Education Programs

Special Education Staff

Director of Special Education
Staci Norris
724-658-4793, ext. 5106

Heather Harcar
724-658-4793 Ext. 5107

The Neshannock Township School District provides a free, appropriate public education to exceptional students according to state and federal mandates. To be eligible, the child must be of school-age, need specially designed instruction, and meet eligibility criteria for mentally gifted and/or one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities as set forth in the Individual with Disabilities Education Act which was re-authorized in 1997 (IDEA–97).

Identified students are provided with a continuum of services designed to meet the individual needs of eligible students. These services may include supportive intervention in the regular class, supplemental intervention in the regular class or in a special education resource program, placement, in a part-time or full-time special education class in a regular school or placement in a full-time special education class outside of the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the parents and staff at the IEP team meeting and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the intensity of the specified intervention. The school district also provides related services, such as transportation, physical therapy, and occupational therapy that are required to enable the student to derive educational benefit.

Parents of public school students who suspect that their child is exceptional and in need of special education may request a multidisciplinary team evaluation through a written request to the district’s Director of Pupil Services.

Learning Support

Specific Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of: visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disability; serious emotional disability; cultural factors; environmental or economic disadvantage; or limited English proficiency. The Learning Support program provides direct and specially designed instruction to students that have a significant disparity between educational expectancy and one or more of the following: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, and basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation and mathematics reasoning.

Itinerant and Supplemental Learning Support

Itinerant and Supplemental Learning Support

Junior-Senior High Itinerant and Supplemental Learning Support

Autistic Support

Services for students with the disability of autism are services that address needs primarily in the areas of communication, social skills or behaviors consistent with those of autism spectrum disorders. The IEP for these students must address needs as identified by the team which may include, as appropriate, the verbal and nonverbal communication needs of the child; social interaction skills and proficiencies; the child’s response to sensory experiences and changes in the environment, daily routine and schedules; and, the need for positive behavior supports or behavioral intervention.

Emotional Support

This program provides the support and structure for students who have demonstrated a distinct lack of success in school adjustment due to emotional and behavioral factors. Specialized techniques in behavior management, group dynamics, and emotional development are employed to foster a better awareness of feelings, thoughts, behavior, and social aptness to develop the independence and autonomy necessary for success in a general education classroom.

Itinerant Autistic and Emotional Support

Elementary Supplemental Autistic Support

  • Elementary Supplemental Emotional and Autistic Support
  • Mrs. Maggie Shearer
  • mshearer@ntsd.org

Speech and Language Support

Speech or language impairments may affect the student’s ability to progress in the general education curriculum and master academic standards, because many of the standards in the subject areas require the student to use the skills delineated above in order to demonstrate competency. As appropriate, speech and language support services are provided by a Speech and Language Support Specialist in a variety of settings that include:

  • Pull-out instruction, individual or small group
  • Instruction in the student’s classroom in small or large groups
  • Instruction in the school at designated locations
  • Instruction in community-based settings

In addition, the Speech and Language Support Specialist may help school personnel with training, strategies, etc.

Mrs. Diana Kulbacki, dkulbacki@ntsd.org

Mrs. Christina Denton, cdenton.@ntsd.org