The SPUSD guide to independent study distance learning is here. Students’ teachers and case carriers should have told parents how classes and related services will happen and told parents how to contact teachers and staff. If you have not heard from your student’s case carrier or teachers, email the Student Support Services office.
State of California Guidelines
California’s Department of Education has given guidance to school districts about what changes can be made to special education programs at this time. These are here. Some of the key guidance, in plain English, is:
Schools have to provide fair access to students with disabilities to learning. Schools have to match the way they teach to what individual students need. The way they teach can be different because schools are not open, but they should be at the same level (“commensurate”).
If the school teaches students with disabilities, but not at the same level (for example, if students are not meeting goals), schools may need to give students extra services later to make up for it.
The federal government has not changed any of the rules for special education. Schools should do their best to follow deadlines and other rules in the the law. But California will be “reasonable” about checking and punishing schools if they don’t.
Schools don’t have to change IEPs in order to switch to distance learning. But the school and/or parents can ask for changes to meet individual students’ needs.
Schools can provide in-home or in-person services, if they are needed to keep students healthy mentally and physically, so that they can learn. In these cases, service providers are “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” in state law. Schools can have small in-person classes for students who need a lot of help even if the school is closed.
IEP meetings can be held online and signatures on documents can be digital.
The California Department of Education usually has 60 days to respond to complaints that schools are not following special education law. This deadline has been suspended until schools open again. Due Process Hearings may take longer than before, and they will all be online.
U.S. Department of Education Guidance
The federal Department of Education has given guidance to schools about special education during the pandemic.
Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities webpage of resources for teachers and parents on what works in distance learning.
Keep checking in for more updates and resources!
Last updated 4/25/2020
Chinese Telephonic employment rights clinic
In partnership with Bet Tzedek, a Los Angeles-based legal aid organization, the Asian Pacific Women Lawyers Alliance, is offering weekly free telephonic employment rights clinic for the Chinese speaking community, starting June 3, 2020 to July 29, 2020.
Chinese-speaking callers can call the extension (323-939-0506 ext. 426) to request an appointment for Wednesday appointments. Advanced registration is required. The consultation and all legal services, are free of charge.