I am writing to provide you the information we know to date regarding the special education process while schools remain closed. We are asking for your patience during this ever-evolving situation. Please rest assured that the Leadership Team has participated in several webinars and conference calls provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to ensure that we have the most current information and clearly understand what is expected and required.
- All meetings scheduled during the school closure are canceled and will be rescheduled once schools are back in session.
- Once schools are back in session, the team chairpeople, special education staff and I will work together to create a schedule of how to manage both the meetings that were canceled during the school closure and the meetings that remain for the rest of the school year.
- If your child's IEP expires prior to a Team Meeting being held to develop a new IEP, please be assured that your child's services will continue to be provided as outlined in the current IEP until the Team agrees to a new IEP and that IEP is signed by you.
Initials and Re-evaluations:
- In accordance with state guidance, the timelines for evaluations and holding meetings have been frozen during the school closures, the timelines will continue from where school ended once schools are back in session.
- The State has advised that once school is back in session they will allow some flexibility in the mandated timelines in order to address the backlog of evaluations and team meetings. We will ask for your patience as we address this and reschedule meetings.
Out of District Schools:
- Although most of the out of district schools that we have students enrolled in are currently closed, Norton Public Schools will not be providing transportation to any open out of district schools during the school closure.
Provision of Special Education Services:
- Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, we will not be providing educational services to the general student population, therefore, we will also not be providing services to students with disabilities during this time. Norton Public Schools has provided some resources and activities for enrichment on the NPS Learns Website sites.google.com/norton.k12.ma.us/npslearns. We will continue to update this site as we receive additional resources.
I hope that this letter helps to clarify some of the immediate questions you may have related to the special education process and service delivery. Our Leadership Team will continue to monitor all guidance and information provided by the US Department of Education as well as the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. We will keep you posted as we receive additional information.
I wish you and your family well during these challenging times. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any specific questions or concerns. I can best be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Jeanne M. Sullivan, M.Ed.
Director of Pupil Personnel Services