Welcome to Special Education
The Franklin Regional School District is committed to improving the educational needs of all learners to enable our graduates to succeed in a global society. The school district mission statement, “We, the Franklin Regional School community, strive for excellence, learning, achievement and citizenship in all we do” exemplifies the efforts of the district to meet the needs of all learners.
The District is comprised of a senior high school, a middle school, and two elementary schools in a campus setting plus one elementary school that is located approximately 2.5 miles off campus. Total enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year was 3,497 students. Total unduplicated special education student enrollment was 465 students.
The Franklin Regional School District offers a variety of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of students. Even though the District has performed well and has surpassed the standards required by the state Department of Education, it can improve. As a result, the District has adopted the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model district-wide. PLC is designed to increase student achievement by creating a collaborative school culture focused on learning. Teachers are encouraged to work together, develop uniform tests and determine which teaching methods work best to help students. Utilizing PLC, special education teachers support academic teams and provide input regarding the necessary adaptations and modification to ensure success of all learners.
At each grade level, regular and special education teachers provide special education services in the regular education setting using a co-teaching/push-in model. Co-teaching/push-in models are provided to allow students to be exposed to the regular curriculum while receiving services in the least restrictive environment. Pull-out special education services are offered as a last resort when the student’s needs cannot be met in the regular education setting even with supplementary aids and services.
At the secondary level, special education is designed to meet the needs of students and assist with reaching their post-school goals. Beginning in tenth grade, students have the opportunity to participate in vocational training programs offered by the Northern Westmoreland Career and Technical Center. Adaptations and modifications are provided at the Technical Center to enable students to benefit from the programs it has to offer. A part-time transition coordinator coordinates transitional activities as well as serves as a liaison between the district and community agencies such as the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Westmoreland County Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health/Developmental Services.
The Franklin Regional School District also employs the Westmoreland County Intermediate Unit (WIU) to assist with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support services. Vision services are provide by The Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are provided by AOT, Inc. Transportation, Speech and Language, Psychological services and Counseling Services are provided by the school district. The Franklin Regional School District also contracts with Family Behavioral Resources on a case-by-case basis for Mental Health support for severe cases.
Professional education and development is regularly provided to all professional and paraprofessional staff members on a variety of special education topics. WIU and PaTTAN educational consultants collaborate and provide consultation to staff on best practices and assist in providing trainings on topics such as supplementary aids and services, developing standard-aligned IEPs, classroom management, inclusionary practices, transition planning, progress monitoring and assistive technology.
The District also hosts several parent workshops each year on various topics to provide an opportunity for training and information sharing for parents and interested district staff. The Franklin Regional School District also collaborates with neighboring school districts in order to expand the number of workshops and variety of topics.