Identification Method

The Saint Clair Area School District uses an ability-achievement discrepancy method.  This method is utilized for the purpose of documenting statistically significant discrepancies between a child's predicted achievement levels in each respective area, based on his or her cognitive abilities, and actual achievement levels as evidenced by performance on a standardized academic achievement assessment.    The district also establishes educational need by reviewing a child's performance on standardized achievement assessments, by reviewing the results of local assessments and by reviewing the student's individual classroom performance.  The following method for identifying students with specific learning disabilities is utilized:

  • Data is evaluated to address whether a student does not achieve adequately for the student's age or meet state-approved grade-level standards.

  • An intervention process based on the student's response to scientific, research-based intervention which includes documentation of high quality instruction, research-based interventions, response to behavior plans, and regular monitoring of student progress is in place.  Progress monitored and presented to determine if interventions are yielding academic/behavioral success.

  • Report cards, 4 Sight assessments, PSSA assessments and DIBELS are utilized to identify strengths, needs, and progress within the general education curriculum.

  • If a student is not responsive to scientific, research-based interventions a recommendation is made for psychological testing to determine if a student is eligible for special education.

  • An evaluation will be utilized to determine patterns of strength and weakness relative to intellectual ability defined by a severe discrepancy between ability and achievement, social emotional status, and behavior strengths and needs.  A psychologist, hearing specialist, doctor, or therapist (OT, Speech/Language, etc.), may be involved in the testing depending on student need.

  • The multi-disciplinary team will convene to determine the need for the special education.

  • Parents can initiate a referral for an evaluation at any time.