Exceptional Children, Extraordinary Potential


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Parents:  Your child's school or district should be your first source of information about school re-entry plans.
  • Special Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic   On demand webinar (2 hour) Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge conducts a Town Hall style event with special ed attorneys to answer parents' questions: 1) What is the Federal Law During the COVID-19 Quarantine?  2) What is Compensatory Education? 3)  How Can Parents Advocate for their Child Right Now? 4) Importance of Data Points: Evaluations and Collecting Data
  • Back to School or Not? Understanding Your Options . On demand webinar from National Down Syndrome Congress. Focuses on helping parents understand the legal implications of different options, including in-person learning, digital learning, homeschooling, and homebound/home instruction providing ideas on how to maintain certain IDEA rights while maximizing flexibility.
  • CDC Back to School Checklist, Virtual/At-Home Learning Feasibility Checklist, School-Based Services  Checklist   The questions in these tools are designed to help you weigh the risks and benefits of available educational options before you make decisions. Recognizing that there may be many unknowns, answer each question with a check in the column that most closely reflects you and your family today. When you are finished, review your answers. Remember, each family is different so certain questions may be particularly important to you. Multiple checks in the "Unsure" or "Disagree" columns might warrant a conversation with school administrators, your healthcare provider, or your employer. Parents may also want to use the tool to make their views, concerns, and suggestions known to school administrators.
  • National Down Syndrome Congress offers an on-demand webinar series to help parents and educators make the jump from the classroom to online learning.  Presented by Sean J. Smith, a professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas and an NDSC Board member, these sessions focus on the various tips, tools, and techniques to maximize online learning for students with disabilities. 
Montana Education Resources

Re-Opening Montana's Schools 2020 COVID-19 Special Education Information

Reopening Montana Schools Guidance
Page 28,  Special Education Considerations for All Scenarios

When reopening school buildings after extended closures due to COVID-19, there are several things that need to be considered regarding special education programs. The following is a list of things to consider for Special Education:
  • Establish a committee or team to outline the steps necessary to implement the district's reopening plans regarding special education.
  • Consider how to facilitate the transition back into the school environment to limit the impact of a student's disability.
  • Consider what professional development staff may be needed to support student mental health, physical health, and altered learning environment needs.
  • Plan for staffing, depending on the Scenario.
  • Determine who will be the district point of contact communicating with special education staff and parents.
  • Review facility plans to ensure physical distancing and ADA compliance.
  • Consider if/how new cleaning procedures may adversely affect any student such as those with chemical sensitivities.
  • Determine a process for conducting evaluation, reevaluation, and developing IEPs.
  • Review the information and data collected prior to and during the school building closure, including observations and information provided by parents.
  • Implement a process for determining whether progress has been made towards IEP goals or loss of learning specific to IEP goals occurred which may require a different approach.
  • IEP teams should use information collected from a variety of sources to determine whether additional services are required and what those services will be.
Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) - http://opi.mt.gov/
Montana PTA - www.montanapta.org
Montana Public Education Center - www.mt-pec.org/mt-pec/home
Montana Rural Education Association - https://mrea-mt.org/
Montana School Boards Association - www.mtsba.org/home