The pandemic has brought new complications to education, particularly for those who require or provide special education services. Some students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) have experienced negative changes in their education experience over the last two years as some types of support are difficult to provide remotely or within new safety parameters. The U.S. Department of Education is providing new guidelines that will help bridge gaps for disabled students.
Support For Unique Learners
IEPs are education plans based on the individual needs of the specific student. The terms of a plan are determined by a team that evaluates everything from the physical state of the child to the detailed support he or she needs in the classroom. The new guidelines will require IEP teams to consider certain things that could affect a child in class, including masks, social distancing and more.
Because of changes brought about by pandemic-related concerns, many existing IEPs may need to be modified. New requirements also mandate that teams consider the needs of disabled students that may be at an elevated health risk because of COVID-19. In order to help a child reach their fullest potential, IEPs should incorporate terms that address new health concerns that affect their education.
The Right IEP
Each IEP is different and focuses on the individual child’s unique needs. A California parent has the right to express their concerns if their child is not being provided appropriate educational supports and services. It may be necessary to work with an experienced attorney to effectively address these matters. An assessment of the individual case may help a parent understand how to advocate for their child.