RTSD Special Education During the Extended Closure
This page was created to provide background on Special Education planning and preparation for the mandated closure; establish context for decision making as it relates to Special Education supports and services; connect Special Education supports and services to the Continuity Of Education Plan (click here); clarify Senate Bill 751/ACT 13 (click here); review available supports and services available during the mandated closure; and answer commonly asked questions from the community related to Special Education. Click here to view this information in a PowerPoint presentation (PDF).
Overview & Timeline
- February 2020: News spreads regarding COVID-19 pandemic, conversations about educational planning begin
- March 12: Governor Wolf announces Montgomery County schools will be closed
- March 13: Governor Wolf announces all PA schools to close for two weeks
- March 13-17: Special education department plans for instruction during mandated closure
- March 17-18: Information provided to special education department specific to IEPs and virtual special education supports
- March 19: Virtual instruction begins in RTSD for all students
- March 25: SB 751/Act 13 passed
- March 27: Governor Wolf announces all PA schools to close indefinitely
- March 20-27: Interim COVID planning and roll out begins
- March 30-April 3: Interim plan writing and Continuity Of Education Plan creation
- April 9: Governor Wolf announces all PA schools to close until at least the end of the school year
- April 6-10: Instructional planning for remainder of the year and COVID-19 interim distribution begins
- April 15: All COVID-19 interim plans distributed by this date
- April 16: Updated FERPA and COE information sent to parents
Support and Information Sharing for Staff & Parents
- Teacher Support: Weekly Zoom department meetings
- Mental Health: Weekly Zoom mental health staff meetings
- Psychologists: Weekly Zoom psychologists meetings
- Legal Updates: Weekly Zoom compliance meeting to review Federal and State guidelines for providing COE.
- Direct Communications
- Ongoing weekly communication with case managers via Schoology, email, BBB, or phone
Continuity of Education Plan
As required by SB 751/ACT 13 (click here), schools must submit a Continuity Of Education Plan to PDE. This must include the District’s plan to notify parents of the Special Education and Support Services that will be provided during the mandated closure. Click here for an overview of RTSD's Continuity of Education Plan.
COVID-19 IIESEP (Interim Individualized Emergency Special Education Plan) - created to summarize and provide notice to parents, as required by SB 751/ACT 13, and outlines interim services proposed to be provided for each Special Education student. Interim plans are the District’s best efforts at providing FAPE due to the mandated school closures and given the current required virtual learning environment. Parents have been notified via email by case managers with the proposed COVID-19 IIESEP.
IEP, ER/ER, 504 & GIEP Meeting Process
- Timelines must be kept in compliance for all IEP/GIEP/504 meetings with a focus on Annual and Initial meetings. Revision meetings may occur if deemed necessary by the IEP team.
- Evaluations already in progress and biannual or triennial reevaluations will continue. No formal assessments can be conducted until schools reopen. Psychologists have been provided information and will communicate directly with parents and the school based teams.
- COVID-19 Language is required for all documents.
- IEPs are written to be implemented upon schools reopening. Interim Plans are being implemented during the mandated school closure.
Messages to Families
Special Education FAQs
While schools remained closed, formal goal related progress monitoring as outlined in the IEP cannot occur. Case managers may utilize “built-in” program progress data (i.e. iRead, System 44, Read 180, Math180) to gauge progress and plan instruction.
Case managers will continue to communicate weekly with parents for input and regarding progress. Questions or concerns regarding interim plans can be directed to the case mangers and building principals. Please list your specific question/concerns when emailing.
At this time, per the amended SB 751/ACT 13, districts are required to provide services according to their Continuity Of Education plan. No comp ed services can be determined at this time.
Levels of Support Based on Student Need
Resources are available on the RTSD Extended Closure Webpage. Click here to view the resources available.
Social Worker Support
School social workers are providing food, direct mental health support, hotspots, provider information and more.
K-12 teachers continuing Positive Action, consultation with regular education teachers, BCBA direct parental support and consultation with teachers, virtual trainings.
Clinical Support Counseling
Teletherapy and email communication has been provided by Lakeside Counselors. We are finalizing supports to be provided by Caron Foundation.
This resource is available to all teachers to support modifying work as needed.
Special Education (Itinerant and Supplemental)
Schoology platform with modifications to regular education work, alternative work via video and email support, access to online programs (i.e. iRead, Read180, System44, Math180, etc).
Gifted teachers supporting both gifted learners as well as accelerated students.
Case mangers continue to oversee accommodations listed in the 504 service agreements and support regular education teachers.
A priority of the district is to continue to provide ongoing mental health supports for both families and students. Below are supports being provided and a link to information for parents:
Information is posted on RTSD Extended Closure Webpage. Click here to view the available resources. Information includes district contact information, outside provider information, and crisis resources.
ES teachers are continuing to implement virtual curriculum (Positive Action as well as other resources) for their students.
Clinical Support Counselor
Lakeside counselors are providing individualized counseling for students on their caseload. Additional support is being provider for new students as needed.
Continuing to support students via virtual methods, support transitions and course selections, ACT 339 activities, attendance, and more.
Continuing to support families extensively as needed with food, mental health resources, welfare issues, technology distribution, and more.
Caron Foundation will be providing support for ongoing SAP processes, support for families with group and 1:1 therapy, and more.
Ongoing consultation with district Risk Assessment contractor as needed.
Ongoing resources will be provided via RTSD website and weekly Special Education newsletters.
Parents of students moving from 5th-6th grade and 8th-9th grade will participate in a virtual 15 minute transition meeting in June to review pertinent information. Course selection information will be provided by the school counselors and case managers.
Psychologists will communicate with all registered early intervention student families regarding evaluation process and interim supports and services to be provided in Fall 2020.
Graduating Senior Process
Seniors who are graduating this year will be provided information from case managers (i.e. graduation NOREPs and Summary of Academic Performance)