PDE Special Education Policy update 9/5/2023


Please visit the links to access more information regarding a policy update from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education regarding the change in age of eligibility for a free and appropriate public education.

Proposed Special Education Plan

The Special Education Plan is a subset of the Carbondale Area School District Comprehensive Plan. The current plan began on July 1, 2020, and was set to expire on June 30, 2023. The Carbondale Area School District is in Cohort II for Special Education Planning.


The Special Education Plan consists of the following information:


  • Special education indicators that may be flagged
  • Special education corrective action or improvement plans
  • Significant disproportionalities in the areas of placement, discipline, and identification
  • A description of special education programs offered by the district, as well as programs and placements we utilize outside of our district
  • A description of practices used to ensure students receive their education in the Least Restrictive Environment
  • Explanations of how Positive School Wide Behavior and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support act as pre-referral systems and support students with and without disabilities
  • A description of the related services provided by the district
  • A description of professional development related to special education


Before board approval, the special education plan must be posted for 28 days for public inspection and comment. A copy of the plan can be found in the district administration office. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Heather Tolerico, Director of Special Education at heather.tolerico@carbondalearea.org.


The period of public review will run from 3/31/23 – 4/27/23. The plan will be presented to the board during the April board meeting.  Upon approval, the plan will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education on May 1st.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires Pennsylvania to ensure that the total number of student assessed in each subject using the PASA does not exceed one percent of the total number of all students in the state assessed on the statewide assessments.  Each local educational agency (LEA) must complete and submit the PASA 1.0% of its students enrolled in grades 3-8 and 11 will be assessed using the PASA. A list of LEAs who anticipate exceeding the threshold will be made publicly available on the PDE website, in accordance with 34 CFR 200.6(c)(3) regulations.  LEAs must also make the document publicly available upon request, removing any personally identifiable information.  The Carbondale Area School District anticipates exceeding the 1.0 percent threshold for PASA participation for the 2020-2021 testing cycle.  The necessary justification information has been submitted to the Bureau of Special Education.  Questions on the Carbondale Area School District’s participation rates should be directed to Heather Tolerico,  Director of Special Education at heather.tolerico@carbondalearea.org or 1-844-330-2273 Ext: 1230.

Act 55 of 2022

For more information on Act 55 of 2022, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education Website at the link below:

PA Department of Education – Act 55

To submit an Act 55 of 2022 Student Enrollment Form with Carbondale Area School District, please contact

Mrs. Heather Tolerico
, Director of Special Education

(570) 282-5656 or heather.tolerico@carbondalearea.org

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