Please know the following information is subject to change as additional guiding documents are provided by federal, state and local agencies relative to our district's reopening plan.
Special Education "Return to School 2020-21" July 1 Webinar Questions and Answers:
Will my child be required to wear a mask?
As of today, July 2nd, the district's expectation is for students to wear a mask if attending in person classes. If the city council passes a mask ordinance, additional information will be provided based on the city's guidelines. Exemptions to the mask expectation will be allowed based on student specific need.
The district is exploring a variety of mask options, including clear masks, to support our students with specific communication disabilities such as deaf and hard of hearing.
Given the extended closure, some students may experience more significant behaviors. Will students have time to practice school routines and relearn without disciplinary consequence?
All general and special education students will have time to practice and relearn routines in all settings.
How will student regression be addressed by the district?
The district recognizes all students will likely have regressed due to the extended closure. Upon reentry, the district will conduct formative assessments to determine students' instructional level in an effort to provide appropriate review and intervention.
Will homebound placement continue to be an option?
Yes; however, the location of instruction, i.e., virtual or in person, may need to be considered on a case by case basis. Homebound placement is determined by a student's IEP team and based on individual student need.
How will special education evaluations be handled this school year?
As long as the district remains open, we will evaluate students in a one-on-one setting if formal assessment is needed. Safety protocols, such as sanitizing, face masks and/or shields and social distancing, when possible, we will utilized. If a student is enrolled in virtual education and the guardian is uncomfortable with the student coming to school to participate in assessment, the evaluation team will work with the parent to consider appropriate informal assessments. Upon the student's return to school, the team may consider reopening the evaluation to conduct a more robust evaluation with formal assessment.
How will the district handle IEP and Evaluation timelines?
The district will adhere to all IDEA timelines for IEP and Evaluations. While we allowed for extension of IEP and Evaluation timelines at the guardian's request due to wanting to meet in person, we will no longer continue this practice during the 20-21 school year.
Will outside agencies be allowed to come into the building?
The district will be limiting the number of non-CPS individuals allowed in buildings. Due to this practice, the district will work with families and agencies to determine alternative options for meetings, if possible.
Will all CPS campuses be open?
Yes, all of our buildings will be open.
Will there be additional ESY services provided this summer?
No additional ESY services will be offered prior to the beginning of 20-21 school year.
If my student attends in-seat, what will services look like?
Currently, the district is not restricting the movement of students in regard to accessing their special education services in the location identified in the IEP. As a result, IEP services will be implemented as written in the IEP. If the district increases safety precautions and restrictions are added to student movement, the case manager will work the guardian to discuss potential changes needed to safely serve the student. This information would be documented on the state provided form.
If the district closes for a short or long term period of time, will my child's IEP need to be amended?
No, the district will continue to use the state provided form to address service needs during the district closure. During the closure, all goals will continue to be addressed by a specialist.
If my student attends virtually, what will services look like?
All services will be provided during the regular school day. A parent can elect to have their student access instruction virtually via the assigned CPS Virtual course specialist and/or bring their student into the building for their services during their scheduled special education class(es). Additionally, a parent could elect for their child to receive their related services (e.g., speech-language, physical therapy, occupational therapy), via teletherapy and/or bring their child in for in-person instruction with the therapist.
If I choose CPS Virtual and also choose for my student to receive their special education services in-person in their building, will my child be provided transportation?
No, all students participating in CPS Virtual learning would be required to provide their own transportation should they decide to access their special education services including speech-language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. and/or building activities.
What if my child is in a district special education classroom where the curriculum is based on alternative learning standards (MAP-A) and/or significantly modified to meet his/her educational needs?
This summer, coordinators and educators are developing distance learning curricula to support students should the building and/or district close due to health department guidelines. Parents of students who access alternative learning standards could opt into this CPS distance learning option as an alternative to CPS Virtual classes.
What will this distance learning look like:
o Will there be scheduled times all students in the classroom will be expected to Zoom in?
Yes, there will be an expectation that students participate in a minimum of 30 minutes of the pre-planned lessons. Additionally, there will be assigned daily online times the special education teacher will meet with students to work on skills specific to the student’s IEP goals. These times will be pre-arranged with the family and could be individual or in a small group setting. All special education and related services will be provided during the typical school day.
o What if we need a more flexible schedule and cannot Zoom in at the designated time?
Lessons are pre-planned and scheduled for specific times of the day. If you are concerned about a pre-planned schedule, contact your student’s special education teacher to problem-solve.
o Could my child still have access to the general education classroom?
All special education students will continue to have access to all available online general education courses as appropriate. A CPS teacher will be available for questions and troubleshooting. In addition, the school media specialist will also be available to assist families with online tools and resources. We are happy to work with families to discuss this further.
Will my child’s IEP need to be amended if I choose remote learning?
Yes, when CPS teachers return to work in August, your child’s case manager will contact you to discuss amending the IEP.
Will my child receive the same amount of services if I choose remote learning?
While these decisions are made by the IEP team, the amount and frequency of specific services may need revision to provide Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in a remote learning environment.