Updated August 17, 2020

Students with disabilities are particularly vulnerable, and continuing support from the state’s educators is critical during these uncertain times. Local education agencies (LEAs) that physically close schools should focus their planning efforts on how to continue serving these students, by tailoring distance learning to provide educational benefits to students with disabilities, to the greatest extent practicable under the circumstances.

Supporting Students with Disabilities

Guidance from the California Department of Education

LEAs must provide students with disabilities (SWD) with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with their individualized education program (IEP) and meeting other procedural requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and California law.

The California Department of Education (CDE) posted guidance and additional information to assist LEAs in this work. Additionally, the CDE extended the timelines for Data Informed Non-Compliance (DINC), CCEIS, significant disproportionality (SIG DIS), and special education plans (SEP).

Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education

On March 21, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance on serving children with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. The guidance notes that students with disabilities still must be provided a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), and suggests this may require educators to look at an individual student’s individualized education plan (IEP) to determine what services might be provided. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released several additional documents this spring and summer in response to questions concerning the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including dispute resolution, use of funds, procedural safeguards, and timelines.

Other Resources

General Information:

Email: info@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5515