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  • PALS

PALS January 2015 - Speaker Cindy Duch from The PEAL Center


  • Cindy Duch: Director of Parent Advising PEAL CENTER

  • Employees of PEAL Center are all parents of children with disabilities.

  • The PEAL Center is a Federally funded FREE Parent Training Center. PEAL is now serving all counties in Pennsylvania, one office here in Pittsburgh and one in Philadelphia.

  • Packet provided from part one(1) of the PEAL Centers three(3) part “mini-series”.

  • Information about how the PEAL Center can help along with the PEAL Centers Family to Family (F2F) Health Information Project which assists families with information regarding medical assistance.

  • PEAL Center offers FREE Online Courses for families.

  • PEAL Center works very hard to ensure that the trainings provided to families are broken down with less “jargon” and more easy to understand language.

  • Important Points to Remember breaks down the IEP into fourteen(14) components, making it easier for families to understand what they are looking at, requirements, etc…

  • PEAL Center receives calls from many families who are concerned about Keystone Exams. More information about Keystones can be accessed at

  • PEAL Center provides an updated Annotated IEP to assist families with the IEP process. This allows families to see what an IEP looks like and what goes into the fourteen(14) component areas within the IEP.

  • PEAL Center provides information on Writing Effective IEP Goals while aligning them with the Standards.

  • PEAL Center provides families with information regarding Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and Educational Placement.

  • Student Snapshot is a great way to ensure all adults involved with your child is well introduced to your child’s strengths, weaknesses, your long-term goals, etc…

  • Many families are unsure/unclear about Extended School Year (ESY) services in Pennsylvania. PEAL Center works to help them understand what ESY is, who qualifies, etc…

  • PEAL Center provides Communication Tips for families as it relates to working with the child’s IEP Meeting. Asking “how” questions instead of “what are you doing” questions is always more beneficial.

  • PEAL Center puts out a quarterly newsletter as well as a bi-weekly e-mail blast.

  • PEAL Center receives many calls regarding NOREPs. Many parents don’t understand that they need to sign a NOREP even if they disagree. A parent can write in that they do not agree.

  • All the publications provided today are available on the PEAL website and/or can be requested and will be mailed out.

  • The PEAL Center is located at 1119 Penn Avenue Suite 400 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.281.4404 Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.

  • PEAL Center Annual Conference March 25, 2015 in Monroeville Double Tree. Keynote Speakers, Keith Jones and Serena Lobe.

  • Local Task Force (LTF) each Intermediate Unit in the state has a LTF. 51% parent membership, parents have always been board members. Provide a variety of speakers the first Wednesday of every month at the AIU building in the Waterfront at 7:00p.m.

  • LTF goes out to schools to provide information to parents as well as receive information from parents via surveys in an effort to monitor schools.


Open Forum

  • HAPPEN Parent Group last Tuesday of the month at St. Catherine of Sweden Church 2554 Wildwood Road Allison Park, PA 15101 7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.

  • Next HAPPEN Meeting January 27th

  • Topic: Extended School Year (ESY) and other topics brought forth by the group.

In Attendance

Abby Torres, Stacy London, Cindy Duch, Dr. Lonnie Carey, Heather Hoover, Jane Stadnik

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