Beginning of School 2020-2021

Special Education Update

Big picture

What will digital learning look like in the Fall of 2020?

Teachers will provide both live (synchronous) and recorded (asynchronous) lessons and independent work. This means that students will be required to participate in digital instruction on a specific schedule with their teachers (synchronous learning), and also complete activities and assignments (asynchronous learning) on their own time to meet assignment deadlines.


  • Students will receive quality instruction on all grade-level standards, learning the district’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum.
  • Instruction and support will be provided by teachers and staff from the student’s local school.
  • For the most part, the digital learning day will follow the same operational hours as the in-person school day.
  • Students will access assignments through eCLASS C&I course pages, but teachers also may use digital resources such as Google Classroom, SAFARI Montage, etc.
  • Students will attend synchronous (live) online sessions with teachers through Zoom, Google Meet, and/or Teams Meet.
  • Schools and/or clusters will have standardized processes for where and how assignments are posted and accessed by students.
  • Teachers will provide schedules detailing which lessons will be done in synchronous sessions. Synchronous sessions will be recorded. This will allow students and parents to review the sessions and will make them available to students who occasionally cannot attend a live session.
  • Schools will provide specific information to support students and parents around digital learning processes and protocols.
  • Additional student and parent support resources will be available on the district web page and in the student portal.
  • The updated GCPS Parent Portal, rolling out in August, will make it easier for parents to see assignments, including missing ones. It also will allow parents to access student information, including grade book data, discipline, report cards, transcripts, calendars, and more.

For digital learning

What is Synchronous Learning?

Synchronous learning is the kind of learning that happens in real-time. This means that you, your classmates, and your instructor interact in a specific virtual place, through a specific online medium, at a specific time. In other words, it’s not exactly anywhere, anyhow, anytime. Methods of synchronous online learning include video conferencing, teleconferencing, live chatting, and live-streaming lectures.

What is Asynchronous Learning?

Asynchronous learning happens on your schedule. While your course of study, instructor, or degree program will provide materials for reading, lectures for viewing, assignments for completing, and exams for evaluation, you have the ability to access and satisfy these requirements within a flexible time frame. Methods of asynchronous online learning include self-guided lesson modules, streaming video content, virtual libraries, posted lecture notes, and exchanges across discussion boards or social media platforms.

Big picture

IEPs for Students Participating in Digital Learning

  • IEPs will not be amended/updated to reflect Digital Learning. The IEP should continue to reflect the offer of FAPE determined by the team for the face-to-face setting. This will allow the district’s offer of FAPE to remain in place. If a student will be attending school in person, their IEP will be implemented as written. If the family chose digital instruction, the IEP will be implemented to the fullest extent possible.

Move-In IEPs

** ALL Move-In IEPs must go through Hamilton & Kasson.

If you have a student with an IEP who transfers into GCPS, please follow the transfer guidance. This guidance will be applicable regardless of the learning option chosen (Face to face or virtual).

If you need support determining comparable services and/or feeder schools for students with IEP's moving into GCPS, please email the student's name, the student's ID#, and scanned move-in IEP paperwork (IEPs, Eligibility Reports, evaluations, etc.) to Special Education Transfers. A Special Education Coordinator will review the information and contact your Special Education Assistant Principal.

Guidance for Holding Eligibility/Reevaluation/IEP Meetings Virtually

Big picture

Signatures for IEP Meetings Held in Spring 2020

  • If an IEP meeting was held in the spring during digital learning and digital signatures were not obtained, staff should not go back to staff members to obtain signatures now that school is back in session. Simply attach the minutes in IEP online and place a copy in the supplemental file. The minutes stand as documentation of all meeting participants, as well as the documentation of the parents' agreement or disagreement.

SST, IEP, Reevaluation, and Eligibility Meetings for Fall 2020

  • Attached you will find guidance regarding meetings for the 2020-2021 school year. Please note this guidance is to be shared with parents at the beginning of the year so that they are aware of the meeting options and safety protocols for this school year. Also attached is tips and items for your staff to consider/remember when scheduling and holding distance meetings.

Meeting Minutes

  • Please note that meeting minutes must be taken for all distance IEP, reevaluation, and eligibility meetings. A checklist to aid in taking minutes for distance meetings is attached. For a template to use when taking meeting minutes, please refer to the Practitioner’s Manual.

Meeting Template

Parkview Cluster Coordinator

Cason Hubbard