COVID-19 and Special Education

Families are learning to live a new normal with children, youth and young adults home. Schools are working to identify and provide virtual and other online 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 VDOE FAQ on Special Education and Student Services was updated March 30. Find the Frequently Asked Questions HERE.