HIGH NEEDS STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Some students with significant disabilities require 1:1 support, and need assistance from staff with feeding, washing, dressing, academic readiness, sitting at a desk, manipulating academic materials, using communication devices, etc. In order to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, it is important to minimize close contact to the extent possible; however, when it is not possible, the use of additional precautions and protective equipment is required.
It is critical that student learning takes place in a safe environment, and it is also important that students, families, and staff feel safe. The East Penn School District Health and Safety Plan will be followed.
Classroom space and recommendations in the Health and Safety Plan ensure that there are adequate levels of staffing available to effectively and safely deliver and support in-person programming for the number and needs of students with disabilities assigned to a self-contained autistic support classroom while maintaining distance and limiting interactions.
For students in autistic support classrooms this will be accomplished by ensuring the following:
❖ Classrooms K-12 can accommodate 6 feet of distance between all students and staff when appropriate.
❖ Use of visual supports to differentiate classroom areas that provide
- Distance between work areas.
- Daily classroom schedules that include staggered transition times.
❖ Designated student work area to assist students in maintaining appropriate social distancing.
❖ During general instruction when maintaining 6 feet separation is not possible implement the following:
❖ Staff will be prepared and properly trained to accommodate students’ health and safety needs in addition to their education.
❖ Adhere to all health and safety guidelines when providing hands-on assistance to students with disabilities.
❖ Staff will wear appropriate protective equipment and engage in appropriate practices based on the activity and risk level.
❖ During toileting/diapering supports implement the following:
❖ Assemble all necessary supplies before bringing the student to the changing area to increase efficiency and reduce opportunity for contamination.
❖ Change student and staff clothing when soiled with secretions or body fluids. Students’ soiled clothing must be bagged and sent home sealed in a plastic container or bag. This will require a clean set of clothing be on hand and available.
❖ Clean and disinfect the toileting and diapering areas. These areas will be cleaned and disinfected (including tables, countertops, toileting chairs, sinks/faucets, toilets, floors, etc) after each use.
In autistic support, materials wiped down with wipes after each child uses
After use toys, toys wiped down
As per protocol of the Autism Initiative, all student materials should be individual and contained in rolling carts and not shared with others. Wiped down after each use.
Edibles need to be in plastic containers that are individualized for each student. Staff should wear gloves when working with edibles and/or snacks
Sensory Room Protocol
There will be a sign up sheet. The adult with the student is required to wipe down the items used in the sensory room with Clorox wipes including door knobs and lightswitches.
Sign on the door indicates that the room has been sanitized or needs to be sanitized. No one can enter if the room has not been sanitized.
According to Governor’s orders 7/1/2020, everyone shall wear a mask; a “face covering”, defined as: “covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears, or is wrapped around the lower face” while on the bus/van.
Exceptions for students with disabilities see East Penn Health and Safety Plan.
All school personnel should be mindful that seeing staff putting on protective equipment or being approached by staff wearing protective equipment can create anxiety in students. Always use a student-centered approach and offer reassurance upon approach and throughout interactions
.❖ All staff working in situations where physical intervention may be needed should wear disposable gloves, disposable masks, face shields, and long sleeves to the maximum extent possible.
❖ Add additional staff members to monitor and address protective equipment needs for those staff who are involved in a physical intervention.
❖ Any staff involved who is not wearing appropriate protective equipment should be relieved as soon as possible.
❖ Remove and dispose of and/or clean protective equipment.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND HIGH RISK MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Parents/families should consult their child’s health care provider to discuss the appropriateness of students with high risk medical conditions attending school for in-person instruction. Parents of students with disabilities who are more susceptible to infections may want to choose the virtual option to educate their child at home. When a student needs homebound instruction because of a medical problem, ordered by a physician or medical practitioner a doctor’s note must be provided to the Student Services Office in order to initiate this process.
If a student with a disability is absent for an extended period of time because of a COVID-19 infection the IEP Team must meet to determine whether the child is available for instruction and could benefit from homebound services via virtual instruction. Schools must consider all placement decisions under the IDEA’s procedural protections of 34 CFR §§ 300.115 – 300.116, regarding the continuum of alternative placements and the determination of placements.
FACE MASK RESOURCES
STUDENT EVALUATIONS/ ASSESSMENTS
Upon the reopening of school for the 2020-21 school year our priority is to complete pending initial and reevaluation assessments. School Psychologists will have a plexiglass dividers and wear a mask during testing sessions.
IDENTIFYING AND RESTRICTING NON-ESSENTIAL VISITORS AND VOLUNTEERS
Opportunities for parents and outside team members to participate in IEP meetings virtually so that they do not need to come into the building and be in a conference room. Parents will be given the option of a face to face or virtual meeting platform.