Pupil Services & Special Education
Welcome to The Pupil Services and Special Education Department. Our department is committed to supporting the needs of our diverse learners through the provision of quality programming and a team approach. The Pupil Services Department operates in accordance with Federal and State laws and oversees the implementation of the following programs and services:
Special Education (Chapter 14)
Section 504 (Chapter 15)
Gifted Education (Chapter 16)
School Health Services
Student Assistance Program
Social Work Services
Board Certified Behavioral Analysis
- Meet the Team
- Special Education & Related Services
- Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
- Events & Transition Resources
- Social Work & Homeless Resources
- Parent & Community Resources
- Gifted Education
- Early Intervention Services & Transition to School-Based Programming
- PASA 1% Justification
- School Counseling
Serving as the Director of Pupil Services, Dr. Lucas is responsible for programming and supervision of the following departments:
- Special Education & Related Services
- Gifted Education
- Nursing & Health Services
- School Counseling Services
- Behavior Analysis
- School Psychological Services
- School Social Work
- Non-public Services
- Alternative Education
Dr. Lucas joined the Pottsgrove school community on August 1, 2022. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Lucas worked within the Commonwealth in the North Penn School District, the Perkiomen Valley School District, and the Owen J. Roberts School District. She has served in the administrative roles of Special Education Supervisor and Director in K-12 districts for the last 11 years. Dr. Lucas also served as a district Elementary IEP facilitator, special education teacher, and special education assistant (2002-2012). She has been a mental health committee chair, participated in School Wide Positive Behavior Supports leadership groups, and has been a county, statewide, and national presenter on the topic of student mental health needs and services in schools. She is also a board member for the Pennsylvania Council for Administrators of Special Education (PaCASE). Dr. Lucas brings a wealth of experience and understanding of supporting the Pupil Services needs of a District.
Dr. Lucas is looking forward to continuing to support the mission of the Pottsgrove School District "to educate and inspire all students to excel as productive, responsible citizens, and lifelong learners." Her goal this year as a new Pottsgrove staff member and Director is to listen, learn, and build relationships with the students, community, families, and staff groups.
As the mother of three sons, she understands the parent's perspective. Throughout her life, different family members have required special education services and supports. Therefore, she has understood the importance of ensuring equitable opportunity and access to those services. She is thrilled to be part of an amazing community that focuses on developing partnerships and ensuring positive outcomes for all students.
- Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Superintendent Letter, Delaware Valley University
- Special Education Supervisory Certification, Penn State University
- Masters of Education, West Chester University
- Bachelors of Science, West Chester University
Miss Petrillo joined the Pottsgrove administration team in 2019. She has a background in elementary and special education and worked as a special education teacher for ten years. Miss Petrillo spent four of those years working as a Special Education Teacher at West Pottsgrove Elementary School. She completed her Supervisor of Special Education Certification at Immaculata University.
Miss Petrillo serves as the Special Education Supervisor for students attending Pottsgrove Middle and High School.
Miss Petrillo enjoys spending her free time with family and friends. She also enjoys the beach, traveling, cooking, and cheering on the Eagles. Miss Petrillo looks forward to supporting the families of the Pottsgrove School District.
- Supervisor of Special Education Certification, Immaculata University
- Masters of Education, Cabrini College
- Bachelors of Science, Elementary and Special Education, West Chester University
Miss Pappano began her career at Pottsgrove School District in 2015 as the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for all of Pottsgrove School District. In November 2022, she joined the administrative team as the Coordinator of Special Services. Miss Pappano also is the lead instructor in verbal de-escalation and crisis management techniques for Pottsgrove School District, a member of the Student Assistance Programs for the Elementary teams, the supervisor of the Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) in the district, and a member of the PBIS teams across the district. She has a background in Education as an Autistic Support teacher and as a Behavior Specialist Consultant in wraparound services prior to obtaining her certification as a BCBA. Throughout her 25 years of experience, Miss Pappano has worked with early childhood education, school-aged children, and adults in the role of a BCBA and Special Educator.
Miss Pappano enjoys spending time with her family and friends, working in her flower and vegetable garden, and is an avid football and basketball fan. Miss Pappano also enjoys being a Volunteer Firefighter, when time permits from being a “Mom Taxi”. Miss Pappano is very excited to continue working with the students, staff, and families of Pottsgrove School District supporting their behaviors and educational needs so that they may be successful in all endeavors in and outside of the school setting.
- BCBA Certification, Penn State University
- M.Ed. with Special Education Certification, Cabrini College
- B.S.Ed. with Elementary Education Certification, Cabrini College
Mrs. Hinkle will serve as the District’s Interim Supervisor of Special Education for grades K-5. She began her teaching career at Ringing Rocks Elementary School and then transitioned to Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School where she most recently served as a Special Education Teacher. Mrs. Hinkle has been a teacher for 16 years.
Mrs. Hinkle enjoys spending time with her husband, Jonathan, and their three children Jason, Justin, and Emily. She also enjoys cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles and vacationing at Woodloch Pines. Mrs. Hinkle is excited to help the students, staff, and families, within the PGSD community grow and learn together.
Supervisor of Special Education Certification, Gwynedd Mercy University
Masters of Education, Elementary Education, Cabrini College
Bachelors of Science, Special Education, Millersville University
The Pottsgrove School District is committed to providing a continuum of services that offers students with disabilities the opportunity to access the general curriculum in the district in the least restrictive environment. Services are designed in alignment with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and state law (Chapter 14) to meet the needs of Pottsgrove School District students with disabilities. These services are provided at no cost to students who qualify.
The Special Education Department is committed to supporting the delivery of specially designed instructional strategies and related services as prescribed on an identified student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) with an emphasis on increasing opportunities for students with disabilities to learn and grow with non-disabled peers.
Special education is instruction that is individually prescribed to meet the unique learning strengths and needs of an individual school-aged student with disabilities from kindergarten through graduation from high school. The specially designed instruction and related services focus on academics as well as therapeutic needs to help a child overcome his or her difficulties in varied areas of development. These services may be offered in a variety of educational settings, but are required by the IDEA to be delivered in the least restrictive environment.
A student must be evaluated and identified as having a disability and in need of specially designed instructional strategies by a Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation (MDE) to be eligible for special education programs and related services. Related services may include speech and language services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hearing support, vision support, orientation and mobility, augmentative communication, behavioral support, and social-emotional/counseling support.
The Pottsgrove School District provides students with disabilities with a variety of types and levels of supports. Types of Support Programs include; Speech and Language Supports, Vision Support, Hearing Support, Learning Support, Emotional Support, Autistic Support, Multiple Disabilities Support, and Life Skills Support. Levels of support include Itinerant, Supplemental, and Full-Time. IEP teams are committed to partnering with families to provide programs to eligible students to meet their needs in the least restrictive environment.
Important Policy Change Information Sharing from The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is writing to communicate an important policy change that will provide continued education services to special education students. This policy change will ensure students can access Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as they are entitled under federal law. Effective no later than September 5, 2023, all students entitled to FAPE and all of the rights and procedural safeguards under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapter 14 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code may remain enrolled in public school until they turn 22 years of age. This includes students who turned 21 and exited during or after the 2022-2023 school term. More information on this policy change can be found by visiting the links below.
There are currently no events scheduled.
Transition planning for students with disabilities begins at age 14 and is the process of preparing students for life after they leave high school. This includes three major areas of planning: post-secondary education and training, employment, and independent living. This website shares information related to post-secondary transition planning, including links to community supports, services, and events.
School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals with a degree in social work who provide services related to a person's social, emotional, and life adjustment to school and/or society. School Social Workers are the link between the home, school, and community in providing direct as well as indirect services to students, families, and school personnel to promote and support students' academic and social success.
Each school district is required to designate a liaison to ensure that students experiencing housing instability are properly identified, enrolled, and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school. Students who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate residence or are not in the care of their guardian are eligible for McKinney Vento support. Examples of this may include: families facing eviction, runaway youth, victims of domestic violence, fire, loss of employment or hospitalization/incarceration. If you feel your student is experiencing any difficulties accessing their education because of concerns relating to housing stability, please reach out to our homeless liaisons.
For additional assistance, please contact your District McKinney Vento/ESSA Liaison and School Social Workers:
Elizabeth Rakoff (6-12): 610-327-2277 ext. 7379
Melissa Manzon (K-5): 610-327-2277 ext. 6562
Montgomery County Subsidized Child Care: Application for free/low cost childcare.
Montgomery County Mobile Crisis: 24/7 free in-person, phone, or text crisis support.
Behavioral Health Services: Creative Health Services is Montgomery County's Base Service Unit providing family services, including county-funded service for the uninsured.
United Way: 24/7 call or text support by contacting "211" to help connect with community resource agencies, including shelter and emergency housing.
COMPASS site: Application portal for medical and/or financial assistance, food and/or childcare subsidies, and heating/energy assistance.
Pottstown Cluster: A faith-based organization that provides food and household necessities.
Free Health Clinic: Free and/or low-cost health and dental clinics in Pennsylvania.
Crisis Text Line: MHA to 741741 free text-based support 24/7.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 for victims or survivors (can also text LOVEIS to 22522).
PCAR crisis hotline for victims of sexual assault: 1-888-772-7227.
Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): 1-800-662-4357.
Pottsgrove School District is committed to meeting the unique needs of all students and supporting their growth and development. When appropriate, students may have opportunities for acceleration and enrichment in particular areas of strength. The Gifted Support Program has specific eligibility criteria outlined below and all district students are screened at regular intervals for eligibility.
Procedures for Identification of Gifted Support Eligibility
Universal Screening: The district has a child find obligation to identify students in need of gifted support. As a means of gaining data for all students, the following measures are considered:
OTIS-LENNON School Ability Test (OLSAT): A test of abstract thinking and reasoning ability of children. The OLSAT is a group-administered, pencil-and-paper assessment designed to measure verbal, quantitative, and spatial reasoning ability. The test yields verbal and nonverbal scores from which a total score, called a School Ability Index (SAI) is derived. The OLSAT will be administered in the spring of first, third, and fifth grades. A Total score on Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) above the 90th percentile using National Age Norms will be considered.
Exact Path: Math and Reading Nationally normed test with a percentile score; align with local curriculum and state standards; computer-administered 2-3 times per year. In this domain, students with Exact Path scores in the 90th percentile or above on either overall reading or math will be considered.
Teachers in first, third, and fifth grades are asked to rank their students according to ability. Ranking in the top 20 percent of the class according to teacher ratings will be considered.
Students who meet the defined criterion in two or more of the above domains will be referred for a full evaluation. Factors Used to Determine Eligibility for Gifted Students:
Full Scale Intelligence Quotient or General Ability Index (GAI), math reasoning skills based on individually administered testing, reading comprehension skills based on individually administered testing, parent and teacher ratings of gifted characteristics, and teacher rating of acquisition and retention.
Accessing Early Intervention Services: Parents or legal guardians concerned about their pre-school aged child's educational development should contact the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit by filling out a form to request a referral packet.
Or you may call Montgomery County Intermediate Unit at 484-685-1856 and provide the following details about your child:
- Your first and last name
- Mailing Address
- Home, work and cell phone numbers
- Child's name
- Child's date of birth
- Child's school district of residence (Pottsgrove)
Transitioning from Early Intervention to Pottsgrove School District: Pottsgrove School District works collaboratively with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit to support families as they transition from pre-school intervention services to school-based services during Kindergarten.
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 Pottsgrove 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 Pottsgrove School District participation rates should be directed to Mrs. Sarah Matz, Supervisor of Special Education (K-5), 610-327-2277 ext. 1008.