Supporting IEPs and 504 plans

Supporting IEPs and 504 plans

Prioritizing student needs and supporting students with IEPs and 504 plans is a continued focus of our Student Services Department. Unfortunately, delivery of special education and related services including accommodations is currently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under our present circumstances, the District must observe requirements regarding the opening of school issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the DuPage County Health Department (DCDH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) even for students with special learning needs. As such, the provision of in-person service must be aligned with practices that match the current metrics on COVID-19 case positivity and other criteria established by the IDPH . Under our current conditions, limited space in our D41 buildings, strict maintenance of social distancing, preventing cohorts of teachers and students from mixing, and strict adherence to cleaning protocols does not allow us to bring students into school who are not a part of the cohort currently in in-person attendance. All of these precautions have been deemed necessary to protect the health of everyone in the school community under the Return to School Framework issued by the DCDH.

Given our adherence to the current conditions, our special education and general education teachers as well as our related service professionals are all working hard to address your student's unique educational needs. While services may have changed as a result of the COVID 19 restrictions, our D41 educators continue to use data to implement and, when necessary, make changes to student's Individual Remote Learning Plans (IRLPs). Educators are continuing their professional growth and we are supporting additional technology platforms and products/licenses to best implement instruction for our students who have a variety of learning needs. While we value our D41 Inclusionary Principles including the first principle, "viewing every child as a general education student," we are doing this with the lens of possible additional adverse impact. Hence, Building IEP/504 teams are constantly looking for opportunities to streamline services per our third principle, "creating a culture that develops a sense of belonging for all diverse learners" even when the culture is viewed via both remote and in-person learning. Simultaneously, we are focusing on social emotional learning which may also be impacted by the current pandemic and its consequences for all students, families and staff.

We know this is challenging and want to thank you so much for your ongoing focus on our seventh and final principle, "engaging in collaborative problem solving to develop, challenge and accommodate all learners." Our teams are grateful for this time with you on behalf of individual students. Please continue to reach out to your student's case manager and assistant principal in regards to on-going collaboration, celebrations or concerns. As we abide by COVID safety protocols and always give due weight to equity, we are continuing to progress monitor and evaluate flexible plans for our students within the current school day so we can help them benefit from their in-person and remote instruction now and in the future.

For additional resources, please visit our D41 website Student Services page where we have posted information and video links for you. You are also welcome to join SSPAC virtual coffees (see additional information in the District Digest) and/or visit CASE website for information on Parent Universities. I appreciate you and value your partnership for our students.


Laurel O'Brien

Director of Student Services