Bethlehem Area School District Support Services & Programs Highlights

Are you aware of the extensive services and programs offered by the BASD School District? Here is a breakdown along with contact info for each program/service.
The Bethlehem Area School District provides many supports, services, and programs to our students and families. Parents should contact a building administrator or identified department,

  1. Educational Services
    1. Special Education: Includes a full continuum of services and are in compliance with federal and state laws. Bethlehem Area School District also utilizes resources outside the district including the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20, local approved private schools and other state-licensed educational programs. Programs are available in the Bethlehem Area School District for students with the following disabilities: Learning Disabled, Autistic, Deafness/Hearing Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, Intellectually Disabled, Multiply Disabled, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impaired, Speech/Language Impaired, Traumatic Brain Injured and Visual Impairment including Blindness. Related services are available to assist a student with a disability including transportation, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Orientation and Mobility and Psychological Services. (Special Education Department @ 610.868.8268)
    2. Chapter 15: Other students with disabilities who do not qualify for supports and services through special education may be eligible for accommodations as a Protected Handicapped Student under the requirements of section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Chapter 15 of state regulations Title 22. Students with an identifiable disability, which limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program, can be provided with accommodations through a Chapter 15 Service Agreement.  (Special Education Department @ 610.868.8268)
    3. Gifted Education:  Offers services to students that possess a superior IQ who are eligible for gifted education services. (Special Education Department @ 610.868.8268)
    4. Cyber Academy: BASD recognizes that students learn differently and have unique requirements when it comes to their learning. Cyber Academy is designed to provide students with the flexibility they need while maintaining checkpoints to ensure they are accountable for their daily activity of learning. (Cyber Office @ 610-861-0500 Ext. 60245)
    5. Project Lead the Way: PLTW is a pre-engineering program at the high schools.
    6. Dual Enrollment:  The District has many partnerships with local colleges; ie: Northampton County, Lehigh University, Moravian College, that is designed to provide qualified high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to take college course(s).


  • Counseling/Therapy


      1. Social Workers
      2. Out-Patient Clinics – BRX, FHS, LHS; operated by Colonial IU#20; provides: medication management, child/adolescent individual therapy, family therapy, cognitive therapy, psychiatric assessment, telepsychiatry services
      3. Multiple Community Agencies – Valley Youth House, Center for Humanistic Change, Children’s Home of Reading, Northampton County Children & Youth, Communities in Schools, Neighborhood Health Centers of the LV, Concern, Pinebrook/Family Answers, Crime Victims Council
    1. Community Partnerships (Mrs. Halkins, Supervisor of Health Services @ 610-691-7200)
      1. St. Luke’s Community Health (on-site)
        1. Medical Van
        2. Dental Van
        3. Vision Van
        4. Visiting Nurses: PATH – assist students with support during/after pregnancy
        5. HEARTS: Health Education & Advocacy Resources at Temple St. Luke’s – provides physicals, blood pressure screening, diabetes/cholesterol education, height/weight measurements
      2. Bethlehem Health Bureau
        1. Drive through Flu Clinic
        2. Immunizations
        3. Baby Health Program
      3. Family Centers – Assist families in the growth and development of children. The goal is a seamless network of services that can be easily accessed by the family in the community through the school.
    2. English for Speakers of Other Languages: Purpose is to provide services to students who speak another language to increase the English language proficiency of eligible students so that they can attain the academic standards.
    3. Colonial IU#20:  District collaborates with IU to provide classroom-based services, related services, and pre-K/early intervention services to students identified as developmentally delayed or in need of special education services.
    4. Kindergarten: Offers universal full-day kindergarten in all 16 elementary schools filled with fun and exciting activities that will begin students on the path of successful learning experiences and personal development. Our full-day kindergarten classrooms offer support based on each individual child’s needs.
    5. Pre-K Counts – An Early Learning Program: These Pre-K classrooms are funded through the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grant. Students, four-year-old, in our Pre-K classrooms have many opportunities to learn, play, discover, and grow. Although children go through similar stages in the learning process, we understand that children develop at different academic, social, and emotional rates. Our Pre-K classrooms offer support based on each individual child’s needs.  (Contact Mrs. Cynthia Matt, Pre-K secretary, at 610-865-0012 ext. 16818)
    6. Multi-Tiered System of Support/Student Assistance Program:  Is a child study team that uses data and problem solving to integrate academic, behavior, and social, emotional instruction and intervention to maximize the success of all students. Instruction and intervention are provided to students across multiple tiers of intensity based on need. Staff makes data-based decisions in order for resources to reach the students at the appropriate levels to increase the performance of ALL students with the goal of achieving and/or exceeding proficiency.
    7. Child Care Programs: Offers before and after school care with specially trained staff that knows how children grow and develop. Staff is responsible for seeing that the day to day experiences of the children in their care take place in an environment, which promotes growth and learning. Services are provided for a fee. (Child Care Program Office @ 610-868-8501)
    8. Tutoring: Schools provide tutoring to students before and after school.
    9. Open Enrollment: Parents may request to send their child to an elementary school other than the one that serves their regular attendance area. Requests for open enrollment must be made using a “Petition for Open Enrollment” form, which is available at their home school. Petitions must be submitted to the Child Accounting Department.
    10. Early Admissions: The District will accept students early into Kindergarten or First Grade provided the student meets all early admission assessment criteria. Written requests should be sent to the child’s homeschool.
    11. Athletics/Activities/Programs: Schools provide a wide array of athletics, performing arts, and after-school activities and programs for ALL students; ie: swimming, football, special Olympics, band, chorus, dashers/darters, chess club, plays, etc. that focuses on leadership, healthy competition, and social/emotional development.
    12. School Breakfast and Lunch Programs: The Dining Services Department, in its commitment to student nutrition and wellness, has embraced The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. This Act increases the amount fruits, vegetables, and grains offered to our students, focuses on providing healthier food options to students. Families who need assistance with free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch benefits, an application must be completed. (Dining Services @ 610-861-8135)
    13. BackPack Buddies – Provides pack backs with food and home supplies for families in need.
    14. Philosophy of Leadership and Character Development:  The District believes that all children have a desire to learn and grow. It is the responsibility of the BASD to foster that desire by providing a well rounded K-12 experience through positive learning opportunities that are not limited to academics, but also opportunities to grow in leadership and character. We expect that all schools will be environments that are conducive to that growth through physical, emotional, intellectual, and social experiences that directly impact their ability to become positive citizens in our communities.  Students will learn best by observing positive role models employed by our District, but more importantly by their own ability to model appropriate behaviors to build good leadership skills and character.   Because the BASD believes in personalization for equitable outcomes in building the whole child, students and families can expect that their child will be given the tools they need to accomplish this task of leadership and character development as well.   Because leadership and character development are a process that can be modeled and learned, we believe in using tiered responses, strategies, and interventions to support our students and foster positive behaviors through a leadership and restorative model. Students will not only learn that they are all leaders, but also that when leaders make a mistake, they own up to their mistakes, and restore relationships broken by their misbehaviors. The development will be done through these methods and philosophies:
      1. Leader in Me – Teaches universal principles: responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, renewal, critical thinking, goal setting, listening, speaking, self-directed learning, presentation making and the ability to work in groups
      2. Restorative Practices/Restorative Justice – Teaches ways to build positive relationships so that if and when an act of wrongdoing is committed, the strength of the relationship will allow all involved to deal with the consequences while rebuilding and restoring the relationship
      3. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports – Is an approach that teaches behavioral expectations to students as we would teach academics.  Specific behaviors, positive and negative, are targeted and taught while being modeled by the adults.


  • Roadmap to Educational Excellence: Identifies and emphasizes the district’s goals and initiatives


    1. Excellence through Equity
    2. Core Learning
    3. Stretch Learning
    4. Student Engagement
    5. Personal Skill Development
  1. BASD Superintendent’s Scholarship: Moravian College, in partnership with BASD, annually offers one full-tuition, four-year scholarship to a Liberty High School graduating senior and one full-tuition, four-year scholarship to a Freedom High School graduating senior.
  2. After-School Student Activity Bus – The district provides the middle schools and high schools late buses for sports, clubs and other school activities. This allows students to participate in activities that may not necessarily be able to due to lack of transportation.
  3. Brain STEPS School Re-Entry Program– The district participates with the IU team to ensure that the district is providing appropriate educational supports to children who have survived with severe traumatic brain injury that has left with life-threatening difficulties in physical, cognitive, or behavioral functioning; such as concussions, automobile accidents.  The program assists teachers to have a better understanding of brain injury, the resulting challenges, and supports and interventions that will help the student to achieve educational success through graduation. (Mrs. Halkins, Supervisor of Health Services @ 61.691.7200)


  1. Emergency Response Team – Crisis and trauma present some of the most difficult situations in our schools. A district team, which is comprised of administrators, facility personnel, school psychologists, guidance counselors, and other district staff members, responds when a tragic event happens. This team is called to assist with all aspects of crisis and trauma with the assurance that the needs of each school community will be respected and honored.

Special thanks to Claire M. Hogan, Ed.S., Director of Special Education BASD for her assistance in providing this information.

BASD Proud Parents is strictly pro-public education. We are an independent group with no affiliations to the BASD school board or any political parties. Our goals are to help parents stay informed about educational policy discussions and to facilitate ways for any of us who would like the chance to have our voices heard, to get more involved in those policy conversations.