Sometimes, parents will have their child evaluated by a professional or agency outside of the school district, which may result in the child receiving a diagnosis from that professional. Obtaining a diagnosis from an outside professional does not automatically guarantee eligibility for special education or related services (occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.).
Many diagnoses received from outside agencies are different from the 13 disability categories outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). When a parent shares an outside evaluation with Plum Borough School District, the district will conduct its own comprehensive evaluation. As part of this evaluation, the district will consider the information from the outside evaluation. The school district's evaluation will determine whether the student meets the criteria for one of the 13 IDEA disability categories and if the student demonstrates a need for special education.
Greater consideration will be given to outside evaluations that include input from school personnel (teachers, principal, counselor, school psychologist, etc.), objective assessment tools, standardized rating scales, and behavioral observations in natural environments. However, all information will be considered as part of Plum Borough's comprehensive evaluation.
We also welcome the opportunity to discuss diagnostic impressions with professionals or agencies outside of the school district. In order for this to take place, parents need to complete a Release of Information form and give consent for communication to occur.