See How Your School District is Continuing Education During the COVID-19 Closure Period
Last Wednesday, Maryland State Superintendent Karen Salmon provided an update on school closures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. She announced that “after lengthy discussions with health experts around the State,” she and other officials with the State Board of Education made the decision to extend closure of all public schools for an additional four weeks through April 24, 2020.
Dr. Salmon also provided information about the continuity of leaning of all students across Maryland:
“We are already working very closely with every school system to address issues affecting their ability to provide educational services to all of their students. It should also be noted that we will be diligent in providing educational services to our students with disabilities.
Local superintendents have provided me with their plans for the continuity of learning during the additional closure period. My staff at the Maryland State Department of Education has been reviewing the plans and determining what supports and resources the State can provide where needed.” – Dr. Karen B. Salmon, School Closure Update
We understand that as a parent of a child with a disability, you have more questions than answers about the state’s special education services. As advocates for all Marylanders with disabilities, we want to do whatever we can to help.
Your child’s school should be reaching out to you to schedule an IEP meeting by telephone or by an online platform to determine what services can be provided to your child during this period of time when schools are closed. To find out generally how your school district is addressing continued student instruction during the closure period, please visit “Maryland School District Continuity of Learning Plans,” a resource guide created by Decoding Dyslexia’s co-founder Laura Schultz.
In addition to checking the Continuity of Learning Plans website frequently for updates, Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) suggests that you do the following:
- Review your child’s individual education program (IEP) and pay particular attention to the goals and objectives.
- Starting today, start keeping a log or journal of your child’s present levels of performance for each goal and objective. Feel free to video, take notes, or keep a record in whatever form is easiest for you. This will help you determine if your child is making progress, staying the same, or regressing.
This information will be helpful when it is time to discuss extended school year services for your child. It will also be helpful in determining if your child is entitled to compensatory services to make up for what your child does not receive during the closure period.
There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion about how students with disabilities in particular will receive continued educational services during the COVID-19 crisis. We hope that this information is helpful in mitigating those feelings.
Consult our COVID-19 dedicated webpage for relevant news and guidance. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are available to provide information, referrals, technical assistance, and limited representation during the pandemic. For legal assistance, our intake line is open at 410-727-6352 or MD relay. Please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. Please note that return calls may be made from blocked numbers since staff are working remotely.
Thank you and stay safe and healthy!
Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service and is not intended as legal advice.