Levels of Support

Shippensburg Area School District offers a continuum of support services from minimal to intensive levels based on student needs.  The level of support is determined by each student’s IEP team members.  When determining the level of support needed for each student, the IEP team must consider how the support services can be delivered in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for the student as well as guaranteeing a free and appropriate educational program (FAPE).

The levels of support are:

  • Itinerant
    • Offers academic, behavioral, emotional, or social support to students
    • Direct instruction occurs for specific skill areas identified in the students Evaluation/Reevaluation Report


  • Supplemental
    • Direct instruction and/or replacement curriculum in content areas of English Language Arts (ELA) and/or Math


  • Full-time
    • Direct instruction and replacement curriculum in multiple content areas (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Functional Life Skills)
    • Very intensive level
    • Explore opportunities for inclusion with same aged peers such as recess, lunch, specials




The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is legislation that guarantees services to students who have been identified as having a disability throughout the United States.  IDEA provides school districts and Intermediate Units (IU) with regulations on how to provide early intervention, special education, and related services to students ages birth to 21 years of age.  IDEA Part B governs students ages 3-21 while IDEA Part C governs birth-2 years old.

IDEA originated as Public Law 94-142 in 1975 and was also known as the Education for Handicapped Children Act. In 1990 it was revised and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  The law has 6 fundamental areas:

  1. Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

All students with disabilities ages 3-21 are entitled to a free and appropriate education (FAPE), which can include special education supports and related services as described in their IEP.

  1. Nondiscriminatory Evaluation

Every child is entitled to receive a nondiscriminatory full evaluation that is free from cultural bias and language barriers in order to prevent misidentification.

  1. Parent and Teacher Participation

Parents and teachers are an integral and required part of the Evaluation and IEP teams as they help to identify the student’s strengths and needs, goals, LRE, and other considerations specific to that student.  Parents and teachers may ask for an IEP meeting at any time to discuss concerns.

  1. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

IDEA requires school districts and IEP teams to determine the Least Restrictive Environment for students with disabilities. The LRE is individualized for each student in how much time they are educated with their nondisabled peers depending on their needs and amount of support services.

  1. Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is designed to meet the needs of each student.  This document outlines the special education support services and related services unique to each student.  This document also includes parent and teacher input, goals, present levels of educational and functional performance, specially designed instruction, support to school personnel, and LRE.  The following are required members of the IEP team: Parents, regular education teacher, special education teacher (if applicable), district administrator (LEA), student (if over age of 14), and any other district employee with direct knowledge of the student.

  1. Procedural Safeguards and Due Process

Procedural safeguards are intended to protect students with disabilities and their families as well as ensure that these students receive FAPE.  Both parents and schools have the right to due process to ensure fairness.

Types of Special Education Support Services

Learning Support

  • Shippensburg Area School District offers Itinerant, Supplemental, and Intensive Learning Support services across at elementary, intermediate, and secondary levels.


Emotional Support

  • Shippensburg Area School District offers Itinerant support across all levels. Students receive social skills groups that target peer interactions, appropriate communication, problem solving, and friendships.  James Burd, Middle School, and High School also offer supplemental emotional support services.


Autistic Support

  • Shippensburg Area School District offers autistic support services at every building across the district. Students receive social skills instruction that target the skill deficit areas of pragmatics.


Speech-language Support

  • Shippensburg Area School District employs three certified speech-language pathologists to provide speech therapy to students across the district. Speech Pathologists target articulation (speech sounds), fluency (stuttering), pragmatics (social) language, expressive and receptive language, and syntax (grammar).  Students can be seen in individual, small group, or classroom settings depending on the individualized student’s needs.  Speech Pathologists conduct screenings and evaluations, work with parents and teachers to develop Individualized Education Plans (IEP), and provide inclusion strategies to implement in the classroom.


Psychological Services

  • Shippensburg Area School District employs two certified school psychologists. They administer standardized assessments to students to provide multi-disciplinary evaluation (MDE) teams information regarding a student’s intellectual, academic, functional, behavioral, and social abilities.  The use of these tests will not occur until parent consent has been obtained.


IU Services

  • Autism Consultation
  • Blind/visual Impairment
  • Deaf/Hearing Impairment
  • Assistive Technology


Occupational and Physical Therapy Support

  • Shippensburg Area School District currently contracts with TherAbilities to provide occupational and physical therapy support services for students who demonstrate fine motor and gross motor needs.