Information for Families of Students with Special Needs

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The focus of the 2020-2021 school year will be supporting the academic and social progress of all students, including all students with disabilities, and to begin the process of reorganizing, restarting and recovering special education services impacted by the global pandemic COVID-19. Unfortunately, given the continued pervasiveness of COVID-19 in our community, opening our doors in the way we have known prior to March 13, 2020 is not possible. However, we know that in-person learning needs to resume while ensuring student and staff safety and because your student has been identified as having a disability, he/she will be given priority to individualized/small group, in-person learning opportunities.

All students in the Washougal School District will be served in a virtual format, starting September 2nd. Starting September 21st, students with disabilities will also have access to blended learning opportunities in which students will receive in-person instruction. In order to keep class size to a minimum, in-person learning will be based on IEP/504 team decisions. Between September 2nd and September 21, 2020, your child will have access to all virtual instruction, including special education services. Additionally, your child may be asked to come to school to complete assessments necessary either as part of a comprehensive evaluation or to collect data for his/her IEP.

Any family may also choose all-remote learning (including all IEP services such as speech-language pathology services or occupational therapy) for any reason and without question.  We know that many families want as much in-person instruction and as is safely possible, so we are working to maximize our in-person services consistent with health and safety requirements.

To enable you to make a more informed choice on your options, we have prepared some important comparisons about what you can expect from each mode of learning below. By communicating with your child’s case manager, you can change your preference at any time.

Virtual Learning Experience

Blended Learning Experience

Remote/virtual instruction provided by the general education teachers and special education teachers, including all individualized instruction per your child’s IEP.

Virtual learning for all general education (with support, when needed) and in-person services as driven by the IEP.

Students will have live interaction with teachers via a remote learning platform, including all related services (SLPs, OTs, PT).

While in person, students will attend classes in the school building in 1:1 or small groups including all related services (SLPs, OTs, PT).

Students will experience whole class, small group, and or individualized instruction in an online environment, as well as collaboration opportunities with classmates and teachers.

Students will experience the whole class activities in a virtual environment but services needed to make progress towards IEP goals and needed to provide access to the general education curriculum, will be provided in person.

The amount of live instruction will vary by grade band. The services available to your child will be delivered as close to the IEP as possible, unless the parent requests otherwise.

During in-person instruction, students will be instructed individually or in small groups, as appropriate and delivered as close to the IEP as possible.

Students will use a district approved online platform (such as Seesaw or Google Classroom) for lessons and submissions of work .

Teachers will use some in-person time to teach use of the online platform so students can be successful with remote learning.

Individual therapies and instruction will be delivered via Zoom.

Individual therapies will either be delivered in person or virtually, depending on what works best for the student.

Parents may choose to bring students to school on an intermittent basis for testing, progress monitoring or for IEP services.

Parents may choose to bring students to school on an intermittent basis for testing, progress monitoring or for IEP services.

Students will be able to access video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks.

Students will be able to access video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks.

Teachers will regularly engage students and families to check student work, provide timely feedback, and adjust instruction as necessary across remote learning platforms, calls, emails, video chats, etc.

Teachers will regularly engage students and families to check student work, provide timely feedback, and adjust instruction as necessary across remote learning platforms, calls, emails, video chats, etc.

Students will have access to one-to-one support to help with instructional activities.

Students will have access to one-to-one support to help with instructional activities.

Students that come to school on an intermittent schedule and based on family needs, will need to be transported by parents.

Transportation will be provided or parents may choose to transport students to school during the scheduled times.

No matter whether students are at school in-person or are learning remotely, your child remains enrolled in and part of your school community. Your child’s schedule and learning experience will be fully managed by your school,  the IEP case manager and you will be able to change your preferences as they suit you and your child’s unique circumstances.

Please complete THIS 2-question survey to help us plan for your child. Again, you may change your preferences at any time. Case managers will be contacting families beginning August 28.

Thank you for your time and patience during this complex and challenging time.

Dr. Allison Watkins, Director of Special Education

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