Reopening: Special Education

Whether services are provided in-person, remotely or through a hybrid model, the district is prepared to provide appropriate instruction and to ensure the health and safety of students with disabilities and those receiving special education services. 

Staff at levels and in all programs will utilize Google Classroom to ensure access to programming and related services for both in-person and remote instruction. This will additionally support students’ instructional needs should staff and students need to transition from in-person to virtual learning due to another closure. 

The current plan for the Special Education Department ensures all special class students have the option to attend programming daily (in-person district-wide). Integrated students will attend remotely or in-person based on the schedule for general education as follows:

  • Special class students K-12 will attend school daily. High school special class students will likely attend school every other day.
  • All elementary students PK-5 will have the option to attend in-person or remote if preferred by a family.
  • Middle school integrated special education students 6-8 will have the option to attend three days weekly in-person or remotely if preferred by families. 
  • High school integrated special education students 9-12 will have the option to attend on a rotational basis each week either in-person or remotely if preferred by families.
  • In-person programming options are available for special education students at all levels. 
  • Remote-only programming options are available at all levels. 
  • Hybrid, remote and in-person programming options are available at all levels. 
  • Daily SEL support pushed into classrooms.

Students will receive programming in accordance with their IEP within the models (in-person, remote and hybrid) identified by the district for elementary, middle school and high school in order to meet LRE requirements to the extent possible.

Students will receive programming in accordance with their IEP within the model(s) identified by the district for elementary, middle school and high school general education in order to meet LRE requirements to the extent possible. The district included parent/guardian voice on reopening planning committees at each level.

The CSE will convene meetings as necessary to address compensatory services as it pertains to reopening plans.

Programs and services that the district offers will be documented and provided to students with disabilities, as well as communicated to parents and guardians. 

All families’ student language needs will be addressed as required using existing district processes: 

  • Students and families who have translation and interpreter needs are clearly identified in both schooltool and Frontline IEP, so staff are aware. 
  • Interpreters are available on the Language Line as needed at any point in time to address translation needs.

The Medicaid log and Frontline contact log will be utilized to document conversations with parents in relation to programs and services. Virtual meetings will be held as necessary with parent language needs considered. 

The Special Education Department will continue to offer the same flexibility with respect to IEP implementation for delivery of services during school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak whether programs and services are delivered in-person and/or remotely (e.g., flexibility with respect to the mode and/or manner; group or individual sessions; specific group size for related services, frequency, duration and location of related services, and special class size ratio, etc.)

The provision of related services will continue to operate within the guidance provided by OSE and will be delivered flexibly to ensure access and consideration of health and safety. 

  • Push-in services 
  • Virtual services
  • Hybrid model
  • In classrooms where breakout spaces are accessible to the room, services may be provided to some students in-person in accordance with social distancing guidelines
  • Daily SEL pushed into classrooms

Communication with families will be ongoing and documented in Frontline IEP contact log, Medicaid log, Progress Monitoring Tools and Quarterly Progress Reporting on goals and transition.
Parents and guardians will continue to receive training opportunities in-person and virtually as appropriate on a variety of topics once quarterly in accordance with social distancing. Trainings are anticipated to include topics on: Autism, Anxiety and Depression, OPWDD and Sensory Integration 

District committees on preschool special education/committees on special education will collaborate with program providers representing the variety of settings where students are served to ensure there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations on individualized education programs, plans for monitoring and communicating student progress, and commitment to sharing resources. 

Communications and practices remain ongoing around IEP services, progress monitoring, etc., between CSE and CPSE. 

The district will continue to comply with all mandates and utilize Frontline progress monitoring and the procedures put in place during the spring of 2020 to reflect student progress both virtually or in-person.  

Students will receive programming in accordance with their IEP within the model(s) identified by the district for elementary, middle school and high school general education in order to meet LRE requirements to the extent possible.

The district include parent/guardian voice on reopening planning committees at each level

The District Referral Review Committee will receive and individually review all referrals in accordance with mandates and under performance considerations related to the school closure. They will be processed accordingly.

The district has procedures in place for both virtual and in-person assessments to adhere to required timelines at both the CSE and CPSE level. 

The district is developing schedules for 2020-21 re-evaluations in consideration of student and assessment compatibility with remote or in-person testing. 

The district will provide access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability-related needs of students. 

The district continues to contract with Capital Region BOCES and private agencies for the provision of supplementary services and related services necessary to meet the unique needs of students. 

Each student’s IEP will be fully implemented in relation to accommodations and modifications regardless of in-person or virtual programming.

Each student’s IEP will be fully implemented in regards to supplementary aids, services and supports regardless of in-person or virtual programming.

The Special Education Department collaborates with the district assistive technology specialist to provide technology support and training to staff, students and families. The department will share information with families on accessing this technology support as well as other resources.

For information about meaningful parent engagement regarding the provision of services to a child to meet the requirements of the IDEA, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.