This Week's Round-Up...The Latest Developments for Education as School Buildings Remain Closed
We hope things are going well, you’re in good health and settling into some type of routine, even if it’s taking one hour at a time.
As we continue monitoring developments regarding distance learning and school closures, we wanted to provide you with a short update.
April vacation – traditionally school districts across the state close school for one week each April. This year it was supposed to be the week of April 20th, however, Massachusetts school districts have an option to continue remote learning and waive April vacation this week. We suggest you monitor your district’s website for information pertaining to April vacation.
MCAS – we’re happy to report that MCAS for this spring has been waived for students in grades 3 through 10. We are still waiting to hear Commissioner Riley’s decision as it pertains to modifying or waiving the requirements for the competency determination for this year’s high school graduates. As soon as we hear anything, we will let you know.
Distance Learning – by now most districts have rolled out some type of learning modules. If your child hasn’t been receiving instruction, we suggest you reach out to your school. Consent to start these services are NOT required. Please keep track of the instruction your child is receiving. We are suggesting you record the length of each session, how your child participated, etc. This information will be critical when we return to traditional school and as adjustments to your child’s services are made.
We can’t stress this enough, if your family is struggling with following the instructional plan, please contact your school immediately and ask for assistance. In the end, do what is best for your child and family unit.
Progress Reports – Districts have been instructed to issue progress reports covering the period prior to the school closures. If you have not received your child’s progress reports, we suggest you reach out to your special education liaison. The information contained in the progress reports will be used for future special education services.
Team Meetings – School Districts have been encouraged to hold team meetings (virtually) especially for students who are aging out of special education or facing transitions, like moving from one building to another. Annual review meetings are also encouraged. If you had a meeting on the books prior to the school closure, reach out to your team chair to schedule a virtual meeting.
In some instances, children may have been in the process of evaluations prior to the school closures. According to the timing of your consent to test, if testing was to be completed prior to the close of school on March 13, the district should be holding a meeting to review those results and determine eligibility. If the deadline for these evaluations was to take place after March 13, those evaluations are now on hold until school resumes. (It is not possible to conduct evaluations, via virtual meeting platforms without disrupting the integrity of the assessment.)
Right now, we’re scheduled to return to school in the beginning of May, however there’s a high likelihood that this date may be extended by Governor Baker. We will keep you posted.
Stay safe and well. We’re here to help, just give us a call.