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Special Education

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Meeting 


February 10, 2016

  1. Transition:  Sarah Worthington, transition coordinator, provided information to the group pertaining to options for transitions.  Transition planning begins at age 14 for all students who have IEPs. Students who have low incident disabilities and their families may work directly with Sarah developing a transition plan for the student’s future after they leave high school.  Students with high incident disabilities also have transition plans; however, the IEP team and the case manager will develop and implement those plans.    Students who require additional academic, social or emotional support may stay beyond 12 th grade; 21 years of age.  Students who stay until they are 21 will not receive a diploma until they actually complete the program as outlined in their IEP. The students will “bank” their diploma until they are ready to graduate.  Students who “bank” their diploma may opt to walk in the graduation ceremony with their cohort and receive a letter of attendance the night of graduation.  The IEP team determines the need for students to stay additional years beyond 12 th grade and develop the student’s program for the additional years.

As the transition coordinator, Sarah works with students to determine their areas of strength along their work preferences to provide job/training/coaching opportunities.   The transition program provides job/training/coaching opportunities within the district as well as in the community.

  1. M.O.S.T program:  (more opportunities for student training) the M.O.S.T. program provides community based programing, functional educational skills and job coaching for students with low incident disabilities from ages 18 to 21.  
  2. Special Olympics:  Pennsbury school district will be participating in the Special Olympics for grades k through 12 on April 30, 2016 at Council Rock High School South.  Teachers have provided parents who had eligible athletes with registration packets.  We have over 100 eligible athletes in the district and we are hopeful to have a team of 40 athletes this year.  We are currently looking for volunteers, both students and adults, to attend this wonderful event to support our athletes.  We are also selling t-shirts ($10.00) to raise funds to support our athletes.  We are hoping to raise additional funds to purchase warm-up suits for our athletes in future years.  For additional information and to order t-shirts please contact Erin Schwenk, supervisor of special education: [email protected] 
  3. Round table discussion:  issues of student’s legal rights and confidentiality were discussed. 


December 2, 2015

  1.  Meeting format:  The committee agreed that they would like to have roundtable discussions and from those discussions determine which training can be provided at future meetings.
  2. Parents on the committee will have their name and school that they represent listed on the special education webpage.  Liz will add the names.   If parents are not receiving emails, they can contact Liz Lerie at [email protected]
  3. Some parents did not receive their quarterly Progress Monitoring Reports (PMR).  Sherri will send an email to all special education teachers to request that they send PMRs to all parents immediately.  If parents do not receive their PRM, they should contact their child’s special education teacher and if they continue to have concerns about the PMR, they should contact the building principal.
  4. Questions were raised pertaining to the Emotional Support Classes at Eleanor Roosevelt.   The issues are being address by the building team and administration.
  5. Students can stay in school based on IEP team decisions until they are 21.   Transition Plans are developed to determine needs and programs beyond 12 th grade.   Students may walk with their peers in graduation and bank their diploma until they are 21.   Students, who walk in graduation, will receive a certificate of attendance the night of graduation.  
  6. Students who stay beyond 12 th grade will enter the district’s M.O.S.T. Program.  The program currently has more than 84 students who are placed in jobs within the District and throughout the community. The goal of the M.O.S.T Program is to assure all students graduating from Pennsbury have a path to success once they leave school.
  7. Parents have the ability to bring people of their choosing to the IEP meeting.  If a parent is bringing an advocate, they should notify their child’s case-manger in advance; however, they are not legally required to do so.  If a parent plans to bring an attorney to an IEP meeting, they must inform the district in advance. 
  8. Transition will be a topic for the next meeting.
  9. Modification will be a topic for the next meeting.


October 7, 2015

A parent input form should come to parents in advance of every IEP meeting.  If you don’t receive one, ask your case manager about it.

There are special education supervisors across the district.  Pennwood’s is Colleen Bell.  She also oversees children at Eleanor Roosevelt, Quarry Hill and Walt Disney.  If you have a concern as a parent, contact your case manager about it.  If you need additional help or resources, then contact the Special Education supervisor and get her involved in the issues.  Colleen Bell’s contact information:   [email protected]   or 2150428-4100 xt. 10051


June 10, 2015

Students who are 1 to 2 years or more behind grade level in reading, writing and math should be receiving direct instruction  from a special education teacher or specialist using a scientifically researched based program.   The IEP team must determine the student's needs and the appropriate program/intervention that is necessary for the student to continue to make academic progress.

Special Education students should not be pulled from a general education class to be taught the same curriculum as their non-disabled peers in a classroom of all special education students with a special education teacher.    When a special education student requires direct instruction for reading, writing and math, they must receive a scientifically researched based instruction that is not the general education curriculum.    Students may be pulled from a class or scheduled into a resource room to have general education curriculum pre-taught and/or retaught if the IEP team determines this is necessary for the student to be successful in their general education content area classes.

Progress Reports should be received by the parent 4 times a year with their child's report card.    If parents do not receive progress reports, they should immediately contact their child's special education teacher.   If the problem persists, the parents should contact their child's principal and the supervisor of special education.  

Progress reports must consist of the specific data that was used to determine progress and should be provided to the parent in a manner that clearly defines their current progress towards their child's goal.    If a student is not making progress, and IEP meeting must be scheduled to review the student's IEP and program.   

Submitted by Amy Nolan, [email protected] , Pennwood’s Parent Rep to the SEPAC


December 3, 2014

Principals, assistant principals and all special education teachers received training on how to best write an IEP.  In the spring, a parent information night will be held to educate parents on the content of an IEP.

The Case Manager is the person responsible for the entire IEP.  That person guides the IEP meeting, as well.  All questions about the IEP should go through the Case Manager first, who will then go to the appropriate person to get the answer.  (ex. case manager goes to speech therapist)

If a parent feels their child’s needs are not being met, contact the Case Manager first and ask about it.  The building principal may be copied on the message.

A Parent Input Form is in production and will come to parents before the IEP meeting.  Parents should write their concerns and submit it to the Case Manager before the IEP meeting or bring it to the IEP meeting.


February 11, 2015

Parent Information Night:   A parent information night is scheduled for March 24 th @ 6:00 pm.   The topic will be “Inside the IEP.”  Flyers will be sent home with students and added to the Special Education webpage.

Progress reports:  All parents should receive quarterly progress reports per IEP goals when Report Cards are issued.    All teachers and principals have been reminded that progress reports are to be sent every quarter.

Transition to middle school or high school:   The supervisors will develop transitions plans for each building’s transition to make sure student needs are met in the new setting. 

ESY for 2015 has been updated to include necessary improvements to the program.  If your child is recommended for ESY, you will hear from your Case Manager by early spring.


Submitted by Amy Nolan, [email protected] , Pennwood’s Parent Rep to the SEPAC

Pennwood Middle School
1523 Makefield Road
Yardley, PA 19067-3199
Telephone: 215-428-4237
Mission Statement
Recognizing our proud traditions and diverse community,
the Pennsbury School District prepares all students to become creative,
ethical, and critical thinkers for lifelong success in a global society.
national district of character
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