COVID-19 and Special Education
Families are learning to live with new roles and routines while children, youth and young adults are learning home. Schools are working to identify and provide virtual and other distance learning options; this is even more challenging for students with disabilities who receive special education and related services and who have a right to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Here are several guidance documents that may be helpful to families and educators:
- Federal guidance from the US Department of Education “Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak. March 2020”. Find guidance HERE.
- The Family Network on Disabilities in Florida has produced infographics explaining the federal Q & A guidance, in both English and Spanish. Find graphics HERE.
- March 21, 2020 Supplemental Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities. Find fact sheet HERE.
At the state level, on March 23 the Virginia Department of Education released a Superintendent’s Memo on Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities, HERE.
A broader VDOE education FAQ on a variety of topics and areas is found HERE.
An April 2020 Joint statement from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) on educational stability for children and youth in foster care during school closures due to COVID-19 can be found HERE.
Virtual IEP meeting resources from the Center for Parent Information and Resources HERE.