Equitable Participation

Certain services are available to students identified as eligible for special education who are unilaterally placed by their parents or guardians in private schools through a federal requirement called Equitable Participation (EP).

In Pennsylvania, the Intermediate Units (IUs) are the agencies responsible for the implementation of the federal requirement for EP. The Philadelphia IU shares specialized knowledge and skills with Non-Public School teachers, parents/guardians, administrators, and other professionals and works with Non-Public Schools and their teams, including parents/guardians, to determine which services, if any, will be provided.

For more information about Equitable Participation, click here to visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.



(Information About Special Education Services In IU26) – (PA DOE BSE PaTTAN)

Is your child having difficulty in school?
Has your child been identified as needing special education services? 

1. Do you believe that your child is a child with a disability and may be in need of special education services?

    • An evaluation process to assess your child’s needs is available to you at no cost through the School  District of Philadelphia. Special education services usually adapts materials and modifies instruction to  meet your child’s specific learning/behavior needs.

2. How to Request an Evaluation

You can request an evaluation by completing the EP Evaluation Request Form. The form is brief and asks for requestor contact information, basic information about the student, and the nonpublic school’s contact information.

        • To complete the form online: Submit your request for an EP evaluation by clicking this link: EP Evaluation Request Form or by scanning the QR code below. The request will be processed and your child will be assigned and EP Identification Number (ID#).





        • Questions should be emailed to: ossequitableparticipation-request@philasd.org

3. The Process for an EP evaluation:

    • Once your child has been processed and receives an EPID number, you will be contacted by a Certified School Psychologist.  The Certified School Psychologist will request to obtain your signature on the Release of Records form and the Permission to Evaluate (PTE) form.  An evaluation cannot be scheduled until you (parent, guardian, or surrogate) sign the PTE and consent to the proposed testing and assessments. Please return the signed PTE via email to the certified school psychologist OR to the address indicated on the PTE form. The evaluation team has 60 calendar days to complete the evaluation process.
    • A child is determined eligible for special education services by: (1) meeting the criteria of one or more of the 13 disability categories listed below; and (2) needing specially designed instruction.
            1. Autism
            2. Deaf-Blindness
            3. Deafness
            4. Emotional Disturbance
            5. Hearing Impairment
            6. Mental Retardation
            7. Multiple Disabilities
            8. Orthopedic Impairment
            9. Other Health Impairment
            10. Specific Learning Disability
            11. Speech or Language Impairment
            12. Traumatic Brain Injury
            13. Visual Impairment including Blindness

4. Your options after the EP evaluation:

If your child is determined eligible for special education services at the conclusion of the evaluation process, you have the following options:

      • You may request an offer of a Contingent IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and enroll your child in the neighborhood public school. This offer is referred to as an offer of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
      • If you choose not to request or accept the offer, you may request consultation services through EP as follows:
        1. If the private is not located in the School District of Philadelphia, please contact the intermediate unit where the private school is located.
        2. If the private school is located in the School District of Philadelphia, your child may be eligible to receive EP services as follows:

The Office of Diverse Learners (ODL), in coordination with the Office of Non-Public Schools, will:

                    • Consult with non-public school representatives and parents/guardians of non-public school students with disabilities in planning and providing available appropriate services; and
                    • Offer services as determined by annual consultation with their private school agencies.