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Serving Students with Disabilities during Periods of Remote or Blended Learning

LEA Toolkit: Serving Students with Disabilities during Periods of Remote or Blended Learning

The purpose of this document is to provide foundational guidance and concrete, actionable resources for local education agencies (LEAs) as they establish and implement policies and procedures for remote and/or blended learning contexts that are consistent with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements.

The key principles of special education service provision shared here are founded in guidance provided by the US Department of Education (USED) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Throughout this toolkit, special education points of contact will find links to this foundational guidance. It is important that you and your LEA’s leadership are familiar with these documents as they should guide your decision making and serve as a foundation for transparent discussions with families.

The following tools were developed as part of the Serving Students with Disabilities During Periods of Remote or Blended Learning LEA Toolkit and are designed to be examples that LEAs and schools can customize to meet their own needs and context.

New Resource

  • Using and Customizing the Student Data Tool: A Companion to the Serving Students with Disabilities during Periods of Remote or Blended Learning LEA Toolkit [download toolkit]

Video Tutorials (via YouTube)

These tools are provided as templates in Google Drive to enhance usability. View a PDF version of these tools.

Name Description
Service Adaptation Worksheet Use this tool to guide and document IEP Team decision-making around service delivery in the remote context.
Accommodation Adaptation Matrix Use this tool to identify potential ways that students’ accommodations can be modified for the remote learning context.
Promising Practice Resource Matrix Use this tool to find promising solutions on serving students with disabilities in a remote or blended learning environment shared by experts in the field.

Student Input Form (Google Form)

Student Input Form (Google Doc)

This Google Form and Google Doc capture the same information in different formats and are designed to gather information from students about their well-being and learning.

Family Input Form (Google Form)

Family Input Form (Google Doc)

This Google Form and Google Doc capture the same information in different formats and are designed to gather information from families about their student’s well-being and learning.

Educator Input Form (Google Form)

Educator Input Form (Google Doc)

This Google Form and Google Doc capture the same information in different formats and are designed to gather information from educators about a student’s well-being and learning.
Remote Family Engagement Brainstorming Tool Use this tool to reconsider family engagement efforts and events through the lens of remote engagement.
Tiered Supports Snapshot Use this tool to develop individualized supports for families who demonstrate the greatest need.
Weekly Service Tracker Use this tool to review service provision schedules, document services provided or refused, and identify families who might need more support.
Student Data Tool Use this tool to combine information learned from Student Input Forms, Family Input Forms, Educator Input Forms, Weekly Service Tracker, and progress towards IEP goals in order to plan for service delivery at the student and caseload level. Find instructions about setting up this tool here.

Introductory Webinar to LEA Toolkit and Key Principles of Special Education Provision

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, OSSE hosted a webinar which provided an overview of the three core principles for serving students with disabilities during times of remote or blended learning that are contained in the toolkit above. This webinar recording also highlights resources and sample forms that LEAs can adapt.

Technical Assistance Training Series Aligned to Three Core Principles

During the summer of 2020, OSSE provided a “deep dive” technical assistance series, Serving Students with Disabilities during Periods of Remote or Blended Learning. This series was created to provide school leaders, special education points of contact, and special education teachers with concrete resources that they can reference as they work to mitigate regression and plan for recovery for all students, including and especially those receiving special education services. This three-part webinar series focuses on the three core principles for serving students with disabilities.

In the first session, Balancing LEA Discretion and Flexibility, presenters share:

  • Examples of flexible and creative approaches for delivering a wide variety of services in the distance learning context;
  • Ways to engage families in consideration of flexible options for service delivery;
  • Examples of how LEAs can determine and address each family's level of access to technology and needs for support to effectively partner in remote service delivery; and
  • Possible solutions to address gaps in access or readiness to partner for service delivery.

View recording

In the second session, Ensuring Transparency and Collaboration, presenters share:

  • Ways LEAs can document meaningful parent engagement in the decision-making process;
  • A variety of examples of how the LEA can communicate to the parent, in writing, what services the student will and will not receive during this time and the rationale for each determination;
  • Examples of customer service oriented communication to families; and
  • Ways to document efforts to be flexible in service delivery scheduling.

View recording

In the third session, Data-driven Supports, presenters share:

  • Sample systems for collecting and reviewing data to develop student- and family-specific supports; and
  • Ways to use data to consider the educational benefit received by the student.

View recording

High Leverage Practices for Supporting ALL Learners

For questions, please contact Jennifer Carpenter at [email protected].