The needs of students with disabilities are of the utmost importance and we have been working diligently to ensure equity and access for all students. Meeting the individual needs of students with disabilities across the continuum of school reopening models requires innovative approaches, flexibility, and ongoing communication between school and home, especially for our students with more complex individual needs. We have identified needed resources in materials, personal protective equipment (PPE), technology, and instructional strategies to best support our students and staff during the 2020-2021 school year.
High-quality learning experiences that are personalized to meet the goals of each child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will occur, regardless of the reopening model. Students with disabilities will continue to have equal access to the services provided to all students. Additionally, they will have access to their accommodations, specially designed instruction and related services outlined in their IEP and 504, to the greatest extent possible.
Students with disabilities will follow the district reentry guidelines. Transitioning back to a brick and mortar building will be based on the ability to transport and provide services within the classrooms following social distancing guidelines. It is our intent to provide in-person services to as many of our students with disabilities as possible in a safe environment.
Students with disabilities who spend the majority of their school day in general education classes will follow the same schedule as non-disabled peers in their identified cohort, while also engaging in the services identified in the IEP. During a hybrid model, IEP’s will be implemented in the virtual environment, to the greatest extent possible. Temporary Remote Learning Plans will be developed by the IEP team in order to address any IEP goals/components that need to be implemented differently in the virtual environment.
For families choosing our Virtual Academy, the IEP will need to be reviewed and a meeting held as needed, in order to ensure that the program is individualized for each student. Special education and related services as identified in the IEP may be provided in a variety of ways including the use of telephone calls, instructional support materials, internet based or virtual lessons and/or virtual therapies, and other available distance-based learning approaches.
Students with disabilities who spend the majority of their day in a self-contained special education classroom, will follow the same schedule as their non-disabled peers for the first three weeks of school. A district phase-in plan has been developed in order to allow for our most vulnerable population to return to a brick and mortar building based on local COVID metrics and guidance from the Health Department.