• Special Education Notices and Forms


    The Belle Vernon Area School District and the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit work jointly to offer effective quality special education programming for the children in our district.

    The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (W.I.U. #7) encompasses an area which services 17 school districts within Westmoreland County.  The purpose of the Intermediate Unit is to provide special education services and technical assistance in planning, developing, implementing, supervising, and administering special education programs in districts under its jurisdiction whether they are district-operated or intermediate unit operated programs.


    The following is a list of the special education services and programs provided by BELLE VERNON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT:


    Autism/pervasive developmental disorder


    Emotional disturbance

    Hearing impairment

    Intellectual Disability 
    Life Skills

    Mentally gifted

    Multiple disabilities

    Orthopedic impairment

    Other health impairment

    Specific learning disability

    Speech or language impairment

    Vision impairment including blindness




    Initially, if a child at the elementary school level (K-5) is recognized by school personnel or parents as experiencing learning or behavioral difficulties, a team convenes and discusses possible interventions to assist that child.  Instructional modifications and adaptations are then determined and implemented in the regular education environment.  If difficulties persist after interventions are tried, the team then reconvenes and recommends a multidisciplinary evaluation to determine the need of specialized instruction-a referral will be made after trying initial interventions directly to the school psychologist to begin a multidisciplinary evaluation with parent permission.  At the other grade levels, a team meets as listed above first.  If necessary, a referral will be made after trying initial interventions directly to the school psychologist to begin a multidisciplinary evaluation with parent permission. 

    Parents can also choose to request an evaluation in writing to the school district administration.  The district then evaluates the child without cost to the parents.

    The teacher may, based on classroom performance of the child and acting as a representative of the school district, request that the child be referred for evaluation by the district.  A parent's permission to evaluate must be granted in writing before an official evaluation can take place.  No evaluation of the child may take place without parental permission.

    Confidentiality of the information obtained is protected as outlined in BELLE VERNON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT'S Student Record Policy. 






     The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) sets forth the following minimum procedures that must be followed in the identification, evaluation and educational placement of exceptional children.

    STEP 1:  A child is recognized by school personnel and/or parents as possibly being exceptional and in need of special education.

    STEP 2:  At all grade levels a team convenes to discuss possible interventions to see if the learning and/or behavioral problem(s) can be corrected within the regular education environment.  Instructional modifications within the regular classroom are implemented to ascertain if the problem can be corrected within the regular education utilizing appropriate modifications

    and adaptations.  If difficulties persist despite interventions, the team recommends and makes a referral to the school psychologist to begin a multidisciplinary evaluation with written parent permission.

    STEP 3:  An evaluation to specifically determine the child's exceptionality, educational strengths, weaknesses and needs is scheduled by the school with prior knowledge and written approval by the parents.  If agreement to evaluate is not achieved, either the school system or parents may initiate the procedural safeguard system.  The evaluation procedures and materials must be selected and administered so as to not be racially or culturally discriminatory.

    STEP 4:  A meeting with the parents, school personnel, and if appropriate the child, is scheduled to discuss the results of the Evaluation Report (ER).   Signatures are required indicating agreement or disagreement with the report.  Those disagreeing are encouraged to write a dissenting opinion.

    STEP 5:  If child is deemed exceptional, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed based upon that evaluation.  From this IEP team meeting or others that follow, the child's (IEP) will be developed, written and agreed to by the school, parents, and the child (entire IEP team) where appropriate.  The IEP Team determines appropriate educational placement while maintaining Least Restrictive Environment.

    STEP 6:  When an IEP is agreed to by the parents and school, then the parents are issued a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) to sign.  The education to be provided to the child will be in conformity with the IEP.  If for any reason the school and parents cannot agree on the appropriateness of the IEP, either party may initiate the system outlined in the procedural safeguards.

    STEP 7:   At least annually, each child's IEP and his/her school performance in relation to it will be reviewed for the purpose of specifying the future educational program for the child.

    STEP 8:   At least every three years, a multidisciplinary reevaluation is conducted to review a child's program and eligibility for special education.  In the case of a child diagnosed intellectual disability, an evaluation will take place at least every two years.
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