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Special Education

Along with other students, children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) will begin the school year with distance learning. Lessons will be provided live and guided by their teacher, Special Education Assistant or Related Service Provider. Other lessons will be pre-recorded and through at-home learning activities.

Making distance learning work for families

  • To make it easier for families, we are working to provide one coordinated entry point to access your child's lessons so families don't have to learn different software programs for distance learning. 
  • In accordance with your student's IEP, either your child's general education or special education teacher will check in with your child every day. 
  • It's important that families share their needs and expectations with their child's case manager. Tell case managers what did and did not work well for your student when they did distance learning last spring so those issues can be addressed.
  • Work with your IEP team to set a schedule that works best for your child and home situation. 
  • By September 3, IEP teams will contact families. Someone from your child's IEP team will reach out to you during the last two weeks of August. Because there may have been some changes to your IEP team, if you don't hear from someone by September 3, call the school immediately to get connected to someone on the IEP team. 
  • Also make sure your contact information is up to date. Call your school to report any changes to your phone number, email or address.

What will PK-5 special education services be like for in-person learning (Phase 5)?

Students who transition to in-person learning could spend time in both general education and special education classes, depending on the student's IEP. There may be a change in who provides the services depending on available staff. Special education staff will work with students to teach health and safety protocols or wear additional protective wear for the protections of students and themselves. 

Some special education services are so specialized, that the provider may travel between buildings to see multiple students on the same day. These staff will only be able to visit two buildings a day, so some weeks these services might be in person and some weeks it could be on a virtual platform with special education classroom staff.

For more information about what distance learning or in-person learning would look like for your student, please contact the special education case manager.

When all students are learning from home (Phase 2), what is the difference between homebound instruction and "regular" distance learning? 

"Regular" distance learning for a student is learning for the length of a typical school day which is usually about six hours at MPS. On the other hand, homebound instruction is usually one hour a day or as determined by the Special Education IEP team and provided one-to-one by a tutor who is a licensed teacher.  While the curriculum may be the same as that used by the student's usual class, it is adapted and individualized to meet the student's progress needs so they can keep pace despite the much shorter instruction time. 

During distance learning, can students receiving Special Education services still be on a homebound IEP?  

Yes. If a student is unable to participate with their class in distance learning activities because of medical or other issues, the student's IEP team will still write a homebound (Federal Setting 8) IEP.  There are many reasons why a student may be unable to participate in regular distance learning activities such as a physical or mental illness; not enough stamina to engage in learning activities for the length of a regular school day; or may be unable to keep up with their regular school activity. Note: An outside service provider will need to document their recommendation that the student receive homebound services.