Your Child's IEP in the Time of COVID-19
Well, we made it to September and for the most part, we’re back at school in one form or another. Because schools may be following a modified in-person, remote or hybrid learning model, IEP services may need to be delivered differently this school year. Although the delivery of IEP services may look different, it does not relieve the district’s obligation to provide your child with all the services included in their IEPs and to ensure they continue to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education. To document the change in how services will be provided, the state is suggesting school districts create Special Education Learning Plans to document and outline these changes. For instance, if your child receives speech services in a pull-out setting (grid C), that service may now be delivered in the classroom via a zoom meeting. We’re suggesting that parents review this document carefully and ask questions to ensure you understand these changes. If you have questions, be sure to reach out to your Team Chair.
Even though the delivery of services may be adjusted this school year, your school will still hold IEP meetings, conduct evaluations and issue progress reports, etc. If this is your child’s three-year re-evaluation year, reach out to the school proactively to remind them, after all they have a lot on their plates these days. Ask for a Consent to Test and return it as quickly as possible. When the school buildings closed last spring, students who were supposed to be evaluated, were put on hold and now the schools are working diligently to clean up the backlog.
You may be wondering if your child is entitled to compensatory services because IEP services were missed during spring. Again, the state has provided some guidance Over the next several weeks and months, school personnel are to help students re-acclimate to learning, take and review data on a child’s recovery of learning losses, etc. Using this data and input from families, IEP Teams will meet to determine whether and to what extent your child has recouped lost skills in order to identify whether they require COVID Compensatory Services. To help with this conversation, request the results of benchmark assessments, as this will help identify how far your child has regressed, if at all. More than likely these benchmarks are the first assessment a child receives in the fall.
This is a school year like no other. Patience and the ability to shift is the key to a successful school year. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or have questions, please give us a call. We’re here to help!