Gov. Wolf Urges Congress to Consider Key Priorities in American Families Plan That Will Support Pennsylvanians (September 14, 2021)

On September 10, 2021, Governor Tom Wolf sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation sharing his priorities for Pennsylvania as the US Congress considers major aspects of President Biden’s American Families Plan.

Specifically, Governor Wolf urged Congress to approve such items as universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-old children with strong investments in these programs, access to postsecondary education through investments in the plan’s proposed College Completion Fund, and increased funding that would provide states with enhanced Medicaid funding for home and community-bases services if they carry out certain activities that will support expanding access to these services and strengthen the workforce providing them. Such funding would help provide care to those with disabilities.

Click to access a copy of the letter Governor Wolf sent to the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation.

Mikayla’s Voice Awarded a Community Response Grant; Provides Free Subscriptions (September 14, 2021)

Mikayla’s Voice was awarded a Community Response Grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council to offer 267 FREE subscriptions to “Mikayla’s Bookshelf” for families with a child with a disability. This new website includes all three of our books in electronic format and as ASL performances, plus enrichment activities related to inclusion, kindness, and friendship.

Interested schools can contact Rita Cheskiewicz, Executive Director at 570-690-7113 or rita@mikaylasvoice.org or Kimberly Resh, Program Director, at 610-746-2324 or kim@mikaylasvoice.orgto participate in Mikayla’s Voice programming and interested families should email sydney@mikaylasvoice.org as soon as possible because the grant is ending soon.

Click on this link for a flyer you may share with families.

Click here for a quick video tutorial.

PDE to LEAs: Report Expenditures Relating to Exceptional Students Collection #1 by October 14th (September 13, 2021)

On September 13, 2021, PDE BSE Director Carole L. Clancy, disseminated a memo to applicable LEAs titled Reporting of Expenditures Relating to Exceptional Students.  The memo states that Act 16 of 2000 (24 PS §13-1372(8)) requires the Reporting of Expenditures Relating to Exceptional Students. School districts and charter schools must report the number of students with disabilities for which expenditures were between $1 and $26,717.95; between $26,717.96 and $53,435.91; between $53,435.92 and $80,153.88; and $80,153.89 and over for the prior entire school year (2020-2021).

This report will be collected at the student level through PIMS using the Student Fact Template for Special Education Act 16 Funds. The template will be collected during Collection #1 (opening October 1, 2021 and closing with a deadline of October 14, 2021). Data is to be based on expenditures incurred during the entire 2020-2021 school year. Guidelines regarding the Act 16 reporting can be found at Act 16 Information. The Student Fact Template for Special Education Act 16 Funds can be found in the PIMS manual.

Failure to complete the Student Fact Template for Special Education Act 16 Funds report may have an adverse effect on the local education agency’s special education funding.

Questions regarding this reporting requirement may be emailed to ra-edseact16@pa.gov. A copy of this information is being provided to each intermediate unit so they may assist school districts and charter schools with report preparation, as needed.

Mikayla’s Voice Awarded a Community Response Grant; Provides Free Subscriptions (September 12, 2021)

Mikayla’s Voice was awarded a Community Response Grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council to offer 267 FREE subscriptions to “Mikayla’s Bookshelf” for families with a child with a disability. This new website includes all three of our books in electronic format and as ASL performances, plus enrichment activities related to inclusion, kindness, and friendship. Interested families should email sydney@mikaylasvoice.org as soon as possible because the grant is ending soon.

Click on this link for a flyer you may share with families.

Click here for a quick video tutorial.

PDH Sends Reminder: 2020-21 SHARRS Reporting Window  to Close Sept. 30th (September 12, 2021)

On September 9, 2021, Colleen Schultz, M.Ed., CSN RN, PDH Chief of the Division of School Health, sent a PennLink communiqué to all LEAs titled Reminder: 2020-21 SHARRS Reporting Window.

The message stated that the SHARRS reporting window will close on September 30, 2021. It advised LEAs to share the important reminder with staff responsible for completing the SHARRS report, and to ensure the LEA’s reporting information is submitted in a timely manner so the school districts receive their reimbursement for the 2020-21 School Year.

LEAs are also asked to note the following:

  • The Superintendent/CEO is the only person with the capability to submit the report.
  • SHARRS programming will close the reporting window at close of business September 30, 2021. Therefore, timely submission of information is essential in order to be reimbursed for the 2020-21 School Year.
  • SHARRS can be accessed at https://apps.health.pa.gov/SHARRS/Login.aspx. An “INSTRUCTIONS” button on each page provides additional guidance to assist in completing the report.
  • If school exams and screenings were incomplete/unable to be completed last year due to the various instructional models in place during COVID-19, LEAs must note it in the “Comments” box on the ADM page in SHARRS.