Southmoreland School District

The Southmoreland School District offers a wide variety of student services that are designed to ensure student success and high quality learning for all.  Because the pursuit of excellence is a continuing goal of the Southmoreland School District, we must be guided by a clear sense of mission.  this pursuit must be driven by a set of characteristics that defines not only the objective, but also the steps necessary to achieve that goal. The following vision statement establishes the guiding principles for all those with a focused interest in the long-term success of the Southmoreland School District.

School Climate


In an exemplary school district   .   .   .

  • students need a safe, structured environment where consequences and rewards are clearly defined.
  • teachers work as a team and trust their leaders.
  • attendance is essential for a consistent and progressive learning process.
  • the overall atmosphere is supportive and positive, with mutual respect for all individuals. 
  • personal responsibility and proper work habits are as important as teaching the curriculum
  • well-ordered classrooms with established procedures and rules are necessary to establish an effective learning environment.


In an exemplary school district .   .   .

  • students need positive self-esteem experiences in both educational and social interactions.
  • students should be responsible and work to their maximum potential towards becoming a functioning part of the educational environment.
  • all students have the ability to learn and are given the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.
  • students will interact positively with all members of the faculty and staff.


In an exemplary school district .    .    .

  • both the teachers and the parents have the students' best interests in mind.
  • parents and students work together with teachers to create and effective educational environment.
  • parents and faculty communicate concerning both positive and negative issues.
  • parents show interest and play an active role in their children's education.
  • the connection between the school and the home is essential.


In an exemplary school district   .   .   . 

  • teachers share ideas and use multiple approaches such as student-oriented tasks, activities, and projects to reach all students.
  • students will take lessons learned in the classroom and apply them to real world experiences.
  • students have access to books, computers, and other research materials, including the latest innovations in technology.
  • the educator presents information at all levels so that each student finds success.

Community Support

In an exemplary school district   .   .   .

  • the school maintains active partnerships with community groups, business, civic organizations, and local government.
  • citizens play an active role in the education of children, cooperate with teachers, administrators, and staff, and actively model a commitment to life-long learning.
  • the community has ready access to school resources and facilities for appropriate community use.|
  • facilities support the needs of the curriculum and, as such, the personnel cooperate to develop adequate sources of funding to carry out the school/communtiy mission.
  • the district encourages families to take an active role in the children's educational programs.  it is imperative that the educational process be a shared responsibility of the school, the family, and the community.


In an exemplary school district   .    .   .

  • Leadership is a shared function of the entire district.
  • teacher participation in the decision-making process is essential.
  • leadership needs to guide the district toward the vision on a daily basis.
  • leadership must have clearly defined commitments to a philosophy, mission, and goal.
  • integrity, trust, and a spirit of cooperation enables teachers, administrators, and the community to strive toward the vision of the district.

 Shared Values

  •  The chief priority of our school district is focused on learning across the system:  student learning, professional learning, and organizational learning.
  • The development of the curriculum, design of instructional activities, and the use of assessment measures are focused on providing learning opportunities and feedback systems that enable students to achieve success.
  • Students need to not only develop a deep understanding of essential knowledge and skills, but also need to develop the capacity to apply their learning, and to reason, solve problems, and produce quality work.
  • Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
  • The success of our school system depends on the commitment of all staff (administrators, teachers, and support staff) to high quality standards, expectations, and performances.
  • Student learning is best accomplished when educators function as active members of highly effective collaborative teams wherein a group of people work interdependently to accomplish a common goal for which they are mutually accountable.  The common goal must be strategic and specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound. 

Current Student Services



Nursing Service K-12


Guidance Services K-12


St. Vincent Prevention Project

Provides drug and alcohol prevention resources to elementary and secondary students. Also provides a crisis counselor.

Latrobe Area Hospital

Provides Mental Health in the Schools for students at Scottdale Elementary School

Student Assistance Program

Provides resources for at-risk students in grades K-12

Psychological Testing Services

Provided via the Southmoreland School District

Homebound Instruction and Instruction in the home

When medically necessary

Occupational Therapy

Provided by Camco

Physical Therapy

Provided by Camco

Communities in Schools

Dropout prevention

PACT Program

Provides services to pregnant and parenting students

Blackburn Center

Provides information and services related to domestic violence


Bee Kind program--bullying and making good choices

Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)

Provides career and training assistance to eligible students

Southwestern  Pennsylvania Human Services

Provides substance abuse services to students

Southmoreland Community Health Council

Provides outreach on health and wellness related topics

Fayette and Westmoreland County Children and Youth Services

Provides services to at risk children and youth

Adelphoi Village Program

Provides alternative education, day treatment, and partial hospitalization programs

AGAPE Day Treatment

Provides day treatment for students with behavioral and substance issues.

Pressley Ridge

Provides various services to eligible and at risk students

Laurel Valley Youth Services

Foster care agency

Outdoor Odyssey

Provides mentoring services to at risk students


Interagency coordination

Financial Aid Seminar

Provided for high school seniors to assist in financial planning for post secondary education

Westmoreland Case Management and Supports Inc.

Service coordination

Pennsylvania Department of Public Health

Information clearinghouse for information regarding pandemics, immunizations, isolated diseases, etc.

Juvenile Probation

Provides services to students who have been adjudicated

Westmoreland Intermediate Unit

Provides behavioral, psychological, training services, etc.

School Physician

Provides school related health services and screenings

School Dentist

Provides school related dental services and screenings

United States Military

Provides assessments and career guidance

College partnerships

Provides career and post-secondary guidance

Centerville Clinics

Provides partial hospitalization program and therapy

St. Vincent College Smoking Cessation Program

Provides smoking cessation services

Professional Learning Community Model

Provides a forum for professionals to discuss student concerns on a scheduled weekly basis.



Developmental Services
    Developmental services are integrated into the local education agency’s action plan at all levels of the school system.  The Southmoreland School District: provides a Saturday Kindergarten registration and Kick-off Fair in the spring.  The fair involves Kindergarten faculty and community agencies including, but not limited to, Head Start, a dentist, early intervention programs, a story teller, Bee Kind, Child Care Assistance Project, an optometrist, and the local and state police. The district also provides Kindergarten screening that includes academic screening, hearing screening, vision screening, gross motor screening, speech screening, and an explanation of developmental Kindergarten.  These two programs dovetail with the LEA's child-find initiative.  Kindergarten orientation is held during the second or third week of August.  Students become acclimated to the school program and parents are provided information about the PTA, food service, health services, counseling services, building level administration, Title I and special education.  

    The district provides mandated health screening services including height, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), vision, hearing screening, physical examinations, dental examinations, and scoliosis screenings. K-12 nursing services also provide health care assessment and instruction and referral to appropriate community resources.  Physician Services K-12: provides physical examinations and serves as a resource for referrals to outside services.  Dental Services K-12: provides dental exams and referrals for needed dental care.The district also has a health council that provides free bicycle helmets, a community health fair, healthy choices education in conjunction with the food service department, and hand sanitizers in all food lines.  The health council provides support to, and disseminates information from the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association.

    The LEA also offers a Student Assistant Program for at risk children, programs through St. Vincent Prevention Projects includes bullying prevention, drug and alcohol awareness and  prevention, and making good choices.  Also, the Parentwise Bee Kind program provides social skills training to students in grade 2.  Outdoor Odyssey, a mentoring program that pairs elementary and high school students, is available for grades 2-6 at risk students.  The Blackburn Center provides abuse and domestic violence education presented to all incoming freshmen.   
    Guidance counselors provide individual and group counseling sessions as well as parent, student and teacher consultations.  Annually, the counselors facilitate workshops in kindergarten for self-esteem, first grade for tattling and friendship, second for following directions, third for conflict resolution, fourth for careers, fifth for orientation and sixth for study skills and test taking. K-12 guidance services provide personal, academic and career-related counseling services through individual counseling, classroom presentations, parent/ guardian consultations, faculty and staff consultations.  A financial aid night is offered to senior students and their  parents/ guardians to assist them in navigating the financial aid process and applying for grants and loans. Referrals to social agencies include, but are not limited to Latrobe Mental Health, Excela Mental Health, CASSP, Children and Youth Services, and the Blackburn Center. 
A Career Development Program employs the services of post-secondary schools and other educational institutions for multiple grade levels; including the opportunity for 9th grade students to explore trade careers through the Vocational Education Program.  Students are afforded the opportunity to meet with military personnel on-site.  The military provides students with the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test services.  The LEA has adopted the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) model which utilizes grade level and departmental teaming to improve curriculum and address individual student concerns.   Orientations are provided for transition grade levels including K, 2, 7 and 9.   Information is provided to students and parents/ guardians to ease the transition from building to building.  The  GEMS Program (Group Effort for Maximum Success) provides Incentives  to recognize the academic success and perfect attendance at multiple grade levels.  Clubs, activities, and organized sports afford opportunities for student engagement and community involvement. 

Diagnostic, Intervention and Referral Services
    Current and planned diagnostic, intervention and referral services are integrated into the Local Education Agency's (LEA) action plan at all levels of the school system in support of the Local Education Agency's (LEA) instructional goals.  These services are provided through the LEA's guidance department, the LEA's nursing service department, and various community and school related agencies.  The guidance department provides individual and group counseling for students at all grade levels as needs arise.  This department also coordinates many of the community and school related agencies that are enumerated later in this section. 
    The nursing department provides screening services to all students in grades K-12 and makes referrals to appropriate agencies based on the results of those screenings. This department also coordinates services from PACT (pregnant adolescent child care training), the school dentist, the school physician, and in some cases CHIP (health insurance).

    The Southmoreland School District coordinates services through a number of community agencies.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (psychological, psychiatric, special education, homeless services)
  • Communities in Schools (dropout prevention, services to at-risk youth)
  • Local and state police
  • Juvenile probation
  • St. Vincent College (prevention project and student assistance program)
  • Excela Mental Health
  • Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services
  • Westmoreland Case Management and Supports
  • Children and Youth Services
  • Blackburn Center (domestic violence)
  • Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Free and Reduced Lunch Program
  • Outdoor Odyssey (mentoring program)
  • Department of Public Health and Welfare

The district operates a special education program that works in conjunction with the intermediate unit and other agencies to provide a continuum of special education services to eligible children.  These include district operated programs such as learning support and speech and language support.  The district operates resource rooms, part-time, and itinerant level classes in a variety of settings.  The designation of a classroom is dependent on the average amount of time most students spend in the special education setting (separated from their non-disabled peers).  The student’s IEP, and not the type of classroom, determines the amount of time a student is seen by a special education teacher.  The district also utilizes the services of  Westmoreland Intermediate Unit #7.  The Southmoreland School District utilizes the services of the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit to provide services to students with severe disabilities.  The classes operated by the Intermediate Unit are located in school districts throughout the county, as well as at the center-based program at Clairview School.  At Southmoreland, the Intermediate Unit operates a life skills classrooms at Southmoreland Primary Center and one classroom at Southmoreland Elementary School.  Southmoreland students also attend a variety of classes operated by the Intermediate Unit in nearby districts.  Occasionally, a student may be place in a classroom operated by a neighboring Intermediate Unit.  Some of the services provided by the intermediate unit include life skills support, hearing impaired support, physical support, blind and vision services, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.  The district is also able to access approved private schools, Licensed Private Academic Schools, Partial Hospitalization Programs and Day Treatment Programs.

Consultation and Coordination Services
Current and planned consultation and coordination services are integrated into the Local Education Agency's (LEA) action plan at all levels of the school system in support of the Local Education Agency (LEA) instructional goals.  These include but are not limited to the student assistance program, emotional support classrooms, mental health services including an on-site mental health intervention therapist, children and youth services, the school nurse, the school guidance counselor, the school psychologist, Private Industry Council, juvenile probation system, St. Vincent Prevention Projects, local law enforcement agencies, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the PACT (Pregnant Adolescent Child Care Training) program and personal assistants for individual students.

Student Assistance Program
    The  Student Assistance Program is integrated into the Local Education Agency's action plan in support of the Local Education Agency's instructional goals in the following way.  First students are referred to the SAP team by family, self-referral, fellow students, or other school personnel.  Next all referrals to SAP are reviewed by the Core Team, and an information gathering process begins.  Objective and pertinent data is collected.  That data may include:  attendance, students records, teachers, guidance counselors, school nurse, other school personnel, parent discussion and parental approval is then obtained.  Then the collected data and screening results are reviewed by the Core Team, and recommendations are formulated.  The findings and the recommendations, which explicitly indicate the student's need for personal change and/or outside help, are presented by the core team to the student/parents.  The core team then assists the student and the parents in pursuiing a course of action designed to resolve the identified problems.  This action plan shall consist of: a. Strategies such as in-school support or group sessions, b. Referral by the Core Team to other professional services outside the school setting.  Finally, the Core Team monitors the progress of the student to determine the extent to which the identified problems are being resolved through the action plan.  The team will continue to collect data to ascertain whether improvement in student behavior is being observed and, if necessary, will schedule another meeting with the student/parents to make changes in the action plan.

    The student assistance program empowers participants to function as members of the Commonwealth approved SAP Core Teams; provides techniques and information to enable teams to make an early identification of student behaviors, which present barriers to learning and impediments to school success; provides specific information and strategies to enable teams to recognize early signs and symptoms of possible child adolescent behavioral health concerns' provide resources to Teams to promote awareness of the SAP program among faculty, students and parents; provide resources for teams to develop strategies, addressing a positive school climate and student success and recognition.

The following current and planned communications regarding services and opportunities for students are integrated into the Local Education Agency's action plan at the elementary level.  They include: student handbook, yearly and monthly calender of events, web page for sporting events and extra curricular activities.  E-School information includes grades, class assignments on the web. Teacher e-mail addresses are available for parent communication.  Local television channel posts weather delays and cancellations, school schedules, board meetings, and concerts and plays.   Our local newspapers also carry various notifications of upcoming events.  Posters are used through the community as well as through our school hallways. 

Health needs are comunicated to parents by phone, e-mails or written communication. 

Progress reports are mailed half way through the grading period.  Report cards are sent or mailed every nine weeks.  Parents can also monitor grades and assignments on e-School on our web page.  PSSA scores are sent home when received.


Student Services Committee

Mr. Ron Heitchue

Southmoreland School District


Dr. John Molnar

Andrea Hanford Southmoreland High School School Counselor

Dr. John Molnar

Amanda Vielma

Southmoreland Primary Center

School Nurse Assistant

Dr. John Molnar

Lisa Fratto

Southmoreland Elementary School

 School Counselor

Dr. John Molnar

Kathy Thompson

Southmoreland High School

 School Counselor

Dr. John Molnar

Linda Yonkey    Southmoreland High School    School Nurse Dr. John Molnar

Cathy Pallygus

Southmoreland Elem/Middle Schools

 School Nurse

Dr. John Molnar

Sarah Kiliany

Southmoreland Primary Center

 School Counselor

Dr. John Molnar

Heather Meyer

Southmoreland Middle School

 School Counselor

Dr. John Molnar

Mr. Ron Heitchue Southmoreland School District                 


Dr. John Molnar      



Last Modified on August 16, 2016