If campuses are closed but continue to provide educational opportunities virtually to the general student population during the closure (Online Learning), the school must ensure that students with disabilities also have access to free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The school must ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided the special education and related services identified in the student's individualized education program (IEP) or 504 plan which has been reasonably calculated to enable the student to make appropriate progress.
During sporadic school closures, educational opportunities/support will continue to be provided to general education and special education students remotely through virtual/distance learning.
All Special Education services will be conducted with appropriate safety precautions as per district guidelines when on campus.
Legal requirements related to the legal timelines for initial and annual ARD meetings still apply whether we are conducting school in person or virtually.
The ARD committee will meet by video or teleconference for the 20/21 school year; all required members must be in attendance. When virtual is not an option, the campus administrator will be consulted.
Procedures for a Virtual ARD
- Diagnosticians, SLPs, and/or Special Education Teachers will inform parents when scheduling the ARD that the meeting will be held remotely rather than in person.
- A link will be sent to the required members to join the ARD meeting at the scheduled time.
- ARD notices and Procedural Safeguards may be emailed to the parent. Second and third notices may be communicated through phone calls, mailed notices, or sent home with the student.
- Practices during periods of on-campus learning:
Initial assessments, three-year re-evaluations, and requests for additional assessment will continue to be completed within required timelines while students are on campus while taking safety precautions per district guidelines.
- Practices during periods of virtual learning:
- Assessment personnel will gather as much data as possible virtually through student observations, online assessment when available and parent interviews, checklists, review of ECI evaluation data when available and ECI progress notes, etc.
- If, after gathering all available data without face to face interaction, sufficient data exists to write an FIE, evaluators will complete the written report with all available assessment data. The signed written report will be shared with parents and staff.
- The ARD will be scheduled to review the Full and Individual Evaluation.
- If sufficient data doesn’t exist to write a complete FIE, assessment personnel will contact the parent and discuss options.
- In situations in which school is closed and not in session (no virtual learning), evaluation timelines halt as these days are not considered school days.
- When students are on campus face to face, Speech, OT, PT, counseling, and special education instructional services will be provided as outlined and agreed upon in the student’s ARD paperwork.
- All instructional and related services will be conducted with appropriate safety precautions as per district guidelines when on campus.
- When a campus is closed and students are receiving virtual learning, Speech, OT, PT, counseling, and special education instructional services will be provided as outlined in their most current Interim Special Education Distance Learning Plan that was put in place in the spring of the 2019-20 school year. Provision of special education and related services during an emergency closure may occur via video conferences, telephone calls, homework packets, internet-based lessons/therapy, and/or other distance-based learning approaches. Decisions on appropriate services are made on an individualized basis.
- Data will continue to be taken to determine if compensatory services will be needed when students are not on campus and receiving services through virtual learning.
Goals and objectives will continue to be updated every nine weeks, whether students are on campus or receiving virtual learning, this is in accordance with district policy by all providers including special education teachers, instructional and related service providers, and itinerant staff. Updated progress reports may be emailed home to parents.