On June 30, 2020 the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued guidance on COVID-19 Compensatory Services. Therefore, upon reopening in the fall, the East Penn School District shall conduct Individualized Education Program IEP meetings to determine each student’s need to compensate for loss of skills that may have resulted from the closure of our school facilities. Parent(s)/legal guardian(s) are vital to this process. Please refer to the link for the letter below Return to Learn for Students with Disabilities School Response to The Impact of COVID-19 Parent Letter July 2020
We are mindful of students with disabilities in determining their instructional model. Placement in the least restrictive environment continues to be our priority as well as regulatory requirements under state, local, and federal guidelines and laws. Students with disabilities negatively impacted by distance learning during spring 2020 will be prioritized to receive compensatory services. We are committed to design learning opportunities within our school models that ensure this student population is served.
LEARNING AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT PROGRAMMING
Special Education staff will deliver and support face to face programming for students with disabilities while maintaining 6 feet of social distancing and limiting interactions.
At the elementary small-group pullout programming will be limited to the students within a specific class cohort. If students composing the small group are from various class cohorts, that service may be provided virtually when possible. However, if necessary, students will remain in one classroom; special education teachers will push into regular ed classrooms to reduce transitions.
At the middle level students will follow the building schedule. Small-group pullout programming for READ 180 will be limited to the students within a specific class cohort. Those students who are assigned to POD 8 will come to school everyday school is in session.
At the high school level students who receive instruction in pull-out classes will come to school everyday that school is in session.
When transitioning in the hallway face coverings (including face shields or face masks) are required for staff and students while remaining socially distant from other individuals, unless doing so jeopardizes the health of the staff member. Hallway use will be limited when feasible, by staggering release times to reduce the number of students in the hallways simultaneously.
For students K-12 In a hybrid model regular and special education teachers will ensure inclusion of students with disabilities in their online virtual classroom sessions in accordance with the LRE as outlined in the student’s IEP. Accommodations and modifications based on an individual students’ needs will be implemented.
AUTISTIC SUPPORT PROGRAMMING
Autistic support students K-12 whose classes are serviced through consultation with the Autism Initiative with a placement of full-time or supplemental programming will come to school everyday school is in session due to specialized programming; teachers will wear masks and scrubs in order to protect from spread; Plexiglass borders will be installed so that the student and teacher can work in a 1:1 teaching environment when working on IEP goals and objectives.
IU LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMMING
Students who participate in the Life Skills Program K-12 will come to school everyday that school is in session.
Instructional Assistants will work under the direction of the teachers to provide necessary support for students and check in with these teachers each morning in order to receive tasks and assignments to support students. Instructional Assistants will continue to provide supportive services to the students with whom they are working as much as possible both in person or virtual.
Speech services will be provided as outlined in a student’s IEP. The services may take place in a pull-out, push-in or virtual setting for individual or group instruction. Pullout programming will be limited to the students within a specific class cohort. Plexiglass borders will be installed so that the student and teacher can work in a 1:1 teaching environment when working on IEP goals and objectives. Students who participate in a group setting will maintain 6 feet apart for social distancing.
Speech Service for Autistic Support Students may be provided within the autistic support classrooms to reduce transitions
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.