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Schools are encouraged to make all learning accessible, to implement Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and to hold virtual IEP meetings and evaluations to the greatest extent possible. During the closure, schools cannot provide all services in the same manner as when they are open. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), though, allows for flexibility in the delivery of services, and specially designed instruction and related services may be provided, if appropriate, through distance instruction. As always, better outcomes are achieved when there is active collaboration between families and schools.
We urge school districts and families to work together so students can continue to make progress in the general education curriculum and toward their IEP goals. WSPEI’s (Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative) statewide network of family phone support coordinators assist parents of students with IEPs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 833-USWSPEI (879-7734).
A number of resources have been developed to help navigate special education requirements during this time. These are available on the Special Education COVID 19 DPI webpage.