Special Education

Provision of Services

Schools will provide special education programs/services according to each student’s IEP to the extent feasible through the NYCDOE’s blended learning models. For students whose families have opted for remote learning only, we will provide special education programs and related services remotely. More customized hybrid options may also be implemented based on a student’s individual needs and circumstances. To ensure the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education services, we have released detailed protocols for the safe delivery of in-person services and assessments.

Any accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and assistive technology that are appropriate for the student under the present circumstances will be provided to the extent feasible. When NYCDOE moved to remote learning, schools ensured that students had access to their AT devices. For students with AT devices, the device was specified on a student’s Remote Learning Plan and was discussed with the family to ensure the family had access to the device during the period of remote learning. 

NYCDOE provided guidance to program providers, including but not limited to school-age and preschool state-approved programs, district programs that serve students with IEPs, special education itinerant teaching services (SEIS) providers, contract and independent related services and special education teaching support services (SETSS) providers regarding the move to remote learning.

NYCDOE surveyed school-age and preschool state-approved schools regarding their remote learning activities and will continue to be in touch with them to understand how they are delivering programs and services. Our 4410 Oversight Office will continue to provide guidance and support to 4410 center-based programs. 4410 and 853 programs enter the related services they provide through EasyTrac, which NYCDOE monitors to ensure related services are being provided. 

Communication

Schools will document and communicate to parents of students with disabilities how students’ special education programs and services will be provided in-person and remotely during blended learning, including among other things, any assistive technology (AT) recommendation.

For students whose families have elected remote learning only, schools will document and communicate to the family the programs and services that will be delivered remotely to the student. The Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) will be used to record services offered and communications with parents regarding students’ services during this time, and SESIS and other systems will be used to record service delivery. 

Schools will utilize NYCDOE’s language supports to ensure communications are assisted by an interpreter, as needed, and materials are available to parents in their preferred language (if one of the 9 most common languages other than English used by parents). NYCDOE has made available information for families on our website about how special education programs and services can be provided and how special education processes (e.g., evaluations and IEP meetings) can be held during this time. The website will continue to be updated and is available in languages other than English.

In addition, the Division of Specialized Instruction and Student Support (DSISS) held a number of family webinars through its Beyond Access Series on topics relating to special education and remote learning. It will continue to hold these events as we move into blended learning to ensure parents have ready access to information regarding special education. 

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