8/26/20: In-Person Learning for Select Students Starting 9/14; Compensatory Services Info

Dear Parent/Guardians of Students Receiving Special Education Services in RTSD, 

Following state guidelines and recommendations from the Chester County Health Department concerning students receiving special education services, we are pleased to offer a full day, in-person instructional model starting with a limited number of specific students with complex needs beginning September 14. Our plan is that this select group of students will be the start of an in-person phase-in for all students receiving special education services. Of course, in our current reality, all plans are subject to change at short notice depending on Covid-19 data from the county and township as well as updated medical guidance. 

Families of the students to be offered in-person instruction beginning September 14 will be notified by Friday, August 28 as well as provided more information in a separate email. We were fortunate to host a successful pilot, in-person program this summer at Wayne Elementary School for students with similar needs and are ready to build on that success. 

If you do not hear from us by August 28, please know we continue to plan for in-person learning for all students and will be in touch. Your child's case manager will be sending you the COVID IEP Addendum by September 8 form that outlines the supports and services provided in the virtual phase as we begin the school year.

COVID Compensatory Services

In response to recent inquiries, we'd like to provide some information regarding COVID compensatory services outlined by the PA Department of Education. Currently, we are seeking further clarification from the state regarding the timeline for when these services may be calculated. Once we receive this clarification, we will send this information to our IEP teams and, subsequently, our parents. Please know that the Special Education Department is discussing what these compensatory services may look like while we wait for further guidance.  

What we do know is that these services are not automatic and are not calculated right away. Our IEP teams are given a period of three months after the implementation of in-person instruction to collect new baselines on students and compare them to pre-COVID closure progress monitoring data. The teams, after reviewing this data, will then have this time period to first provide recoupment services to our students. This is a period where our teams will work closely with the students to collect progress monitoring data from the updated Fall baselines and provide additional supports or services, as deemed appropriate. 

These additional supports and services are team decisions and can be offered as additional support during the school day. If a student, due to the proposed recoupment services, would miss other classes such as intervention periods, or Science or Social Studies, this would be communicated with the parents beforehand. 

After the recoupment period, the teams will meet with parents to further discuss the data collected and determine if the PDE COVID compensatory services are needed. Again, more information on these possible services will be forthcoming. 

Information related to this subject, as well as others concerning special education as we begin the school year, can be accessed via an August 19 video webinar here as well as by visiting the RTSD Special Education webpage related to the COVID closure and reopening plan here.

Thank you and we continue to appreciate your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Jenny Le Sage
Director of Special Education

George Reigle
Assistant Director of Special Education