Special Edu. Advisory from the Director of Sped.

posted Mar 16, 2020, 11:26 AM by Grant Harris   [ updated Mar 16, 2020, 11:43 AM ]

Dear Parent/Guardian/Caregiver,


As you are aware, Gloucester Public Schools has closed schools through April 6, 2020, in response to concerns given the unprecedented situation created by the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  


These are extraordinary times and the information and guidance from local, state and federal authorities has resulted in decisions and actions that need to be nimble to adapt to the quickly changing environment.  Please see the guidelines issued by the Office of Special Education Programming:  OSEP Guidance issued March 2020.  At this time, the following district guidelines are in effect:


During this Distance Learning period of time, Special Education Staff will be working with general education teachers to support learning in a variety of ways.  Through the use of technologies such as google classroom, google hangouts, etc. GPS is providing opportunities to engage in enrichment activities to maintain continuity of learning.  Special Education Staff will be working to modify, scaffold, provide supplemental tools, and differentiate activities for students so they are able to access learning.  


New Referrals/Initial Eligibility:

Gloucester Public Schools, along with other schools in the commonwealth, will freeze evaluation, referral, and plan distribution timelines for all students in a referral cycle during school closure.  This means that as soon as schools open again, the timelines will commence as is required by state and federal regulations.


Annual Reviews/Evaluations in Process:

Gloucester Public Schools, along with other schools in the commonwealth, will freeze evaluation, referral, annual review, and plan distribution timelines for all students on IEPs during school closure.  This means that as soon as schools open again, the timelines will commence as is required by state and federal regulations.  Additionally, at that time we will be working with families to understand the impact of the closure on students.


Home/Hospital Tutoring:

Home and Hospital Tutoring occurs outside of the school buildings.  As a practice, Gloucester Public Schools does not provide tutoring when school is not in session.  For students currently on approved home or hospital tutoring, the appropriate Special Education Program Leader will contact the family once we are back in session to re-establish tutoring.


OOD/Residential Placements:

For students in Out-of-District day or residential placements, Gloucester Public Schools will follow the attendance recommendations of the individual school or facility.  At this time, our transportation companies have indicated they will continue to transport students to out of district schools that remain open.  As you may know, many of the OOD schools, are closed along with most all public schools.




365 Day Residential Placements:

For students in 365-day residential placements, Gloucester Public Schools will follow the attendance recommendations of the individual school or facility.


Counseling

If your child is in crisis, whereas they are a threat to themselves or others, you should call 911.  You may also call Lahey Behavioral Health Services, Psychiatric Crisis Team, at 978-744-1585 or 866-523-1216.


We are in constant communication with our liaisons at both the state and federal level, and will communicate any updates as a district and department in a timely manner.



Take care and be well,



Patty Wegmann

Director of Special Education



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Grant Harris,
Mar 16, 2020, 11:26 AM
Ċ
Grant Harris,
Mar 16, 2020, 11:26 AM
Ċ
Grant Harris,
Mar 16, 2020, 11:26 AM
Ċ
Grant Harris,
Mar 16, 2020, 11:26 AM
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