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Special Education

Screening and Evaluation Process

The North Star School District utilizes a Multi-Tiered System of Support as the method of determining if students should be referred for special education supports and services. The district’s MTSS process includes universal screening, the use of research-based core curriculum, researched-based interventions, regularly scheduled data meetings, child study meetings and problem-solving meetings (please see flowchart below).

Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Pennsylvania’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a standards-aligned, comprehensive school improvement FRAMEWORK for enhancing academic, behavioral and social-emotional outcomes for ALL students. Response to Intervention (RTI) refers to the methodology that is used to determine how slow is slow (rate of growth) and how low is low (student’s level of performance), as an alternative to ability-achievement discrepancy within the Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Determination process.

Cross-disciplinary teams represented at the district, school, grade and individual levels use a problem-solving process to integrate evidence-based academic, behavioral and social-emotional practices matched to student needs and with fidelity of implementation. A continuum of supports and services exists at all Tiers and is undergirded by high-quality professional learning, cultural responsivity, partnership and meaningful involvement with families, and dynamic decision-making that rests on the use of reliable and valid data sources. Sustainability (transformational change) is the ultimate implementation goal of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and is very much contingent upon Leadership, Organization and Competency.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a multi-tiered approach to social, emotional and behavior support. The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies. PBIS improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities and students from underrepresented groups.

 The North Star School District is committed to identifying students with disabilities and providing them with a free appropriate public education program in compliance with federal and state regulations (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; PA Chapter 14).  The North Star School District provides a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of identified students with disabilities.  Identified students are provided with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) designed to meet their unique educational needs.  The North Star School District strives to meet all the needs of students with disabilities in their home school building.  The North Star School District contracts with other agencies to provide services to those students in need of a more intensive level of support.

Educational disabilities include:

Emotional disturbance
Hearing impairment
Intellectual disability
Multiple disabilities
Orthopedic impairment
Other health impairment
Specific learning disability
Speech or language impairment
Traumatic brain injury
Visual impairment including blindness

Types of Support
Learning Support

Life Skills Support

Speech & Language Support

Emotional Support

Autistic Support

Multiple Disabilities Support

Hearing Impaired Support

Visually Impaired Support

 If you think your child may qualify for special education supports and services and would like to request a Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation, please contact:

Suzanne St. Clair, Supervisor of Special Education at 814-629-1158 or [email protected]                         


Special Education Department

Mrs. Suzanne St.Clair, Supervisor of Special Education
Mr. Christopher Maddas, School Psychologist
Mrs. Joan Pritts, Special Education Secretary