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Special Education

Welcome to the Special Education Department! My name is Emily Johnson and I am the new Resource Specialist. I am here to help out the students who are having some trouble academically or behaviorally. I will be in all of the classrooms throughout the school days to help the students and the teachers with problems that may arise. If you have any concerns with your child academically I would be the one you would contact so we can figure out what will work best for your child’s needs.


Special education is governed by federal law in most educational jurisdictions. Under Indviduals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Special Education is defined as: “Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.” Special education is in place to provide additional services, support, programs, specialized placements or environments to ensure that all students’ educational needs are provided for. Special education is provided to qualifying students at no cost to the parents. There are many students who have special learning needs and these needs are addressed through special education. Under IDEA here are thirteen categories, which include Autism, Deaf or Blindness, Developmental Delays, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairments, Mental Retardation, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairments, Other Health Impairments, Specific Learning Disabilities, Speech and Language Impairments, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairments. The goal of special education is to ensure that these students can take part in education and access the curriculum whenever possible. 

If a child is suspected of needing special education support the teacher or parent can refer them to the special education committee at school. After the child has been referred to the committee the child will often receive assessments, evaluations, and/or psychological testing to determine if they qualify to receive special education services. 

Once the child qualifies for services an Individualized Education Plan/Program is developed for that child. An IEP is a written document that is developed for each public student that qualifies for special education services. IEPs include goals, objectives, accommodations, modifications, and any other supports the child may need to reach his/her maximum educational potential. After the IEP is written and implemented it is reviewed and revised regularly. 

I am a graduate of East Stroudsburg University with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Special Education. This means I am certified to teach both Elementary and Special Education in the state of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Howard Gardner I taught second grade in a different charter school and I am very excited to now be teaching what I am so passionate about. 


If you have any questions/concerns please feel free to contact me by phone or email.

Phone Number: 570-941-4100 x5
Email Address: emily.johnson@myhgsd.com

Annual Child Find Notification 2013-2014