The North Pocono Pupil Services Office provides services for students with disabilities and other exceptionalities. As a district, North Pocono believes that the well-being and achievement of each of our students with an exceptionality is a high priority. The office is under the direction of Dr. Donna Carey, Ed.D., who has over a decade of experience leading school district pupil services programs. Dr. Carey holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Special Education and Teaching from Marywood University, a PDE supervisory certificate from East Stroudsburg University, and a Doctor of Education degree in School Leadership with a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to assuming her current role as North Pocono's Director of Pupil Services in 2016, Dr. Carey spent twelve years teaching students with disabilities in the Scranton School District, before leading pupil services offices in the Old Forge, Tunkhannock, and Valley View School Districts. Dr. Carey's district-level team consists of school psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, a behavior specialist, a social worker, and a secretary, all of whom support and work with the many special education teachers and regular education teachers throughout the district.
Special Education refers to a variety of programs designed to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities. In layman's terms, the ultimate goal of special education is provide the instruction and services necessary to help each student identified as having a disability succeed, and to do so in the least modified environment that can produce that success. In the language of special education, this goal is referred to as FAPE, or free and appropriate public education. Toward this end, the school district follows a process specified by the law when a student is referred to pupil services.
- Screen students suspected of having potential disabilities that interfere with learning
- For students whose screening so indicates, perform a multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE) to identify whether such a disability exists, and, if so, the specific nature of that disability
- If such a disability does exist, design an individualized education program (IEP) to meet the child's unique needs, complete with:
- Specially-designed instruction (SDI)
- Related services (RS),
- Recommended educational placement (REP),
- Annuals goals
- The means for regularly measuring student progress with respect to goals
Parents have the right to be partners with the school staff in all aspects of that process from the evaluation to the decision over which programs, services and placement procedures are appropriate to meet their child’s needs.
Parents who suspect their child has an exceptionality or who have concerns regarding a child's existing individualized education program should contact the school directly and schedule a conference with the classroom or special education teacher to discuss any concerns or questions. Additionally, the principal and/or school counselor at each school are available to assist with the child’s educational plan. Should a parent still have questions that remain unanswered, the Pupil Services Office can be reached at (570) 842-3957.