Special Education Guidance for Families with Children with IEPs

See below for the latest guidance from the Bureau of Special Education in the following areas:

  1. Guidance on Act 13 dealing with districts notifying families on how services will be provided to students during the school closures.
  2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Families of Students with Disabilities
  3. Graduation requirements for the graduating class of 2020
  4. Resources for families (links)

Bureau of Special education (BSE) Guidance on Act 13 of 2020 gives direction to school districts (LEAs)  and "requires each school entity to provide written notice to the parent or guardian of each student with an IEP of the school entity's plans for ensuring the student receives FAPE as required under IDEA."  This could be in the form of a Prior Written Notice/Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (PWN/NOREP).

"LEAs should pay particular attention to specially designed instruction, related services, and transition planning."

"Once school resumes under typical circumstances, a child's IEP Team must make an individualized determination whether and to what extent appropriate compensatory education or other future services may be needed, within a reasonable timeframe and consistent with applicable requirements, including to make up for any skills that may have been lost during the closure."

Also, families can request that their child's district offer the continuation of Direct Instruction with their child through distance learning.  For example, if your child is taught math directly by their Special Education teacher, families can request that this instruction continue through distance learning.  Related services, like speech and language, can be requested by families to continue these services, as well. Families would make sure confidentiality is not breached by having the sessions occur in a private area.

We would also like to bring attention to some of the practices we have been made aware of in some districts in Western Pennsylvania.

  1. Districts asking families to do the probes (assessments or assignments) that are used for Progress Monitoring
  2. Districts asking families to sign waivers asking them to waive their child's rights to compensatory time for course work and/or related services.

If you know of this situation, you can contact your district's Special Education Advisor or the Bureau of Special Education at 1-717-783-6913 to report these actions.  Families are under NO obligation to do their children's probes or signing away their child's rights to compensatory time.

Any questions or concerns can be sent back to this email or to the LTF3's Parent Assistance Line at 412-394-5930.

We know school entities and Intermediate Units are working hard to guarantee the continuation of the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to our children and families are a part of that partnering process."