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January 17, 2021

School District of Philadelphia opening six regional centers for special needs students

The locations will be used to conduct assessments for special education evaluations and determining student eligibility for such services

Education School District of Philadelphia
school district philadelphia regional centers.jpg Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

The six regional centers will only be open at first for conducting in-person assessments. Eventually, more special education services will be offered once assessments are finished.

Starting next Monday, the School District of Philadelphia will open six regional centers to offer educational services for students with special needs.

The six locations across the city school district will be used to conduct in-person assessments needed to complete special education evaluations and reevaluations, as well as to determine student eligibility for such services. 

These regional centers will only be open at first for conducting in-person assessments. More special education services will be offered at the six locations once assessments are finished.

Starting on Tuesday, school district staff will begin reaching out to eligible students and families to schedule in-person assessments. 

COVID-19 health and safety protocols, such as wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, will be implemented at the six locations. Students will receive a COVID-19 rapid antigen test upon arrival.

Families will be responsible for transportation to and from the centers. However, if transportation assistance is needed, they must inform school district officials of such issues before an assessment is scheduled.

The school district has utilized virtual assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not all students with special needs are able to engage with these educational experiences. Roughly 600 students have been deemed by the school district to require an in-person assessment.

Below are the six regional center locations which will open on Jan. 25.

•West Philadelphia High School, 4901 Chestnut Street
•Arts Academy At Benjamin Rush, 11081 Knights Rd
•Martin Luther King High School, 6100 Stenton Avenue
•Thomas A. Edison High School, 151 West Luzerne Street
•Strawberry Mansion High School, 3133 Ridge Ave
•Creative and Performing Arts High School, 901 S Broad St

“We remain focused on strengthening educational supports for our students with special needs while schools remain virtual,” Superintendent Dr. William Hite said. 

“Parents, teachers, administrators and staff have continued to adjust and be creative to best support our students with diverse needs. Opening these centers is a crucial next step to help us evaluate and meet their needs during these challenging times."

The School District of Philadelphia currently has conducted online-only instruction since the public health crisis began last March.

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