SPECIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE GUIDES
Please explore these guides for tips & tools to support your student with disabilities during distance learning.
More Resource Guides are in development and will be posted soon.
You may also wish to view these parent-focused webinars:
SPECIAL EDUCATION, 504 PLAN, AND ESOL SUPPORT
SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS WITH AN IEP:
All Special Education students will begin the year in the online/virtual format and will receive the highest priority when we are able to safely reopen in a hybrid model, as well as in the future when we are able to return to normal/traditional operations. We are committed to providing face-to-face in-person instruction as soon as it is safe.
IEP teams will work with families to review and amend student’s IEPs to develop solid plans for the delivery of special education and related services in the distance learning environment. Instruction for all students is different in the online/virtual model. That means FAPE has changed and we must adjust accordingly. When the general education program changes, FAPE changes. We are focused on what are the appropriate services and supports necessary to support our special education students in the online/virtual program until we are able to provide services safely in an in-person format.
There are some goals, accommodations, and services that may not translate from the face-to-face instructional model of service delivery to the online/virtual format. IEP teams will address those issues and update IEPs accordingly to ensure students have access to FAPE in the online format. IEP teams will address those needs, it will look different in the online format vs the traditional in-school model, but the needs of students will be addressed despite the unprecedented circumstances we face.
IEP meetings are going to be scheduled as well within the next few weeks, as the majority of our staff and teachers are out for summer break. Schools are working to get those scheduled as soon as possible. These plans will include, as appropriate based upon the individual needs of students outlined in the IEP:
daily live instruction with special education teachers and regular education teachers,
interactions with peers online,
small group/whole-class instruction in the virtual co-teaching environment and special education setting online,
hands-on materials for use at home as needed,
assistive technology and adaptive materials,
ongoing related services provided via teletherapy in small groups and individual sessions,
a detailed daily schedule,
solid case coordination and any other strategies that IEP teams identify to support our students in the distance learning environment for regular education and special education.
IEP teams will reconvene upon our return to face-to-face/in-person learning to review the impact of the closures due to COVID-19 on students with disabilities. We will provide additional support services to help students recoup any lost skills and continue making progress in accordance with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services guidelines (OSERS).
Just as for our regular education students, our special education staff are working diligently to develop instructional plans for students with disabilities. We know this situation is not ideal, but it is temporary. We are committed to the health/safety of all our students and staff. ALL MEANS ALL.
Each school has a Special Education Administrator available to help navigate school/student-specific issues and answer questions. They are:
Jessie Thackrey Preschool--Marie Baroody (email@example.com)
Mount Daniel Elementary School--Allison Klink (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School--Allison Klink (email@example.com)
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School--Brittney Allen-Shaw (firstname.lastname@example.org)
George Mason High School--Sia Knight (email@example.com)
Additionally, parents can contact Rebecca Sharp, Executive Director of Special Education & Students Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or Seamus O’Connor, Director of Specialized Instruction and Behavior Supports at email@example.com.
Students who have 504 Plans in place will have access to their individual accommodations. They will be supported and have their 504 accommodations implemented by their classroom teacher(s) across all instructional settings in the online/virtual environment. There may be cases where an accommodation(s) on the student’s individual 504 Plan will need to be reviewed to ensure that it is appropriate for the online/virtual setting.
Any parent who believes their student with a 504 Plan needs additional support in a specific class/course should reach out to their student’s teacher upon the reopening of school. (Students should reach out as well as developmentally appropriate.)
504 Case Managers who are our School Counselors will also provide additional support with check-ins/monitoring to ensure students are successful in their online/virtual learning.
The 504 Team can and will reconvene at any time to review the student’s progress and make revisions to the 504 Plan as necessary to support the student’s progress in the online/virtual setting. Please reach out to your student’s School Counselor if you have questions or need additional support. The School Counselors who function as 504 Case Managers for each building are listed below.
Please contact the Division's 504 Coordinator, Rebecca Sharp--Executive Director of Special Education & Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) , for additional procedural information if needed.
Mount Daniel Elementary School Counselors
Thomas Jefferson Counselors
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School Counselors
George Mason High School Counselors
Per guidance from the VDOE “Divisions should apply an equity lens and consider the impacts on underserved groups, including students of color, students with disabilities, emerging bilingual students, students experiencing poverty and homelessness, and students who belong to other protected classes. Consider whether the model will improve or worsen disparities between populations. Consider barriers to equitable implementation and unintended consequences. Shifting from a “brick and mortar” school environment to online learning that meets the regulations of holding “school” is a complex task that requires thoughtful planning, serious consideration of practicality, and assessment of risk.”
In order to meet the needs of our English Learners we have taken the following actions:
All ESOL teachers have been added to schoology classes in which they co-teach. This provides the ESOL teachers with access to supporting students and differentiating materials
All students in need of internet services have been provided a mifi device
All staff have access to utilizing Language Line services to support students in conferencing in their home language
ESOL teachers have their own Schoology classes in which they are providing language activities in the four language domains (Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening)
ESOL teachers will be conducting 1-1 or small group conferencing with each English Learner on their caseload 2x a week.
ESOL Teachers are collaborating with our General Education teachers to ensure accommodations and supports that are embedded in the online learning activities provided to all grade levels.
Your student has access to all of the continuity of learning resources provided to their grade level
Please reach out to your child’s ESOL Teacher for support or contact Dr. Jennifer Santiago at email@example.com.
Mount Daniel ESOL Teachers
Thomas Jefferson ESOL Teachers
Mary Ellen Henderson ESOL Teachers
George Mason ESOL Teachers
Paige Haney firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate your patience as we navigate this together. This is new for us all, but our goal is to ensure that our English learners are supported given this unique situation facing us all. There will be bumps and we will work through them, so please be patient.
If your student is in need of additional support or help please reach out. Please contact your child's ESOL Administrator with specific questions.