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Considerations for Students with Disabilities

Overview

It is critically important that our students with disabilities and other special populations are fully integrated into every aspect of preparation and participation, and to ensure the needs of all students are addressed in all instructional models.

IEP Addendums

The District has current IEP Addenda on file for students outlining the IEP services and related services to be provided during distance learning. These remain in effect until school resumes in a face to face model. New legislation requires every IEP, by the next annual or amendment include a statement as to what the student’s learning plan will be in the event of a future emergency requiring physical school closure.   District IEPs will therefore, moving forward address both a proposed IEP program in the event of full in-person learning, a plan outlining the student’s program in the event of future physical school closure in excess of ten school days.  Additionally, through amendments currently in effect or future amendments as necessary, students’ IEP’s will address the District’s currently operative distance learning model for the fall.  If the model for fall deviates from either the student’s written and signed IEP or IEP amendment covering distance learning, an IEP meeting will be called or an amendment without meeting completed and the student’s IEP amended to appropriately address that model.

Special Services for Students with IEPs

For some special education instructional programs and certain related services the optimum service delivery model is in-person, face to face.  As each program and related service is accounted for in terms of grouping for in person attendance, a related services schedule will be developed for each site and determination made as to which related services will be provided on days of in school attendance and to which students and which related services are deemed appropriate for continued virtual delivery.

Monitoring IEP Goals

IEP goals are part of the individualized education plan for each student. It is required that progress monitoring on each student’s goals and objectives occur as regularly as progress is reported for students without IEPs. The logical timeframe is quarterly or trimester progress monitoring. If any member of the IEP team suspects or has evidence that regression has occurred towards achievement of IEP goals and objectives and that the rate of regression is greater than expected student regression during natural school breaks typically made up in the first weeks of a regular school year, then the individual will request an IEP meeting and the IEP team will convene to discuss. 

Modification of IEP Goals

Most, if not all, IEP goals can be addressed in distance learning. However, the determination of whether or not a goal can be appropriately addressed in a distance learning model is the decision of the IEP team. Goals and objectives in a student’s IEP are based on the individual need of the student, not the model of the instruction to be provided.

External Vendors

For each of our Nonpublic School and Nonpublic Agency contracted partners, a new Master Contract is being developed and signed for the 2020-2021 School year. Distance Learning will now be addressed in Master Contracts going forward.

Ensuring a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the Least Restrictive Environment

The District will need to be prepared to provide services in the event of a fluctuating school schedule or service delivery model. As now required by law, moving forward every District IEP will include a statement outlining the student’s educational plan in the event of a physical school closure in excess of ten school days.  The District can and will utilize IEP amendments to recommend any changes to the operative IEP due to anticipated service delivery changes. This would apply to instances or periods of quarantine or self-isolation as well. 

Students who indicated a need during the 2019-2020 school year were provided a Chromebook to assist in accessing instruction. Some students needed additional consultation from staff in order to enable the students to access instruction on the Chromebook either by consulting on internet access issues, or additional accessibility tools needed to enable the student to actively engage in the distance learning. Students continuing with the District for the 2020-2021 school year will keep the Chromebooks in their possession for use in the next school year and students newly enrolling in the District will be provided Chromebooks as needed to ensure access.

Related Services

Most of the District’s related service providers are able to provide their services in a virtual setting; many contracted providers have been providing services online for several years.  However, some of the related services are more easily provided in person, those would include physical therapy, adapted physical education, behavioral support and consultation, orientation and mobility, etc. Services determined to be more appropriately provided on site, will be scheduled for the days that the student(s) is scheduled on site as appropriate and practical given the health and safety needs resulting from the pandemic.