Non-Public School Services
- those already offered in the school district in which the non-public school is located;
- student need based on consultation with the Intermediate Unit and the non-public administrators, teachers, students, and parents;
- budgetary allocations; and
- supply of qualified personnel, materials, and equipment.
- preschool students
- home schooled students
- students whose primary residence is outside of Pennsylvania
- students for whom tuition is paid by the Commonwealth
- Reading Intervention Services
- Speech and Language Services
- School Counseling Services
- Psychological Services
- Standardized achievement testing and scoring
Reading Intervention Services
The WIU employs Pennsylvania-certified Reading Specialists trained in Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) and in Orton- Gillingham through the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE). The Act 89 Literacy Interventionists provide students in Westmoreland County non-public schools with direct, explicit, and systematic supplemental instruction in reading.
Depending on student needs, interventions are provided at both Tier 2 and Tier 3 levels of intensity and support. For students who require remediation at the Tier 2 level, supplemental instruction takes place in a small group setting using materials targeted for developing areas of weakness. Students in need of Tier 3 interventions are provided supplemental, explicit, systematic, individual instruction that is tailored to their needs. Frequent progress monitoring is provided at all levels of intervention, and instructional methods are adjusted accordingly. The goal is to close educational gaps and make significant progress toward grade-level benchmarks.
Because the classroom is the primary center for instruction, WIU continues to provide professional development, including ongoing support through consultation for classroom teachers and administrators in non-public schools. In addition, these services are coordinated with Title 1 interventions where appropriate.
Our Focus: The 5 Big Ideas of Reading
According to the National Reading Panel, the following five big ideas of reading are essential when teaching students to read. They are Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. As Literacy Interventionists, our lessons incorporate each of these components.
Screeners and Diagnostic Assessments
Through screening measures, the Act 89 Literacy Intervention Team collects and analyzes data to determine student need and caseload. This data is used to identify students who may be at risk of struggling with reading. Diagnostic assessments are also used to assess specific components of reading and the individual needs of each student. The results of the diagnostic measures help to determine which specific interventions will be most beneficial to each individual student. Additionally, our team conducts progress monitoring assessments throughout the school year to measure student progress towards a specific goal.
Examples of assessments that are used by our intervention team may include:
- Acadience Learning Online (ALO)
- IMSE’s Reading Skills and Placement Assessments
- Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST)
- LETRS Phonics and Word Reading Survey
- LETRS Spelling Inventory
- Corrective Reading Placement Assessment
- Heggerty Bridge the Gap Assessment
Act 89 interventionists use data collected from screening and diagnostic assessments to develop an intervention plan for each student. Resources are chosen to target specific needs for each student. Interventions are not limited to a specific set of resources, but some resources that may be used in intervention include:
- Heggerty Phonemic Awareness
- Heggerty Bridge to Reading
- Isabel Beck’s Word Building
- IMSE Orton Gillingham
- Deb Glaser’s Morpheme Magic
- Corrective Reading
- SAVVAS Quick Reads
- Florida Center for Reading Research
- University of Florida Literacy Institute
Speech and Language Services
- Articulation speech production
- Receptive, expressive and/or pragmatic
School Counseling Services
- Individual and small group counseling
- Classroom instruction
- Consultation with teachers and parents
- Referral to community resource services
- Liaison and advocacy with community resources
- Individual Student Concerns - Child Centered - The goal is to identify and define a particular student concern with teachers, administrators, and/or parents. The school psychologist can observe the student, consult with teachers and provide direction and assistance to meet the needs of the student, as well as to help foster an optimal learning environment. The school psychologist can provide knowledge and resources to help improve student learning and mental health outcomes. They can also help assist with recommending academic and behavioral interventions as needed. The school psychologist will communicate with all individuals involved with the student and determine the best way of improving the area of concern.
- Classroom Management - The school psychologist may coach and support teachers in creating a structured positive learning environment using a positive behavior support approach and positive school climate. The school psychologist may collaborate with the classroom teachers to help them identify any classroom based concerns and implement data-based interventions. It is imperative to support implementation of effective instruction and behavior management at the classroom level.
- Review and assist in analyzing school-wide data - The school psychologist may assist in the interpretation of data that can be utilized by the school to assess overall academic progress and/or systems of positive behavior support.
The reauthorization of IDEA in 2004 and the subsequent 2006 IDEA regulations significantly changed the obligation of States and local education agencies (LEAs) to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private elementary and secondary schools. LEAs, in which the private schools are located, conduct child find and provide equitable services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities. In Pennsylvania, intermediate units serve as the LEAs for equitable participation.
IDEA mandates that the LEAs (IUs) where the private schools are located, must conduct a thorough and complete child find process to determine the number of parentally-placed children with disabilities attending private elementary schools and secondary schools to calculate the proportionate amount of Federal funds under Part B of the Act that must be spent on parentally-placed private school children with disabilities. The amount of funds available for equitable participation is based on the total number of children with disabilities who are enrolled in the private schools located in the LEA.
Through timely and meaningful consultation, the nonpublic school administrators of Westmoreland County have elected a consultative service model which means Equitable Participation allocations will be directed toward adding resources to lending libraries, professional development and consultations.
Equitable Participation Consultants are available to provide technical assistance and professional development for teacher and administrators. Emphasis is placed on improving education results for children with disabilities. Services include, but are not limited to:
- Assistive Technology
- Least Restrictive Environment / Inclusion
- Secondary Transition Planning
- Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS): Literacy / Mathematics / Behavior
- Youth Mental Health First Aid
- Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs)
- LETRS training
The Equitable Participation Lending Library is a portfolio of professional resources and instructional tools that support teachers, administrators and parents. The lending library resources are delivered directly to your school by the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit. Resources include:
- Professional books (special education related) for teachers, administrators and parents
- Leveled Readers for students in grades 1 - 12, multiple copies per title
- Math Instructional Resources including manipulatives and calculators
- ELA Instructional Resources and manipulatives
- Technology (such as iPads)
Nonpublic Schools Portfolio