The Arts Academy Charter Middle School provides a free, appropriate, public education to students with a disability. To qualify as a student with a disability the child must be of school age, in need of specially designed instruction, and meet eligibility criteria for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in Pennsylvania State standards: autism, blindness/visual impairment, deafness/hearing impairment, deaf blindness, orthopedic impairment, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury, mental retardation, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability and speech/language impairment.
The Arts Academy believes strongly in a full inclusion program and strives to find the Least Restrictive Environment for every child’s optimal learning and success. The general education classroom teachers work closely with the Special Education department in planning, adapting, and monitoring instruction individually. Our students with special needs are fully included to their utmost potential into their artistic classes. The students are instructed by highly qualified Special Education teachers and Pennsylvania certified Paraprofessionals. Related services such as Speech/Language Therapy, Vision Therapy, Orientation and Mobility Training, and Occupational Therapy are offered as needed through a collaboration with the Carbon/Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 (CLIOU21).
AACMS engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, physical and speech/language screening; and review by a Child Find team. When screening results suggest that the student may be exceptional, AACS seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is a student with a disability may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time through a written request to the Director of Special Education.
If you feel that your child is in need of special services, you may obtain additional information about special education services and programs and parental due process rights by contacting the Special Education Department at 610-351-0234 x 309