Deer Lakes

School District

The ABC’s of Special Needs at Deer Lakes

Accepting all children regardless of their ability.

Believing that all children can learn given the opportunity to progress at their own rate. Caring enough to provide quality education that meets the needs of every child.
What makes special education “Special” for my child?

The Deer Lakes School District professional Staff constantly strives to improve the quality of the curriculum and instruction presented to your child. The district offers a continuum of services and programs that ensures the most appropriate educational placement, and provides an educational plan designed specifically for your child. This pamphlet contains frequently asked questions that will provide you with an overview of some programs available in the Deer Lakes School District for students with special needs.

What Services are available for my preschool child?

What Services are available for my preschool child?
Service for special needs children below school age, who reside in Deer Lakes School District, are provided through two different systems. Programming for children from birth through age two is funded through the PA Department of Welfare (DPW). This programming is coordinated by the Alliance for Infants and Toddlers, Inc., (412) 431-1905.

Children, who are three years old to school entry age, are provided services through PA Department of Education (PDE) funding. This preschool program is presently coordinated by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Early Childhood and Family Support Services program, DART (Discovery, Assessment, Referral, and Tracking). Information about these services can be provided by calling (412) 394-5736.

If my school age child is eligible for special education, what services are offered?
  • Learning
  • Multiple Disabilities Support
  • Support
  • Life Skills Support
  • Hearing Impaired Support
  • Emotional Support
  • Gifted Support
  • Visually Impaired
  • Physical Support
  • Autistic Support
  • Speech/Language Support

Could you briefly describe some of these services?

Our Multiple Disabilities and Life Skills Services provide for children through 21 years of age. The activities in these classes are based on the needs of the students and are designed to prepare them for actual life situations. Since these students will be involved in community activities, functional skills such as riding public transportation, shopping, planning and preparing meals, and developing leisure time interests are a major component of this program.

Other students may be provided with Learning Support, Physical Support, or Emotional Support Services. The student’s curriculum may be adapted to include specifically designed instruction, visual or hearing support, occupational therapy, or even a behavior plan specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the child. In the Deer Lakes School District a full continuum of services is provided ranging from supportive intervention in the regular setting to full time placements.

Does the Deer Lakes School District follow inclusive practices?

Does the Deer Lakes School District follow inclusive practices? Inclusion Models have been developed in all schools in the district. This enables students with special needs to be integrated in the regular classroom with support provided by Special Education Personnel. As a result, these students have the opportunity to participate in activities with their peers rather than being segregated in a separate classroom.
How does Special Education prepare my child for a career or employment in the future?

For our secondary students, the transition from high school to adult life requires careful planning and goal setting. Assessments are used to determine students’ aptitudes and interests, and then the appropriate placement is made by a team of staff members and parents. This may involve taking classes at A.W. Beattie, C.C.A.C. – A.C.E. Program or to secure employment in community-based jobs.
What if my child excels academically?

The Gifted Support Classes provide enrichment activities that enhance and extend the regular curriculum. Students are given the opportunity to participate in accelerated activities to increase their knowledge base and to expand creative thinking skills in an environment that encourages the pursuit of individual interests and talents.

What if my child requires support in speech and language development?

What if my child requires support in speech and language development?
The Speech and Language Staff is constantly developing new strategies on data collection, assessment, goal setting, and therapy delivery. Services are provided as a combination of in-class activities and small groups sessions.

What other services are available to benefit my special needs child?

If your child has a health or medical problem requiring special services, our District is able to provide Visual and Hearing Support, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. We also offer adaptive physical education classes for any students not able to participate in the regular physical education program. Occasionally we may need to provide an assistive device to a student to facilitate learning in the classroom. The Deer Lakes staff identifies the strengths and needs of each student and the teaching strategies that would be most effective in the classroom. The aim of our District is to provide the necessary equipment and services to ensure a successful educational program.
As parents, how involved may I be in my child’s education?

In all facets of the Special Education Program, we encourage you, the Parent, to participate in team meetings, to assist with the development of goals for your child, and to be included in decisions regarding your child’s placement.

If we can be of service to you, please let us know. We want to provide the best possible education for your children to prepare them for the future.

We can make a difference by working together, accepting, believing, and caring, because every child is a special child.