Pupil Services

Pupil Services


Pupil Services in the North Hills School District includes special education, gifted education and guidance, student health and early intervention services.

  • Learning Support - For students whose primary identified need is academic learning
  • Gifted Support - For students who show outstanding intellectual ability which requires more enrichment activities and opportunities in and out of the classroom
  • Emotional Support - Students with personal, behavioral or emotional issues that interfere with learning and adjustment
  • Life Skills Support - For students who need to develop skills for independent living
  • Speech and Language Support - For students with communication impairments which affect their academic achievement
  • Hearing Impaired Support - For students with hearing impairments which interfere with the development of their communication processes
  • Visually Impaired Support - For students who have a visual impairment which adversely affects their educational performance
  • Autistic Support - For students who need specialized education services to effectively meet the needs of autism

Services for School Age Exceptional Children

North Hills provides a free, appropriate public education to exceptional students according to state and federal mandates. To be eligible, the child must be of school age, need specially designed instruction and meet eligibility criteria for mentally gifted and/or one or more of the following:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Hearing impairment
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Visual impairment(including blindness)
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Autism
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Other health impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Deafness
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Multiple disabilities

Services designed to meet the needs of eligible students include the annual development of an individualized education program (IEP), periodic multidisciplinary re-evaluation, supportive intervention in the regular class or in a special education resource program, placement in a itinerant or supplemental special education class in a regular school or placement in a full-time special education class outside of the regular school. The extent of special education services and the location for the delivery of such services are determined by the parents and staff at the IEP team meeting and is based on the student's identified needs and abilities, chronological age and the level of intensity of the specified intervention.

The school district also provides related services, such as transportation, speech and language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy that are necessary to enable the student to derive educational benefits.

Services for Disabled Preschool Age Children

Act 212, the Early Intervention System Act, entitles all preschool age children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services. Young children experiencing developmental delays or physical or mental disabilities are eligible for early intervention services.

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is responsible for providing services to children from birth through two years of age. Contact The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers at 412-885-6000.

The Pennsylvania Department is responsible for providing services to preschool age children from ages three through five. Contact Project DART at 412-394-5736.

Services for Protected Handicapped Students

In compliance with state and federal law, the North Hills School District will provide to each protected handicapped student without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services, or accommodations which are needed 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 student's abilities. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in, or access to, any aspect of the school program.

These services and protections for "protected handicapped students" are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs.

To qualify for services as a "Protected Handicapped Student" the referred person must be of an age to which public education is offered in his/her school district.

Notice of Parents' Rights

State and federal laws and regulations outline your rights and the safeguards to be followed in providing a free appropriate public education.

At any time you feel that the program is not appropriate, you may initiate due process procedures by forwarding a written statement to the school district. You may also request reevaluation of the student and/or revisions to the individualized education program. Your request to initiate your rights to a due process hearing means that your child must remain in his/her present educational placement, unless you and your school district both agree to a change while any disagreement is resolved through these procedures.

Before the recommended placement and program is implemented, you have the right to further discuss the recommendation. When this discussion does not resolve differences, you have the right to request a prehearing conference, mediation, or an impartial due-process hearing.

How to Address Concerns

Parents/guardians who have concerns regarding their child may contact the building principal at any time to request a screening or evaluation of their child. All communication with parents and guardians and students shall be in English or the native language of the parents. Screening information will be used by the IEP team or district team within the child's school to meet his or her specific needs or to document the need for further reevaluation.

Director of Pupil Services

Dr. Nicole Bezila

Administrative Assistant

Stacey Stiffey

School Psychologists

Dr. Lynn Kiselica
Email Dr. Kiselica

Dr. Emily Stephenson
Email Dr. Stephenson

Dr. Miriam Ferguson
Email Dr. Ferguson

Christine Hardgrove
Email Mrs. Hardgrove

Administrative Assistant

Kim Cooney
412-318-1000 ex. 3138

Important Information & Links
Special Education Plan 2023-26
View text-based website