Instructional Support Team
PENNCREST uses a comprehensive system of child study in the referral and identification of students with learning concerns. The desired setting for instruction is in the regular class, and all efforts are expended to help the child be successful in that setting.
The Instructional Support Team model is active in each of the district’s three elementary schools on a part-time basis. The IST screens the student’s medical, behavioral, academic, and emotional background in the search for strategies to use in the regular classroom. The team includes all relative school personnel with parents/relatives of the student, and any involved community agencies. A variety of strategies are developed, modeled, and used within the regular classroom and the results are monitored closely. A student may be active with IST as long as needed. Only when all avenues have been explored is a student referred for special education consideration.
The Multi-Disciplinary Team provides additional information concerning the student’s ability to function within the regular class. Additional supports and strategies will be recommended to be used within the regular class. Resource room environments are recommended only when the student cannot experience success in the regular class even with supports and adaptations.
A full continuum of services is available for students with disabilities, provided either through the district or through contract with the IU. Learning support is district operated and is available in all of the district buildings, ranging from full inclusion with consultation services provided to the regular education staff to resource room services for major academic areas. Students in the current learning support programs have diagnoses as varied as Learning Disability, Mentally Retardation, Physical Handicap, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Other Health Impaired, Autism, and Emotional Disturbance.
PENNCREST houses IU#5 operated programs of elementary, junior high and senior high school Multi-Disability Support. The district provides Emotional Support programming for students in grades K-12 in local school buildings. :Life Skills Support programmign is offered for student grades k-12 witihn the PENNCREST attendacne area. Speech/Language Support services are available in each PENNCREST building. The related services of , Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy are provided as needed bu IU5. staff. Services are provided to the extent needed for students with visual or hearing impairments.
The district accesses the services of IU#5 operated classes in neighboring districts when a student cannot be provided the identified services and supports for within the district borders. District personnel are directly involved with the education of district students who attend these classes. They attend all conferences and meetings. The students are encouraged to participate in the extra-curricular activities of their home school.
PENNCREST School District contracts with IU5 for the services of a certified Behavioral Specialst Consultant who is also certifed in best practice methodologies relating to the Autism Spectrum Disorder. She provides direct support and servicxes for students, staff and families in all three district attendance areas.