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Pennsylvania Department of Education Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education 333 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333 Student Services Report Monday, July 12, 2010 Entity: Southern Columbia Area SD Address: 800 Southern Drive Catawissa, PA 17820-8410 Phone: (570) 356-7310 Contact Name: Robert Mahalick Educational Community The Southern Columbia Area School District is located in the scenic Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. It is composed of Catawissa Borough, and the Townships of Catawissa, Cleveland, Franklin, Roaring Creek, and Locust in Columbia County, and Ralpho Township in Northumberland County. The district has a population of approximately 14,500 people. It is a rural atmosphere slowly changing from an agricultural area to a suburban community. The campus is located in the southern part of Columbia County, approximately 65 miles northeast of Harrisburg, on Route 487, 5.5 miles south of Catawissa, and 5.5 miles north of Elysburg. All of the district's facilities are located on the same 119 acre campus. The high school was constructed in 1961 and now houses grades 9-12. The elementary center was constructed in 1975 and now serves K-4. Major renovations and editions to both buildings were completed in 1990. During the 2000-2001 school term, the Southern Columbia Middle School began serving grades 5-8, a Middle School Wing was added to the high school for grades 7 and 8, while grades 5 and 6 remain housed in the elementary center. These facilities included athletic fields, a playground, and a nature trail. These schools serve approximately 1440 students on our campus while an additional 40 students attend a comprehensive vocational technical school, Columbia - Montour Vo-Tech. The profile and size of the student population has remained virtually the same over the past two decades with a decline of approximately one hundred students. Although, the size of the special needs population has increased in size and complexity of service needs. Our schools and students are often recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and athletic championships. We have maintained our stated mission through an ongoing focus on all students and continuous improvement. Students are provided many opportunities to excel academically, culturally, athletically and civically. Our class sizes are small, promoting students' high levels of achievement. Instruction occurs at students' developmental levels and opportunities for acceleration and enrichment are provided. Our elementary is appreciated for the nurturing environment provided to students as they develop strong foundation skills. Approximately 80% of our elementary students perform at the proficient or advanced levels measured by the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment. Within the middle school, academics are also prioritized with a strong focus on the developmental needs of preadolescents and similarly score well above the No Child Left Behind target thresholds as well as state averages. Our high school students excel in academic and leadership skills with many receiving individual awards in the fields of music, technology skills, FBLA competitions, over-all academic honors, and athletics, while at the same time nearly 85% of the student body participates in extra-curricular activities. Southern Columbia has maintained a graduation rate of 95%, and over 80% matriculate into higher education. The professional staff consists of a Superintendent; Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology; Director of Special Education and Student Services; Business Manager; three Principals, one for each level. The district employs one hundred sixteen teachers for the elementary, middle, high school and special education classes. The district also operates its own transportation, cafeteria, maintenance, and cleaning services which helps to maintain the overall continuity of the educational process on our single campus at an on demand level of service. Internally, there are regular meetings at every level to enhance communications, governance, clarity of purpose, curriculum & instruction, development, improvement, supervision and services. Mission The mission of the members of the Southern Columbia Area School District's community is to provide a safe, positive, quality learning environment that recognizes individuals and develops lifelong learners who value and respect self and others, who contribute to their community, and who meet challenges in a constantly changing world. Vision Southern Columbia Area School District's Vision Statement SCA : Preparing each student for the future; every way, every day! Shared Values The Southern Columbia Area Community believes that: * All children can learn. * Every student deserves a physically, educationally and emotionally safe learning environment. * Learning is a lifelong process. * We believe student achievement is positively affected by the active involvement of caring adults in a supportive environment. * We believe the goal of education is to develop literate, self-directed learners who possess the critical thinking and communication skills necessary to be successful and competitive in the 21st century. * We believe teaching methods must address and be responsive to individual students' needs. * Educational excellence is a collaborative process and a shared responsibility of the student, family and staff. * Students' educational experiences should be founded in the rigorous study of traditional academic disciplines. * Students' educational experiences should enable them to become effective communicators, independent learners, motivated critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers. * Our learning community should foster understanding and respect for every individual. * Our learning community should promote responsible citizenship. * In the establishment and maintenance of high standards, and expectations for all members of the school community. * Effective leadership sustains educational excellence. * All district professional education needs to be focused upon and directly connected to student achievement, allowing each instructor to build their repertoire of best practices and utilize research based programs. * Recruiting and retaining high quality staff is vital to achieving our mission. * Technology is the quintessential tool for 21st century learning and skill development. * An informed and involved community strengthens the school system. Strategic Planning Process The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is composed of administrators, professional staff, student(s), parents, community residents and School Board Members. All administrators were welcomed and some had leadership roles with various plans. Teachers, parents and community residents volunteered. Students from the High School Student Council were selected. All School Board Members were welcomed, several volunteered to serve on more than one committee. The Steering Committee identified the vision, mission and shared values. Two administrators authored the plans with committees assisting them with the development of the Professional Education, Induction, Student Services, and Special Education Plans. Building technology coordinators authored the Educational Technology Plan with the assistance of staff surveys and the Administrative Team. The administrators identified and refined the goals. At scheduled meetings the goals and plans were reviewed and revised by the various committees. Final approvals in each case remained with the Steering Committee. Initial planning began in July of 2007 and meetings were held throughout the 2007-2008 school year, with a few during the summer of 2008. At that point the Superintendent requested an extension from the Department of Education due to networking difficulties and other major changes the district was implementing that required the attention of key personnel. The various committees plan to have all components finalized for Board approval in December, 2008. The Southern Columbia Area School District views our strategic plan as a living document, and will schedule annual meetings to review and revise this plan. As goals are achieved and/ or circumstances change that impact this plan, revisions will be made keeping our mission and shared values in mind. Strategic Planning Committee There are currently no participants selected for this plan report. Current Student Services Service/Resource Description S.A.P. Team Student Assistance Program (SAP) SCA high school and middle schools have SAP teams comprised of guidance counselors, administrators, school psychologists, nurses and teachers. The teams have received SAP training, and they meet regularly to provide services to those students and their families who have been referred. Blended Case The district employs one full-time blended case manager Manager whose primary duties are student and family support. She supports students through individual and group counseling provided to students throughout the district, as needed. The blended case manager serves as a valuable resource to students and families in need. She serves as a community liaison by connecting students and families with community resources and contacts. Chapter 15, 504 In compliance with state and federal law, the Southern Service Plans Columbia Area School District will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services, or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in the school program and in extracurricular activities. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability, which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to the child’s regular education program. These services and protections for “protected handicapped students” are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs Counseling Services SCA contracts with our local Intermediate Unit to provide us with a full-time social worker as well as a part-time social worker to help address behavioral and family issues for all students in grades K-12. Elementary: SCA employees the services of a full-time certified school guidance counselor in our G.C. Hartman Elementary School. The guidance counselor interacts with students through classroom lessons and through individual and group counseling, as needed. The guidance counselor participates on pupil personnel committees to address student concerns. The guidance counselor also meets with teachers and/or parents regarding individual student concerns, as needed. English as a Second The SCA ESL program is intended for students who have Language (ESL) limited English proficiency as described by the parent/guardian and the Home Language Survey upon enrollment in the district. The district has on staff one full- time ESL teacher to support second language learners in our three district schools. Gifted Education Students who demonstrate characteristics of giftedness and who appear in need of specially designed instruction are evaluated. If eligibility for participation in the program is determined, a gifted individualized education program (GIEP) is developed and implemented by the gifted support teacher and the regular classroom teacher(s) with input from parents and the student. Referrals for testing may be made by parents, teachers, guidance counselors and administrators. SCA currently employees one full-time gifted teacher as well as one part-time paraprofessional to meet the needs of our students in the gifted program. Health Services: The district employs one certified school nurse and two registered nurses to provide health services in our three district schools. All district health rooms are staffed by a registered nurse (RN) during school hours on a daily basis. I.S.T. Instructional Support Services Students in grades K-8 benefit from our full-time Instructional Support Teacher (IST) and IST teams that assist and support students, parents, and teachers in increasing student achievement Psychological Psychological Services The district employs one full-time Services certified school psychologist. The school psychologist serves as a member of the multidisciplinary evaluation teams, and she conducts psychological testing as part of the evaluation process, when appropriate. The school psychologist is available to consult with staff and parents in planning appropriate strategies and interventions to meet the needs of all children. Duties of the school psychologist includes, but is not limited to the following: Test students to determine eligibility for special education; Test students to determine eligibility for gifted support services; Consult with teachers and parents to support student learning; Develop evaluation and re-evaluation reports; Participate in developing behavior plans to support student learning; Participate in manifestation determination hearings; Conduct student classroom observations; Provide individual student counseling and participate in student crisis intervention; Participate as a member of the Instructional Support Team (IST); Secondary: The SCA high school maintains two full-time certified school guidance counselors and our middle school maintains one full-time certified school guidance counselor to provide services to our students. The secondary guidance programs assist students in meeting their educational and post-graduation goals. The guidance programs provide counseling services to address the academic, intellectual, psychological, and social needs of students. Guidance counselors are frequently the initial responders to student crisis, and they act as liaisons between administrators, teachers, school support personnel, community resources, and parents. The guidance program is instrumental in facilitating the process of career and vocational development by providing information and resources to students to assist them in making informed choices. Our high school guidance staff assumes an integral role on the secondary schools' Student Assistance Program (SAP) team as to provide continuity and efficiency in addressing the needs of our students. Needs Assessment Reflections There are currently no reflections selected for this section. The Southern Columbia Area School District has completed a needs assessment of the district's Student Services relevant to the development, the accessibility, and the integration of the health, counseling, and psychological services. Focus sessions were conducted within the district and feedback was collected on the district and its programs. Data was gathered from building level administrators and members of the SAP teams, and Child Study Teams. The information gathered was provided with the desire of improving programs and services for students and to ensure the efficient and effective integration of student services. Our Student Service team meets monthly to discuss and organize programming options for our district. The district has responded to the increasing needs of the student population by ensuring the hiring of highly qualified personnel to deliver the appropriate services to our students. The health rooms are staffed by registered nurses and are supervised by our certified school nurse. The district employs four full-time guidance counselors to attend to the needs of students in our three schools. Our certified school psychologist serves as a key member of the schools' multidisciplinary evaluation team, and she also provides psychological testing as needed. Our full-time Instructional Support Teacher provides supports to students at the elementary and middle school levels, and she also works with teachers to provide interventions within the classroom setting. Additionally, the district contracts with the CSIU-16 for our one full-time and one part-time social worker. SCA also has on staff a full-time blended case manager who assists with students and families in need of support. The district maintains a Student Service Committee, our SAP team, Child Study teams, and Multi-Disciplinary teams to monitor student achievement and behavior and to identify students who are in need of interventions and supports. Each team is comprised of teachers, certified related specialists, and administrators who are trained and equipped to provide services to students and their families or to provide referrals and contacts with local community agencies that can offer interventions and supports. The needs assessment indicates the increasing challenges of responding to the needs of a student population. The ethnic diversity of the student population has remained fairly consistent and is represented by the following statistics: White (98.7%), Hispanic/Latino (.004%), Black (.004%), Asian/Pacific Islander (.005%), Multi-Racial (0%), and American Indian (0%). SCA currently serves (3) students whose primary language is other than English. Second language learners represent (.002%) of the student population in the district. Our district servers (301) number of students who are economically disadvantaged as defined by eligibility for free and reduced lunch. Currently, this group represents (21%) of the student population, and it is increasing annually. The number of students in special education programs with Individualized Educational Plans is currently represented at the rate of 19.3%. To address the challenges presented by the student population, SCA has undertaken the Learning Focused Schools program to help equip our professional staff in meeting the educational and social needs of the 21st century student. SCA will provide our teaching staff with eight (8) Act-80 days during the 2008-2009 school calendar to use for professional development for staff in the areas of: Crisis Response Training, cyber bullying/bullying K-12, and cultural diversity awareness and acceptance. SCA will also use these days for the implementation of the Learning Focused School initiative. Through the Southern Columbia Area Student Support Committee, information is shared with staff concerning classroom behavior management strategies, student mental health issues, ADHD, teen nutrition, eating disorders, tobacco usage among teens, drug and alcohol awareness programs and suicide prevention. The SCA professional development efforts need to continue to provide staff with the needed background information and resources on these issues and to provide staff with the knowledge and strategies to support our students in dealing with any of these issues Action Plan Activity: Student Information System Support Description: The district will continue the annual technical support contract for our student information system, Powerschool. Person Responsible Timeline for Implementation Resources None Selected Start: 1/1/2009 $9,000.00 Finish: Ongoing Status: Summer 2009 — On-going Activity: Use of I.E.P. Writer Description: The annual subscription for the online resource of I.E.P. Writer used for special education will be maintained. Person Responsible Timeline for Implementation Resources None Selected Start: 1/1/2009 $4,500.00 Finish: Ongoing Status: Not Started — Overdue Activity: Special education hardware Description: Hardware and peripherals will be provided for all students with special learning needs. Person Responsible Timeline for Implementation Resources None Selected Start: 1/1/2009 $18,000.00 Finish: Ongoing Status: Not Started — Overdue Activity: Special education software Description: Software resources will be provided for all students with special learning needs. Person Responsible Timeline for Implementation Resources None Selected Start: 1/1/2009 $6,000.00 Finish: Ongoing Status: Not Started — Overdue Narratives Developmental Services Southern Columbia Area School District's current and planned developmental services are integrated into the district's action plan in support of the district's instructional goals in the following ways: A. Health Awareness Services Our certified school nurse as well as our two RN building nurses assess the overall system of our care and develop and evaluate our plan for assuring that health needs are met. Our nurses also participate in the development of a plan for responding to emergencies and disasters and for training staff to respond appropriately to these situations. Our certified school nurse delegates care in accordance with applicable laws. SCA’s school nurses contribute to the overall safety of the school environment. Our head nurse monitors immunizations, identifies and reports communicable diseases as required by law. All our nurses take a key role in the development and in the implementation of Individual Health Plans (IHP), Individual Education Plans (IEP), and 504 Accommodation Plans as their input is needed Our nurses provides leadership to the school in educating and implementing precautions for blood borne pathogens and other infectious conditions. Our nurses recommend actions to improve health and safety for students and staff. Our nurses also contribute to the assessment of the emotion environment of the school by their involvement with our SAP team which is intended to help identify those students who may be in need of emotional or social support. SCA nurses are an essential role in the district plan for emergency preparedness. The role and responsibilities of the nurse are described in the district emergency and disaster preparedness plan. The SCA nursing department, in cooperation with our assigned school physician and dental hygienist, conducts annual evaluations to monitor normal development and to determine the absence of disease. The program includes the following components: • Annual vision screenings for students in grades K-12; • Annual height, weight and body mass index measures for students in grades K-12; • Annual hearing screenings for students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 7, 11 and for students with known hearing problems as well as all students identified under chapter 14; • Physical examinations for students in grades K, 1, 6 and 11; • Scoliosis screening for students in grades 6 and 7 as well as girls in grade 5 and everyone in the 8th grade; • Dental examinations for students in grades K, 1, 3 and 6; • Skilled nursing assessment, treatment, and medication administration; • Maintenance of immunization and health records for students in grades K-12. B. Counseling Services: Southern Columbia Area School District is served with four full-time guidance counselors in our three schools. We have one full-time counselor in our elementary and middle school, and two full-time counselors in our high school. The following highlights certain areas of their programs: Orientation activities are provided to students and parents in an effort to prepare our students for a new grade and/or school building. Programs assist students and families in understanding school curriculum options byexplaining school and district resources, by providing tours of school and district facilities, and by introducing the school and district personnel. Academic programs, support services, and school and district policies and procedures are discussed at each school level and are distributed in the building handbook. Orientation opportunities include parent information letters and trainings, facility tours for new students and families, individual entry conferences, and a review of academic and extracurricular activities during the course of a school year. Academic guidance and support is offered to all students, and it varies according to grade level and student need. Academic guidance activities include discussion on topics such as course offerings, dual enrollment/college options, credit verification , pre-requisite requirements for courses or college admissions, study skills, setting and attaining academic goals, recognizing and utilizing strengths, and determining additional educational opportunities. Southern Columbia Area’s elementary counseling curriculum focuses on developing personal awareness, cultivating productive work and study habits, establishing positive attitudes towards self and others, and developing the skills necessary to be a productive member of the class. Students are encouraged to understand appropriate behaviors and the consequences of decisions and choices. Our students are encouraged and assisted in developing friendships and in accepting individual differences in others. Social/emotional skills and conflict resolution skills are demonstrated, modeled and practiced by our counselor to assist students in developing an awareness of what is required to be successful in the classroom and ultimately in their community. Our middle school counselor builds upon the foundation laid at the elementary school level by teaching time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and strategies to balance the over-all demands of the middle school program. The staff and counselor at the middle school provide instruction to help students learn problem-solving skills, tolerance, bullying prevention, and conflict resolution. At our high school, both counselors assist students in understanding and developing their personal strengths, interests and aptitudes. They assist students in setting personal and academic goals, in taking necessary steps to achieve goals, in understanding safety and survival skills, in accepting responsibility, in appreciating diversity, in resolving conflicts and in developing appropriate relationship skills. Career awareness is integrated throughout the district’s entire curriculum. Initial skill development in our elementary program includes recognizing and facing challenges, building a strong work ethic, and moving toward becoming an independent and life-long learner. SCA’s middle school program takes a more in-depth approach to career exploration. Through a variety of assessments and observations the program includes developing an awareness of personal abilities, skills, interests, and motivations to achieve future career goals with success, satisfaction and enjoyment. Our Students develop the skills to search, to assess, and to determine their future career desires. It is during our student’s 8th grade academic year where they can determine if they would like to pursue the area’s Vocational School to further their education in a trade. Southern Columbia Area high school counselors place much focus on helping assess and modify our student’s educational plans to support their career choices and career pathways. Job readiness and employability skills are emphasized through job shadowing, co-op programs, our transition class as well as our newly created career exploration program. The intent of these and other life skill courses that we offer is to help our students understand the changing work place requires life long learning and the acquisition of new skills designed for future employment possibilities. The guidance counselors meet individually with each student every year to discuss their career and college plans. Elective choices and curricular choices are made based on the individual student’s academic and post-secondary goals and on their individual achievement levels. Our high school guidance program helps establish students in becoming responsible adults who can develop outcomes based upon the understanding oftheir personal needs, desires, and skills. Education and career plans are reviewed in accordance with students’ post-graduation educational and occupational goals. SCA high school counselors assist teachers in coordinating career education learning units in the classroom. The high school counselors support the program through college and work place visitations annually. Standardized testing is administered yearly in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education timeline: SCA follows the following formatted schedule. • The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for reading and mathematics is administered to students in Grades 3-8 and 11 in April. • The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for writing is administered to students in Grades 5, 8, and 11 in February. • The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for science is administered to students in Grades 4, 8, and 11 in May. • The In View Test for reading and math is administered to students in Grade 2 and 4 in October. The standardized testing process is coordinated by our school counselors in cooperation with our Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Information on the testing program is sent home to parents by our building principals prior to the scheduled testing dates. Test results are shared with parents and students in a timely manner, and student interventions are implemented as needed. Individual conferences to discuss test results may be scheduled with guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators at a parent's request. Southern Columbia’s high school curriculum includes a course titled Life Skills,that is mandated for all seniors to successfully complete. The syllabus for this course includes structured developmental experiences presented through the classroom teacher. The curriculum emphasizes decision-making, self-awareness, career exploration and preparation for adulthood. Each of our counselors are very consistent with their confidentially practices and hold the rights of the student and their obligations as counselors as their highest priority. Records and discussions of personal issues are always handled in a confidential manner with only the necessary professionals that need to be involved. Records are kept in the protected possession of our building volts with the building principal as the only gatekeeper to them and they are not accessible and not revealed to any other person without proper consent. Group counseling is available on an as needed basis. A teacher, parent, counselor, or administrator may refer students. Small group discussions may include topics such as coping skills, anger management skills, social skills, study skills, ADHD or children of divorce or separated parents. Group workshops are co-facilitated with our blended case manager. Individual counseling is made available to all Southern students as their needs dictate. Teachers, parents, counselors, administrators, or students may refer a student for services through the Student Assistance Program (SAP).Individual topics may include: coping strategies, peer relationships and conflict resolution, effective social skills, depression and anxiety, substance abuse education, school adjustment, decision-making skills, divorce, eating and body image concerns, individual/family/school crisis intervention, communication skills, and bullying issues. Our elementary and middle school counselors are key members of our Instructional Support Team (IST). The counselor’s involvement includes providing strategies to help students and parents with a variety of concerns which may include, but are not limited to: motivation, study skills, self-esteem, organizational skills, anger management, and decision- making skills. The IST provides the student, teacher, and parent with techniques and strategies to help the child be a more successful and productive student. The IST may also refer the student for further testing to determine if specially design instruction may be needed. Diagnostic, Intervention and Referral Services Southern Columbia Area School District's current and planned diagnostic, intervention, and referral services are integrated into the district's action plan in support of the district's instructional goals in the following ways: A. Health Services: Each of our nurse’s are responsible for safe medication administration and the implementation of health care procedures that are within the scope of nursing practice and which are ordered by an appropriately licensed healt care provider. In order to address potential health problems that are barriers to learning or symptoms of underlying medical conditions, SCA nurses perform annual screenings. Health screenings include vision, hearing, postural body mass index or other screenings as needed. Screenings are performed in compliance with state law. SCA nurse’s use the nursing process to assess, plan, implement and to evaluate the care provided for students with chronic health conditions. This care begins with the development of a nursing care plan (also known as an individualized health care plan) that include an emergency action plan. Our certified school nurse participates in the development and implementation of 504 Accommodation Plans and Individual Education Plans (IEP) when a medical component is involved. SCA’s nurses contribute to the physical and emotional safety of the school community. Our nurse’s monitor immunizations, assures appropriate exclusion from and re-entry into school, and reports communicable diseases as required by law. SCA nurse’s provide leadership to the school in implementing precautions for blood borne pathogens and other infectious diseases. They assess the physical environment of the school and make recommendations to improve health and safety for students and staff. B. Psychological Services: Our school psychologist performs evaluation services including eligibility for special education services and for gifted education. She consults as the expert on issues involving disability characteristics and criteria, socio- emotional development, and mental health issues. Our psychologist is responsible for gathering data, for conducting interviews and completing observations to construct an evaluation or reevaluation report. This process involves a multi-disciplinary team meeting and recommendation for services, if eligible. Our certified psychologist is well versed in a variety of assessment methods, including formal and informal test administration, behavioral assessment, curriculum-based measurement, conducting interviews, and ecological or environmental assessment. She uses assessment methods to define a student’s problems and needs, to assess current status, and to measure the effects of a problem-solving process. SCA’s psychologist provides intervention services including psychological counseling to help resolve problems that interfere with learning. The counseling may be in the form of individual or group counseling. SCA’s psychologist’s knowledge of disability characteristics is essential in determining if a disciplinary behavior has been impacted by a student’s disability. Our school psychologist, in conjunction with building personnel, are the primary individuals who meet with a student who is threatening a risk to himself or others.She evaluates a student’s emotional and mental health status to determine if a referral to an outside agency is necessary. Our school psychologist’s expertise and recommendation during the risk assessment are invaluable to the school team. C. Counseling Services: In the academic area, our counselors work with students on their ability to acquire attitudes, knowledge, and skills that contribute to effective learning in school. This includes setting and reaching academic goals; developing a positive attitude toward learning; developing and utilizing organizational, time management, and communication skills; and developing a variety of work oriented skills such as dependability, productivity, and initiative. Counselors work with students and their families to ensure appropriate transitions are in place at each level of the student’s academic school year. In the personal/social development area, SCA counselor’s work with students at appropriate developmental levels to help them acquire the knowledge, attitudes and interpersonal skills needed to understand and respect self and others. Counselors may need to assist students in identifying and expressing feelings,distinguishing between appropriate and inappropriate behavior, and identifying their own strengths, assets, or areas that need to be further developed or improved. Counselors assist students in personal goal setting, effective decision making, accepting responsibility, accepting and appreciating diversity, and resolving conflicts. Child support teams are implemented at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. The teams work with teachers to identify students at-risk due to learning, social and emotional concerns and to provide appropriate strategies and/or interventions to support the students. The secondary-based program is designed to assist students who may have barriers to their learning. These barriers may include mental health issues and/or drug and alcohol abuse. Federal and state laws mandate that school teams convene at least annually to develop individualized programs and/or to provide accommodations to students with special needs. Each of our counselors have been asked to act as the local agency education representative (LEA) on a select number of IEP team meetings, and they are an integral part of all program options for our students. Each of our counselors have been designated in our special education plan as acting as an LEA represented when needed. The high school counselors work with students, parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, and members of the community through a program of direct and indirect services. Individual, small group, and crisis counseling are available to students. Consultation services concerning student behavior and academic progress are provided for parents/guardians, teachers, and administrators. Referrals to other professionals in the school district or to agencies and institutions outside of the district are made as required or requested. The high school counselor supports the overall educational program through consultation with staff and through committee participation. Each school has prevention programs that address support for at-risk students, promote awareness and sensitivity training, promote school safety, and support psychological well-being. Consultation and Coordination Services Southern Columbia Area School District's current and planned coordination services are implemented into the district's action plan in support of the district's instructional goals in the following ways: A. Health Services: SCA’s certified school nurse participates as the health expert on Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) and 504 Accommodation Plans and is a key member on student and family assistance teams. Each of our three nurses communicate with our student families through telephone calls and written communication, as needed, and they serve as vital wellness representative of the school community. Our certified school nurse communicates with community health care providers and community health care agencies for those students who require related services from outside sources. Each of our nurses helps develop community partnerships, and are visible at many school functions where the public is invited Our certified school nurse uses the nursing process to assess, plan, implement and evaluate care for our students with chronic health conditions. This carebegins with the development of a health care plan (also known as an individualized health care plan) that includes an emergency action plan. The building nurse, in collaboration with the certified nurse and district administration, are responsible for ensuring adherence to the individualized health care plan developed for the student. Most of the coordination and consultation with outside agencies involved individual students. Parents often alert the school to their child's health related condition that requires follow-up by the school. This may require actions such as providing documentation for the condition so that medication can be administered on the school site, or it may require a formal service agreement which identifies the disabling condition and the necessary accommodations needed to allow the student to access educational services in their regular setting. Our certified school nurse often communicates with individual physicians and/or health clinics for chronic medical conditions in order to best support the student. Southern Columbia regularly communicates with Geisinger Medical Hospital, Bloomsburg Memorial Hospital, Shamokin Area Community Hospital, and other institutions to ensure our students medical issues are appropriately addressed. B. Psychological Services: Our school psychologist provides consultation services including assisting others in understanding child development and in strengthening relationships between school personnel, parents, and the community. She also makes referrals to private therapists, to agencies, or to medical consultations based on her assessment of a student's needs. C. Counseling Services: SCA’s guidance counselors have developed strong partnerships with teachers, parents, administrators, school psychologists, social workers, medical professionals and community health personnel to help our students be successful in our school system. Southern Columbia Area School District appreciates our relationship with the many community resources that are available to assist our students and their families in overcoming academic, social and emotional barriers to learning. Our Counselors work collaboratively with many of these public and private agencies on behalf of the students and their families. Whenever a Southern staff member initiates contact with an outside agency, consent to exchange information is secured from the parent. The consent follows the guidelines of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It assures that information concerning a student’s record will not be shared with agencies outside of school without prior parental permission. Our Special Education Director, Guidance Counselors, Social Workers, Blended Case Manager, and Psychologists work collaboratively with Columbia and Northumberland County Mental Health/Mental Retardation to assist students identified with various disabling conditions. Many inter-agency meetings are held to assure that school and community services are coordinated based on the needs of the child. SCA coordinates instruction for students who are in partial hospitalization programs and in day treatment facilities. Many private behavioral health organizations provide therapeutic staff support and/or behavioral specialist support for families in their homes and in the community. At times these agencies will support the student in the school setting. The guidance counselors, behavior interventionists, and therapeutic case manager serve as the extension for families and students into the community to promote and to utilize resources which provide specialized services beyond the scope of the regular school program. This team works with agencies such as Children and Youth Services, Juvenile Probation, CASSP, and various mental health providers to help students and their families address issues that may be impeding academic success. Student Assistance Program Southern Columbia Area School District’s initiated the Student Service Team in 1993, and it was funded entirely by the district with the intent of developing a more structured means by which to address growing concerns with under achieving and unmotivated students. In 1995-1996, the scope of the SST program was expanded to incorporate mental health issues. In 1997 Southern Columbia incorporated the SST into the formation of the Student Assistance Program as outline by the Department of Education. The Basic Education Circular (BEC) 15-1547, dated September 1, 1997, outlined the mission of SAP as a systematic process using effective and accountable professional techniques to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. This mission remains as the guiding force behind the SAP process today. Since its inception in 1993 as the Student Service Team and again in 1997 as the Student Assistance Program (SAP), SCA has been dedicated to serving at- risk students struggling to overcome issues such as truancy, family concerns, self-esteem, alcohol and/or drug use, depression, and/or other mental health problems that present a barrier to our students' education. The program’s goal is to engage in the identification of the troubled behavior, to collaborate with parents, to provide a referral for further evaluation, if needed, and to link the student and family to necessary school and community-based supports. SCA’s SAP team does not engage in diagnosis, in referral for treatment, or in discipline as a means to address the issues at hand. The Student Assistance Program utilizes a systematic approach with professionals from various areas within our school setting and when appropriated with liaisons from community agencies. This approach is designed to provide education, prevention, early identification, intervention, referral, and support services for students exhibiting negative behaviors which are interfering with their education. The selected professionals are trained and certified to identify barriers to learning and, in collaboration with families, to strategize for and/or refer our identified students for assistance to enhance student academic success. Southern Columbia Area’s Student Assistance Program encourages student success in the school environment, provides positive character development, and a safe and confidential environment of support. Four Phases of the Student Assistance Program Model The Student Assistance Program Model consists of four phases: (1) Referral, (2) Team Planning, (3) Intervention and Recommendation, and (4) Support and Follow-up. During the Referral Phase, the problem behaviors are identified through an initial fact-finding period, and a referral to the SAP team is made. Referrals may be initiated by any individual who has contact with the student including peers, parents, teachers, administrators, and counselors. The SAP team gathers information from teachers and parents during the Team Planning Phase. Data are gathered from the four domains: academic, behavioral, attendance, and health. During the data collection phase, administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, and the school nurse complete behavioral checklists that focus on the student’s observable behaviors. Once the checklists are completed and collected, the team evaluates the findings to determine the need for the continuation of the SAP process. If it is deemed necessary to continue the SAP process, the parent/guardian of the child in question is notified of the SAP referral, and a meeting with the student and parent is requested to discuss the SAP findings. The next phase of the SAP process, Intervention and Recommendation, involves cooperative planning and intervention. During this phase, the parent plays an integral role as a team member, and they must give permission for the SAP process to continue. Together, the SAP team develops a plan that may involve a referral to an outside agency for further mental health evaluation. Students may be referred for a behavioral health assessment to determine the severity of any behavioral barriers to learning. During the Support and Follow-Up Phase, the SAP team continues to work with and to support the student and their family. Follow-up activities include monitoring, mentoring, and motivating the student to promote academic success. This phase also includes statistical data collection. Southern Columbia Area School District Program The Southern Columbia Area School District has SAP trained personnel available to help students at the high school level with issues regarding academic performance, personal and emotional development, attendance, and alcohol and/or drug-related concerns. SCA’s SAP team consists of administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, our school psychologist, nurses, and blended personnel. Students are referred to the program by any concerned individual that may include peers, teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, or a self-report. Concerned individuals may speak to any SAP team member in person, may send an e-mail to the SAP team, or may complete a referral form. At the elementary and middle school level, SAP programming is incorporated into the Instructional Support Team. The SAP team meetings are held each Wednesday in our high school conference room. During these meetings the four step process described by the Student Assistance Program (SAP) guidelines are strictly followed. School-based resources to address identified barriers include personal counseling, group counseling, and academic assistance. Group counseling, offered on an as- needed basis focuses on topics including self-esteem, social skills, drug and alcohol information, grief and loss, teenage parenting, children of alcoholics, and eating disorders. When appropriated outside counseling agencies participate in collaboration with SCA to meet the student’s needs. During the 2007-2008 school year, Southern Columbia Area School District made 21 referrals to the Student Assistance Program. SAP services are provided at no cost to the student or their family. Communication Communication The Southern Columbia Area School District's current and planned communication regarding services and opportunities for students are integrated into the district's action plan in support of the district's instructional goals in the following ways: District Instructional Programs, current and planned for each of our three buildings, are communicated to the community through a variety of avenues which include: district office and school bulletin boards, SCA district website, local newspapers, school announcements, student handbooks, district and school calendars. Additionally, our middle and high schools distribute information via the morning TV show. Every communication source identifies a contact person in case additional information is needed. Career Information and Assessments, current and planned for all school levels, are communicated to the community through a variety of sources which include: SCA district website, web-based career planning tool (Keys 2 Work), parent and student workshops, college information sessions, parent/teacher conferences, open houses, student orientations, school postings, guidance postings, daily announcements, and classroom lessons given through our guidance department. Health Information, current and planned for all school levels, is communicated to the community through a variety of avenues which include: open houses, individual parent meetings with nurses to discuss health care programs and supports, school handbooks, district and website, parent/teacher conferences, student orientations, school memos and communications detailing the screening dates (height, weight, vision, hearing, and dental screenings), and district calendars. Survey Administration, current and planned for each of our three school programs, is communicated to the community through a variety of avenues which include: district and school letters and communications, School Reach automated telephone informational system, and the SCA district website. Surveys administered by the district are generally voluntary in nature. Information is communicated to students, parents and guardians on a regular basis. If immediate district-wide information needs to be quickly communicated, critical to students' safety and well being, the district utilizes the School Reach automated telephone system which allows the mass distribution of information in a relatively short period of time. The system, implemented in the fall of 2008 will be used to regularly communicate information regarding snow delays, early dismissals, timely reminders, and any immediate need that arises. Assurance for the Collection, Maintenance, and Dissemination of Student Records By checking each of the boxes below, the local education agency assures compliance with the requirements of 22 Pa. Code Chapter 12 and with the policies and procedures of Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). PDE will specify, in writing, policies and procedures to be followed. Requests for any deviations from these regulations, policies, and procedures must be made in writing to PDE (electronic mail may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org). The Local Education Agency (LEA) assures the following: o The LEA has a local plan, including policies and procedures, in place for the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of student records in compliance with § 12.31(a) and § 12.32 o The plan shall be maintained in compliance with § 12.31(b) and made available to PDE in compliance with § 12.31(c) Assurance for the Operation of Student Services and Programs By checking each of the boxes below, the local education agency assures compliance with the requirements of 22 Pa. Code Chapter 12 and with the policies and procedures of Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). PDE will specify, in writing, policies and procedures to be followed. Requests for any deviations from these regulations, policies, and procedures must be made in writing to PDE (electronic mail may be directed to email@example.com). The Local Education Agency (LEA) assures that there are local policies and procedures in place that address: o Free Education and Attendance (in compliance with § 12.1) o School Rules (in compliance with § 12.3) o Discrimination (in compliance with § 12.4) o Corporal Punishment (in compliance with § 12.5) o Exclusion from School, Classes, Hearings (in compliance with § 12.6, § 12.7, § 12.8) o Freedom of Expression (in compliance with § 12.9) o Flag Salute and Pledge of Allegiance (in compliance with § 12.10) o Hair and Dress (in compliance with § 12.11) o Confidential Communications (in compliance with § 12.12) o Searches (in compliance with § 12.14) o Emergency Care and Administration of Medication and Treatment (in compliance with 35 P.S. § § 780-101—780-144) The LEA acknowledges that the above policies shall be maintained locally and be made available to the public upon request. The policies are not to be submitted to the Commonwealth except upon specific request by PDE. In addition, the LEA assures the following: o The Student Services Report complies with § 12.41(b), § 12.41(c), and § 12.42 (consistent with the Early Intervention Services System Act (11 P.S. § § 875-101—875- 503) o Consistent with § 445 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C.A. § 1232h), parents or guardians are informed regarding individual survey student assessments and provided a process for refusal to participate (in compliance with § 12.41(d)) o Persons delivering student services shall be specifically licensed or certified as required by statute or regulation (in compliance with § 12.41(e)) Supporting Documents There are currently no supporting documents selected for this section.
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