The Texas Education Agency reorganized its COVID-19 Support: Special Education webpage last week. The revised site, which can be accessed here, now includes a direct link to the COVID19 Special Education Q&A, as well as links to four areas dedicated to:
As of April 23rd the SPED Q&A includes updated guidance related to:
- Documentation of services being offered pending completion of a Full Individualized Evaluation;
- The use of HB3 dyslexia funds to contract with dyslexia therapists for the provision of virtual services during the pandemic response;
- Handling situations in which families of students with disabilities are not responding to communications;
- Responding to families that have indicated an inability to facilitate district-provided distance learning options;
- Certification requirements for the upcoming school year;
- Steps to take when using virtual meeting platforms for ARD meetings; and,
- The basis to be used in determining high cost funds (HCF).
In addition to updating the Q&A, the Agency has issued and/or revised guidance in the “General Guidance” section regarding:
- residential school programs;
- considerations for selecting online education platforms;
- accessibility support for students with disabilities; and
- Early Childhood interventions for students who are deaf or hard of hearing or blind or visually impaired.
Finally, the Instructional Continuity section now includes an updated, detailed Four Phase Framework with the stated purpose of “help[ing] districts launch ‘at-home schools’ that maximize instructional time for students and support students with disabilities who require special education support to access academic content to maximize their learning.”
Please contact one of the attorneys at Leasor Crass in the event you need additional guidance on any of these issues pertaining to special education and/or special populations.