Special Education Program Procedural Manual
The Intermediate Unit 1 Special Education Program Procedural Manual is a product that reflects the concerted efforts of several individuals. It is a revised version of the manual that was completed in August 1998. This 2009 edition was spearheaded by a committee comprised of IU1 program supervisors Dennis Taylor, Elaina Zitney, Leigh Dennick, and Toni Lozar, Assistant Director of Special Education. Editorial assistance was provided by Linda Chernitsky.
Intermediate Unit 1 extends its deepest appreciation to the entire committee and to all other program supervisors, teachers, and paraprofessionals, secretaries, and other staff members who helped with the overall production and distribution of the procedural manual. We look forward to their continued leadership and supportive contributions with the manual's ongoing maintenance and revisions.
The purpose of the Special Education Program Procedural Manual is to provide a comprehensive reference for teachers, paraprofessionals, supervisors, administrators, ancillary staff, and others who are responsible for providing special education services in accordance with federal and state special education regulations. Upon receipt, all IU1 staff members are to read the manual in its entirety and to comply with all required procedures. Additionally, staff members bear the responsibility of reviewing the contents and applying it as deemed appropriate in their day-to-day instructional and/or administrative practice. Some of the information in the manual reflects mandated procedures, while other information serves as resource material and suggested guidelines for practice. Whereas the manual is quite comprehensive, it is not inclusive of all procedures and forms used in the various programs. Staff members are to consult their respective supervisors for any forms, procedures or guidelines that are program specific (e.g., specific procedures for conducting a speech/language evaluation).
It is recommended that staff members have this manual readily available when procedural questions arise regarding the services to students. Annotated forms developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) have been included to serve as a guide. The varied needs of students are such that there is no one “model report” that works best in all situations. However, there are basic components and considerations that must be included in completing mandated forms and executing specific procedures.
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), signed into law by President Bush on January 8, 2002, is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and other statutes. The primary goal of NCLB is to have all students reach proficient or advanced levels of achievement in mathematics and reading by the year 2014 as measured by a system of state assessments. In addition, the act requires states to develop a plan that ensures all teachers are highly qualified.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-144), was signed into law by President George Bush on December 3, 2004. The Highly Qualified Teacher status is the only provision of the law that went into effect on December 3, 2004. The remaining provisions went into effect on July 1, 2005. Final regulations from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) disseminated in December of 2005. Pennsylvania revised the current Chapter 14 regulations in July of 2008.