Student Services COVID-19 Response

Supporting Students with Disabilities and their Families

A message from Andrea Leonardi, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services

Dear Families, Students, Faculty, Staff;

As I am sure you are aware by now, the Corona Virus and Covid-19 have arrived here in Wilton. Our team is working closely with the Department of Health and other local, state, and federal agencies to monitor the situation and the district will be sending regular updates. Information is coming in and being evaluated at breakneck speed. We are working to consolidate this information and make quality decisions on behalf of the students, faculty, staff, and families of Wilton. We have created a special page on the district website that will serve as a clearinghouse for information related to the Corona Virus and Covid-19 (https://www.wiltonps.org/about/district-covid-19-information). Please visit this site frequently as it will contain all the latest updates and information. I will also be posting this and all subsequent Student Services Updates there as well.

At this time, I want to reach out and let you know that the Department of Student Services is hard at work making plans specifically for our students with disabilities and their families. These preliminary plans will be published this week and updated regularly in response to feedback and new information and implemented IF a district shutdown is instituted. These plans, along with the Continuity of Learning Plan for the district and materials will serve as a road map with suggestions to help you through this situation. Our goal is to help you plan for the worst while hoping for the best. This is unprecedented and while I fully recognize a shut-down will be difficult for all families, I know that a shut-down of any length will put added stress and pressure on students with disabilities and their families. We are here to help in any way we possibly can to support everyone through this time. The most important thing to remember is the importance of self-care. Let’s take this one step at a time, practice kindness and forgiveness, and work together to support each other.

At this time there are several strategies we are exploring that include, but are not limited to:

  • online learning options and tools

  • "Go bags” of materials and picture schedules - These will begin arriving over the next few days (These materials will only be needed in the event of a shutdown. Until then, please store the bags for future use)

  • Daily suggestions for structures to support students

  • Virtual related services (SLP, OT, PT)

  • Fun activities that support learning and skills

  • For our students with social/emotional behavioral challenges, we are working on a schedule of contact (email, facetime, phone, etc) with our School Psychologists and Social Workers

  • For those of you with students who attend an out-of-district placement, we are contacting each of the schools to learn of their plans and we will share that information in upcoming updates


We will also be sharing methods/times for you to contact your Case Managers and Teams throughout this time and what parents can expect from staff. Sharon DeAngelo (Assistant Director PreK-5), Melissa Barrett (Assistant Director Grade 6-age 21) and I will be working and available throughout this time to guide you and the staff. Again, this is unprecedented and Sharon, Melissa, the staff and I are trying to plan for a scenario in which we can meet the needs of our students, families, and staff in the most effective way possible. Throughout this period I will be communicating on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with updates and responses to feedback, questions and suggestions. Your ideas, feedback, and questions are CRITICAL to us and we encourage you to send them our way so that we can review them and respond! We have set up a special email address for parents of students with disabilities to send feedback, questions, and suggestions on how we can assist you and your students during this time. We will check this box daily and respond to all questions in subsequent updates. The email address is ssnewsletter@wiltonps.org

We will publish this newsletter/update 3 times weekly in the following ways: Powerschool, the district Website, SEPTA Facebook, and SpedNet Wilton.

Should a long-term shutdown be necessary we will address the impact individually once the situation resolves.

Stay tuned for the next update scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Sincerely,

Andrea Leonardi