Text Options for the Visually Impaired Font Size: a- A+ Color: A A A Revert 
Close vision bar
Open vision bar

Assistant to the Superintendent, Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services

Agatha Leonard

to our 

Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services



We believe that when it comes to our students




 Ms. Agatha C. Leonard
Assistant to the Superintendent, Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services

Ms. Dawn P. Golden
 Director of Pupil Personnel Services
531 Jones Avenue, North Braddock ,PA 15104
Administration Building 

412-731-1300 x0147  email - leonag@whsd.net 
412-731-1300 x 0154 ,email- goldda@whsd.net

412-271-1595 fax

Ms. Jennifer Johnson- Coordinator of Special Education
412-731-1300 x 0136, email- johnje@whsd.net

Ms. Molly M. Skedel- Coordinator of Special Education
412-731-1300 x 0135, email- skedmo@whsd.net

Ms. Jennifer Rodgers-School-Based Access Program Manager
412-731-1300 x 0137, email-rodgje@whsd.net

Ms. Gina Dearden- Administrative Secretary
412-731-1300 x 0147, email- deargi@whsd.net

Ms. Debbie Breitkreutz- Administrative Secretary  
412-731-1300 x 0141, email- breide@whsd.net

Ms. Lisa Shandrick - Administrative Secretary
412-731-1300 x 0152, email- shanli@whsd.net



Woodland Hills School District provides a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) to exceptional students consistent with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 (P.L. 108-446) and Reauthorization 2006.  To qualify as an exceptional student, 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, Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness ,Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment including Deafness, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment ,Traumatic Brain Injury, Visual Impairment including Blindness, and in the case of a child that is of pre-school age- Developmental Delay.


Identification procedures ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate program consisting of individualized special education and related services.  At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with local,state and federal law and planned to ensure 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 may include: hearing, vision, physical and speech/language screening; a review of group-based data (cumulative academic records, ability and achievement test scores, enrollment records, report cards, and health records); and a review by the building-level team.  When screening results suggest that a student may need special education services, Woodland Hills School District will, with written informed parent consent, conduct an evaluation. 


Parents who suspect their child may need special education services may also submit a written request for an evaluation to the school principal in any of our buildings.


  Services designed to meet the needs of exceptional students include: a timely evaluation and the annual development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Parents are considered to be an integral and equal partner in the IEP process. We strongly recommend that you attend or participate in all IEP meetings.  If you are unable to participate in person,alternative means of participation are acceptable such as a phone conference, video conference,etc. Woodland Hills School District will make every effort to ensure parent participation and satisfaction.


 The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of those services are determined by the IEP team and based on several factors, primarily upon the student’s identified needs and abilities.  Consideration is also given to the student’s chronological age and level of intensity of the specified intervention.  The district provides supplementary aids and services, such as transportation, physical therapy,occupational therapy, and a full gamit of classroom and other setting accommodations and modifications as necessary for the student to benefit from the regular education and special education program.


   Parents may obtain additional information about special education services and programs and parental due process rights by contacting the child’s school principal or the Special Education Office at 412-731-1300 ext. 0141 or 0147.


We are very pleased to share with you that we successfully operated our own WOODLAND HILLS ESY (EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR) this past school year for our students who qualified.  We  provided a four- week ESY program totaling 80 hours of service. As we begin another year of planning our program,please stay tuned to our work scheduled dates so that you can be a part of this exciting program and help us plan!

Please read the summary below.

As we prepare for our 2nd year, we will offer the schedule below:

Student Time:8:00AM-12:30PM

Staff Time: 7:45AM-12:45PM(several full days for field trip/enrichment activities)


Beginning the 1st week  after July 4th







During the summer of 2016, Woodland Hills School District opened their doors to our “Wolverines” who qualified for Extended School Year.  These students were offered special education and related services in order to ensure their provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

During our kick off year, everyone participated in fun and motivating activities that addressed each student’s individualized academic, social/emotional, and/or behavioral goals.  Teachers used creative hands-on activities such as building bird houses to combine creative math and science experiences. Teachers also embedded sensory alerting strategies such as music to engage students in their learning process.  As the month of July progressed, the learning process for the students went beyond the classroom walls.  We were able to incorporate on-campus fieldtrip experiences with the Humane Society and Swissvale Fire Department.  Students were able to learn about their community and experience the pride of learning that former “Wolverines” are participating members of these community agencies. 

As we concluded our first district ESY program, we were able to see a spark of excitement in the eyes of all those who participated.  Teachers were planning ideas for next year, students were asking if the program would continue to be here next year, and positive parent comments could be heard about the length of the program day, the structure, and delight they could see in their child both before and after each ESY day. 

During the 2016-2017 school year, we will continue to assess all strengths and needs of our first year in order to continue to build our ESY program. On an  administrative level, we would like thank the following: the school board for giving us the opportunity to start our program; the parents for allowing their children to participate;  the students for coming to the program;  and finally to all the faculty, staff, bus drivers, monitors and food service for helping us create a wonderful first year!



  • Implementation of co-teaching model
  • Daily administrative program supervision
  • Overall positive transportation service delivery
  • Good teacher use of technology integration
  • Provision of related services including…
    • Therapeutic
    • Speech/language
    • Nursing
    • Occupational/Physical Therapy


ESY 2015-2016 School Year

Our AWESOME students had fun!!!





Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services Board Committee Meeting


Community Royalty Free Stock Image







Meeting Dates:

January 24, 2017

February 21, 2017

March 21, 2017

April 25, 2017

May 23, 2017

June 28, 2017



It would be a pleasure to have YOU join us for presentations and discussions about our Special Education services. Come and learn about all of the quality programs and services for our kids in the school district. Meetings are held in our administration building located at 531 Jones Avenue, North Braddock, PA ,15104. If you are seeking out more information about special education topics,this can be an excellent professional development opportunity as it is very informative and enriching. Our parents are strongly encouraged to attend.






National Birth Defects Prevention Month 

Poverty in America Awareness Month

Self-Help Group Awareness Month


Black History Month

Human Relations Month

Heart & Stroke Awareness Month

Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month and Low Vision Month

World Cancer Day

National Boost Your Self-Esteem Month


Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month and Low Vision Month-For more information,go to www.preventblindness.org

National Self-Injury Awareness Month

Epilepsy Month

Easter Seals Month


Autism Awareness Month 

The links below will keep you abreast of what’s new in ASD in our region and beyond:


·         Autism Connection of PA – local support group

Autism Connection Spring Conference:http://www.autismofpa.org/spring-conference-2016/

·         AutismSpeaks of PA – local branch of national organization

Broad topics of interest, including free downloadableToolkitswww.AutismSpeaks.org  

·         Autism Society – valuable information plus, links to statistics on the incidence of autism

Resources and links: http://www.autism-society.org/in-the-news/autism-prevalence-rates/   

·         ASERT – Autism Resources site affiliated with the commonwealth of PA

Training modules, upcoming events in the state, and more:http://www.paautism.org/   

·         National Autism Conference – co-sponsored PaTTAN and Penn State, August 1-4, 2016

Comprehensive autism conferencehttp://autism.outreach.psu.edu/   

·         Organization for Autism Research – instructional videos helpful for all ages. Supports quality research.


Free access to tools for classmates and adult learnerswww.researchautism.org   


Youth Homelessness Matters Day


National Gifted Education Awareness Day


Cultural Unity Day 


Better Speech & Hearing Month

Mental Health Month

National Mobility Awareness Month


International Children's Day

World Brain Tumor Day

World Sickle Cell Day

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day


Disabilities Awareness DayNational Birth Defects Prevention Month 

Poverty in America Awareness Month


National Birth Defects Prevention Month 

Poverty in America Awareness Month


National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 
National Children Cancer Awareness Month
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
National Baby Safety Awareness Month
September 4-World Cerebral Palsy Day

Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Bullying Prevention Month

National Depression Awareness & Education Awareness Month

Spina Bifida Awareness Month

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Hydrocephalas Day


National Diabetes Awareness Month 

National Prematurity Awareness Month


Universal Human Rights Month




Western PA Newsletter, September-October 2016



Remembering Autism Speaks Co-Founder Suzanne Wright

“What Suzanne Wright has done to raise awareness of autism is immeasurable. Even during the past few difficult months, her determination never wavered." Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright died on Friday, July 29, 2016 at her home in Fairfield, CT. Suzanne, who fought a courageous nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer, was surrounded by her family at the time of her death. She was 69. Read more about Suzanne's life, and the great legacy she leaves behind.

Pittsburgh Walk Updates

Progress to Goal:
We're still going strong! To date, we have officially raised almost $685,000, getting us closer and closer to our goal of $760,000. Your support is critical to the mission of Autism Speaks to fund research, increase awareness and family services and advocate for individuals with autism and their families. Want to make a post Walk donation, or check out the latest team statistics? Click here to see where you rank, and if you have made it to the new Walk Wall of Fame! We're updating listings frequently to recognize and sincerely thank those teams who have met or exceeded their goals.

2017 Will Be Here Before We Know It – Here’s What’s Coming:
We’re looking forward to our best year yet. In 2017, we will be recognizing the outstanding efforts of our 2016 Teams and Individual Walkers at our new Walk Kickoff and Recognition Luncheon. This allows us the opportunity to recognize and sincerely thank those who have demonstrated commitment to our mission in 2016 in front of a larger audience – which includes the next generation of fundraisers for the Pittsburgh Autism Speaks Walk! Last year, over half of the audience at our kickoff event included new participants who had never attended a Walk event previously. This newly combined ceremony is designed to inspire new donors and showcase the talents of our current Walk community on a much larger scale. As soon as we have a date set, you’ll be the first to know!

Also, the new Walk website will be launching in October! Our new software platform will be easier to navigate as well as offer exciting new features. We can’t wait to share it with you!

Remember, we fundraise throughout the year - and here's more ways you can contribute to the cause!

(*For more details about any event, please contact our office. Some flyers and/or additional information is posted on our social media as details are made available.)

Aleena’s Avengers’ Annual Sporting Clay Shoot
Saturday, September 17, 2016
9:00am Shotgun Start
Email davezalewski@hotmail.com for a brochure and/or to register.
Promise Land Hunting Reserve – Freeport, PA

Autism Speaks FUNdraising Weekend at Triple B Farms
Saturday, September 24, 2016 and Sunday, September 25, 2016
All Proceeds from $20 Build Your Own Scarecrow Activity 
Benefits Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter; Other Daily Admission Rates Apply
Triple B Farms - Monongahela, PA

Following their Beat's Painting With a Purpose 
Sunday, November 6, 2016
BYOB. Pre-sale only. Light refreshments provided. Enter to win prizes! Emailthehowards1029@gmail.com for more information.
Painting With a Twist - Monroeville, PA

Charmed by Charity Soiree with Alex and Ani Pittsburgh
Friday, December 9, 2016
15% of all sales during the event will benefit the Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter
Alex and Ani - Pittsburgh, PA 

Autism Speaks to Young Professionals (AS2YP) Pittsburgh Launch Party Is Days Away - And We're Having a Contest!

Register now for the AS2YP Pittsburgh Launch Party, and enter into a drawing for a chance to win TWO tickets to the 2016 Chefs Create Pittsburgh gala! Only attendees who are pre-registered will be entered for a chance to win.

When: Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Where: Penn Society; 960 Penn Ave; Pittsburgh, PA 15222 
(basement of Ten Penny)
How: Register online today at:
(This event is free to attend)

Autism Speaks to Young Professionals (AS2YP) increases opportunities for individuals in their 20's and 30's to become involved with Autism Speaks. AS2YP supports the Autism Speaks mission through fundraising, social events, volunteer projects, community outreach initiatives, and much more. The group connects members professionally and socially through a number of different events.

If you are interested in learning more, please email Elizabeth Molnar, Manager of Field Development:elizabeth.molnar@autismspeaks.org.

The Deadline Is Near - Apply Today for a Grant from the Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter

The Autism Speaks Family Services Local Grant Applications opened on Monday, July 11, 2016 and closes on Friday, September 23, 2016. Local organizations, schools and summer camps in need of funding to increase services and expand capacity to benefit individuals and families in our local autism community should apply. Have a say in where the dollars that you have worked so hard to fundraise go - please share this information within your networks, and/or apply for funding today!

Fall 2016 Service Provider Round Table Meeting Scheduled


The next meeting of the Service Provider Round Table is Friday, October 7, 2016 at 9:30am. We meet in the Montessori Room at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, located in The Waterfront of Homestead, PA.

The Service Provider Round Table is a quarterly meeting opportunity led by the Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter that allows participants to share information and upcoming events, discuss topics of concern, and network with other service providers and organizations across the Western Pennsylvania region. This event also allows Autism Speaks to share important updates in regards to advocacy efforts, awareness campaigns (such as Light It Up Blue during the month of April), family services (including local grant opportunities), and current research.

If you or your organization provides any type of service or support to the local autism community, we invite you to join us! Contact Catherine Hughes, Senior Coordinator of Field Development atcatherine.hughes@autismspeaks.org to get involved. Attendance at meetings is by RSVP only.

Chef's Create Pittsburgh - November Isn't Far Away

Plans for Chefs Create Pittsburgh are moving right along! Tickets are selling fast for our gala, scheduled on Friday, November 18, 2016 at the Fairmont Pittsburgh. If you haven't purchased yours yet, visit our website by clicking the link above. You can buy tickets directly online! 

At Chefs Create Pittsburgh, we pair over a dozen of Pittsburgh’s finest chefs with an individual on the autism spectrum to create a unique, one of a kind dish in their honor that truly tells a story. An exclusive silent auction and basket raffles are just a few of the many exciting features of this prestigious event. Joining us for 2016 thus far are Aviva Brick Oven, Chartiers Country Club, Coca Cafe, Don's Appliances, Habitat, Papagallo Cucina, Rumfish Grille, Seviche, Sausalido, Ten Penny, and Zuppa's Delicatessen. 

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank our sponsors to date, including Executive Chef Sponsor FedExGround, and Print Sponsor RR Donnelly Pittsburgh. We are so grateful for their commitment.

Interested in getting involved with the planning committee? Want to make a donation? Contact Catherine Hughes, Senior Coordinator of Field Development at catherine.hughes@autismspeaks.org

Lunch and Learns - Book Your Date Today


The Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter has already been in touch with a number of businesses, organizations, youth groups, and schools to schedule Lunch and Learn opportunities (as well as youth-friendly assemblies). These brief but informative sessions help people of all ages across our community learn about our mission, how autism affects individuals, families and their surrounding communities, how fundraising dollars make a difference locally and nationally, available resources and how to get involved with local efforts. Contact our office and speak to any staff member to schedule a date - call 412-367-4571 or email us at pittsburgh@autismspeaks.org.

Family Services

What To Do If Your Friend's Child Is Diagnosed With Autism

This guest post is by Katie Read who is a writer, Marriage and Family Therapist, and mom to two young boys with autism. 

Helping Students With Autism Make the Back to School Transition

This “Got Questions?” response comes from autism educator Peter Gerhardt. Dr. Gerhardt is world-renowned for his work with adolescents on the autism spectrum. 

Learn more about all of Autism Speaks’ family services.


2016 Autism Law Summit Registration Is Open

Please join us in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Friday - Sunday, October 7-9 for a discussion of State and Federal policy related to autism spectrum disorders with Autism Speaks’ Government A?airs Team and other national autism policy experts.

Career and Technical Education Bill Unanimously Passes Committee

The House Education and the Workforce Committee has voted unanimously to approve the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587), a bill that would reauthorize our nation’s career and technical education (CTE) programs and help students with autism gain skills necessary for employment.

Learn more about our Autism Speaks’ advocacy efforts.


Unraveling the Mystery of Autism: One Person at a Time

“If you’ve seen one person with autism, you’ve seen one person with autism.” So begins Newsweek science writer Aimee Swartz’s in-depth look at a new wave of research into autism’s complex genetics with the aim of developing more personalized treatments.


The Power of AGRE: Families Advancing Autism Research 

Learn how the Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Research Exchange is powering research that’s improving healthcare for people with autism. 

Learn more about Autism Speaks science and research efforts.

Community Events - What's Happening? 

We are proud to provide a listing of local community events conducted by surrounding Western PA organizations in the Greater Pittsburgh area that you may wish to learn more about or attend. 

Our Community Events Section is sponsored by FedEx Ground.

Wesley Spectrum's Night for Autism 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden - Pittsburgh, PA

Dinner at Dave and Busters With Autism Personal Coach

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Dave and Buster's at The Waterfront - Homestead, PA

Is Autism Medical? Looking Beyond Behavior (with Kristi Wees, Empowered Medical Advocacy) 

Saturday, November 5, 2016
Autism Connection of PA - Etna, PA 


Autism Speaks Pittsburgh can be found on social media! 

Facebook: @autismspeaksgreaterpittsburgh
Twitter: @AutismSpeaksPGH
Instagram: @autismspeakspittsburgh
Official Hashtag: #AutismSpeaksPGH

Contact Us

Brett Spitale: Executive Director
Elizabeth Molnar: Manager, Field Development and Walk Director
Catherine Hughes: Senior Coordinator, Field Development

Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter
8035 McKnight Road, Suite 301
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
412-367-4571 (office)
412-367-4574 (fax)
www.autismspeaks.org/pittsburgh (*OUR NEW WEBSITE IS UP!)

Have an idea for a story? Do you have local news, a community event or upcoming fundraiser to share with our readers? Send an email to pittsburgh@autismspeaks.org.



© 2016 Autism Speaks and Autism Speaks It's Time to Listen & Design are Trademarks and Owned by Autism Speaks, Inc.

All rights reserved.

Autism Speaks | 1 East 33rd Street | 4th Floor | New York | NY | 10016













Our Fall/Winter newsletters have gone out in the mail.  Didn't get one?  You can read the newsletter online at http://www.efwp.org/about/2016_EFWCP_Fall_Winter_Newsletter.pdf.  If you would like to start receiving paper copies of our twice yearly newsletter, call to get on our mailing list or email staff@efwp.org with your request.         


This newsletter features:

     Spotlight on Scholarships

     Spotlight on Safety            

     Many Ways to Give

     NEW - Raising Awareness Raising the Bar -

all about people who persevere with epilepsy, who raise money and who raise awareness. 





Upcoming Events for National Epilepsy Awareness Month

 (and Beyond)


November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month! Not only are we working hard to spread awareness but so are our proud supporters! Here's just a quick overview of some of the amazing awareness events and projects happening around PA:





Bender Virtual Career Fair:

Employment for People with Disabilities

November 15, 2016


Virtual Event open to Students & Alumni from 2-Year and 4-Year
Colleges and Universities across the United States

For more information, or to register: 







Parent Education Workshop in York

Saturday, November 5, 9:30a - 12:00p

RSVP by November 2 | Gretchen Knaub | 800-336-0301

WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital | Community Room S1005


Supporting Parents, Supporting Kids Conference

Essential skills and knowledge for parents of children with special health care needs

Saturday, November 12, 10:00a - 2:00p

RSVP by October 28 | Amanda Stein | 412-322-5880

RLA Learning & Conference Center | Cranberry Township


Holiday Party in Erie

Sunday, November 20, 12:00p - 3:00p

RSVP by November 14 | Andrea Zonneveld | 814-451-1135

Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel


Erie Festival of Trees

Friday, November 25 - Sunday, November 27

Bayfront Convention Center

The EFWCP will be decorating a tree for the Erie Festival of Trees - come look for our tree to learn more about our programs!


Nutmegz Cupcakes

Johnstown bakery, Nutmegz, will sell vanilla cupcakes with purple icing beginning November 1


Allegheny Courthouse 

The Courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh will be lit purple November 1-17, then will alternate with holiday colors throughout the rest of November.


Johnstown Bridge 

The Stone Bridge in Johnstown, PA will be lit purple November 5 - November 11.


Capitol Building

The Capitol Building in Harrisburg will be lit purple November 1-10 and November 21-30. 


Pittsburgh Holiday Party

Saturday, December 3, 12:00p-3:00p

RSVP by November 21 | Francine | 800-361-5885

Sokol Club, Pittsburgh


Johnstown Holiday Party

Friday, December 9, 6:00p - 9:00p

RSVP by December 1 | Chelsea Fallier | 814-262-7494

Anthony's Restaurant, Johnstown


Central PA Holiday Party

Saturday, December 10, 12:00p - 3:00p

RSVP by December 6 | Laura Woodward | 800-336-0301

Radisson Hotel, Camp Hill


Office Closures

Please note our offices are closed on the following days for holidays:

November 24, November 25, December 23, December 26, January 2





Show us your NEAM!

Do you know of any events we haven't included? Do you have any purple plans this month? How will you be spreading awareness in your community? Share your plans with us on Social Media!


Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/EFWCP/ 

Instagram | @efwcp

Twitter | @efwcp 







Epilepsy heroes are all around us and often go unrecognized - but that's about to change. Actor and longtime epilepsy advocate Greg Grunberg has partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals on a new social media campaign called#MyEpilepsyHero. And we want to hear from YOU!


Starting November 1, for National Epilepsy Awareness Month through December 15, we are asking people to post on social media about their epilepsy heroes. These heroes can be a family member, health care provider, mentor, friend or advocate, or someone with epilepsy themselves - anyone that provides inspiration, support or motivation. Details can be shared through photos, video or text, but should always use #MyEpilepsyHero when posting because Sunovion will make a donation to the Epilepsy Foundation for every campaign post up to $10,000.


We can't wait to learn about your heroes and see what you share! Visitwww.Facebook.com/Sunovion to learn more.



Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central PA

800-322-5880 | www.efwp.org


                                 Special Education


Confidentiality and Its Application

Confidentiality Statement

All student information is confidential. This is an extremely important component of the law. There are many federal laws and state statutes that protect the privacy of educational records. The main federal law pertaining to student records is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Information or records falling under this law must remain confidential. Disciplinary action and legal liability can result from failure to comply with District policies and federal regulations regarding privacy. School staff must recognize that even conversations with non-school personnel or school personnel without an educational involvement with a specific child can be a violation of this act. Information and records covered under this act may include, but are not limited to: personal and family data, evaluation and test data, psychological, medical and anecdotal reports, records of school achievement and progress reports, disability information, and copies of correspondence concerning students. Remember that matters regarding students are confidential and cannot be a topic of public discussion in any public setting.Even if you do not mention a student’s name, talking about an incident can give identifiable information. Woodland Hills School District has adopted policies that ensures confidentiality is respected . The Board has adopted  a comprehensive plan for all aspects of student records that conforms to the mandates of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and its regulations; the Guidelines for the Collection, Maintenance, and Dissemination of Student Records; and Standards for Special Education.  Board Policy 207 directs school personnel to comply with all federal and state laws, Department of Education regulations and Board policy concerning confidential communications of students.   For additional information regarding your right to privacy, See Board Policy # 207 and 216.


Please click on a link for Procedural Safeguards:

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16


 Services for Preschool Children with Disabilities-Early Intervention

The Early Intervention Services Act-Act 212-entitles all pre-school children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services.  The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, defined as children from birth through two years of age.  If you have a concern regarding your child's development,please call CONNECT Services.The toll free number:1-800-692-7288. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to pre-school children (ages 3-5) with disabilities. If your child is less than the age of 5 and at least 3 years of age, they are considered to have a developmental delay when identified difficulties exist in the areas of cognitive, communicative, physical, social/emotional and self-help development.If your preschool-aged child needs early intervention services,you may contact the DART(Discovery,Assessment,Referral and Tracking)program administered through the AIU3(Allegheny Intermediate Unit) at 412-394-5700.

Please click on the link below for more information about Early Intervention services.

A Family's Introduction to Early Intervention in Pennsylvania Resource Guide

While all children grow and develop in unique ways, some children experience delays in their development. Children in Pennsylvania with developmental delays and disabilities benefit from a state supported collaboration among parents, service practitioners and others who work with young children. Pennsylvania's Early Intervention program provides support and services to families with children, from birth to age five, with developmental delays and disabilities. Early intervention builds upon the natural learning opportunities that occur within the daily routines of a child and their family.

Early Intervention:

  • Helps children with disabilities develop and learn to their fullest potential
  • Enhances each family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of their child in the settings where children would be if they did not have a disability
  • Respects the family's strengths, values, diversity and competencies and answers families' questions about their child's development.

Services such as parent education, support services, developmental therapies and other family-centered services that assist in child development may be included in a family's early intervention program. Services may be provided in the child's home, child care center, nursery school, play group, Head Start program, early childhood special education classroom or other settings familiar to the family. Early intervention supports and services are embedded in typical routines and activities, within the family, community and/or early care and education settings. Early intervention services are provided at no cost to families.

Parents who have questions about their child's development may contact the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288. The CONNECT Helpline assists families in locating resources and providing information regarding child development for children ages birth to age 5. In addition, CONNECT can assist parents by making a direct link to their county early intervention program or local preschool early intervention program.

To make a referral for early intervention, please call the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 www.connectpa.net





Chapter 14:Special Education Services and Programs


The Woodland Hills School District is committed to providing an appropriate special education program for its students with disabilities. We offer a full continuum of educational services.   Currently in our eight school buildings are 58 special education classes in operation for the 2013-2014 school year.  In addition, serving our eight buildings are one itinerant vision teacher, one itinerant hearing teacher, interpreters for the hearing impaired and seven speech and language pathologists.Our school district has three certified school psychologists.The exceptionalities currently being served in our district buildings are: visually impaired, hearing impaired, emotional support, life skills support, learning support, speech and language support, autistic support, multi-disabilities support, and orthopedically impaired support students. For students whose needs go beyond those which we can support in our home school buildings, we contract with  select special facilities such as: approved private schools, private licensed facilities, and special education centers.  Most children are referred for evaluation either by parents or members of the staff. Each of our eight school buildings has teams of staff trained in the student assistance program. This is a intervention program that is utilized in all of our schools.Multidisciplinary teams,led by our certified school psychologists,in each building continually assess and support the special needs of our students. Parents are active members of the building teams and as mentioned may initiate an evaluation of their child if they think that their child may have a disability.If the child meets the state eligibility criteria for special education services he/she will require specially designed programming and instruction. There is a wide range of programming available to students residing in the Woodland Hills School District where the primary goal is to keep our students as closely involved in the regular education classroom as possible. The special education programming may range from support in the regular education classroom to special programs in select special facilities. 

  Our strength in the special education services and programs lies in its primary function:to provide the most appropriate service we can provide in the least restrictive,if appropriate.Woodland Hills School District looks at  each of our students as individual with their own unique strengths and needs.It is through the IEP team that we determine the appropriate educational program for every student through a case by case process.

    All students are eligible and encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities. The Woodland Hills sports program has a number of students with disabilities who represent a cross section of all positions and in all roles on sports teams.The Woodland Hills band also encourages our students to participate.We are proud that our students have achieved many awards and recognition in band competitions. We encourage our students with disabilities to participate in all extracurricular activities that are available in the school district.For more information about clubs,activities,sports and other important extra curricular activities,contact your building principal to see what is offered in your child's building.


New AND Transfer Students to Woodland Hills School District:


If your child is transferring into our schoool district with an IEP from another school district in the commonwealth or another school district outside of the commonwealth,we will make every effort to provide a similar program for your child.Please be aware that our school district's multidisciplinary team will need to conduct an evaluation to determine the most appropriate educational programming needs for your child.Within thirty days(one month) after your child transfers in and is registered with our school district,you will receive a letter from our certified school psychologist or other staff member to begin this process.Your input is valuable and required by law.

Chapter 15: Services for Protected Handicapped Students(504 Plans)

In compliance with state and federal law, the Woodland Hills School District provides services or accommodations to protected handicapped students.  These services ensure equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities and needs.These services are provided without discrimination or cost to our students and families.To qualify for services as a “Protected Handicapped Student,” the child must be of school age and have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to any aspect of the school program.Additional information on evaluation procedures and services for protected handicapped students can be obtained from the child’s school principal or the Special Education Department  at 412-731-1300.


Chapter 16:Special Education for Gifted Students

 PA School Law includes gifted students as “children with exceptionalities” who need specially designed instruction. The key to challenging the gifted student is the connection between instruction and individual cognitive and affective behaviors.

Woodland Hills School District places a great emphasis on special programs for these students to stimulate the cognitive processes of creativity, originality, problem solving and complexity (increasing content depth and sophistication.) Woodland Hills School District serves students who are mentally gifted at each of our eight school buildings. Chapter 16 22 PA Code.

  Woodland Hills School District ‘s high quality gifted programs are designed to promote a cross curricular approach include all academic disciplines delivered in individual and small group sessions that offer hands -on, product -oriented activities that involve critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, research, leadership and activities to promote positive interactions with career professionals.

When a student is “thought to be” gifted, Woodland Hills School District utilizes a screening and identification process that utilizes information and input from a variety of sources. The data is then compared to predetermine multiple criteria for gifted potential/performance. The screening process may include the following information, to the extent available:

  •   Ability Tests

  •   Cumulative Records

  •   Enrollment Records

  •   Parent Inventories

  •   Report Cards

  •   Extra Curricular Academic Performance/Achievements

  •   College Aptitude Test

  •   Interest Inventories

  •   Anecdotal Information-parent, educator, other

  •   Group Intelligence Tests

  •   Readiness/Developmental Tests

  •   Health /Medical Records


Please note: This list is not exhaustive.


Click below to open a Gifted parent guide:

 Gifted Parents Guide.pdf

     At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the school psychologist prepares a written report that brings together the information and findings from the evaluation concerning the student’s educational needs and strengths. The Evaluation process will conclude with a determination as to whether the student is gifted and in need of specially designed instruction.In addition, the Gifted Written Report (GWR) includes recommendations for the students programming. Once a student is found eligible as a gifted student, a Gifted Individualized Education Plan is developed, written and implemented with written parental consent.

Student Records

 The district’s policy on student records guarantees that parents and eligible students shall have the right to review and obtain a copy of the record; challenge its contents; refuse individual consent where permission is needed for releasing certain information; and file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202.   This policy is in compliance with the Pennsylvania State Board of Education’s regulations and with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).If a child transfers to another school system, the school district will forward the record when a parent-initiated written request is verified from the new school.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Woodland Hills School District protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information regarding exceptional and protected handicapped students in accordance with state and federal law and the district’s student record’s policy.  Custodial and non-custodial parents share the same right of access to their child’s school records unless there is a court order to the contrary.  Student records are always open and available to parents.  Only school officials with a legitimate “need to know” may access a student’s records.