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    COVID-19 Update for Families May 29, 2020
    Posted on 05/29/2020
    Dear Families of Students Receiving Special Education Services,

    With summer just a few weeks away, and information about the district’s Summer of Learning being shared recently, we wanted to provide some answers to common questions that are coming up.

    In last week’s communication, we stated that “All families of students receiving special education services are eligible to register for district-wide summer learning. All students must register to be considered for the program.” This caused some confusion around who can register for district-wide summer learning. To clarify, any students who wish to participate in district-wide summer learning can do so by formally registering. There is no application, and no one will be turned away from the general “Summer of Learning” programming. Also, if you register your child for the district-wide summer learning program, they will receive their IEP and 504 supports and services to the greatest extent possible, consistent with federal and state guidance regarding the rights of students with disabilities while school buildings are closed.

    Last week’s communication also said, “All families are invited to register their student, and if your child's teacher recommends them for enhanced supports, you will be contacted directly by the school.” School leaders have been given guidance around working with school-based teams to identify students who may benefit from more targeted support. It is possible that students receiving special education services will be among that group. Not all students with an IEP or 504 plan will be recommended for these intensive supports.

    The district-wide Summer of Learning programming is different than Extended School Year (ESY) services. ESY considerations are made using different criteria and are an IEP team decision. This year, ESY services will officially be offered in an entirely virtual model. We have been aware of this possible scenario and have planned accordingly. If you have questions about ESY, please contact your student’s case manager.

    Families have asked if some students may qualify for ESY services and also choose to participate in the Summer of Learning programming. Yes, if students qualify for ESY services, they may also choose to register for district-wide summer learning. While students can participate in both, it is up to individual families to decide what can be reasonably managed.

    Finally, the department has received feedback on the Parent IEP Guidance content that was shared in our weekly communication a few weeks ago. We have since revised and clarified that document. We are working on translating this document and will share it with our linguistically diverse families early next week.

    We appreciate your continued engagement and dialogue. Our families make our department stronger and are critical in the work we do to unapologetically and unconditionally serve students furthest from educational justice.

    Please take care of yourself, your family, and your community.

    In partnership,
    Nicole Fitch and Trish Campbell
    Directors of Special Education
    Seattle Public Schools
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