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Special Education in the COVID-19 Era:
IEP Meetings, Regression, Compensatory Education
Resources from

In March 2020, as COVID-19 closed schools across the country, we began to collect information and resources about school closures, lost skills, regression, IEP meetings and compensatory education. We continue to add new documents, articles, and other relevant information to this page and recommend that you bookmark the page or return often.

Information is divided into three categories on the Special Education in the COVID-19 Era page.

Guidance from DOE  l Other Legal Guidance l Practical Advice from Wrightslaw

Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education

April 2021

March 2020

Questions and Answers: Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Outbreak (March 2020)

Fact Sheet: Impact of COVID-19 on Assessments and Accountability under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (March 12, 2020)

Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities (5 pages, March 21,2020)

Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students (4 pages, March 16,2020)

FERPA & Virtual Learning During COVID-19 (Slides for Webinar) (47 pages, March 30, 2020)

May 2020

Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 While Serving Migratory Children (USDOE, 05/11/20)

Fact Sheet: Providing Services to English Language Learners During the COVID-19 Outbreak - annual ELP assessments; entrance requirements; providing services to ELs; use of funds; exit procedures; parents of ELs; resources. 10 pages. (USDOE, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, 05/18/20)

June 2020

Dispute Resolution During COVID (Part B) Resolving disputes in special education matters during the pandemic: extending 60-day timeline to resolve state complaints; mediation; timelines for resolving disputes; resolution meetings; due process hearings; authority of hearing officers to extend timelines for issuing decisions. (June 23, 2020)

Dispute Resolution During COVID-19 (Part C) Resolving disputes in early intervention matters: extending 60-day timeline to resolve state complaints; mediation; virtual due process hearings; authority of hearing officers to extend 30-day timeline to issue decisions; virtual resolution meetings; virtual due process hearings. (June 23, 2020)

Q & A: IDEA Procedural Safeguards During COVID-19 - answers to questions about procedural safeguards during COVID-19 pandemic including parental consent; digital signatures; prior written notice; procedural safeguards notice; parent's right access education records. 4 pages. (USDOE, June 30, 2020)

Audit / Site Review - Differentiated Monitoring and Support - Virginia (Office of Special Education Programs 06/23/20) - results of audit of Virginia conducted by OSEP after multiple parent complaints; site review; conclusions; required actions. 17 pages. (Office of Special Education Programs 06/23/20)

September 2020

Questions and Answers for K-12 Public Schools in the Current COVID-19 Environment. 9 pages. (USDOE, Office for Civil Rights, 9/28/20)

Questions and Answers: IDEA Part B Service Provision. 7 pages. (USDOE, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, 9/28/20)

Questions and Answers for K-12 Public Schools in the Current COVID-19 Environment. 9 pages. (USDOE, Office for Civil Rights, 9/28/20)

February 2021

Center for Disease Control report about Clusters of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Elementary School Educators and Students in One School District - Georgia, December 2020-January 2021. Finding - 2,600 students + 700 staff members attended eight elementary schools in person. (3,300 total) At six of the schools, nine clusters of cases occurred consisting of 13 educators and 32 students. (45) In eight of the clusters, the probable transmission source was the teacher. (CDC - 2/22/21)

Legal Resources about COVID-10, Compensatory Education, Other Issues

COVID-19 Q & A from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) answers questions about appropriate standards; IEP meetings prior to distance learning; appropriate services during school closures; waiving rights; requirements to provide FAPE; compensatory education and ESY services; timelines. (8 pages, Council on Parent Attorneys and Advocates, March 31, 2020)

FAQ on Compensatory Education in the time of COVID-19 from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) answers eight essential questions: what is comp ed; how comp ed is awarded; what obstacles to expect from schools; are all children with disabilities eligible for comp ed because they lost in-person teaching in IEPs; how schools will determine which children get comp ed; options to resolve disputes. 6 pages. (Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates, 8/13/20)

Virtual Service Delivery in Response to COVID-19 Disruptions from the National Association of School Psychologists (3 pages, 2020)

Practical Advice from Wrightslaw

Answers to questions about COVID-19, school closures, progress and regression, compensatory education, contingency plans, and how to get your child's education back on track.

Survey Results: What Parents Really Think of Special Education During School Closures

The School Closed Suddenly and I Need Help!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closed My Child's School: Now What?

Can IEP Meetings Be Postponed Until After Schools Re-Open? Includes timelines for initial IEPs, annual IEPs, revising IEPs, online / remote IEP meetings from federal law.

A Parent Wants to Delay Her Child's IEP Until Fall: Will the School Be in Compliance if We Grant her Request?

How to Prepare for IEP Meetings, Provide Info, Share Concerns

SMART IEPs: A Tactics and Strategy Session with Pete and Pam Wright

Five Rules for Incredibly Successful IEP Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Why Can't I Trust the School to Do What's Right for My Child? Power, Threats and IEP Meeting Strategies.

Contingency Learning Plans (CLPs): What? Why? How to Respond?

Worried About Regression? Is it Time to Consider a Different Plan for Your Child's Education?

How You Can Use Teletherapy for Therapy and Related Services During COVID-19

Advocacy Rule #1: Write Things Down When They Happen

Compensatory Education - What Does the Law Say?

Preparing for Your Child's Compensatory Education Meeting, Part 1

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Sample Letter: How to Request Services in Your Child's IEP

Sample Letter: How to Document a Problem and Request an IEP Meeting

Webinars & Podcast!

Pete and Pam Wright discuss strategies for parents during school closures with special education attorney, Jeffrey Forte, Esq. Jeff hosts Let's Talk Sped Law, a national podcast dedicated to all things relating to special education law.

Webinar: COVID-19 and Special Education by Dr. Roseann with attorneys Pete Wright, Piper Paul, Wayne Steedman, and Jack Robinson.

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Video Training.

If you can't attend a live Wrightslaw training program, you can still learn about the law and advocacy skills from Pete Wright. The Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Video Training includes all the content of a live 6 hour program... and more than an hour of bonus content.

The training is available as an immediate download from the Wrightslaw Store.

Learn from the Masters: Pete and Pam Wright

Pete and Pam Wright are the founders of Wrightslaw and the authors of many best-selling books about special education and advocacy.

Pete and Pam are also co-founders and faculty at the William and Mary Law Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA) and were formerly Adjunct Professors of Law at the William and Mary School of Law.

Revised: 07/04/2021

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