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Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of IEPs in the Least Restrictive Environment

Adding to its Return to School Roadmap series, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education issues this Q&A document, which highlights certain IDEA requirements related to the development and implementation of IEPs and other information that states, school systems, regular and special education teachers, related services providers, and parents should consider as students with disabilities return to school in Fall 2021.

The 41-page document is the Department’s response to the requests it received from a diverse group of stakeholders, asking that the Department issue new guidance interpreting requirements of the IDEA in light of the many challenges of the COVID‑19 pandemic and as more schools and programs are returning to in-person services. Read more about the Q&A, see its Table of Contents, and access it (and other documents in the Roadmap series) in our abstract of this Featured Resource.

Putting the DEC-Recommended Practices to Work in Parent Centers: Part Two

In May of 2021, Part 1 of this webinar series introduced attendees to the Division for Early Childhood’s (DEC) Recommended Practices (RPs), which offer guidance to parents and professionals who work with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Part 2 of the series built upon the information shared in the first webinar. In Part 2, presenters discussed a variety of practice ways to SHARE the RPs as part of the ongoing work of a Parent Center. Presenters then identified ways in which Parent Centers can use the RPs in their daily work with families.

Parent and Caregiver Guide to Special Education Evaluations

(2021, July) | Useful to Parent Centers, schools, and families of children who have or are suspected of having a specific learning disability This guide (available in English and Spanish) comes from the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and offers guidance to schools and families as to evaluating children for disability and especially for […]

How to Prioritize the Health and Safety of Students, School Personnel, and Families

How to Prioritize the Health and Safety of Students, School Personnel, and Families is one of the first pages to be launched in the “Return to School Roadmap” series being produced by the U.S. Department of Education. The series itself is a work in progress, beginning with three landmark principles focused on tools and strategies that schools, districts, and communities can use to ensure that all students are set up for success in the 2021-2022 school year. The Department anticipates steadily releasing additional resources as part of the series in the coming weeks and months.

Immediately available are: (1) a fact sheet that lays out the three principles and provides examples of schools and communities that are addressing each in effective ways; (2) a guide for schools and districts outlining what schools can do to protect the health and safety of students; (3) a checklist that parents can use to prepare themselves and their children for a safe return to in-person learning this fall. Learn more about the Return to School Roadmap and connect with all currently available resources right here.

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

As is now apparent, COVID-19 is causing renewed surges in infections and hospitalizations of those who contract the virus, especially the Delta variant of the virus. While about 49% of people in the United States have been fully vaccinated, the rate of vaccination varies greatly from state to state. This means that some states are being especially impacted by 2021 COVID surges. The highly infectious Delta variant has caused huge spikes especially in Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida. Recent data (as of July 24th) indicate that approximately 97% of those patients hospitalized have not been vaccinated.

This upward surge is alarming and portends a repeat of the nation’s 2020 shutdown, a threat that has caused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revise its guidelines regarding the wearing of masks, safe distancing, and health protocols in different settings, even for people who have already been fully vaccinated. To connect with the Interim Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People (for non-healthcare settings), related information for healthcare settings, and how to find a free vaccination site near you, a colleague, or a loved one, visit our description of CDC’s new resource.

Preschool Inclusion Series | Videos

(2019) | (Available in English and Spanish) The SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library includes early childhood inclusion training resources. The videos and training sessions support high-quality inclusion of preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) in early care and education settings that are responsive to the priority and concerns of families. The target audiences are early childhood professional development […]

Roadmap to Safely Reopening Institutions of Higher Education

The Department of Education adds Volume 3 to its ED COVID Handbook series, this time focusing on Strategies for Safe Operation and Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education Students, Faculty, and Staff.

The 54-page volume highlights key areas of concern and discuss strategies for addressing those areas, such as safe practices for in-person learning, broadband and device access, basic needs supports for students, and available federal funding and flexibilities.

Read more about and access Volume 3 here, as well as connect with Volumes 1 and 2 and CPIR’s short summary briefs of those volumes.

Early Childhood Reopening Resource Collection

July 2021 A special collection of resources from the Early Childhood Centers funded by OSEP Resources to help communities reopen early childhood settings (Keep scrolling) OSEP’s funded Early Childhood Centers What about reopening of early intervention programs and services? CPIR is pleased to host this collection of resources relevant to reopening early childhood programs and […]

Putting the DEC-Recommended Practices to Work in Parent Centers: Part One

Part 1 in this 15-minute webinar series introduces participants to the Division for Early Childhood’s (DEC) Recommended Practices (RPs), which offer guidance to parents and professionals who work with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The webinar is designed to familiarize participants with many of the resources and materials developed in partnership with the ECTA Center to support family use of the RPs in order to promote positive outcomes for young children (0-8) with or at risk of developmental delays and disabilities.

Vaccinations, Return to In-Person Learning, and What All Parents Need to Know

In this webinar for parents, Parent Centers, and community members, key representatives from the U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discuss safely reopening schools in the fall for in-person learning. Speakers share the process needed to get our children with and without disabilities back in the classroom, including testing and vaccine safety. The webinar is designed to give families an opportunity to express concerns, ask questions, and discuss how to sustain safe operations in schools. CDC spotlights the amazing array of resources it makes available in multiple languages about COVID-19 and vaccinations (including for adolescents), as well materials and toolkits tailored for specific audiences, such as families, community-based organizations, schools, and camp programs.

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