PA Senate Passes SB 1191 to Keep Transgender Athletes from Participating in Girls’ Sports (June 10, 2022)

On June 07, 2022, the PA Senate passed SB 1191 to prevent athletes who were male at birth from participating in women’s and girls’ school sports. The vote was 30-20. One Democrat and one independent joined all Republicans voting in favor of the bill, which now goes to the PA House for consideration.

It is reported that Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would veto the bill.

Source: Morning Call

Summer Food Options for Students Announced (June 7, 2022)

The Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Education are reminding Pennsylvanians to take advantage of the many summer food assistance programs for students and caretakers across the commonwealth. State and local options are available to Pennsylvania families facing food insecurity this summer.  

According to 2019 food insecurity data provided by Feeding America, 10.6% of Pennsylvanians — or 1,353,730 people — did not always know where their next meal was coming from. That number included 383,500 children, 14.6% of all children in the state. When school-based meals end with the school year, addressing child food insecurity can become an even greater challenge.

Options for Pennsylvania caretakers and children experiencing food insecurity include:

Seniors and seniors taking care of children also may be eligible for the following:  

Learn more at agriculture.pa.gov/foodsecurity.

PennLink Informs LEAs of Indicator 13 Cyclical Monitoring Requirements (June 7, 2022)

On June 6, 2022, Carole L. Clancy, Director of the PDE Bureau of Special Education disseminated a PennLink message to LEAs  titled Preparing for Cyclical Monitoring: A Focus on Secondary Transition (Indicator 13). The memo states that in response to the accountability requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA) Part B State Performance Plans, the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and intermediate unit transition consultants will provide sustained professional development for targeted local educational agencies (LEAs). This targeted professional development will assist with creating compliant and effective individualized secondary transition programming for students with disabilities. 

 The requirements for each LEA assigned to the 2022-2023 Preparing for Cyclical Monitoring: A Focus on Secondary Transition training are as follows: 
-Develop an administrative team to support the targeted training and technical assistance process. The administrative team is required to attend a webinar on September 15, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Administration team members will need to register in advance for this training through the PaTTAN website.
-Lead contact person to complete an interview/survey regarding effective practices for secondary transition as facilitated by an intermediate unit and/or PaTTAN consultant. Lead contact will work with IU Transition TaC/PaTTAN Consultant to develop and implement a local training plan for the 2022-2023 school year.
-With support from the IU Transition TaC/PaTTAN Consultant, identify targeted staff (i.e. special education directors, building principals, transition coordinators, special education teachers, speech/language therapists, guidance counselors, school psychologists, career tech ed staff, and other LEA staff involved in secondary programming) to participate in IEP pre-reviews using the PA Indicator 13 checklist, complete IEP post-reviews, participate in coaching activities as warranted with IU Transition TaC, and complete an online (Schoology) course.

In addition, the required online (Schoology) course will yield 6 Act 48 hours and must be completed by February 28, 2023. PLEASE NOTE: All staff must register for the Schoology course on the PaTTAN website (found on the training calendar for September 16, 2022). The registration key to register for the Schoology course is IND13-2022. This registration key will need to be shared with all LEA staff members who are identified to participate in this year’s cyclical monitoring preparation activities.

For questions concerning Preparing for Cyclical Monitoring: A Focus on Secondary Transition training for 2022-23, LEAs are directed to contact: Cecil Crouch, Educational Consultant at PaTTAN-Pittsburgh, at 800-446-5607, ext. 6866 or ccrouch@pattan.net.

Act 1 PDE & DHS Guidance Expected This Summer (June 5, 2022)

Act 1 of 2022 requires school districts to assign an individual who acts as a single point of contact to students experiencing “educational instability” (those who make one or more changes in school entity enrollment during a single school year due to homelessness, adjudication, dependency, delinquency, or as part of court-ordered  services under a voluntary placement or custody agreement). That point of contact person helps students coordinate and be rapidly placed in appropriate courses; helps connect students with mental health resources; ensures that academic records are obtained (which must be provided within ten business days) and credits are accurately transferred to their new school; creates a written “graduation plan” covering grades 9 through 12 describing the courses and other activities the student must complete to graduate in a timely manner; and ensures that any services or supports required under an existing IEP or Section 504 service agreement are implemented immediately as required by law.

In addition, pursuant to Act 1 of 2022, school districts may, but are not required to, waive a course requirement for graduation if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in another district or if the student has demonstrated competency in a content area. If it declines to waive course requirements, the school district may not determine that a student is ineligible to graduate unless it provides him/her with an alternative or modified course of study currently available to any other student that will assist the affected student in establishing his/her competency. 

If after taking these steps, a school district determines that an affected student is ineligible to graduate, officials may, but are not required to, request that his/her prior school district issue a diploma for the student. The student’s prior district may, but is not required to, issue the diploma if the student has met its graduation requirements.

Also pursuant to the Act, students who have experienced educational instability and who transfer to another school entity, have the right to participate in extracurricular and student sponsored activities as long as they meet qualification requirements.

The Act also requires the PA Departments of Education (PDE) and Human Services (DHS) to issue “guidance and best practices” within 180 days of its enactment on January 26, 2022.

To View Act 1 of 2022, click here.

Act 1 Guidance Expected this Summer (June 4, 2022)

Act 1 of 2022 requires school districts to assign an individual who acts as a single point of contact to students experiencing educational instability (those who make one or more changes in school entity enrollment during a single school year due to homelessness, adjudication, dependency, delinquency, or as part of court-ordered  services under a voluntary placement or custody agreement). That point of contact person helps students coordinate and be rapidly placed in appropriate courses; helps connect students with mental health resources; ensures that academic records are obtained (which must be provided within ten business days) and credits are accurately transferred to their new school; creates a written “graduation plan” covering grades 9 through 12 describing the courses and other activities the student must complete to graduate in a timely manner; and ensures that any services or supports required under an existing IEP or Section 504 service agreement are implemented immediately as required by law.

In addition, pursuant to Act 1 of 2022, school districts may, but are not required to, waive a course requirement for graduation if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in another district or if the student has demonstrated competency in a content area. If it declines to waive course requirements, the school district may not determine that a student is ineligible to graduate unless it provides him/her with an alternative or modified course of study currently available to any other student that will assist the affected student in establishing his/her competency. 

If after taking these steps, a school district determines that an affected student is ineligible to graduate, officials may, but are not required to, request that his/her prior school district issue a diploma for the student. The student’s prior district may, but is not required to, issue the diploma if the student has met its graduation requirements.

Also pursuant to the Act, students who have experienced educational instability and who transfer to another school entity, have the right to participate in extracurricular and student sponsored activities as long as they meet qualification requirements.

The Act also requires the PA Departments of Education (PDE) and Human Services (DHS) to issue “guidance and best practices” within 180 days of its enactment on January 26, 2022.

To View Act 1 of 2022, click here.