Special Education Services

  • IEP, 504 and Timeline

    Whom should I contact if I have a question about my child’s IEP or 504 plan?

    Please contact your liaison and/or your team chair. Contact information is on the school website or email Student_Services@sudbury.k12.ma.us for assistance.

    My child’s evaluation was scheduled to be completed in the spring. Testing was started prior to school closure but was not completed. When will the testing be completed?

    Evaluations that were in progress in the spring will be completed as soon as possible when school resumes in September. If an assessment cannot be safely administered in-person, you will be contacted to discuss whether the assessment can be administered virtually.

    If I have a student who was going to be tested for special education services during the last school year, but the testing did not take place, how and when will that happen?

    Evaluations that were scheduled to take place in the spring, but did not due to school closure, will be completed as soon as possible when school resumes in September. If an assessment cannot be safely administered in-person, you will be contacted by your liaison or team chair to discuss whether the assessment can be administered virtually. For additional information with regard to the timeline for your child’s evaluation and related team meeting, please contact your liaison or team chair.

    My child’s IEP expired or was extended. When will we meet to update the IEP?

    If your child’s IEP expired during the school closure, the last signed and accepted IEP/services remain in place pending a team meeting to draft a new IEP. Annual review meetings that did not take place in the spring due to the school closure will be held as soon as possible when school resumes in the fall. Your child’s team chair will reach out to you to discuss a mutually agreeable meeting plan. You may also reach out to the team chair directly.

    What will be the procedure for IEP and 504 meetings in the Fall of 2020?

    Given the requirements for social distancing provided by DESE, team meetings both Special Education and 504 will be held remotely via teleconference Google Meet.

     

    Service Delivery

    Will students receive their full services outlined in their IEP for this school year?

    Yes. Students will receive the full services provided for in their IEP through in-person, modified in-person, hybrid or remote instruction as determined appropriate. Your child’s team chair or liaison will contact you to discuss your child’s specific learning plan and service delivery.

    • Students will receive a consistent schedule of classes, services, interventions and therapies as outlined in the signed and accepted IEP
    • Students will have structured learning time so to access state standards
    • Students will have frequent interaction with teachers, therapists and trained staff to ensure participation

    Will students receive their full accommodations outlined in their 504 plan for this school year?

    For building-based accommodations, such as preferential seating or assistance moving throughout the school building, students will receive those accommodations when they are in school for in-person learning. For educational accommodations, such as additional time to complete assignments or access to class notes, such accommodations will be provided during in-person and remote learning.

    I believe my child regressed during the spring remote learning period. How will the regression be addressed and ensure that they meet their annual goals as planned?

    As a result of the school closure, it is anticipated that all students experienced some regression. When school resumes in the fall, the focus will be on providing social emotional instruction and support to assist students in reacclimating to the school environment and new health and safety requirements. Teachers will also revisit previously learned academic skills for all students. With specific regard to your child’s progress towards their IEP goals, progress reports issued in March and June should provide data with regards to their progress towards meeting those benchmarks and objectives set forth in their IEP. Additional data will be taken when school resumes. Your child’s team will meet, as appropriate, to discuss progress, current performance, and services.

    My child struggled during remote learning in the spring. How can we get more support for my child?

    Your child’s liaison or team chair will be reaching out over the next few weeks to discuss your child’s remote or hybrid learning plan. Additionally, families may contact their team chair and/or building administration to discuss concerns. The team chair and/or building administrator(s) will arrange for a meeting, as appropriate, to further discuss and address concerns.

    Can all IEP services be in-person?

    Per guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), in-person instruction will be prioritized for students determined to be “high needs,” including preschool age students and students with complex and significant needs, subject to applicable health and safety requirements. When school resumes in the fall, your child will likely receive some in-person instruction and services and some instruction and services will be provided remotely. Your child’s team chair or liaison will contact you directly to discuss the specific learning plan and service delivery for your child.

    If I have a concern about the service delivery for my child’s IEP or the accommodation plan for my child’s 504 plan, what do I do?

    Please contact your team chair and/or liaison to discuss your concerns. Contact information is on the school website or email Student_Services@sudbury.k12.ma.us for assistance.

    If I have a concern about my child’s COVID-19 Special Education Learning Plan (CSLP), what do I do?

    Please contact your team chair and/or liaison to discuss your concerns. Contact information is on the school website or email Student_Services@sudbury.k12.ma.us for assistance.

    Where would I find my child’s COVID-19 Special Education Learning Plan (CSLP)?

    Your child’s liaison, or another team member, will provide you with a copy of your child’s CSLP via email and it may be posted in Google Classroom/Schoology. If you have any questions or concerns regarding how to access the document, or with regards to the content of the document, please contact the sender. Additionally, your child’s liaison or team member will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks to discuss the CSLP as set forth above.

    My child doesn’t benefit from remote learning on the computer. What can we do?

    If your child is struggling to access remote learning for services typically provided in school, please bring these concerns to the attention of your child’s liaison or team chair. Service delivery will be discussed with your child’s liaison or team chair and documented in the CSLP.

    Are alternative masks going to be available for those children who are hearing impaired or who need to see a teacher’s face? The ability for students/especially students with disabilities to read lips/see expressions would be beneficial.

    Yes. The district has ordered masks with clear windows over the mouth area so students of special populations (ex. hearing impairments and language delays) can see the teacher(s)/therapist(s) lips/mouth. Face and plexiglass shields have also been ordered. Teachers will be provided with face shields to wear in addition to their masks. FM systems will be sanitized if required to be shared with staff.

    My child was referred to the District through Early Intervention and turned three during the time of school closure. Services are currently being offered through Early Intervention until October 15, 2020. What is the plan moving forward for determining eligibility for EI referrals?

    The Team at the Special Education Preschool program is reviewing each and every referral as an individual case. Collaboration with EI is assisting with providing updated information in regards to continued service delivery and child presentation. The Team will be contacting families to either schedule evaluations or to schedule a Team meeting to utilize available information to determine eligibility prior to October 15, 2020.

    My child receives transportation as a related service in the IEP. Will transportation be provided for “in-person” services?

    The District sent a survey to all families of students currently transported via the IEP process to ascertain families interest in receiving transportation or willingness to transport for mileage reimbursement. If families are unable to transport their child to and from school, transportation will be arranged with the Districts chosen transportation company. Students riding on a transportation vehicle will have to follow all health and safety protocols put in place by the transportation company and DESE including but not limited to wearing face coverings and social distancing.

    For parents that choose to provide transportation for mileage, mileage forms will be provided and should be submitted on a monthly basis. If a parent begins the year by transporting their child and decides that transportation is not feasible, it is required to provide the District with notification and expect at least a week turn around for transportation to be arranged.

    How will toileting assistance be provided for students requiring such service?

    PPE (personal protective equipment) will be provided for staff that assist students in the bathroom. Parents will be asked to provide individual toileting supplies for one time use in the school (ziplock bag with diaper and small baggie of wipes).

    Will my child who is on an IEP attend school on the same days as my other children?

    Every effort will be made to place children in the same cohort as their siblings. There may be instances when this is not possible.

    I believe my child needs to be prioritized for more in-person learning opportunities. Who should I speak with about my concerns?

    The initial decision for in-person learning time will be made using the DESE guidance to prioritize preschool-age students and those with complex and significant needs as defined by DESE. (See details here) Students who receive specialized services through an IEP do not automatically receive additional in-person time. That said, adjustments may be made, as appropriate, based on individual student need and consistent with health and safety requirements.

    What is the criteria for “in-person” Special Education services, when the district is hybrid or a remote model?

    Students qualifying for full time “in-person” learning are described below and such students must meet at least two of these criteria:

    • Students already identified as “high needs” through the Individualized Education Planning (IEP) process on the IEP form entitled “Primary Disability/Level of Need-PL3.”
      • Services provided outside of the general education classroom;
      • Service providers are special education teachers and related service providers;
      • Special education services constitute more than 75% of the student’s school day
      • Preschool age students with disabilities
      • Post Graduate students with disabilities
    • Students who cannot engage in remote learning due to their disability-related needs;
    • Students who primarily use aided and augmentative communication;
    • Students who are homeless;
    • Students in foster care or congregate care;
    • Students who are dually identified as English Learners, SEI Level I;

    If my child is identified as “high needs” do I have the option of sending them hybrid or remote?

    Ultimately it is your decision as the parent to determine what is best for your child, however it is the responsibility of the district to comply with DESE regulation and provide services identified in the accepted IEP. It is recommended to work with the IEP Team to determine services to be provided “in-person” and services that can be accessed remotely.

    My child does not meet the criteria for the definition of “high needs”, however is a student with a disability, what will IEP services look like for my child in a hybrid model?

    Students will receive services both in person and remotely per the above mentioned definitions. An emphasis will be placed on providing as many services “in-person” as feasibly possible.

    My child meets the criteria for “high needs” and receives most of their services in a sub separate setting, however there is an element of inclusion in their IEP. How will inclusion service be provided if my child is expected to remain in their sub separate cohort?

    Due to the constraints of social distancing, IEP teams will make every effort to include students in inclusive settings, even if that is through remote access. If a child is able to receive services in the Least Restrictive Environment with “different” looking services, every effort will be made to make that opportunity a reality for students.

    If my student is on an IEP, will there be a chance for dialogue with the team prior to the start of school?

    Every effort will be made for a liaison or member of the team to connect with a family to discuss the transition and the COVID Special Education Learning Plans prior to or at the beginning of the school year.

    If I have chosen for my child to attend school remotely , how will the services in the IEP be delivered?

    Remote learning is expected to be more robust than the experience from the spring of 2020. It is expected that students will receive an “instruction and Services” model of remote learning through

    • A regular and consistent schedule of classes, services, interventions and therapies
    • Structured learning time to provide access to state standards
    • Frequent interactions with teachers, therapists and support staff
    • Synchronous lessons via teleconference and/or video conference
    • Asynchronous lessons via recorded lessons

    My child is provided with 1:1 support as a related service in the IEP. How will that service be implemented if my child is in a hybrid or remote model?

    Paraprofessionals under the guidance of the special education teacher and related service providers, will support students in both “in-person” and remote activities. Paraprofessionals will receive training along with professional staff in regards to remote learning and supporting students in both environments

    If I choose a full remote model, how will the services in the IEP be delivered?

    Each and every student with an IEP will have an alternative learning plan, a COVID-19 Special Education Learning Plan (CSLP) developed in order to address the services in the IEP. If the choice is full remote, the TEAM will determine how special education services can be provided to meet the individual needs of the student. Parents will receive written notification of that plan as well as a schedule of classes, therapies and support services to be provided.

    My child is a child with a disability and receives accommodations through a 504 plan. Can my child qualify for full time “in-person” services and if not how will services be provided?

    According to the DESE provided definition of “high needs students”, students with 504 accommodation plans do not qualify for full time “in-person” services. It is recommended to contact your building principal and discuss concerns related to your child and their individual learning needs. In regards to accommodations and supports in the 504 plan, the 504 TEAM will work with you to determine how those accommodations will be provided.

     

    Communication

    How frequently will we check-in and communicate with the teacher?

    The frequency of communication with your child’s teacher(s) and/or service provider(s) will depend upon your child’s individual needs. As always, communication with your child’s teacher will continue through regularly scheduled parent/teacher conferences and general school communications. IEP meetings and parent check-ins will take place consistent with your child’s IEP and/or special education timelines. If you have questions or want to touch base with your student’s teacher or team, please reach out to the teacher/liaison at any time to directly request a time to meet.

    Whom do I contact during the summer if my team chair or special education liaison is not available?

    Please contact your liaison and/or your team chair. These team members will address the concerns when school resumes. If you require immediate assistance, contact information for school principals and team chairs is on the school website or email Student_Services@sudbury.k12.ma.us for assistance.