How will Special Education students (IEPs, 504 plans, and other disabilities) and their families be served this school year as the district opens digitally?
When the school closures happened suddenly last spring, our school leaders and teachers adapted quickly to move instruction online. That abrupt transition was very challenging, especially for our Special Education population. We simply were not prepared to replicate the instruction these students receive into a digital platform. We learned a great deal from that experience and have worked over the summer to ensure that we offer a better experience this school year.
We have made it clear that, within the limitations imposed by a digital platform, students with disabilities are to be provided instruction as outlined in their respective Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Our Special Education families can expect to see a number of improvements in service during digital learning this fall, including:
- Additional live small group and individual sessions to address learning gaps based on student need and tolerance levels;
- More effective use of paraprofessionals to provide additional instructional support and engagement;
- Speech and language services provided consistently via live stream sessions as specified in the IEP; and
- Increased communication with families to help identify and alleviate any barriers to learning.
How should a parent address a concern regarding his/her child’s IEP and concerns that the child is not being served? The parent should contact the school and request an IEP meeting. During the meeting, parent concerns are a part of the discussion and are documented in the IEP itself.