Classroom

Special Education Remote Learning Plan

Somerville Public Schools Special Education Remote and Continued Learning Vision:

During this time of school closure, our vision is to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in accordance with state and federal guidelines, through a variety of developmentally appropriate, inclusive, and accessible learning opportunities. 

To achieve this vision for Continued Learning for Students with Disabilities, SPS will provide:

  • Meaningful access to content learning with special education supports
  • Opportunities to develop skills on which IEP goals are focused
  • Appropriate rigor and expectations to meet standards with tiered supports

Keeping priorities in mind:

  • Approach with an attitude of caring and compassion for everyone
  • Safety and well-being of students, families, and staff continues to be top priority
  • Focus on equity for our most vulnerable students
  • Maintain connections between school staff, students, and families
  • Ensure compliance with IDEA while offering educational programs
  • Provide services differently in these unusual circumstances than when school is fully operational
  • Provide access, accommodations, and services remotely
  • Provide a sense of structure, routine, and predictability in a time of change for students and families

The goal for learning is to establish systemic special education resources, supports, and services to promote continuity of learning 

  • Provide supports and resources
  • Recognize that remote learning comes in many forms and is not always online learning
  • Provide instruction and services (which include whole class, small group, individualized)
  • Provide consultation

Key Components:

  • Provide strategies, assignments, projects, and packets to students
  • Provide general education materials with accommodations
  • Provide materials directly from special educators and related service providers
  • Provide resources to families to keep students engaged in learning
  • Provide regular, ongoing check-ins with families (by phone, email, district-approved social media, etc.) including but not limited to office hours
  • Work collaboratively in a cohesive team approach

Instruction and Services

  • Direct interactive instruction
  • Activities and resources
  • Consultation

From the student view:

  • Cohesive, enriching, and engaging
  • Challenging, but I can do it!
  • Learning goals are clear to me and I know when I have reached the goal
  • I can ask for help and I get support when I need it
  • I get to express my thinking in the process of learning and when I am done with my work
  • I receive feedback and I can adjust what I have done
  • I have opportunities to develop my skills

From the teacher view:

  • I collaborate with grade-level, content area, Special Education, and ESL partners for lesson design and co-delivery of online learning
  • I have planning and co-planning time
  • I am clear on the IEP goal and objectives to be addressed and will monitor progress toward those goals
  • I (co-)plan integrated, thematic, learning experiences, projects, and lessons
  • I can access professional development opportunities related to making remote learning accessible to students with disabilities
  • I know how or can get support to develop on-level supports and scaffolds for students with disabilities
  • I assess my students’ learning, give feedback, and use formative assessment for planning

From the parent/family view:

  • I will weekly receive notice of learning opportunities and direct instruction for my student so that I can ensure his or her participation to the greatest extent possible
  • We have a daily schedule that we are able to follow
  • We have designated quiet spaces in our home to do school work
  • I can count on my child’s school for any support my family needs or the school can connect me to community resources

Educator Collaboration

The Learning Design addressing the needs of students with disabilities and equitable access depends upon collaboration of all Team members and co-delivery of instruction and support. To ensure a cohesive learning experience, we should coordinate assignments and learning activities for different learner profiles.

What could Team (special educator, general educator, paraprofessional, service providers, ESL Specialist) collaboration look like?

  • Plan weekly learning targets. Focus on the big picture.
  • Identify IEP-related goals in addition to content learning targets
  • Offer multiple modalities for students to show their learning
  • Minimize excessive daily communication with a “Week at a Glance” sent to students and families
  • Meet to divide the work, share strategies, and support each other. Key deliverable is the “Week at Glance” document for the following week.
  • Think about your Special Education Students and what scaffolds and supports they will need and how you will deliver them (pre-teaching, visual and graphic supports, word banks, sentence and paragraph frames,etc.)
  • Focus on real life application of skills
  • Set office hours for Team members in different roles for students to get support for content clarification and/or special education supports
  • Schedule small group and one-on-one time with students
  • Document your communication, consultation, and remote learning opportunities for IEP related services

School Adjustment Counselors

  • Communicate regularly with students on your caseload and/or their parents to ensure they have success with remote learning. For students with multiple providers, establish a communication system with the case manager.
  • Communicate with teachers and case managers so learning expectations can be adjusted as needed (Consultation)
  • Communicate weekly office hours (email, Google Classroom, phone call, etc.) with students/families
  • Design and implement remote learning opportunities that address the IEP services of students on your caseload
  • Provide timely feedback to support your students’ learning
  • Document your communication, consultation, and remote learning opportunities for IEP-related services
  • Provide classroom teachers and parents resources/lessons/activities to foster students’ social-emotional development

Related Services (SLP, OT, PT, PTA)

  • Communicate regularly with students on your caseload and/or their parents to ensure they have success with remote learning. For students with multiple providers, establish a communication system with the case manager.
  • Communicate with teachers and case managers so learning expectations can be adjusted as needed (Consultation)
  • Communicate weekly office hours (email, Google Classroom, phone call, etc.) with students/families
  • Design and implement remote learning opportunities that address the IEP services of students on your caseload
  • Provide timely feedback to support your students’ learning
  • Document your communication, consultation, and remote learning opportunities for IEP related services
  • Provide classroom teachers and parents resources/lessons/activities to foster students’ IEP skill development in related service areas

BCBA

  • Communicate regularly with students on your caseload and/or their parents to ensure they have success with remote learning. For students with multiple providers, establish a communication system with the case manager.
  • Communicate with teachers and case managers so learning expectations can be adjusted as needed (Consultation)
  • Communicate weekly office hours (email, Google Classroom, phone call, etc.) with students/families
  • Design and implement remote learning opportunities that address the IEP services of students on your caseload
  • Provide timely feedback to support your students’ learning
  • Document your communication, consultation, and remote learning opportunities for IEP-related services
  • Provide classroom teachers and parents resources/lessons/activities to foster students’ IEP skill development in related service areas

Paraprofessionals

  • Collaborate with classroom teachers to provide support for students
  • Communicate with teachers and case managers so learning expectations can be adjusted as needed (Consultation)
  • Create appropriate learning materials
  • Assist with the implementation of remote learning opportunities that address the IEP
  • Provide timely feedback to support students' learning

Resources for Teachers of students with disabilities

Guiding Principles for Educators

  • Limit the number of new platforms/technologies you introduce at one time. Start with tools that students are most familiar with.
  • Teach students how to use online tools before assigning work.
  • Teachers across content areas/courses should use similar structures and online tools
  • Consider low-tech and no-tech learning options (quality television, indoor and outdoor activities)
  • Teachers focus on real-life application of skills

Recommended Resources: