Least Restrictive Environment
Plum Borough School District offers a continuum of support for students receiving special education. The least restrictive environment (LRE) means educating students in special education with their regular education peers as much as possible. Plum Borough School District strives to keep students in their regular education classrooms to the maximum extent appropriate. This is achieved through accommodations and modifications, as well as Supplementary Aids and Services. Many changes can be made within the regular education classroom to support students with disabilities.
Levels of Service
Service is provided as itinerant, supplemental, or full-time based on the amount of support necessary for the student to make adequate progress toward IEP goals within the least restrictive environment.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education website offers additional information about the Least Restrictive Environment.
Types of Support
The descriptions below are not intended to be all inclusive, but rather provide a general idea of what each type of support might include. The type of support a student receives as part of their special education program is always individual based on need and agreed upon by the IEP team, which includes school staff and parents/guardians.
Support for students with academic deficits most commonly in reading, math, or writing.
Life Skills Support
Support for students with significant language deficits and/or low intellectual abilities. Includes academic and functional life skills including social skills and self-care skills.
Support for students with severe mental health, behavioral, and/or social difficulties. Includes functional behavior assessments (FBA) and positive behavior support plans (PBSP), as well as support from school counselors and school social workers.
Support for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders that may include behavioral, academic, and/or emotional support services. These services might include functional behavior assessments (FBA) and positive behavior support plans (PBSP), as well as support from school counselors and school social workers.
Speech and Language Therapy
Support for students with articulation, language, fluency, or voice disorders.
Helpful Speech/Language Websites
American Speech-Language Hearing Association
The Stuttering Foundation
Occupational Therapy (OT) is provided by contracted professionals through the Hope Learning Center. Occupational therapy addresses deficits in fine/small motor skills such as writing, cutting with scissors, and dressing (buttons and zippers).
Physical Therapy (PT) is provided by contracted professionals through the Hope Learning Center. Physical therapy addresses deficits in gross/large motor skills such as walking, balancing, and going up and down steps.
Hearing Services are provided by contracted professionals through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3. These services may include auditory equipment such as hearing aids or FM systems for use in the classroom, as well as individualized instruction from a teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.
AIU Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services
Vision Services are provided through contracted professionals through the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. These services may include orientation and mobility instruction and Braille instruction, as well as assistive technology to support students in the classroom.
In accordance with Pennsylvania regulations, when a student with an IEP reaches the age of 14, the IEP team begins transition planning for post-secondary activities. Transition planning may focus on preparation for post-secondary education, career plans, and independent living skills. Please refer to the links below for a transition checklist and other web resources to support the transition.
PA Secondary Transition Guide
Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN)
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
Got Transition? (Health Care)
Extended School Year (ESY)
Each year, a student's IEP team will use data to determine whether the child is eligible for ESY, which typically occurs during the summer. The purpose of ESY is to help a student maintain skills toward IEP goals.
ESY Brochure from PA Department of Education
If a student's needs cannot be appropriately met within Plum Borough School District, the IEP team may consider alternative educational placements outside of the district through private facilities, at no cost to the parent. The decision to remove a student from his or her neighborhood school requires a team decision and only after all other options have been exhausted.