The team that provides support and technical assistance to educators that service publicly placed students with disabilities in county detention, county prison, partial hospitals, private residential rehabilitative institutes, residential treatment facilities and state juvenile and state correctional facilities.
As described in on of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Basic Education Circulars BEC 24 P.S. Section 13-1306 Students who are residing in a “children’s institution” whose parents are not residents of the school district in which the institution is located are identified as “1306” students. These students may be in a variety of residential centers, homes or institutions, such as Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers, homes for orphans or other “institutions for the care and training for orphans or other children.”
As described in one of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Basic Education Circulars, BEC 24 P.S. §13-1306.2, local host school districts are responsible for the education programs offered at juvenile detention centers and county prisons. PDE is responsible for the education programs offered at the nine state juvenile facilities, including Youth Development Centers, Forestry Camps, and Secure Treatment Units. PDE contracts with local school districts, intermediate units, and private vendors to provide comprehensive education programs in the state juvenile facilities. Education for adults within state correctional institutions is the responsibility of the Department of Corrections.
The 26 adult state correctional institutions and the 5 state juvenile institutions receive consultative/technical support from the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) through two special service units: Regional Assessment and Support Teams (RAST), the Records Center, and the Penn Data System.
Regional Assessment and Support Teams
Pennsylvania has two Regional Assessment and Support Teams (RAST), one each located in the western, central parts of the state. The RAST units are comprised of certified special education staff and a school psychologist or contracted specialists. The teams are coordinated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education. Each correctional institution is supported by one of the two Regional Assessment and Support Teams, which provide technical assistance, in-service training, support a records center to help correctional facilities in locating special education records, monitor contracted related services as appropriate, conduct compliance monitoring of correctional institutions, and schedule and contract for psychological assessments as needed. The RAST units meet monthly with the PDE, BSE, and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Education to coordinate and standardize all special education programs and services at the institutional level.
When a special education student is placed in an institution, the teacher receives support from the institution’s RAST unit. In addition to the services noted above, the following RAST units provide technical assistance for screening, identification, IEP development, and related services for special education students.
Students enter the county prisons, state juvenile and adult correctional institutions through the county court system or inter-institutional transfers. Timely access to accurate academic records is necessary for placing students in the appropriate educational programs. To facilitate this, the Records Center project began in January 1993. The Records Center is an avenue that schools may use to help expedite the retrieval of educational records. The Records Center ensures quick retrieval of academic records to prevent repeated screening and assessments, and shortens the delay in transferring records from various educational agencies.
Program Assistant: Renee Lewis; email@example.com
Program Assistant: Danette Campbell; firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 1-800-945-7854 or (717) 541-8575
Fax: 1-800-232-4813 or (717) 541-8591
Penn Data for Corrections
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Penn Data System is located within the Central RAST unit. Its major function is to track and provide information about students with special needs in the state juvenile and adult institutions. Visit the Penn Data System web site for more information.