Required Notices & Disclosures

Required Notices & Disclosures

Parent Right to Know
As stipulated in the federal law, parents/guardians may request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teacher(s). Specifically, individuals have the right to ask for the following information:

Whether the student’s teacher met state qualifying and licensing criteria for the grade level or subject he/she is teaching;

  • Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status;
  • The teacher’s college major, the baccalaureate degree, and/or any advanced degrees earned by the teacher;
  • Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

To obtain this information, please submit your request in writing to the address listed below. Each request should include the student’s name, his/her teachers’ names and the school he/she attends. Please be certain to include your name, address and a telephone number at which you can be contacted during the day.  

North Hills School District
Human Resources Department
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229

Highly Qualified Teachers

Federal law requires that all public school teachers in core academic subjects be Highly Qualified.

A highly qualified teacher in Pennsylvania is one who:

  • holds full certification;
  • has at least a bachelor's degree;
  • has completed a content area major;
  • has passed a content area test; and
  • has completed teacher education course work.

One hundred percent of the teachers in the North Hills School District meet or exceed the highly qualified criteria.

Programs for Eligible or Protected Handicapped Students

In compliance with state and federal law, notice is hereby given by the North Hills School District that it conducts ongoing identification activities as a part of its school program for the purpose of identifying students who may be in need of special education and related services (eligible students). If your child is identified by the District as possibly in need of such services, you will be notified of applicable procedures.

Individualized services and programs are available for children who are determined to need specially designed instruction due to the following conditions:

  • Autism/pervasive development disorder
  • Blindness or visual impairment
  • Deafness or hearing impairment
  • Developmental delay
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multi-handicapped
  • Neurological impairment
  • Other health impairments
  • Physical disability
  • Serious emotional disturbance
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment

If you believe that your school-aged child may be in need of special education services and related programs, or young child (age 3 to school-age) may be in need of early intervention, screening and evaluation processes designed to assess the needs of the child and his/her eligibility are available to you at no cost, upon written request. You may request screening and evaluation at any time, whether or not your child is enrolled in the District’s public school program. Requests for evaluation and screening are to be made in writing to the building principal.

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 school age with a physical or mental disability, which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an 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.

For further information on the rights of parents and children, provision of services, evaluation and screening (including purpose, time and location), and rights to due process procedures, you may contact in writing any building principal.

Guidelines for Screening, Evaluating Students

The North Hills School District uses the following procedures for locating, identifying and evaluating specific needs of school-aged students who may require special programs or services. These procedures, required by law, are:

The district, as prescribed by Section 1402 of the School Code, routinely conducts screening of a child’s hearing and visual acuities at certain grades or as needed. Gross motor and fine motor skills, academic skills and social and emotional skills are assessed by classroom teachers on an on-going basis.

Specific needs from all of these screening sources are noted in the child’s official file. School records are always open and available to parents, and only to school officials who have a legitimate reason for “need to know” information about the child.

Information from the records is released to other persons or agencies only with appropriate authorization which involves written permission by parents. Parents with concerns regarding their student may contact building principals at any time to request a screening or evaluation of their child. Communication with parents through an interpreter including sign language is available if needed.

Screening information will be used by the Support Services Teams at the elementary and secondary schools to evaluate the child’s specific needs or to document the need for additional assessments. If it is determined that a student needs additional evaluation, parents will be asked to sign a form that permits one of the district’s school psychologists to conduct an evaluation.

Following the completion of the multidisciplinary team evaluation, an Evaluation Report is compiled with parent involvement and includes specific recommendations for the types of intervention necessary to meet the child’s individual needs. Parents are invited to participate in a meeting where the results of the multidisciplinary evaluation will be discussed. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed for eligible students.

Parents are presented with a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) which outlines the programs, services and location of services. If parents disagree with the program being recommended, the issue may be addressed at a pre-hearing conference, a mediation, or at an impartial due process hearing.

Information about early intervention services and programs, parental rights, mediation or due process procedures, specific special education services, district programs, and the district’s educational records policy are available upon request from the building principal.

Parents with children between the ages of 3 and 5 have a right to an evaluation to determine eligibility for early intervention services. Early Intervention services are available to all eligible young children beginning at age 3 through a program offered by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Parents who believe their child needs to be evaluated for eligibility may contact Discovery Assessment Referral Tracking (DART) at 412-394-5736, or Director of Pupil Services Dr. Nicole Bezila at 412-318-1008.
Guidelines for Protected Handicapped Students

In compliance with state and federal law, the North Hills School District will provide to each protected handicapped student the aids, services and/or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities.

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 eligible or exceptional students enrolled, or seeking enrollment, in special education programs.

For more information on evaluation procedures and provisions of services for protected handicapped students, contact Director of Pupil Services Dr. Nicole Bezila at 412-318-1008. 

Gifted Education: Screening & Evaluation Process
Referral for a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation shall be made when a student is suspected by teachers and/or parents of being gifted and in need of specially designed instruction. The parent must sign a Permission to Evaluate form in order for the process to begin. The school psychologist conducts a formal evaluation and this evaluation along with: information from the parents, demonstrated achievement, performance/expertise in one or more academic areas, high level thinking skills, communication skills, academic creativity and measured rate of acquisition/retention of new academic content or skills that reflect gifted ability is used to develop a Gifted Written Report (GWR).

The Gifted Multidisciplinary Team shall prepare a written report that brings together the information and findings from the evaluation. The report shall make recommendations as to whether the student is gifted and in need of specially designed instruction.

The Gifted Individualized Education Program team reviews the recommendations of the Gifted Multidisciplinary Team and determines whether the student needs specially designed instruction including enrichment and/or acceleration. If the student is determined to be gifted and in need of specially designed instruction, a Gifted Individualized Education Program (GIEP) will be developed and implemented.

A gifted student is defined as “a student who is exceptional” under section 1371 of the School Code because the student meets the definition of mentally gifted in this section, and needs specially designed instruction beyond that required in Chapter 4 relating to academic standards and assessment. This term applies only to students who are of school-age. Provisions for gifted students are contained in Chapter 16, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Rules and Regulations, Title 22: Education. For additional information or clarification, please contact Director of Pupil Services Dr. Nicole Bezila at 412-318-1008.
Guidelines for PSSA, Keystone Exam and PASA Test Booklets
PSSA, Keystone Exam, and PASA test booklets will be destroyed one year after student reports are delivered for the administration associated with the test booklets. PSSA and Keystone Exam answer booklets and PASA media recordings will be destroyed three years after completion of the assessment. For more information, please contact Assistant Superintendent Dr. Beth Williams at 412-318-1017.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that North Hills School District, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, North Hills School District may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the North Hills School District to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:

  • A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
  • The annual yearbook;
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists;
  • Graduation programs; and
  • Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
  • School directories

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.*

If you do not want North Hills School District to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by Sept. 15 of each school year. North Hills School District has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Student's name
  • Address
  • Telephone Listing
  • Electronic mail address
  • Photograph
  • Grade level
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and heigh of members of athletic teams
  • Degrees, honors and awards received
  • Most recent educational agency or institution attended

*These laws are: Section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 7908) and 10 U.S.C. 503(c).

Disclosure of Athletic Opportunities

Effective July 1, 2012, PA General Assembly passed Act 82 Article XVI-C, the Disclosure of Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities in secondary schools including grades seven to 12. This will include public schools, joint schools, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and cyber charter schools.

The state Department of Education started to collect data from all educational agencies starting in the 2012-13 school year. All agencies including North Hills School District are required to post the information online and make the disclosures available to the public.

All non-school (booster clubs, alumni and other non-school) contributions and purchases are included in the yearly disclosure.

Asbestos Management

North Hills School District has developed asbestos management plans for every district building. These plans are kept by each lead custodian and available for review during normal school hours.

In compliance with AHERA Law (40), CFR Part 763.84 an initial inspection of all of NHSD buildings were made before the October 13, 1988, deadline. Periodic follow-up inspections are conducted every six months. As well, independent third party triennial re-inspections are conducted as required by the AHERA act. More recently, the district retained AGX Environmental Company to conduct the required 2017 triennial inspection.

For more information, contact the Director of Facilities Services at 412-318-1049.

Integrated Pest Management Plan

North Hills School District is committed to providing a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. North Hills School District subscribes to the philosophy and practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. Modern pest management is more than a reaction to a problem; it is about preventing pests while protecting people.

IPM is used to eliminate and prevent the infestation of unwanted pests while de-emphasizing the use of insecticides or pesticides. The integration between good quality housekeeping and non-pesticide procedures is essential to the success of an IPM program.  Emphasis is placed on good quality housekeeping, monitoring and controlling the environment and using insecticides or pesticides are only as a supplement to IPM protocol.

From time to time it may be necessary to use an insecticide or pesticide to address a pest problem. Insecticides or pesticides will only be used when necessary and will not be routinely applied. When insecticide or pesticide are used notices will be posted in the application area 72 hours prior to application and for two (2) days following the application.

If an insecticide or pesticide application must be made to control an emergency pest problem, notice will be provided via district communication outlets. Exemptions to this notification include disinfectants, antimicrobial products, self-containerized baits placed in areas not accessible to students, gel-type baits placed in cracks, crevices or voids, and swimming pool maintenance chemicals.

For more information, contact the Facilities Services Department at 412-318-1046.

Lead Testing
Pennsylvania Act 39 added a new Section 742 to the Pennsylvania School Code. Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, all Pennsylvania school districts are required to conduct tests for lead in drinking water or hold a hearing to discuss lead in school facilities. 
The drinking water was tested in all NHSD buildings. All water samples scanned for lead are below the federal Environmental Protection Agency limit of 15 ppm of lead. 
For more information on the district's lead testing program, contact the Facilities Services Department at 412-318-1046.  
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