Special Education FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
From the Meet and Greet Webinar - September 1, 2020
With Executive Director of Student Services Nicole Fitch
- How will kindergarten IEPs be handled? Some children did not participate in preschool zoom sessions previously.
Kindergarten students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) will be implemented remotely. Your child’s school has provided a schedule that your kindergarten student will follow and their general and special education teachers will collaborate with each other to make that experience meaningful.
- Will there be any chance of 1:1 for the children with their teacher this year at all, even if only for a couple hours?
Staff have collaborated on a decision-making matrix and are working with families to identify students for in-person services through the IEP team process.
- Will all grade level students get individual time with their therapists (ESAs), or will they be small group sessions?
Work with your child’s Educational Staff Associate (ESA) to determine what services look like in this remote setting.
- How are middle school students’ IEPs being handled, regarding teaching during the day?
Middle school students’ IEPs will be implemented through synchronous and asynchronous instruction sessions. Your child’s school has provided a schedule that your middle school student will follow. Their general and special education teachers will collaborate with each other to make that experience meaningful, and to ensure appropriate modifications and accommodations are being implemented.
- Is this only for IEPs, or for kids with only 504s as well?
This meeting was specifically meant to address special education students and families. However, to address concerns about students with existing 504 plans, or in need of 504 plans, please contact your child’s counselor at their school site.
- The students are unique, how are you going to apply all the protocols of the IEP in implementation for each of them (if, at the moment, all students are doing online schooling)? What would be different for the special needs students, how are you going to meet their needs in an online environment? How are minutes currently being recorded?
Students with IEPs will continue to receive specially designed instruction as outlined in their current IEPs. The service minutes will be met through synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.
All IEP accommodations and any necessary modifications to curriculum will still take place, as general and special education teachers will collaborate together for our students.
Teachers have access to multiple resource staff members, including instructional coaches, curricular resources, and online supports to address the unique and varied needs of our students.
Students with special needs will continue to have access to their special education teachers, therapists, school counselors, general education teachers, and specialists.
- Will there be a first priority in person instructions for special education students?
We have written Health/Safety protocols for in-person learning for special education students, and developed a decision-making matrix to determine which students will require for in-person services.
- The 30-day compliance that OSPI is giving the school districts to get in compliance with holding IEPs, etc., does it also include executing our students’ minutes in each area of their IEP (including SDI)?
OSPI has made it clear that all school districts, including SVSD, must provide Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) for all students with IEPs. Minutes are to be met through synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. SVSD will also be utilizing our paraprofessionals to implement instruction designed by special education teachers/case managers. Unlike the 30-day timeline for overdue IEPs, this will be implemented for the duration of remote and hybrid learning protocols established in the current school year.
- What if you asked for a 504 to be upgraded? As in: if a student currently has/should have a 504 and reached out to the school to have more support put in place and asked for an IEP evaluation - how is that going to work?
Reach out to school counselors as they coordinate the 504 process. They should also be reaching out to you soon regarding this year’s processes.
- Encompass currently offers in-person clinic therapies to kids with a very robust health protocol to prevent infections. Why can’t the schools do the same thing?
We will providing in-person services beginning in September.
- Will there be IEPs next school year?
Yes, regardless of any extenuating circumstances, there will always be an expectation that IEPs are maintained and implemented.
- Will the district look into and try to hire extra therapists (temporary, contract, etc.) if our district therapists aren’t comfortable with in-person services (due to their own home situations, which we get), and the district can’t find an open therapist to contract with privately? Is it possible for the district to provide an outside specialist help due to the closure?
Utilize the IEP team process to identify the service provision for your child during the closure, if you have concerns that your child cannot access online instruction.
- Will the district be offering any online programs to help kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia?
If your student is identified as demonstrating the characteristics of dyslexia and dysgraphia, we are offering the WIN program through Title I. We have interventions and curricular supports in place to address these unique concerns. We have a primary and a secondary screener that will be utilized as a general education tool. We have many tools available to address concerns for literacy and dyslexia/dysgraphia.
- Places that provide OT, Speech, ABA, etc. - are already and have been doing in person therapy sessions. Couldn’t we just have in-person appointments to do the daily/weekly IEP/504 plans?
Yes, we have recently established guidelines and protocols for students to receive in-person services through appointments.
- The dyslexia slide covers interventions but doesn’t seem to cover screening. Is this something to address with the prior screening topic?
We are administering primary and secondary screeners at the elementary and middle school levels.
- There are so many districts that are starting the year off with half days in person, or even full days. Why can’t our district offer something if neighboring districts can?
At this time, there is a group of SVSD staff working to establish Health/Safety protocols for in-person learning. SVSD’s main priority is to ensure the health and safety of all students, families, and staff members.
- Is the WIN program available for middle school students also?
WIN is elementary school programming only.
- What would be considered as “evidence”?
This involves progress monitoring toward student goals - we will be recording your child’s progress (or lack thereof) toward meeting their IEP goals. This will help to drive the decision about whether your child needs differentiated services.
- Are schools required to provide compensatory services for missed IEP service minutes from last spring, or is OSPI not requiring this?
Recovery services can be discussed in the future, once all SVSD sites and programs have returned to 100% in-person learning. In practice, this will look like a more robust IEP. We will need to look at changing goals and making key changes to the IEP as a team
- Will the IEP services be available outside of typical school hours for full time out-of-home employed parents?
Asynchronous learning activities will be available for all students. Please connect with your child’s special education case manager to establish communication about those activities.
Synchronous activities will only occur during the typical school day.
- How long before the PPE should arrive? Why wasn’t this ordered last school year?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was ordered last spring, and has arrived at every school.
- Regarding the testing, are you allowing parent input for data?
Absolutely! Parents are our greatest partners in this process. If they have data from home (which is considered the general education setting according to federal regulations), that will be extremely helpful in directing the conversations we’re having about services, strategies, etc.
- Is there a form or evaluation sheet that parents can fill out to add to the IEP evaluation? When will that be provided?
Yes - there is a feedback form for parent/guardian input. Your child’s special education case manager can provide that to you.
- Is there a number one “ask” on how parents can be the best partner?
Don’t be shy! Reach out for everything - celebrations, concerns, questions, etc. If you would like to have an IEP meeting, please reach out to your child’s special education teacher so that we can honor this request. We are genuinely being proactive and are actively creating systematic protocols to support you and be in communication. We want to support you in every way possible - let us know!
- How do I find out who my child’s teacher is - both general and special education?
Please contact your building level administrator first.
- If a student has a 1:1 paraeducator for a great portion of the day during in-person school, how is this done via remote learning? Does the 1:1 support attend both general ed classes as well as special?
The 1:1 should be in the class meetings and breakout sessions during the day. Services will not be provided in homes at this time.
Yes, the 1:1 should support the child in both sessions if that is required.
- What is the criteria for students to come back in person? How many cases?
The IEP team will analyze the student’s ability to access remote learning and make meaningful progress in light of her/her unique circumstances.
- Are students being triaged on more severe cases being evaluated first then reaching out to milder cases?
Our priority is to provide in-person services to those students who most significantly require it.
- As working parents with multiple children (some with services, others not), how are parents supposed to do online school with the disabled child if he doesn’t even like zoom?
This is one of the concerns being factored into the decision-making matrix/rubric. If you have not yet had your intake call with your child’s special education teacher, please be sure to provide this information during that time. If your session has already taken place, please reach out to the case manager with this feedback.
- To clarify: just “appointments” for IEP needs for in person until the school is back in a hybrid model?
That is correct. Therapies will be by appointment. Evaluations will be by appointment. And, we are looking at appointments for students to receive SDI, depending on their needs.
- If I refer a family for Child Find, will that assessment be in person or online?
This will be determined by the team evaluating the student.
- Will ELL students be getting some form of on-site meetings? Will ELL students have appointments for services?
If the student is both special education and identified as an English Learner (EL), we will fold those services together to address those unique needs.
If your child is only identified as EL but not special education, please contact your child’s school counselor.
- What if the child has health concerns and when children are going back, the parent does not want to send them physically there. Is online still available?
This year SVSD is offering remote learning opportunities even when students return to school.
- Are you going to provide bus transportation for appointments? Yes.