Dear DCSD Parents and Guardians, It is incredibly important to us that each of our students, whether attending via our hybrid model, or 100% eLearning model, receive the highest quality education possible. This includes our students with disabilities and those on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). The Douglas County School District (DCSD) continuously strives to ensure that each of our students has access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Our schools are working to finalize caseloads for our special education teachers so that school teams can best support their students with IEPs whether they are attending school via the hybrid learning model or 100% eLearning environment. Special service providers such as speech-language pathologists, mental health providers, occupational therapists, etc. will serve their caseloads that may include both hybrid and 100% eLearning students. DCSD special education providers will reach out to parents/guardians, if they have not already done so, to schedule services that may occur during at-home learning days for students in the hybrid model, and for students with IEPs that selected 100% eLearning. There may be some differences in the way services are provided, including the delivery of services virtually through technology, where appropriate. IEP teams will discuss options with parents and document how services will be provided in a prior written notice (PWN) that will be issued to the parent or guardian. IEP teams and schools will continue to collaborate with parents to address any questions or concerns to ensure your child receives the support they need to receive a high-quality education. Whether your student is in the hybrid or 100% eLearning model, IEP meetings will continue to be scheduled as they would if students were attending school 100% in-person. IEP teams can meet virtually, with a blend of some participants in-person and some virtual, or fully in-person as long as school health and safety guidelines can be met. Special education evaluations and reevaluations will take place in accordance with the required timelines. School counselors from neighborhood schools will continue to oversee Section 504 plans for students in the hybrid and 100% eLearning models. Counselors will share Section 504 plans with eLearning teachers where applicable. Section 504 meetings will continue to be held in accordance with the required timelines. Section 504 accommodations will be afforded in both hybrid and eLearning environments and tailored to the online learning environment where applicable. We realize this school year is unlike any we have experienced. This may create some anxiety for parents as well as students. DCSD staff are welcoming their students (whether they are in the hybrid or eLearning model) while supporting their social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. Building relationships with students is key to supporting learning and our staff will focus on relationship building during the initial weeks of school. Maintaining and strengthening these relationships is a top priority for staff throughout the school year. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can do anything to make the Road to Return easier for your family.
Personalized Learning Officer
Douglas County School District
We understand that this may be a difficult transition and a stressful time for our students. We want to support our students and families the best way that we can. We will be collaborating closely with case managers and classroom teachers on the assignments provided for remote learning to ensure that students are able to complete this work and have access to accommodations to support their learning and communication needs in each class. Because remote learning is vastly different than the traditional, in-building structure students are accustomed to, we are including some resources for success via online schooling. The websites listed are offering some type of parent free resource or discounted access.
- Student and Parent Guides to Online Learning
- Help Kidz Learn
- AAC Language Lab
- Wyzant Tutoring Services
- Club Z Tutoring Services
Here are some resources to assist with planning and organization.
- Editable Weekly Planner
- School at Home Support
- First, Then Board
- Remote Learning Schedule Example
- Remote Learning Schedule Example #2
- Remote Learning Schedule Example #3
The following are some resources you can use and share regarding COVID-19. These may help in letting students know that many people are working to keep everyone safe.
- COVID-19 Social Stories
- Social Story: What to do when I am sick
- Social Story: What to do around someone who is sick
- DCSD COVID-19 Page
- National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) parent resource for talking with children about COVID-19 that school leaders can share with staff and parents when needed.
- NASP parent resource in Spanish
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network Parent/caregiver guide to helping families cope with COVID-19
- World Health Organization helping children cope with stress
We appreciate your flexibility in this unexpected situation. Thank you for your help, support, and dedication to helping your student succeed. As mentioned earlier, please be looking for an individualized email to your student’s email from us today. I will cc’d your parent email on the student email. In the individualized email, there will be individualized information including a resource packet to target their individualized speech/language IEP goal/goals at home. There will also be important information regarding speech/language service options for the remote learning period.