As students prepare for the new school year, many families are planning for a remote learning environment. If your child has an IEP, you likely have concerns about how online education will impact the provisions that guide his or her learning.
Keep these IEP considerations in mind if your child will be in a remote classroom for the new school year.
Schools and families can agree on remote IEP team meetings under federal law. Although the team does not have to meet in person if the school is not open, you still have the right to ask for a meeting with your child’s IEP team at any time. In Virginia, you can also record the audio and video of an online IEP meeting for your reference.
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According to the U.S. Department of Education, schools must provide a free appropriate public education to all students, including those who have special needs, whether that education takes place in person or remotely. Some of the IEP provisions that your child’s school can translate to an online environment include video-based speech and language therapy, accessible reading materials, closed captioning, and time extensions for assignments and exams.
The DOE allows temporary flexibility for schools to adapt IEP provisions to the remote learning environment. While this flexibility does not supersede your child’s right to an appropriate public education, it does mean the school may limit one-to-one instruction or take other measures to meet student needs within the available environmental parameters.
If possible, plan a regular check-in with your child’s IEP team. They will serve as an invaluable resource if you will transition your child to online learning this fall.