SPECIAL EDUCATION

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The BCIU’s special education services include programming for pre-school, elementary, and secondary students who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

BCIU services for these young people may include emotional support classes, life skills support classes, or classes for students who are blind, deaf, or hard of hearing.

Additional support options could include: vocational/job coaching, social work and psychological services, itinerant services, and extended school year services.

The BCIU can provide early intervention services to preschool-aged children (ages 3-4) who are identified as eligible because they have a particular handicapping condition or developmental delay. The BCIU presents workshops for special education administrators and practitioners, and provides technical assistance and consultation services to schools on a variety of compliance issues.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. How are students referred for classroom programming and/or related services?
A. There is only one way to make an official referral: All referrals are approved and submitted by the student’s home school district supervisor of special education via the “Request for School Age Programs and/or Services” form. DIstricts may download the form here.

Q. Where are your classroom programs located?
A. Our classroom programs are offered in a variety of settings at several different locations.

  • Autistic Support – Tulpehocken School District – Penn Bernville Elementary School
  • Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program – Northwest Area Elementary School for K through 5th grade, Southern Middle School for 6th through 8th grade, and Reading High School for 9th through 12th grade.
  • Multiple Disabilities Support – Governor Mifflin Portable Building
  • Preparation for Adult Life Program – Berks Career & Technology Center, East Campus
  • Transition House Program – 529 East Lancaster Avenue, Front Entrance

Q. What are related services?
A. Related services focus on the student’s education and on interventions that enable the student to function appropriately within his or her educational environment. These services must be portable and can be provided in a variety of ways, including consultation, integrated therapy sessions, group sessions, and one-on-one.

Q. Who provides related services?
A. Related Services are typically provided by itinerant staff members. The staff members are specially trained and professionally certified employees who provide specific educational and support servies to individual students and/or groups of students who are determined eligible through the evaluation process.

Q. Who can I contact regarding my questions related to classroom programs and/or related services?
A. You may contact the program secretary: Vicki Hiser- 610-987-8513 – vichis@berksiu.org

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

Your rights under the law
The Procedural Safeguards Notice provides a detailed explanation of the rights extended to parents of children who receive or who may be eligible for special education services under a law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A publication titled Understanding the Procedural Safeguards Notice provides a summary of those rights. Both publications are available below.

>> Procedural Safeguards Notice >> Understanding the Procedural Safeguards Notice

Pennsylvania Department of Education
The Pennsylvania Department of Education provides a variety of resources aimed at helping parents and families as they guide students along the educational pathway. Click here to visit the PDE Parents & Families homepage.

PaTTAN
PaTTAN is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Education working in partnership with families and local education agencies to support programs and services to improve student learning and achievement. Click here to visit the PaTTAN website.

PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
OVR is the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, a state agency that helps persons with disabilities help themselves to prepare for, start, and maintain a career. Click here to visit the OVR website.

Service Access and Management, Inc.
SAM was formed in 1987 by the Berks County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program office to provide intake, emergency services and case management. Click here to visit the SAM website

Parents Source Family Resource Guide
Parents Source provides resources of parenting information for families in the community. Click here to visit the Berks and Lancaster special needs services directory.