OSDE - SES Tuesday, March 24th, 2020- Internal

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Special Education Services

Internal Information

The OSDE-SES is committed to developing and providing the best guidance possible to districts and parents to ensure that students with disabilities continue to receive a FAPE. As guidance is developed, the OSDE-SES will update our webpage at https://sde.ok.gov/special-education and forward relevant information through this listserv. Please watch for upcoming guidance on distance learning and FAQs regarding COVID and obligations under the IDEA.

Virtual Meeting Checklist

Please see the attached Virtual Meeting Checklist.

The OSDE-SES cannot extend the required timelines under IDEA. School districts should make every effort possible to meet required timelines by scheduling and holding IEP meetings virtually or by phone conferences. Please note:

  • Conducting required meetings under the IDEA is considered an administrative function; therefore, teachers and administrators are allowed to conduct and schedule virtual meetings or phone conferences during the school closure period. Districts must make every attempt possible to conduct the meeting as soon as possible and should document all attempts. See 34 CFR §300.501 Opportunity to examine records; parent participation in meetings.
  • Team meetings should still consist of all required team members. Please see Chapter 5. Individualized Education Programs (IEP) Section 1.F “Excusal from Meeting” if any members are not able to attend.

  • If parent(s) cannot attend virtual meetings or by phone conference meetings due to accessibility issues, the district should document reasonable attempts to schedule meetings and document parent contact. A Written Notice to Parents must be used to inform the parents of any group decision and reasons for that decision. Please document any plans for a future meeting past the annual due date of an IEP in which parents will be able to participate virtually or by phone.

USDE and Office of Special Education Programs Guidance on COVID-19

  1.  COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
  2. March 12, 2020 - Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2020 Outbreak
  3. March 12, 2020 - FERPA & Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  4. March 16, 2020 - Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students
  5. March 16, 2020 - OCR Short Webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility Webinar (Length: 00:07:08)
  6. March 21, 2020 - Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities

Other Useful Guidance and Documents

  1.  National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)/National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)/Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA) – NASDSE recognizes this global crisis as a time when collaboration is essential. All stakeholders who value the education of students with disabilities must make strides to ensure that our students continue to learn and grow. To that end, we released a joint statement with COPAA, NDRN, and National PLACE, which stresses the value of partnership and support.
    1. a.  Joint Statement on Serving Students with Disabilities During COVID-19 Outbreak
  2. National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) - NASDSE has been working diligently with the U.S. Department of Education. As a result of our collective efforts, the Department released Supplemental Guidance on Saturday regarding educating students with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. We greatly appreciate the clarity provided, which will help guide our work during this critical time.
    1. a. http://www.nasdse.org/docs/NASDSE_Press_Release_COVID19_DEPT_SUPPLEMENTAL.pdf
  3. Perry Zirkel - Special Supplement: COVID-19 and K-12 Students with Disabilities: Initial Guidance
    1. a. https://perryzirkel.com/2020/03/20/special-supplement-covid-19-and-k-12-students-with-disabilities-initial-guidance/

Update: End of Year Data Collection Training

As of now, the end of year special education data collection will still occur on July 1, and districts will be held liable for the quality of their data. Until OSEP advises otherwise, we must collect and report all required data elements per IDEA.

However, the in-person training seminars for the end-of-year data collection/reporting have been cancelled. All training will be done online. You may still register for the shorter webinars on April 21 and 22, or participate in a longer comprehensive webinar now on April 14. Please see the attached document for all registration links. Please email ginger.elliott-teague@sde.ok.gov with training questions. Slides will be posted sometime in the next week or two for viewing.

Special Education Paraprofessional Updates

For the time being, all applications for Special Education Paraprofessional Certifications will now need to be sent by email. Please send completed applications to Jill.Hilst@sde.ok.gov.  We will be sending certificates via email until further notice. If you are already certified and need a copy of your certificate, please email Tristan.Landis@sde.ok.gov.