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    Special Education Coronavirus Response FAQ

    What will be done to provide my student with the services outlined in their IEP during school closure?

    The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released an updated guidance on Monday, March 23, 2020 which indicates that OSPI "expects educational services for all students will begin by Monday, March 30."

    Families can expect more information about what that will look like for their students next week. In the meantime, we are assembling specific resources that are accessible and appropriate for students receiving special education services that will be made available on the District website and the Special Education Department website on Monday, March 30, 2020. Those resources are considered "high priority" based on the feedback we have received from community and will initially be focused on: social emotional learning, study skills and organization tools, speech language therapy support, and occupational/physical therapy supports. Additionally, the Special Education department is in contact with staff and principals to provide guidance on how general education teachers, IEP case managers, special education support staff, and other related service providers support their students.

    Read the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) guidance.

    What if my student has an annual IEP meeting due during school closure?

    Seattle Public Schools will follow legal timelines according to OSPI with any current IEPs and reevaluations during this time. Families should expect their IEP Case Manager or a Special Education Program Specialist to reach out directly to determine if an IEP meeting is feasible during the school closure. Meetings may be offered online or via conference call, and reevaluations will be handled on a case-by-case basis by individual IEP teams. Should families choose to opt for an in-person IEP meeting, that can be organized to be held once school is back in session.

    What if my student was scheduled for an initial evaluation?

    All initial evaluations are on hold at this time and will be held once school is back in session.

    What if I want to hold an IEP meeting?

    Please notify your student’s Case Manager or notify us at specialed@seattleschools.org. We will work to accommodate meeting requests.

    How is the Special Education department communicating with families?

    The Special Education department is committed to providing information to families as it is made available. In addition to the regular communications to families from the Office of Public Affairs, we will be providing specific information to families of students who receive special education services weekly. Those communications will be via email and added to the Special Education department webpage.

    If families are not receiving communications from the Special Education Department, please email spedcommunications@seattleschools.org.

    What are expectations of Special Education staff during school closures?

    School staff, including special education staff, are expected to reach out to students at least twice a week to support learning at home. Staff have been instructed to not provide services in student homes or attempt to convene groups of students outside of school. Many of our special education staff have already been in contact with the families of students they serve. Families may also contact their student's IEP Case Manager with questions.

    Can my student receive services at home?

    For the safety of our students, families, and educators, we are not offering to provide services in student homes. We are also encouraging everyone to observe the Public Health recommendations that include social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and limiting exposure with at-risk populations. Students cannot receive services at school either, as buildings are closed through the end of April. If this changes for any reason, we will notify families.

    What are you doing to support my student’s learning and growth at home?

    Just like all Seattle Public Schools students, staff and teachers are working to provide ungraded and optional learning opportunities for students to engage with at home. Special Education leadership is also working in close collaboration with the Teaching and Learning team to ensure the resources being published on the SPS website and public channels can be used by a wide array of learners. Additional supplemental resources will be provided through our district websites and learning opportunities through media.

    What if I have questions?

    If you have questions, we encourage you to get in touch with your student’s IEP Case Manager. You can also reach the department at 206-252-0054 or specialed@seattleschools.org.