Corrections Education

The team that provides support and technical assistance to educators that service publicly placed students with disabilities in county detention, county prison, partial hospitals, private residential rehabilitative institutes, residential treatment facilities and state juvenile and state correctional facilities.

As described in on of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Basic Education Circulars BEC 24 P.S. Section 13-1306 Students who are residing in a “children’s institution” whose parents are not residents of the school district in which the institution is located are identified as “1306” students. These students may be in a variety of residential centers, homes or institutions, such as Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers, homes for orphans or other “institutions for the care and training for orphans or other children.”

As described in one of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Basic Education Circulars, BEC 24 P.S. §13-1306.2, local host school districts are responsible for the education programs offered at juvenile detention centers and county prisons. PDE is responsible for the education programs offered at the nine state juvenile facilities, including Youth Development Centers, Forestry Camps, and Secure Treatment Units. PDE contracts with local school districts, intermediate units, and private vendors to provide comprehensive education programs in the state juvenile facilities. Education for adults within state correctional institutions is the responsibility of the Department of Corrections.

The 26 adult state correctional institutions and the 5 state juvenile institutions receive consultative/technical support from the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) through two special service units: Regional Assessment and Support Teams (RAST), the Records Center, and the Penn Data System.

Regional Assessment and Support Teams

Pennsylvania has two Regional Assessment and Support Teams (RAST), one each located in the western, central parts of the state. The RAST units are comprised of certified special education staff and a school psychologist or contracted specialists. The teams are coordinated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education. Each correctional institution is supported by one of the two Regional Assessment and Support Teams, which provide technical assistance, in-service training, support a records center to help correctional facilities in locating special education records, monitor contracted related services as appropriate, conduct compliance monitoring of correctional institutions, and schedule and contract for psychological assessments as needed. The RAST units meet monthly with the PDE, BSE, and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Education to coordinate and standardize all special education programs and services at the institutional level.

When a special education student is placed in an institution, the teacher receives support from the institution’s RAST unit. In addition to the services noted above, the following RAST units provide technical assistance for screening, identification, IEP development, and related services for special education students.

Carmie Goclano Roni Russell Ryan Romanoski James Wright
724-658-3583 ×7130 717-901-2262 717-901-2263 717-901-2280

Records Center

Students enter the county prisons, state juvenile and adult correctional institutions through the county court system or inter-institutional transfers. Timely access to accurate academic records is necessary for placing students in the appropriate educational programs. To facilitate this, the Records Center project began in January 1993. The Records Center is an avenue that schools may use to help expedite the retrieval of educational records. The Records Center ensures quick retrieval of academic records to prevent repeated screening and assessments, and shortens the delay in transferring records from various educational agencies.

Program Assistant: Renee Lewis;
Program Assistant: Danette Campbell;
Telephone: 1-800-945-7854 or (717) 541-8575
Fax: 1-800-232-4813 or (717) 541-8591

Penn Data for Corrections

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Penn Data System is located within the Central RAST unit. Its major function is to track and provide information about students with special needs in the state juvenile and adult institutions. Visit the Penn Data System web site for more information.


Records Center Information Request Form

01/05/2018 - PDF

Request for Records, Transcripts, School Records and GED Records if applicable

Letter to Child Residential Licensing Operator

12/12/2016 - PDF

As Section 3800.229 recognizes, children do not lose their legal entitlement and opportunity to attend public school programs when they reside in residential facilities. Department of Human Services bulletin number OMHSAS-10-01, titled: Educational Portions of “Non-Educational” Residential Placements sets forth the common policy of the Department and the Department of Education (PDE) regarding educational services for students who receive non-educational placements.

Notice of Admission to Facility or Institution or School Enrollment

12/12/2016 - PDF

In order to ensure that children in the dependency and delinquency systems are able to access an appropriate educational program, the 55 Pa. Code Section 3800 licensed residential facility should send the Notice of Admission Form to the host school district as soon as any school-aged youth is admitted to the facility.

BEC and Transfer of Records

12/12/2016 - PDF

Educational programs in state-operated institutions for delinquent youth operate
under the authority of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and are considered
to be public schools. Educational programs in state correctional institutions are
provided by the Bureau of Correction Education in the Department of Corrections.
That Bureau, defined as a “local educational agency” for purposes of providing
educational services, functions as a public school district. The requirements of the
School Code are applicable to the educational programs provided by the Department
of Corrections for school-age inmates. The Department of Education is responsible
for issuing a high school diploma when an individual has completed the required
secondary school curriculum specified by the Department of Education. Educational
programs for school-age youth confined to county jails are the responsibility of the
local school district and are considered to be a public school.
These educational programs frequently experience significant delays in obtaining a
student’s education record from other public schools. In some cases, requests for
records are not honored and records are not received.
Since these programs operate under the same conditions as public schools, it is
imperative that a student’s education record be transferred upon notification of the
student’s admission into the program. In fact, the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997 require schools to forward special
education and disciplinary records, to the extent permitted by the Family Education
Rights and Privacy Act, when they report crimes committed by students to the
appropriate law enforcement and judicial authorities.

BEC on Non-Educational Placments and Educational Programs

08/26/2015 - PDF

The purpose of this Basic Education Circular (BEC) is to set forth the Department of Education’s opinion of federal and state law with respect to school districts’ duty to educate students with disabilities who reside in residential facilities within the school district’s boundaries. This BEC also describes the joint policy of Department of Human Services (DHS)and the Department of Education (PDE) prohibiting the “bundling” of education and other services in Non-Educational Placements licensed by DPW.

Educational Portions of "Non-Educational" Residential Placement

08/26/2015 - PDF

The purpose of this bulletin is to set forth the common policy of the Department of Public Welfare and the Department of Education regarding educational services for students who receive non-educational placements.

BEC; Education Services for Students Incarcerated

05/17/2011 - PDF

Act 33 of the Special Session of 1995, authorizing the adjudication of school age individuals as
adults, has increased the student population in local correction institutions. Incarceration,
however, does not negate the responsibility of a school district in which a local correction
institution is located to provide education to the students residing in the institution. These
students should receive basic and special education in the manner described in the BEC.