Special Education Coronavirus Tips updates/Virtual IEP Meetings

 

Virtual IEP Team Meetings. 

 

Like most of us during these unprecedented times trying new things can be anxiety provoking. I had my first successful virtual Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting this morning, the district provided a draft in advance, I had my clients do parent concerns, and the meeting lasted an hour.  It was very organized and efficient. The district also stated the family should expect to receive the IEP within ten days. If you decide you want to try to have a meeting now and your child’s was supposed to have a meeting during the shutdown contact your child’s Liaison and request an online team meeting.

 

Schools need to start providing instruction as soon as possible.

 

School districts are now being told that they have to provide as many IEP services as possible to your childs during the COVID-19 crisis whileprotecting the health and safety of families and teachers schools may not be able to provide the services and here’s what they have to do right away.

  • Give you resources to find online, on TV, or on your smartphone
  • Send you packets of assignments, strategies, and projects
  • Set up regular phone calls or emails check-ins with you to help you around your child’s behavior and learning needs.

Once they have the technology and staff up and running schools have to do things like:

  • Set up times to teach or provide therapy sessions either one-on-one in a group via phone or video conference. Some teachers are helping children practice reading over the phone. Other schools are doing speech therapy sessions using “Zoom”
  • Post online lessons
  • IEP parent training or consult sessions by phone or video conference
  • Other creative ways to provide your child with instruction and services

Materials and presentations need to be modified

  • Schools must make sure your children have the accommodations they need to be able to use general education and special education resources. This means things like worksheets with large print or fewer items per page or use speech to text and other assistive technology.

Compensatory Services

 

Parents should be keeping a diary of what is going on, what types of levels of instruction is being provided, and document any types of regression that they are seeing based on data.  Extended School Year (ESY) Are services going to get pushed over until the Summer? Compensatory services will be discussed once school is back. As parents please document what services if any are being provided, what your child is doing for work, and what services that are in your child’s IEP that are not being addressed.

 

Communicate with your child’s Team if you can’t get online with your child now.

 

If parents are unable to access online instruction they should be letting the school know the reasons why in writing to document why they can’t access the instruction right now.  (Taking care of an elderly parent, someone is sick in the home) You just want to make sure the school knows the fact you child won’t be able to access online learning if that is the case.

Please reach out to us at (781) 428-4970 or check for updates on our Facebook site advocacyforspecialkids@asktheadvocate  You can contact your parent advisory councils, Mass Advocates for Children http://massadvocates.orgor the Federation for Children with Special Needs  http://fcsn.org

Stay Safe!!!

Maureen Brown, M.S

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