Screening & Evaluation

The Monessen School provides a free, appropriate public education to exceptional students.  To qualify as an exceptional student the child must be of school age, in need of specially designed instruction and meet the eligibility criteria for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in the Pennsylvania State standards:  Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, Speech or Language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment including blindness.

The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet the student needs.  At no cost to the parent, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress.

To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data, cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores; hearing, vision, physical and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Intervention Teams.  When screening results suggest that a student might be exceptional, the district seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE).  Parents who suspect their child is exceptional may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time through a written request to the building principal.

Services designed to meet the needs of exceptional students include the annual development of the Individualized Educational Program (IEP), and triennial multidisciplinary reevaluation, except for MR students as a MDE reevaluation is done on a bi-annual basis.

Placement options are based on a continuum of services, which may include:  Support intervention in the regular class, supplemental intervention in the regular class or in the 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 class in another location other than the regular school.

The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the IEP team and are based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age and the level of intensity of the specific intervention.  The District also provides related services, such as transportation, physical and occupational therapy required for the student to benefit from the special education program.

Parents may obtain additional information regarding special education programs and services and due process rights by contacting the child’s School Principal, or the Supervisor of Special Education.



Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect their child is exceptional and in need of special education, may request a multidisciplinary evaluation through a written request to the Superintendent or the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7 Nonpublic School Supervisor at (724)836-2460.




In compliance with state and federal law, the Monessen School District will provide protected handicapped students services or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain benefits from the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. These related aides are provided without discrimination or cost to the student and family.  In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a mental or physical disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program.

Services and protection for protected handicapped students are distinct from those that are applicable to exceptional students enrolled in or seeking enrollment in special programs.




The Monessen School District provides services for students who are identified as Gifted according to the rule set forth by the State.A gifted student is a student who is exceptional under section 1371 of the School Code(24 P.S. § 13-1371) because the student meets the definition of “mentally gifted” in this section, and needs specially designed instruction beyond that required in Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment).  This term applies only to students who are of “school age” as defined under §11.12 (relating to school age).  Mentally gifted is defined as an outstanding intellectual and creative ability the development of which requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program.

To identify students who may be eligible for gifted education screening activities include review of group based data, cumulative records, report cards, ability, and achievement tests.  When screening results suggest that a student might be gifted, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE).  Parents may request a GMDE through a written request to the building principal. 


Act 212, the Early Intervention Services System entitles all pre-school children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services.  Young children experiencing developmental delays, physical or mental disabilities and their families are eligible for early intervention services.  At-risk children are eligible for screening and tracking.  The PA Department of Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, defined as children from birth thru two years of age. For information contact Westmoreland Case Management and Support, (724) 837-8290.  The PA Department of Education is responsible for providing services to pre-school children from ages 3 thru 5.  For information contact Westmoreland I.U., EI Program at 1-800-327-9487.



The privacy rights of parents and students are mandated by federal legislation known as the Family Educational Rights of Privacy Act of1974 (Buckley Amendment), state regulations. (Chapter 14-Student Rights and Responsibilities), and District policy.  The different categories of information maintained by the School District are:  educational and health records, personally identifiable information, and directory information.  With the exception of receiving school districts, educational and health records, and personally identifiable information cannot be disclosed or released without parent consent or if a student is eighteen years or older  without their consent.  Information known as directory information can be released without consent. Directory information means information which would be considered not harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. This information includes: student’s name, address, date and place of birth, courses taken, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.  Written parental, or a student age eighteen or older, request is required for the disclosure of educational and health records, and personally identifiable information.  The consent must:  specify the records that may be disclosed, purpose of the disclosure, identify the party to whom the disclosure may be made.  A written record of the disclosure must be maintained by the School District.  Informational access and school records are available to parents, their representative, and to students eighteen years of age or older.



It is the policy of the Monessen School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, handicap, or limited English proficiency in its educational programs, services, facilities, activities, or employment policies as required by Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendment, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, Section 504 Regulations of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 204 Regulations of the 1984 Carl D. Perkins Act or any applicable Federal Statute. For information regarding programs, services, activities and facilities that are accessible to and usable by handicapped persons; or for inquiries regarding civil right compliance, contact: Monessen School District, or the Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.





Screening and Evaluation

Chapter 14:

Special Education Services

and Programs

Chapter 15:

Protected Handicapped Students

Chapter 16:

Special Education for

Gifted Students

Privacy Rights

of Parents and Students




Jason Minniti, Principal


Eric Manko, Principal


Mrs. Bethanne Natali, Supervisor of Special Programs