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By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP

On March 22, 2020, the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education sent a letter  to all parents to notify all that the NYCDOE has instituted  remote learning to the 1.1 million students in NYC.  The letter contains important contact information and a plan of how the NYCDOE plans to serve students with disabilities.

Special Education Programs.  For students with disabilities with IEPs, the Chancellor has stated that  if a student is recommended for integrated co-teaching, special class, or special education teacher support services, the child’s school will make every effort to arrange for them continue to receive instruction from the same special education teachers and classroom paraprofessionals that usually teach them.  Further, the Chancellor has stated that a representative from the child’s school will contact parents  to discuss how instruction will be delivered.

IEP Meetings. Student’s  IEP meetings will still take place and will be conducted by phone. To make a referral for initial evaluation or reevaluation, parents can email  the school principal or specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov, or call 311 or more on remote learning for students with IEPs, parents can visit schools.nyc.gov/learnathome.

Related Services and Assistive Technology. Student’s related services will be provided via teletherapy, or video-conferencing where clinically appropriate.  According to the Chancellor, providers and schools will contact families to discuss the service plan for each student. Providers will also give families information about activities that can be done at home to reinforce the related services work.  On assistive technology,  the Chancellor has stated that schools will work with families to ensure that devices are provided to families of students recommended for Assistive Technology, and will contact families to make those arrangements. 

Charter and NPS Schools.  The Chancellor has stated that, charter schools and non-public schools will contact families to discuss their plan for serving students while schools are closed. Students will receive SETSS, SEIT, and related services remotely, whenever appropriate, in the same manner such services are provided to students in district schools.

Remote learning is certainly not perfect and families will need to be proactive to ensure their child receives appropriate services.  For families who reside in NYC whose children are served by the NYCDOE, in this trying time, we are offering no-charge remote or phone consultations. if parents have questions about longstanding inappropriate services for their child.

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