Identifying and Serving the Special Needs of Philadelphia Students

Posted by Philadelphia Education Fund on October 23, 2018

Join us for breakfast and discussion on

Thursday, November 1st

Identifying and Serving the Special Needs of Philadelphia Students

It was 1971, when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania handed down its decision on Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With its ruling, establishing that students with disabilities be provided an appropriate and publicly-funded education, the ball was set in motion for the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – which affirms these guarantees to all special needs students nationwide.

Of course, having these benefits is one thing and accessing them is another. For the uninitiated family member, there is much to learn. There are acronyms and terminology and legal rights and responsibilities. For a school district, there is the challenge of providing an array of services from learning to emotional support; from speech to vision therapy, all while aiming to meet a student’s educational needs.

By no means will this Education First Compact address all of the complexities that arise when we speak about serving special needs students, but for those who attend, it will serve to provide a general overview of the efforts being undertaken by the School District of Philadelphia to identify students, support educators and parents, resource schools appropriately, partner with providers, and navigate related fiscal and legal challenges. You’ll also learn from a parent and advocate giving voice to the needs of special needs students and their families locally and statewide.


Dr. Malika Savoy-Brooks
Chief of Academic Support, School District of Philadelphia

Natalie Hess
Deputy Chief for the Office of Specialized Services (OSS)

Sonya Berry
Learning Network 6 SPED Director

Fatima Rogers
Principal, Henry Elementary School

Cecilia Thompson
Parent; Chairperson, Philadelphia Right to Education Local Task Force; and
Member, Governor’s Special Education Advisory Panel


Farah Jimenez
President and CEO
Philadelphia Education Fund

Thursday, November 1, 2018
7:45 – 10:00 am

FREE Breakfast and Registration

Philadelphia Performing Arts – Vine Street Campus Cafeteria
1600 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Program Schedule:
* 7:45 – 8:00am Breakfast & Networking
* 8:00 – 9:30am Program
* 9:30 – 10:00am Q&A

RSVPs are required.

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