DESE’s most recent FAQ continues to remind districts of their obligations to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with IEPs:  “As schools reopen, schools and districts must continue to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Students with IEPs must receive all services documented in their IEPs even if services are being delivered in a different service model (i.e., modified in-person, hybrid or remote).”  As discussed in a prior blog post, DESE recommended that certain categories of students (preschool-aged children and children on IEPs who are considered “high needs”) be prioritized for in-person instruction even if schools and districts are operating in a hybrid or remote model.

Special education liaisons or special education directors should be reaching out to families over the next several weeks to discuss how services will be delivered to your child.  After this discussion, school teams should be sending you documentation to detail how your child’s services will be delivered.  If you haven’t heard from your liaison, reach out to them to request a meeting.  In the email document your questions and concerns so the district has them in writing and they can be included in your child’s educational record.

Do you need help securing IEP services for your child?  Do you have questions about your rights under IDEA or DESE’s guidelines?  Contact me to help you through this process.