K-12 Issues

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OCR’s Restraint and Seclusion Agreement with Saco Public Schools in Maine

(2021, November 5) | Relevant to Parent Centers, families of children with disabilities, disability advocates, and state and local public education systems with respect to policies and practices regarding restraint and seclusion of children with disabilities   The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education has resolved its compliance review of […]

Webinar | Development and Implementation of IEPs

In this webinar for Parent Centers, important guidance from the U.S. Department of Education is shared. Content is focused explicitly and in detail on the development of IEPs as students return to school. Revisions to a student’s IEP may be crucial, given changes that may have occurred in the social, emotional, mental, and behavioral well-being of the child during the pandemic. Students may need to reevaluated to determine what their current needs are, so these can be addressed in their IEPs. Much discussion centered around compensatory services: what they are, when and how schools should determine whether a student needs such services, and more.

Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health

This release from the U.S. Department of Education joins the many recent products from ED to support how schools and communities support and see to the well-being of children. “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health” provides information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students. This resource highlights 7 key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents 7 corresponding recommendations. This resource includes many real-world examples of how the recommendations are being put into action by schools, communities, and states across the country.

Read more about the challenges discussed and the recommendations explored, and access the publication here.

10 Simple Socially Distanced Seating Arrangements for Classrooms

(2021, August 26) | Useful to educators and to advocates and parents. It’s hard to believe that we’re entering the third year of pandemic teaching, but here we are! Some districts have no mandates, while others are encouraging preventive measures. During times like these, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan (and a […]

Getting Ready for the 2021-22 School Year: FAQs about Testing Children with Disabilities

The 2020-21 school year was an unprecedented year with many districts implementing virtual learning, and with some districts moving back and forth between in-person and distance learning. Now, as children return to school in Fall 2021, it is critical that states and districts gather information on what children with disabilities have learned and where they need more support to meet standards-based learning goals. With this information, educators can make changes to current programs and to instruction to address children’s needs. Both formal and informal tests are important tools for gathering information.

This brief from NCEO answers frequently asked questions about whether (and how!) to test children with disabilities. The FAQ notes in particular that individualized education program (IEP) teams may need to revisit a child’s IEP before making test participation decisions. IEPs written before the COVID-19 pandemic may no longer address an individual child’s needs after the pandemic. For a list of the FAQs posed and to connect with the brief, read more here.

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.

Key Points to Share about ED’s Reopening Schools

In April 2021, the U.S. Department of Education published 2 handbooks to help schools reopen safely. To give Parent Centers, families, and others quick access to the valuable information in these volumes, CPIR is pleased to develop and share with you an infographic summary of each volume. While there is no substitute from reading the actual volumes in their entirety, these infographics will give you a taste of the kind of detailed guidance you’ll find in the full publications. Access the infographics as well as ED’s handbooks here.

Roadmaps to Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has released two handbooks to assist states, schools, and communities in safely reopening America’s schools for in-person learning of students, including those with disabilities. Volume 1, Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools, focuses on health and safety measures that schools can use to successfully implement the CDC’s K-12 Operational Strategy guidelines. Volume 2, Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs, spotlights research-based strategies for addressing the social, emotional, mental-health, and academic impacts of the pandemic on students, educators, and staff.

To learn more about each volume, see the Table of Contents for both, and access the handbooks, come here.

Accelerating Learning for Students with Disabilities During COVID-19 and Beyond

COVID-19 shuttered school buildings and the impact on students will potentially be significant for years to come. While instructional loss will affect most students, it could have a disproportionate impact on students with disabilities and other historically marginalized populations, including students of color, students impacted by poverty, and English language learners. It’s critical that schools take immediate steps to address the issue of instructional loss and prevent students from falling further behind. This 26-page report from NCLD discusses promising practices for doing just that. It explores in some detail research-based approaches to accelerate learning; how to implement those approaches with success; and policy recommendations and actions at the state and federal levels. Read more about the report and download it here.

Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools

(2021, February) | Useful for sharing with PTAs, families, community organizations involved in educational issues, and school leadership staff. COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools comes from the U.S. Department of Education. The 26-page handbook begins with a summary of CDC’s operational strategies and steps for safe school reopening. […]

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