The following information includes guidance and resources related to the provision of special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Wisconsin DPI understands that guidance can change quickly as information evolves, and this page continues to be updated to provide resources on this topic. For additional information from Wisconsin DPI relating to COVID-19, please go to the DPI COVID-19 webpage.
In addition, DPI continues to share updated information with district administrators frequently. There is a listing of these updates and any attachments at the district administrators' email chrono page. To view archived newsletter items, go to the DPI Special Education Weekly News web page.
COVID-19 Special Education Question and Answer Document (Updated 9/9/2021)
The Special Education Team regularly updates this guidance as it relates to the impact on students who receive special education through an IEP.
The Center for Learner Equity provides detailed information on how school districts can maximize their investment of stimulus funds to advance equity. The guide includes a section titled “Quickly get current on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs),” providing 19 different strategies to advance equity for students with IEPs.
On May 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released an important new resource:
The OCR Q&A is designed to help students, families, schools, and the public understand the civil rights protections that support equal opportunity for students in remote, hybrid, and in-person educational environments, in both K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions. You will find many important topics covered in the Q&A, including:
- Protection against discrimination for students with disabilities, including the rights of students with disabilities to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) during remote learning and school reopening; the rights of students with disabilities related to mask exemptions, physical distancing, accessibility and placement issues, and waivers; and the responsibilities of postsecondary institutions.
- Protections for students against discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, including information about harassment, discipline disparities, and resource equity; the rights of students with undocumented status; the rights of students with unstable housing and students who are experiencing homelessness; and the rights of English learners.
- Protections for students against sex discrimination, including sexual and gender-based harassment, including schools’ responsibilities to address complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual violence, during remote, hybrid, and in-person learning.
Please note that while this Q&A addresses many important issues on school reopening and civil rights, it is not comprehensive. You may submit questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.