Special Education services are critical to the success of all of our students, especially those who experience exceptionalities. During this time of comprehensive distance learning, I know many of you have questions about how students will be served. In the spring, special education providers worked in overdrive to change everything about how we do school almost overnight. As we enter into the fall and gear up for Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL), we have the luxury of some time to prepare, as well as the many lessons learned from our experience in the spring. We are ready to do all we can to ensure that your student will continue to learn, grow and thrive during this time. Although each student’s situation is unique, I want to provide an overview of Ashland School District’s special education service delivery during comprehensive distance learning.
Our primary charge as a district is to ensure that all students continue to access the Free and Appropriate Education that they are entitled to. This will look different for each student depending on their needs. All students who are eligible under I.D.E.A. and have an Individualized Education Plan will be receiving specially designed instruction in order to make progress towards their individual goals. This could be through consultation with the general education teacher, a co-taught classroom with the general education teacher and special education provider working side-by-side, or through direct instruction from the special education provider.
As a district, we are planning to deliver all of this instruction via distance learning platforms through November 6th, 2020. Specially Designed Instruction will all be teacher facilitated, to be delivered during “live” lessons or other teacher facilitated actives. In all cases, the instruction is specially designed for each individual student to make progress towards their individual goals. Case-managers are reviewing I.E.P.s and ensuring services can continue to be delivered during Comprehensive Distance Learning. In those rare cases where an I.E.P. may need to be amended or changed to accommodate this new delivery platform, your student’s case manager will reach out to you.
The first few weeks of school this year, as is true every year, teachers will be focused on building relationships within the classroom and school community. Specialists at the elementary level will begin working on schedules and aligning group times to student’s class schedule during this time. At the middle and high school level, students have scheduled time in a class with consultation services, co-taught class or a class taught by the special education provider as part of their schedule.
There are rare cases that we may consider limited-in-person instruction for those students who are unable to access instruction through distance learning. Case-managers will be in touch with you if the data is telling us that this is the case for your student. This would be a rare exception. If you have specific questions regarding this, please reach out to your student’s case-manager.
This is an adventure that none of us signed up for. I am so grateful for the hard work of ASD staff and all of your partnership as we embark together on this educational journey. Your student’s case-manager is your first point of contact for any question or clarification regarding your students’ services. Additionally, do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be a further support. Thank you for partnering with us to fulfill our vision to Inspire Learning for Life!