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Special Education Services

The Avonworth School District is committed to providing high-quality instruction and support services for all students, including those who have disabilities and special learning needs. The District employs highly-qualified special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapy service providers at every grade level to provide support to students identified with disabilities. 

Avonworth School District provides a free, appropriate, public education to exceptional students according to all state and federal mandates. To be eligible, the child must be of school age, need specially designed instruction, and meet eligibility criteria for one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities as set forth in the Pennsylvania State Standards:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Visual impairment, including blindness 

For questions, service requests, or other concerns, please contact: 

Ashlea Rineer-Hershey, Ed.D.
Director of Student Services
Office:  412-369-8738  ext. 1515


Age of Eligibility for Free and Appropriate Public Education

On August 30, 2023, we received updated information Carole L. Clancy, Director of the PDE Bureau of Special Education, regarding the amended Age of Eligibility Policy. informed all Local Education Agencies (LEAs) titled Change in Age of Eligibility for Free and Appropriate Public Education.

The information states that "[t]he Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is writing to communicate an important policy change that will provide continued education services to special education students. This policy change will ensure students can access Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as they are entitled under federal law."

"Effective no later than September 5, 2023, all students entitled to FAPE and all of the rights and procedural safeguards under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapter 14 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code may remain enrolled in public school until they turn 22 years of age. This includes students who turned 21 and exited during or after the 2022-2023 school term."

Learn more about IDEA-B Regulations and Policies on PDE's website