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  • PALS

April 27, 2022 Meeting Minutes - River Academy of Excellence, Teens & Meds, FCASD S.E. Plan

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

PALS Meeting Minutes

April 27, 2022 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom

Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education.

Teens & Meds

What is a family to do when a teen refuses to take the medication prescribed by their doctors? It can be scary when a child refuses to take medically prescribed mediation. Every parent's hope is to provide their child with behavioral strategies that work before reducing or removing medication. That's not always how it works out. So how do do families cope?

- In-Home Family Therapy is a great way to introduce new strategies for working through behavioral, emotional, anxiety, and attention related issues. The wait may be long, however, your family may find relief in the long run.

- Work with your teen to figure out why they are refusing to take their medication. Reasons can range from, stigma, side effects, denial, sleep loss, personality changes, exerting independence, and health concerns.

- Learn everything you can about the medication and be honest about what you know. Let your teen take ownership over treatment, educate your teen on why/how the medication can help, address the stigma, document the impact, address your family dynamics, help cultivate their identity, challenge the myths, and try an adherence experiment.

Articles of Interest

FCASD Upcoming Special Education Plan

Fox Chapel Area School District (FCASD) will post their Special Education Plan on or around May 16, 2022 for twenty-eight (28) days prior to a school board meeting in June when the Plan goes up for approval before being sent to the state board of education. FCASD Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, Tim Mahoney is interested in parent feedback especially in the area of parent trainings provided by the school district. PALS will discuss the Plan during the May 25, 2022 meeting and looks forward to parent input. We will provide a link to the Plan via our Newsletter when it becomes available.

River Academy of Excellence

Cherie River, joined the meeting to share information about her new school, River Academy of Excellence. River Academy of Excellence is a sister company to River Pediatric Therapies, which provides Early Intervention and clinical therapy services to an average of a thousand children per week in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. River has two offices - one in Fox Chapel and one in Cranberry Township.

River Academy of Excellence embraces the unique needs of each student and utilizes research-based educational models and state-of-the-art amenities to provide services of the highest standards. River prioritizes building positive relationships with students and families as a basis for a healthy working partnership. Open communication between our teachers, therapists, and parents encourages the most efficiency and progress for each student. River has a positive track record of staying on course with educational goals and provides fast turn-around on evaluations, reports, and IEP development.

  • River provides therapy that goes above and beyond expectations by involving teachers and family in treatment plans and ensuring that goals are functional for the student across environments.

  • River therapists are trained to evaluate the function behind each goal and how it affects the child in and out of the classroom, helping students to succeed in all aspects of life.

  • River also provides home-based Early Intervention services, with staff considering unique family needs when planning educational goals.

  • River is managed by a prior school employee who understands the inside workings of education and the importance of supportive therapies and data-driven, measurable IEP goals.

River Academy of Excellence offers open enrollment throughout the traditional school year to meet thee placement needs of all students. For more information about River, the curriculum, accommodations, amenities, team, programs, scheduling a meeting or tour, and upcoming events like Open Houses, please visit their website.


Next Meeting: May 25, 2022 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum; we will be discussing the proposed FCASD Special Education Plan.

**Log-in and Password for this and all upcoming meetings will be sent in all upcoming newsletters. Become a subscriber in the footer of this web page.



All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.


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