FULL-TIME DISTANCE EDUCATION
Supporting Our Students with Disabilities
The District recognizes its obligation to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for students with disabilities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the District, in collaboration with parents, will make adjustments to each students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) to provide reasonable and accessible educational programming during distance education. School staff will be contacting parents to coordinate this process to provide a FAPE to students with disabilities, including the coordination of related services if it is designated in the IEP. Additionally, when it is necessary, staff will contact parents and discuss the process of assessments to facilitate IEP development.
Delivery of Equitable Access to Educational Opportunities
During distance education, school staff will consider alternative ways to provide equitable access and appropriate educational opportunities for students with disabilities, including exploring all available supplementary aids and services through online and/or virtual platforms, and/or other activities, such as paper correspondence.
Each student’s IEP will be implemented through the distance education program, until such a time as an agreed upon annual IEP, IEP Revision, or IEP Revision Without a Meeting at the Request of the School District, is completed. An IEP Revision cannot replace an annual IEP that was scheduled, but not completed, during the 2019-2020 school year. Annual IEPs must be completed when required (i.e., immediately due or overdue). All staff will follow standard procedures, to include providing the procedural safeguards rights booklet with parents.
IEP Revisions during Distance Education of the School District
Due to distance education requirements, schools must revise IEPs for all eligible students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). While schools are operating in distance education, the IEP Revision Without a Meeting at the Request of the School District must be conducted virtually through a digital platform, including Google Meet or telephone. Each student’s teacher or case manager will contact their parent/guardian to develop an IEP Revision, as needed, to enable provision of a FAPE through distance education. If an agreement cannot be reached, then a virtual IEP meeting will be scheduled.
During the development of each IEP, any relevant existing data (i.e., parent or teacher input, observational data, prior testing data, etc.), including any information collected during the closure, should be incorporated in order to develop appropriate goals and accommodations for the student’s distance education program.
All IEP meetings will be conducted virtually through a digital platform, including Google Meet or telephone for annual IEPs and when parents do not agree with a proposed IEP revision.
Prior to the IEP Meeting
Prior Written Notices (PWN) will be e-mailed to the parent within a reasonable time prior to the meeting. In addition to the general requirements, the PWN will state that:
- The meeting will be conducted virtually with instructions on how to participate.
- The meeting will be scheduled for a specific time sufficient to discuss the issues to be addressed.
After the IEP Meeting
As soon as possible, the local educational agency/case manager must e-mail the notice of Intent to Implement to the parent whether the parent agrees or disagrees with the IEP.
Section 504 Accommodation Plans and Meetings
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity operated by school districts. Requests for disability-related accommodations should be addressed as soon as practicable to ensure Section 504 eligible students are provided equitable access to all student programs, activities, and services provided by the District. Section 504 teams should make appropriate determinations of eligibility based upon the information presented by parents and school personnel. Parents may be asked to provide formal consent for District staff to contact the student’s health care providers if additional information is required.
Section 504 teams should determine the appropriate accommodations to facilitate access to, and participation in, distance education, which could include the Learning Line as well as a review of distance education resources. All Section 504 meetings must be held virtually or via telephone.
All requests for homebound services will follow standard procedures.
- If a parent requests homebound services, the following options will be considered based on the student’s presented needs: a Section 504 plan; supplemental health services for a student currently on an IEP or 504 plan; or follow the homebound application process.
- All homebound instruction will be conducted through distance education.
- All homebound IEPs must also be revised for distance education.
- All students in homebound should be included in the teacher contact and virtual classes to promote inclusivity.