Inside Background

Special Education

Jennifer Pallone
Director of Special Education 
724-337-4536  x1066
Gina Evon
School Psychologist
724-337-4536 x4249
Sue Fantuzzo
Special Education Secretary
724-337-4536 x1065
Mindy Snoznik
Access Secretary
724-337-4536 x1275

Office Fax: 724-337-5553

The Student Services Office is located in the Administration Building, 707 Stevenson Blvd

NKASD Adopted Special Education Plan 2023-2026
Chapter 4 specifies planning requirements for school entities. As part of these requirements, every 3 years, each school district must develop and submit to the department a special education plan. Any section of the Special Education plan containing student numbers and caseloads have been redacted to protect student confidentiality.
Should you have any questions about the plan, please contact Jennifer Pallone, Director of Special Education at 724-337-4536 x1066 or [email protected].

The Local Task Force (LTF) is a committee of concerned and active parents, consumers, and representatives, brought together to collaboratively ensure that all children with disabilities in Westmoreland County receive the supports and services they need to be successful in the least restrictive environment.


More information can be found at: 


Special Education Services for School Age Exceptional Students

Notice to Parents
According to state and federal special education regulations, annual public notice to parents of children who reside within a school district is required regarding child find responsibilities. School districts and intermediate units are required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For additional information related to Section 504/ Chapter 15 services, the parent may refer to Section 504, Chapter 15, and the Basic Education Circular entitled Implementation of Chapter 15. Also, school districts are required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for gifted services via 22 PA Code Chapter 16. For additional information regarding gifted services, the parent may refer to 22 PA Code Chapter 16. If a student is both gifted and eligible for Special Education, the procedures in IDEA and Chapter 14 shall take precedence.
This notice shall inform parents throughout the school district and intermediate unit of the child identification activities and of the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities or eligible young children. In addition to this public notice, each school district and intermediate unit shall publish written information in the handbook and on the website. Children ages three through twenty-one can be eligible for special education programs and services. If parents believe that the child may be eligible for special education, the parent should contact their district of residence.
Children age three through their school district’s age of beginners are also eligible if they have developmental delays or one or more of the physical or mental commissions as defined in Chapter 14 and, as a result, need Special Education and related services. Developmental delay is defined as a child who is less than the age of beginners and at least three years of age and is considered to have a developmental delay when one of the following exists: (i) The child’s score, on a developmental assessment device, on an assessment instrument which yields a score in months, indicates that the child is delayed by 25% of the child’s chronological age in one or more developmental areas, or (ii) The child is delayed in one or more of the developmental areas, as documented by test performance of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on standardized tests. Developmental areas include cognitive, communicative, physical, social/emotional and self-help. For additional information contact the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Early Intervention Program.
Evaluation Process
Each school district and intermediate unit has a procedure in place by which parents can request an evaluation. For information about procedures applicable to your child, contact the school which your child attends. Parents of students enrolled in the New Kensington-Arnold School District can make a request for an evaluation by contacting the building administrator or the Director of Special Education at 724-337-4536 ext. 1133. Parents of preschool age children, age three through five, may request an evaluation in writing by addressing a letter to the Early Intervention Program Administrator, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, 102 Equity Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601-7190.
School entities cannot proceed with an evaluation or with the initial provision of special education and related services without the written consent of the parents. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found at the PaTTAN website, Once written parental consent is obtained, the district will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation, the parent can request an independent educational evaluation at public expense.
Program Development
Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified professionals and the parents determine whether the child is eligible. If the child is eligible, the individualized education program (IEP) team meets, develops the program, and determines the educational placement. Once the IEP team develops the program and determines the educational placement, school district staff or intermediate unit staff will issue a notice of recommended educational placement/prior written notice. Your written consent is required before initial services can be provided. The parent has the right to revoke consent after initial placement.
Confidentiality of Information
The school districts and to some extent the intermediate unit maintain records concerning children enrolled in the school, including students with disabilities. All records are maintained in the strictest confidentiality. Your consent, or consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under State law, must be obtained before personally identifiable information is released, except as permitted under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The age of majority in Pennsylvania is 21. Each participating agency must protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction states. One official at each participating agency must assume responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information. Each participating agency must maintain, for public inspection, a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the agency who have access to personally identifiable information.
For additional information related to student records, the parent can refer to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
This notice is only a summary of the Special Education services, evaluation and screening activities, and rights and protections pertaining to children with disabilities, children thought to be disabled, and their parents. For more information or to request evaluation or screening of a public or private school child, contact the responsible entity listed below. For preschool age children, information, screenings and evaluations requested, may be obtained by contacting the intermediate unit.

Services for Protected Handicapped Students

Complying with federal and state regulatory guidelines, the New Kensington-Arnold School District will provide protected handicapped students without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations which are necessary to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the individual’s abilities.

To qualify as a protected handicapped individual, the student must be of school age with a physical or mental disability, which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. Services and protections for protected handicapped students are distinct from those applicable to exceptional students enrolled or seeking enrollment in special education programs.

Inquiries relative to procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students should be directed to the building administrator or the district LEA at 724-337-4536 extension 1133.

Gifted Services

The New Kensington-Arnold School District provides an appropriate public education to students who qualify for gifted programs.  The district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program.    Parents of students enrolled in the New Kensington-Arnold School District may obtain additional information about this program by contacting the building administrator or the district LEA at 724-337-4536 extension 1133.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires Pennsylvania to ensure that the total number of students assessed in each subject using the PASA does not exceed one percent of the total number of all students in the state assessed on the statewide assessments. Each local educational agency (LEA) must complete and submit the PASA 1.0 Percent Participation Threshold Justification to BSE if it anticipates that more than 1.0 % of its students enrolled in grades 3- 8 and 11 will be assessed using the PASA. A list of LEAs who anticipate exceeding the threshold will be made publicly available on the PDE website, in accordance with 34 CFR 200.6 (c)(3) regulations. LEAs must also make the document publicly available upon request, removing any personally identifiable information. The New Kensington-Arnold School District anticipates exceeding the 1.0 percent threshold for PASA participation for the 2022-23 testing cycle. The necessary justification information has been submitted to the Bureau of Special Education. Questions on the New Kensington-Arnold participation rates should be directed to Jennifer Pallone, Director of Special Education.