Special & Gifted Education Programs & Services
I. INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT
The Western Montgomery Career & Technology Center (WMCTC) is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) to provide a free, appropriate, public education (“FAPE”) to “children with disabilities”. Pursuant to the IDEA, students are considered to be children with disabilities if they need special education and related services and have one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities:
- Hearing Impairment including Deaf-Blindness
- Visual Impairment including Blindness
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Mental Retardation
- Other Health Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Emotional Disturbance
- Multiple Disabilities
- Specific Learning Disability
- Orthopedic Impairment
The IDEA further requires the provision of FAPE to children with disabilities between the age of three and the WMCTC age of beginners known as “eligible young children”. The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU) provides early intervention services and programs to eligible young children located within the WMCTC districts. Eligible young children are afforded the same rights as school-age children including screening, evaluation, and an appropriate program and services.
II. SERVICES FOR PROTECTED HANDICAPPED STUDENTS
WMCTC must provide services to and may not discriminate against “protected handicapped students” in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. A protected handicapped student is a student who has a physical or mental impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Protected handicapped students may qualify for special services to ensure equal opportunity to participate in the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate for the individual student.
III. GIFTED EDUCATION
In Pennsylvania, school-age students qualify to receive specially designed instruction when they have been identified as “mentally gifted”. A student is mentally gifted when he or she has outstanding intellectual and creative ability to require specially designed programs or support services not ordinarily provided in the regular education program. WMCTC will determine whether a student is mentally gifted based upon multiple criteria, including IQ score, which indicates gifted ability. The determination of gifted ability will not be based on IQ score alone.
IV: SCREENING AND EVALUATION
WMCTC uses procedures to help identify children who may qualify for services, including parent/teacher referrals, review of student records, and screening for hearing, vision, and speech and language problems. If you believe that your child may be eligible for special education and related services or gifted education, screening and evaluation services designed to assess the needs of your child and his/her eligibility are available to you at no cost. You may request screening and evaluation at any time, whether or not your child is enrolled in a WMCTC program. Requests for screening and evaluation may be made in writing to the Administrator at:
77 Graterford Road
Limerick, PA 19468
If you believe that your child may qualify for services as an eligible young child, you may contact the MCIU directly at (610) 539-8550.