• For more information about special education services for school age children and preschool children, contact your child's school or contact:
     
    Great Valley School District
    Student Services Department
    47 Church Road
    Malvern, PA 19355
    610-889-2125, X52113 
        
     
    Joanna Wexler, Ph.D., Director of Student Services (jwexler@gvsd.org
    Andrea Dinsmore, M.Ed., Supervisor of Secondary Special Education (adinsmore@gvsd.org)   
    Carolyn Shoemaker, M.Ed., Supervisor of Elementary Special Education (cshoemaker@gvsd.org)
    Megan McGee Heim, M.Ed., Supervisor of Elementary Special Education and Autistic Support (mmcgeeheim@gvsd.org
     
    Ms. Robin Streeter, Administrative Assistant (rstreeter@gvsd.org)
    Ms. Megan Regan, Administrative Assistant (mregan@gvsd.org)  
     
     

Educational Support Services in Great Valley School District

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    The Great Valley School District is committed to working with parents to provide our students with quality educational experiences that will encourage them to be successful learners. In line with this commitment, a variety of services have been implemented to address the needs of students who need specialized instruction in order to experience success in the learning process.
         
    CHILD STUDY TEAMS AND INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT TEAMS
    Students in need of additional support are initially assisted through child study or instructional support teams. Parents are encouraged to be active members of these teams. Meetings are held regularly to analyze students' learning difficulties and to develop strategies to help students meet with success in their regular education classes. At grades K through 8 the instructional support team concept is utilized, while in grades 9 to 12 the child study team is the first line of intervention.
         
    MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM EVALUATION
    Students who may require special education services are referred by the instructional support team or child study team for a multidisciplinary evaluation of their learning needs.
       
    This evaluation gathers pertinent information on the child's performance from teachers, counselors, psychologists, and parents. Information is compiled into a comprehensive evaluation report that includes recommendations on the child's eligibility for Special Education Services. All information collected is protected in accordance with State and Federal law and by the District's policy on confidentiality of student records. In order to request a multidisciplinary team evaluation for a school age child, a parent should contact their child's teacher, guidance counselor, instructional support teacher, or principal. The initial involvement of the child study team or instructional support team however, is recommended to be an important first step in assessing a student's educational strengths and needs.  
     

    SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
    The Great Valley School District provides special education services for all eligible students in grades K — 12. Special education programs are either operated by our school district or the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Students with more significant needs receive their education at Approved Private Schools. Services by disability area are as follows:

    • Autism
    • Visual impairment including Blindness
    • Deaf - Blindness
    • Hearing Impairment including Deafness
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Multiple Disabilities
    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Emotional Disturbance
    • Specific Learning Disability
    • Speech and Language Impairment
    • Other Health Impairment
    • Orthopedic Impairment

    CHAPTER 15/SECTION 504 EVALUATIONS
    For those students who have a handicapping condition that requires accommodations or services to appropriately access their regular education program, an evaluation for an educational service agreement can be requested. Students receiving services under this category are typically children who are not eligible for special education services, yet demonstrate a documented disability that requires special consideration within the educational setting. In order to request a Section 504 evaluation a parent should contact their child's school counselor or building principal.
     
    INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT PLANS
    An Instructional Support Team (IST) is available to provide instructional support to all elementary and middle school teachers and students. Instructional Support is coordinated by a support teacher who provides at-risk students and their teachers, strategies and interventions to better access their educational program. Instructional Support also serves as a screening process for students thought to be in need of specially designed instruction. At anytime during this process, a referral for a multidisciplinary team evaluation may be initiated by parents or the school team. This ongoing system meets criteria specified in Chapter 14. Parents may request instructional support through their building administrator or support teacher. 

    PRESCHOOL SERVICES
    Special education services are also available to preschool children. The Great Valley School District works in cooperation with the Intermediate Unit to provide programs for preschoolers who have been identified as eligible for special education.