How will the needs of students with disabilities be addressed in brick and mortar programs?
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 service agreement that is currently in place for your child will be implemented. Following the guidance outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education linked here, we plan to reconvene IEP teams once we have returned to buildings and collected 6-9 weeks of data to monitor the recoupment of skills. Then the IEP teams will discuss if students demonstrate a need for recoupment services and/or compensatory services. School-based 504 teams will reconvene as needed in the Fall.
What special education supports are available to my child during remote learning?
Students are entitled to receive the supports and services outlined in their current Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). It is important to note that the current IEPs were written for brick and mortar educational programs. Therefore, additional or different support and services may be needed for students participating in remote learning. IEP teams will need to reconvene to discuss any necessary changes and delineate which supports or services are needed within the different environments (brick and mortar, remote learning, etc.).
Special education teachers will be assigned to instruct and support students in remote learning. Case managers will facilitate IEP meetings and coordinate with regular education teachers and related services providers in the online environment.
Related services will be provided at the recommended frequencies noted in the Related Services section of the IEP. For students in remote learning, these services will primarily occur via Zoom (telepractice). In certain instances and only when in the green phase, services may be provided in the student’s home or greater community as determined by the IEP team.
What 504 accommodations are available to my child during remote learning?
Students’ 504 accommodations will continue to be followed, as appropriate, in the remote learning setting. School-based 504 teams may need to meet to document accommodations that are required in a remote learning setting, as well as those required in a brick and mortar classroom setting, should they differ.
What if my student cannot wear a mask all day?
While students with special needs will be encouraged to wear masks, per the Department of Health guidance as described here, any student who cannot wear a mask or face shield due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition, or disability, and students who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance are not required to wear face coverings. Individuals who are communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired or who has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication, are not required to wear a mask; however, individuals should consider using another type of face covering such as a plastic face shield.
Staff and students able to wear face coverings all day will be required to do so unless eating or drinking.
How will Personal Care Assistant (PCA) support be provided with social distancing requirements?
Support staff will follow Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, face shields, and clear plexiglass partitions. Staff will follow CDC guidelines, especially washing their hands often. Depending on individual student needs and circumstances, PCAs may need to be closer than 6 feet from the student in order to implement IEP supports and services.
What precautions will be in place for children with life threatening allergies with regard to eating in classrooms and with changed layouts in the cafeteria?
Health plans that are in place for students will be implemented in both the classroom and the cafeteria. Additionally, heightened clearing practices are in place in response to COVID-19 and will provide an added layer of protection for students with life threatening allergies. At the elementary level, frequent hand washing times will be planned throughout the day and hand sanitizing stations will be available in each classroom. Disinfecting wipes will be provided in all classrooms for routine disinfecting of personal high touch items: computers, phone, etc.
Will Individualized Education Program (IEP), Gifted Individual Education Plan (GIEP), and 504 team meetings be held in person?
Our staff will continue to hold Individualized Education Program (IEP), Gifted Individual Education Plan (GIEP), and 504 Service Plan meetings with families and staff. When possible IEP, GIEP, and 504 meetings will be held via Zoom to assist with limiting visitors in the school building in the green phase. In the yellow phase, all meetings will be held via Zoom or phone.
What if I still have questions regarding implementation of my child’s individualized program or service plan during remote learning?
Parents of students with disabilities enrolled in remote learning for Fall 2020 will be offered Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings during the first quarter to discuss necessary changes to Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) due to implementation of educational programming in the remote learning environment. Goals and related services can be changed based on data and team input.
Parents of students with 504 service agreements can request a meeting in the fall to discuss necessary changes to accommodations due to implementation of educational programming in the remote learning environment.
To request a parent meeting prior to the start of the school year with Special Education Administration, contact the appropriate Supervisor of Special Education: Kendall Warren, Supervisor of Elementary Special Education or Shannon Brown, Supervisor of Secondary Special Education.
To request a full IEP team meeting for the start of the 2020-21 school year, contact Nina Drumheller, Pupil Services Secretary to schedule after staff return to work in late August 2020.
To request a full 504 team meeting for the start of the 2020-21 school year, contact Nina Drumheller, Pupil Services Secretary to schedule after staff return to work in late August 2020.
What if I have questions regarding my child’s compensatory services for the upcoming school year?
As always, Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams can convene anytime throughout the school year. Following the guidance outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education linked here, we plan to reconvene IEP teams once we have returned to buildings and collected 6-9 weeks of data to monitor the recoupment of skills. Then the IEP teams will discuss if students demonstrate a need for recoupment services and/or compensatory services.