SPrEaD the word

Vol. 1 Iss. 12 (04.27.2020) COVID-19 Week 6

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April 17th DESE Updates

Russell Johnston and his staff will be holding weekly Zoom meetings with all Special Education directors. The Friday before vacation, they briefly discussed:


  • timelines - more to come from DESE,
  • revisited the Individualized Remote Learning Plans - stressed the importance of getting this done and out to families
  • Early Childhood Transitions - Early Intervention to the public school setting. I will be connecting with Kristie and the preschool team with more information
  • Out of District programs and tuition payments
  • MCAS-Alt Portfolios - teachers will receive 25 PDPs for the work they have done. Please do not dispose of this work. Use it as a starting point for next year.
  • Progress reports - more guidance coming this week

The Department also shared a parent letter and toolbox that I will be sending out to families later today.

Individualized Remote Learning Plans

Prior to the vacation, I share out the Individualized Remote Learning Plans (IRLP) that need to be completed for all students on IEPs. Below please find the links to the IRLPs and Screencastifies demonstrating how to complete these (please excuse the recordings, my dining room has quite the echo.)


Preschool-Grade 6 IRLP

Screencastify for completing Preschool-Grade 6 IRLP


Grades 7-12 IRLP

Screencastify for completing Grade 7-12 IRLP



Case Managers/Liaisons should initiate the process. Please be sure to share with the appropriate related service providers so that they may be sure the appropriate accommodations and services are included.


  • Please complete 4-5 IRLPs per week, prioritizing for those students with upcoming IEP meetings.
  • I would also like you to be sure we get the IRLPs for our EL students done as soon as possible so that we may get them translated. This will assist us all in ensuring that our EL families understand all that is taking place.
  • Once you are finished, please share with the general education teachers and specialists working with the student.
  • Upload the document to Aspen, the same place all evaluation reports are housed. (see "How to.." resources below)
  • Notify your Team Chair and Special Education clerk that you are done so that they may work to email them out to families. They will be doing their best to get these out within 10 days.


Google Slides Step by Step How to Upload/Download Files to Aspen

Screencastify: Saving the IRLP as a PDF and Uploading to Aspen


Information will be sent to all staff so that they are aware of their continued responsibilities.

Progress Towards IEP Goals --> Future Progress Reports

During the Zoom on April 17th, Russell reminded us that all IEP goals and objectives are in effect and we should continue to address them remotely, as well as monitor progress and collect data. Further, this data will be used to develop end of year progress reports. Please note that the directors expressed some concern and asked for additional guidance on this. In the meantime, please do your very best to monitor progress towards students' goals. Russell and his team indicate this would be a topic for this week's Zoom.

Service Delivery

Providing services now is the most effective way to mitigate the need for compensatory services in the future. (DESE presentation 4/2/2020)


To date, DESE has not released specific guidance pertaining to the IEP minutes. I have also reached out to Felicia. In the absence of anything specific from DESE, she advises to the extent possible we are to provide as much as we can. She supports and encourages us to continue with what we have been doing. To review:


Related Service Providers

  • Provide all of these services. This can be in the form of a live session, recorded session and/or emailing/sharing of resources with follow-up check-in with the family.
  • Provide office hours.
  • We must offer live and recorded sessions. If the family expresses a preference, we should do our best to accommodate. For example, it may be more helpful to a family if their child's PT services were recorded. This allows the family to access at a time that may be more appropriate for their home situation. The PT should then reach out to the family to check in on how the session went.
  • If you are worried about the family's ability to work on something in a safe manner, please modify as much as possible or avoid doing the skill. We want our students and families to be safe.



A Grid Services - Consultation Services

  • Provide all of these as this supports DESE's guiding principles - connecting with families and supporting them.
  • Document this time! Even if the family does not participate. Take credit for what we are offering/providing.



B Grid Services - Gen. Ed. Classroom (Direct Services)

  • This might be co-facilitating a live session with the general education teacher.
  • Maybe it's a co-facilitated recorded session with the general education teacher. Please remember to follow-up with the student/family to check for understanding.
  • It may be having the IA participate in the live/recorded session with the Gen. Ed. teacher.
  • It may be Office Hours/extra help sessions for small groups of students.
  • It could also be the special education teacher collaborating with the general education teachers to modify activities. It is important that special education teachers participate in grade level/department meetings. You would do this if we were in school. This is the best way to know what material and why the material is being presented.
  • Document this time! Even if the student does not participate. Take credit for what we are offering/providing.



C Grid Services - Special Ed. and Related Services in Other Settings (Direct Services)

  • This is the small group (special education students only) time where you are facilitating a lesson.
  • This may be a live session.
  • This may be recorded. Please remember to follow-up with the student/family to check for understanding.
  • Perhaps it is a small group or one-on-one session facilitated by your IA.
  • It might even be the daily check-ins you have assigned your IA to do on your behalf.
  • Offer Office Hours where the student/family can connect with you and your IA.
  • Document this time! Even if the student does not participate. Take credit for what we are offering/providing.



I know you are all putting forth your best effort. I am here to answer questions. I am open to attending planning times to help you and the general education teachers collaborate on this.

Did I mention DOCUMENTATION?

THANK YOU for sharing your logs as requested. It is extremely important that you:
  • document all your efforts!
  • be sure you are updating your Service Delivery Log daily.
  • If it isn't documented, it didn't happen!

IEP Meetings

**IEPs should be written as if school is in session. The N1 is to include information pertaining to the remote learning opportunities made available to and engaged in by the student.


IEPs should be completed within the timeframes we normally adhere to.

TO DO LIST for IEP Meetings

Evaluations

If assessments were completed prior to closure, please be sure the evaluation report is finished as soon as possible and uploaded to Aspen. At this time, all other assessments are on hold and we will not be sending out any testing consent.


Initial IEP meetings

At this time, we will not be holding initial meetings.


Three-Year Evaluations

Team chairs, please connect with the family and offer to hold an annual meeting and push testing off for 1-year. Within the N1, please document why an annual was held and the district's proposal to push the triennial evaluation out. Additionally, within the N1, please note the parent/guardian's response to the proposal to push out the evaluation.