Special Education Services and COVID-19
Currently, we are in the midst of a global pandemic which is effecting nearly every aspect of our everyday lives, including the education of our children. Last week, Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina school buildings would not reopen for the 2019-2020 academic year. This means that most, if not all, students will receive their education remotely either through the use of various technological platforms, paper packets provided by their school, or other means that do not require reporting to the school building. Many parents are wondering what this means for their students with disabilities that have Individual Education Programs ("IEPs").
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the United States Department of Education advise that if a school district closes is schools and does not provide any educational services to any students during the closure, the school district is not required to provide special education services to students with disabilities and any services the student missed will be made up during the makeup days scheduled for all students. However, if a school district provides educational service s to the general education student population during a closure, they must make sure students with disabilities have access to the same opportunities, including insuring these students have meaningful access to the services provided for in their IEPs. There are several considerations to determine whether the special education services being provided are meaningful and/or appropriate. For more information, please review the Education Law (K-12) updates on our website.
If you have questions about your student's rights, school district's responsibilities, or education related in general, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.